For the past decade if not longer, companies have been part of a rush to digitization that has not left HR untouched. Purchase and implementation of HR tech have been rife, but when looking at adoption rates the story isn’t always successful. According to research by Sierra-Cedar, only 27% of respondents said HR invested heavily in change management efforts, despite knowing it’s key to supporting the adoption of new technologies.
Beyond digitalization to mobilization
Technology purchased by HR shouldn’t act as a band-aid to your processes or be seen solely as an upgrade to a manual process. In order for it to be successful, it should be considered part of the overall digital employee experience.
What is it going to do for your employees?
Without thinking of the purpose it will provide them (as well as the need it’s meeting for HR), adoption rates will be low and the technology will likely fail.
This becomes even more apparent when we see that companies use technology to facilitate performance and development strategies, but don’t actually do anything with the results. According to a recent study, only 22% of companies who run an engagement survey actually make use of their results to implement changes.
So why run them in the first place?
It’s no wonder employees end up disillusioned with HR tech.
Implementing changes within your organization
Driving adoption is the first step in ensuring your HR tech is successful. In order to do so, it’s not just about easy-to-use technology, it’s also about helping people understand what they will get out of it, the “what’s in it for me?”
According to research by PwC, employees are motivated to use new tech for one of three reasons:
- It will help them advance their careers or gain status (37%).
- They are curious about the promise of better efficiency and teamwork (34%).
- It helps them do their own work more easily and within a predictable environment (29%).
Once you’ve been able to show people the value of the new technology you’re implementing, support its onboarding with practical how-tos. The more people use it, the more you will be able to gather data on their behaviors that you can use to improve the overall employee experience.
This is the HR tech sweet spot: when the technology becomes both beneficial for employees while providing interesting data to you as HR.
Companies live and die by ROI: if you are getting budget approval for new technology you are responsible for proving its value and we know that this isn’t always easy. But when you are able to couple high adoption rates with implementing changes within the organization thanks to data it will be a win-win situation. Particularly if the changes you implement affect employee engagement and retention, both of which have an impact on the bottom line.
So let’s start paying more attention to the data and insights gathered from HR Tech and how they can be used to your advantage.
Using the data from your HR tech
Let’s say you are primarily tracking participation rates, be it in engagement surveys or whatever other activity supported through technology. That’s a great start, but it’s not giving you much insight into how employees are feeling.
What other data are you missing out on that can actually drive change?
As an example, let’s say you are using a tool to support your performance review process. Beyond completion rates, here are some other stats you could look at:
- The ratio of positive vs. constructive feedback within a team and across teams
- Number of requests for feedback initiated by individuals (as opposed to an HR-led process)
- Which team is sharing the most feedback with each other vs. other teams
- The number of people setting and tracking goals within the platform
- The number of initiating 1:1 requests via the platform
Looking at this information, you will already start to gain insights into behaviors that are impacting people’s work, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. To make this even more interesting, you could compare this with other data not collected on the platform.
For example: in the teams that are most active in sharing feedback are you seeing an increase in productivity? Do you see people making progress in their roles and learning faster? Can you see a difference between managers who regularly share feedback with their direct reports vs. those who don’t? This will not only provide you with interesting insights into your people’s behavior you didn’t previously have but also allows you to identify and replicate best practices, driving company-wide success.
Recognizing the teams and individuals applying best practices and turning them into champions has two benefits. Not only will people feel valued, but it also removes part of the onus from HR in driving adoption. Lastly, you can create learning & development or performance related plans tailored to individual and team needs, as opposed to a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Using the data from your HR tech is key to driving change
in your organization.
Learning over time
Now you’ve started analyzing the data, aren’t you curious to see what will change? In order to continue proving the ROI of your tech, you’ll want to track differences over time. This will enable you to show improvements over time such as increased engagement and productivity.
By studying the data over time and comparing answers, you can get a better understanding of what people want more or less of, and their expectations of you. This helps you make informed decisions as to which process to roll-out next, which ideas might fall flat, or which ones will help strengthen your employee culture and support employee engagement.
So you’re tracking the data, you’ve studied it, and you are learning a lot about your people.
- Group the feedback you are getting by theme
- After identifying your themes, prioritize the order in which you’re going to tackle each identified problem
- You could do this by starting with the easiest problem to solve
- Or you could prioritize depending on which issue has the highest impact on the business
- Celebrate the successes, and ensure everyone is aware of the “what went well” so they can continue replicating the behavior
- Implement your solutions
- Measure their effectiveness
Don’t implement new initiatives in response to the intel you gathered, only to let them die or never follow-up again on their success. This is a sure fire way to end up with employees feeling disengaged and adoption rates dropping. Remember consistency is important, both in messaging and in action. Ensure you regularly follow-up and ask people for their opinion.
This will not only ensure you keep your finger on the pulse, but it will also help people feel valued and involved in the process. The more people feel like their opinion is being taken into account and they have a stake in the process, the more likely they are to support the changes you implement and even become advocates!
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