As employers increasingly adopt human resource technologies, the platforms will progress beyond the basic administrative functionality, such as time tracking, benefits administration, and onboarding, that one often sees today.

What’s next? The development of technologies that will assist in the department’s strategic role of supporting the workforce. In particular, there are three developments HR executives should keep an eye on:

Gamification. This buzzword has been everywhere in recent years. Gamification has been touted as the engagement solution for healthcare, education, marketing and more. The idea of applying game principles, like competition and rewards, to other activities to motivate engagement and participation does have particular potential for HR.

Using gamification to provide acknowledgment or tangible rewards for employees who complete trainings, engage in wellness programs or sign off on notices or other administrative tasks can make HR’s life easier while improving company compliance.

The future of HR tech may include gamified functionality and the ability to capture useful data for recruitment, onboarding, benefits and more.

Artificial intelligence and decision support. When it comes to benefits election, the more employee education, the better. Most employees do not feel confident about their coverage options, nor the elections they ultimately make. This is a challenge benefits and HR tech is uniquely qualified to solve.

An attendee photographs an autonomous parcel delivery robot, developed by Starship Technologies Ltd. at the AI Congress in London, U.K.
An attendee photographs an autonomous parcel delivery robot, developed by Starship Technologies Ltd. at the AI Congress in London, U.K. Bloomberg

Already, benefits administration platforms provide communication tools to convey benefit information to employees through multiple platforms, such as PDFs and videos.

Some believe that the next level of HR support in this area may include interactive decision support tools, where consumers can input details about their situation, and receive personalized recommendations based on their available options and specific needs.

Mobile. This transition has already begun, and many basic HR functions can be conducted via mobile technology. As millennials rise in the ranks of the workforce, decision-makers will increasingly want employees to be able to clock in, request time off and elect benefits via smartphones.

Right now, benefits administration tools are largely browser-based. The reason for this is developing mobile functionality is a big lift. It isn’t impossible, but there hasn’t been a lot of demand for mobile applications for benefits. However, that could change.

A growing number of Americans use their smartphone as their primary computer, which will continue to push HR and benefits tech to go mobile.

As HR software develops, platforms will have a value proposition extending beyond administrative tasks, and will be instrumental in supporting the workforce of the future.

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