Like virtually every other company leader in the world in 2020, this year has forced me to reexamine almost every aspect of how I run my business. At the top of my list: the well-being of my staff, both physical and mental. My entire career has concentrated on individuals. This year has contributed to more improvements than ever before in the way businesses communicate with their workers. The way we worked in 2020 is radically different from what we’ve been used to and will work for the near future. That is why HR technology and software must also keep up with the onslaught of changes in the way companies involve their workers.
Seamless HR Technology
As the population grows progressively younger, so grows the need for solutions that fit their lifestyles. That implies that their transactions with the systems at work must be as pervasive, intuitive, and fast as the apps they use in their everyday lives for a generation that grew up with the entire world literally at their fingertips. After all, with only a few taps on their phone, if they can get a three-course meal delivered to their homes, why can’t they access their pay stubs or update their preferred benefits just as easily? HR solutions should provide an easy-to-use user interface to do that, be available on various networks, and help workers eliminate as many layers of intrusion during the transaction as possible.
There is a fundamental change in the way we work today from what we did only a year ago, let alone five years ago. Business models are now almost continuously evolving in real-time to respond to ever-changing market dynamics and economic realities. In how they source and handle their talent, businesses are becoming more innovative and fluid, taking in more freelancers and contractors while offering their staff more opportunities to work part-time or remotely. It is therefore essential to be stable and versatile enough for HR management systems to handle the continuous flux of workers and their needs while minimizing the challenges that will eventually be encountered by the HR, payroll, and enforcement teams, making it easy to add, remove and manage the data of various types of employees.
Worldwide HR Technology
There is a world of talent out there, literally. Considering the increase in authoritarian tendencies over the past few years and the pandemic’s travel restrictions, the world is only getting smaller. Sadly, many HR technology solutions currently on the market are regional, tailored for doing business in a particular country or area. The reality is that future-proof HR programs need to start with a global mentality, allowing companies to expand across the globe while efficiently managing the complicated labour, payroll, and legal regulations that are followed by international expansion.
The already rising trend of working from home exacerbated the sudden onset of the pandemic. And the fact is, operating remotely is here to stay. The increase in employees who access critical and confidential documents and data through their home networks has also contributed to increased cyber-attacks and data breaches. Around the same time, local or regional data security regulations that regulate how files and personal information are exchanged need to be tackled by organizations with a global network of employees. Not only can any violations cost them their knowledge, but also possibly much money, and perhaps even their credibility. HR technology must have rigorous data protection measures at its heart to protect workers’ confidential details, such as payroll and health insurance.
Perhaps this is the most significant aspect of a good HR technology solution. At first glance, it could seem counterintuitive, but advanced HR software and AI can hopefully help workers feel more in charge of their work lives. And that’s just good business; the real-life use cases and needs of the people who use them should be handled by HR management systems, not just checking the most boxes or costing the least. An open and usable framework can allow workers to make choices that make sense to them and eventually make their lives simpler, as well as the lives of HR, accounting, legal, and enforcement departments.
I started my company in my kitchen before moving to a small office on the north side of Chicago with five employees. Five years later, with more than 200 employees in 16 cities serving more than 135 nations, I was never more convinced of the value of using the right resources to keep my employees happy and safe. And now, HR technologists need to work hard more than ever to ensure that these tools help us bring the “human” back in HR.