How HR Can Use Technology to Stay in Touch

Although we live in a connected age when everyone can reach each other through emails, texts and various social media channels, the quality is just as important as the quantity. How can HR use technology, not just as an end in itself but to increase connections between staff and management? Fortunately, the SHRM Foundation, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), has come to the rescue with its guide “Transforming HR Through Technology.”

There are lots of interesting items in the guide, which belongs in every HR manager’s library. Of particular interest is the section titled “The Future: Five-Year Trends in HR Technology.” It lists a number of issues that any HR manager should be well aware of.

Social Networking Is In. These venues are not just for sharing pictures of cats. However, notes the report, companies will need to figure out how to balance corporate needs and usefulness with privacy. “Vital questions at this point include how to use social networking data to support recruiting, internal communications, employee knowledge sharing, collaboration and training.”

Compliance Remains Complex. There are a lot of regulations out there, and the safe bet is that they’re going to get more complicated, not less. More than ever, HR is going to have to take care in how it works with employees and communicates on such issues as equal opportunity and the Affordable Care Act. “It is hard to imagine organizations without a strong HRIS effectively navigating this new environment.”

Transparency Is King. The report explains that a good HRIS can make policies and procedures, for example, more available to staff. “Web-based capabilities will increase this transparency as employees enjoy even greater access to their own data, as well as to HR data traditionally available only to HR staff.” Again, of course, privacy remains an issue.

New Skills for New Roles. HR professionals will have to grow and adapt to the calls on their time as companies need to communicate even more complicated issues. “Legal requirements and other regulations make many benefits programs and HR policies much more complex to manage,” says the guide, which predicts a need for more expert staff.

Consider where you want to go with your staffing issues — and how you can best manage your most valuable asset.