7 up-and-coming trends in HR tech

Published
  • August 08 2017, 5:00pm EDT
Employers with at least 1,000 employees spend $250,000 per year on HRIS, according to Aberdeen Group, so knowing what technology clients have in place is critical to protect their monetary investment by ensuring they get the most out of existing products.

Speaking at a recent conference sponsored by HR technology provider PlanSource in Park City, Utah, Carrie Barth, a solutions consultant with Lockton Benefit Group, explained that brokers to need know what is available.

“Every single HR and benefits professional expects their broker to know the answers or to find the way to get the answers to them,” she says of HR technology offerings.

Introduction

Employers with at least 1,000 employees spend $250,000 per year on HRIS, according to Aberdeen Group, so knowing what technology clients have in place is critical to protect their monetary investment by ensuring they get the most out of existing products.

Speaking at a recent conference sponsored by HR technology provider PlanSource in Park City, Utah, Carrie Barth, a solutions consultant with Lockton Benefit Group, explained that brokers to need know what is available.

“Every single HR and benefits professional expects their broker to know the answers or to find the way to get the answers to them,” she says of HR technology offerings.

Employee engagement

Companies that have formalized employee engagement programs, involving a business intentionally cultivating and embedding engagement throughout their entire organization, see a 26% increase in annual revenue growth annually, attainment of sales quotas and improved customer service, Barth said.

A formalized engagement program can vary from how an employee uses technology for learning, matching up a company’s business goals within performance management to employee goals, employee surveys, standing meetings, and so much more, Barth explained.

Employee engagement starts before someone applies for a job as applicants are researching companies and forming opinions based on the technology found on websites. “Having old technology as an employer, people are judging that,” Barth says.

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Time and attendance/labor management

Barth said many companies still use punch clocks, but those days are starting to go away, moving more toward mobile tracking.

For example, an employee may use their smartphone to log their time. An employer can place a geofence around the office location to ensure an employee is being truthful, Barth explained.

Gamification

Disruption is the new normal and technology that drives behaviors will get reactions from employees, Barth explained.

As an example, one Lockton client allowed employees to give badges to others that recognized good work, such as a good team player or going the extra mile, in a form of peer-to-peer recognition, which created internal competiveness.

Mobile applications

Less than 20% of companies give employees access to mobile HR applications, according to Deloitte, but 64% of employees say their mobile devices make them more productive in the office, according to the Aruba Network, a data networking company owned by Hewlett Packard.

While vendors are offering mobile applications such as benefits management, employers are not utilizing them, Barth said.

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Analytic tools

Analytic tools are embedded in almost every single off the shelf program, including talent management systems, recruitment tools, payroll and more, and the best HR people are using analytics to elevate themselves within an organization to provide better data to company executives to make better decisions, Barth said.

“There are analytics that are looking at retention and systems are providing data about how many miles the employee lives from the office, what skills the employees have, how long they have been with the company, and have they updated any of their professional social media sites,” Barth cited as examples. “This is helping business assess what are commonalities that the best employees possess. “

Decision support

Barth predicted that at some point in the future the transparency tools that are on the market and are to be developed in the future, along with the online benefit enrollment tools that have some sort of decision support capabilities, will eventually merge together into a single system.

“This insight will provide transparency on costs of prescriptions, it will tell you if a doctor is in your plan’s network, the quality of care of the doctor and facility, suggest an alternate prescription or natural solutions, the type of care recommended, the true cost of benefits an employee should budget for when enrolling in benefits based on real data, etc.,” she added. “Today, there is not a single point of access for employers and or employees that bring multiple levels of transparency into a single database that I know of.”

Maps

In a futuristic view of a potential use of technology, Barth predicted in the not-so-distant future as an employee is using a GPS software to drive to a meeting or the office and encounters traffic, that information will be automatically be relayed to a manager.

That type of technology could be useful in automating the notification of the employees tardiness, so that the business manager could adjust their operation accordingly to accommodate a late arrival, she explained. “In addition, tardiness may be something a business tracks and this automated notice, could also create a record in the electronic personnel file for the employee.”

“Then if there was a policy for disciplinary action, then the technology would notify the supervisor of this action and set up a calendar meeting for them both,” she added. “All of this is a vision of the future where a person is not needed to push a button to activate any of these actions, and the system would automate the entire process through programming business processes.”