The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new HR technologies, driving innovation and more efficient ways of engaging and managing employees.
“COVID and societal issues shed light on the need for new HR capabilities. The COVID pandemic accelerated innovation in hybrid and remote work, employee wellness, new learning models, upskilling and reskilling the workforce, and other issues...Innovation and new ways of thinking are needed, and HR, tech entrepreneurs, and investors are stepping up,” shares George LaRocque, founder and principal analyst of WorkTech, in an article for HR Executive.
More than $17.5 billion has been invested in HR technologies in 2021 to date.
The pandemic has changed how we work and how employees expect to work. HR leaders are charged with reducing turnover, increasing recruitment, monitoring employee health, developing new remote onboarding and training strategies, and streamlining how employees access benefits.
With new technologies impacting every area of HR from payroll to training, HR leaders will need to learn new skills themselves as companies evaluate and adopt new technologies. Outcomes and impact on employees are critical to consider when identifying potential new technologies.
In her book Introduction to HR Technologies, author Stacey Harris warns that cost savings and ease of use will not be the mark of a successful tech rollout; instead, HR should look to “value creation and workforce experiences” as outcomes. She writes, “In this new world, transparency will be expected and yet trust is paramount—and the responsibility for enterprise communications may fall to tomorrow’s HR technology environments.”
When considering the introduction of new technologies, training cannot be overlooked. Employees can be apprehensive about new platforms, especially when digital literacy is low, or employees feel overwhelmed by multiple apps. Companies will also need to consider how this will impact its cybersecurity and data protection.
The data aggregation and reduction in redundancies or the need to manually complete tasks certainly make new technologies a great way to increase engagement and reduce unnecessary burdens so that HR leaders can focus on meeting the needs of employees, especially those concerning healthcare, work-life balance and COVID-19, and developing strong recruitment strategies to fill talent gaps across the organization.
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