Go to any HR conference and take a look around. You’ll see product after product for everything from proactive sourcing to employee engagement, from Applicant Tracking Systems to performance management. In essence, you’ll see a lot of very sophisticated systems dedicated to helping companies recruit, manage and “handle” their employment problems. And where do employment problems come from? The people (or employees) who use these systems.
So what we’ve got is a very big industry built around solving people problems. And not always succeeding.
Why The Systems Are Failing
Oh sure, there are standouts (cough, cough). When you’re in the salad line at this imaginary conference, you might strike up a conversation with someone from Idaho or Tallahassee and they might lay out some of their stickiest issues, and you might mention a couple of companies that could help solve their issue. But by and large, employers have the same problems they’ve always had when it comes to employee productivity, and the reasons for this abound.
These systems may work to alleviate symptoms of poor management and bad employees, but they’re not targeting their cause. Is it possible that the issues facing our workforce today can be solved with a better understanding of what makes people tick? Marc Effron seems to think so.
The former Hewitt executive advocates a “one-page talent management system” and has consulted with companies across the globe on its use. Based on classical behavioral science, it’s quite a different take than many of the processes we’re exposed to on the showroom floor.
Connecting Technology and Experience
Reducing complexity in our HR protocols sounds great, but how well does it really work? Is there a disconnect between the way HR Technology is being produced and the issues facing the workforce today? Are we finally beginning to address some of those chasms in newer SaaS products that exist in the cloud and seem so simple to cross?
Behavioral science, to draw the proverbial circle back to my original premise, may be the key to unlocking employee potential. More and more at HR executive gatherings, we’re hearing case studies and presentations from Organization Development experts, psychologists and people who study why we do what we do. According to Christopher Cabrera (@cabrera) CEO of Xactly Corporation.
“Sales performance hinges on the tenets of human behavioral science—that humans instinctively behave in certain ways when they have the right incentive to do so. This is why the radical change that both companies made was to automate their incentive compensation management processes.”
If we want to fix the way people work, we have to learn about how they think. For starters, we need to address the fact that a quarter of employees don’t trust their employer.
Affecting Practical Solutions
Delving into the world of science is a bit of a shift for HR folks, especially now that we finally find ourselves on the right side of the conference table. But it’s a shift that may make all these expensive systems actually work. No matter how new and fancy all these technologies are, you can’t ignore the human element, and it’s why implementation is the most important part of the success of any new piece of software.
Is human connection or interaction still relevant with all the new HR tech in the space?
When it comes to learning a new ATS and other HR tech, it helps to create a new process around it, have a team leading the charge on learning the system, and find practical business applications for all the feature of this software. Without those steps, it doesn’t matter how powerful the tech is — it won’t be very useful.
ClearCompany’s world-class support team will help you implement our state-of-the-art ATS and integrated talent management system, named one of the top 20 Providers of Talent Management by Capterra. Sign up for a demo today and find out how people and technology can help make work great again.