LOOK WHO’S GOING DIGITAL

Technology is fast seeping into every conceivable field, including human resources.
According to a recent report, the usage of technology by HR is playing a key role in improving employee satisfaction levels
With the expanding reach and effect of globalisation and technology, organisations across the globe have adopted technology in various functions and departments in the recent past. A significant amount of reports and facts has revealed that the use of technology has had a great impact on the functioning of various departments. Jumping on the same bandwagon is the HR function, that has recently adopted technology in a huge way. And the benefits and results are there for all to see. Validating the same, according to a NASSCOM report, the usage of technology by HR is playing a key role in improving employee satisfaction levels.
Talking about what HR automation means and the key HR functions that have undergone automation, Amit Kumar, head HR, Convergys India explains, “HR service automation is one in which organisations use tools or technology to automate and thereby make HR services achieve faster, more efficient, effective, accurate results and delivery ¬ both to the endusers (as in the case of employees) as well as those who use the information to gather and report data from said services for decision-making (as in the case of HR business partners for the management team).“
Similarly, Mukesh Kumar, executive director, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Ltd avers that HR automation means the efficient use of technology and systems in managing employee matters leading to delight. “All major HR functions from day-to-day HR operations to talent acquisition, development, engagement, performance management and succession planning all are automated for efficiency and ease,“ he says.
So, what is the correlation between the usage of technology by HR and employee satisfaction?
Mukesh Kumar says that they have witnessed it themselves. He explains, “At the click of a button, employees can accessupdate personal details, health card, salary statements, leave balances, apply for leaves, do their tax planning, give approvals on mobile platforms and many more for which they would have otherwise been dependent on human intervention. The faster the turn-around time, the more satisfied the employee. Employees like real stakeholders, now contribute to talent acquisition by referring their friends for an appropriate opening in the organisation. Their learning needs are objectively derived by the administration of an online competency assessment test, a technical learning platform allows them to read, learn, review and assess themselves on the technical quotient required to be a well-informed general insurance professional and interact on many more interfaces. We believe and have witnessed, that a technologically-linked HR function is in sync with, and is directly proportional to employee satisfaction.“
As per the NASSCOM report, for two-third of respondents, employee satisfaction levels went up by 10-25 per cent. The positive impacts included improved clarity and transparency of HR policies; a better twoway communication; and an improved perception of HR.
Kishore Sambasivam, director, Total Rewards, SAP Labs India expresses that technology can drive employee satisfaction as it helps to drive efficiencies, transparency, consistency and effectiveness of the various HR programmes. “It reduces cycle time and helps in time management as most systems are available 24×7 and hence providing much needed flexibility to employee managers. It also contributes to faster roll-out of HR programmes, benefits administration, provides choice and add-on options,“ he shares. He adds that in his view, there would be a 10 per cent positive impact on employee satisfaction on account of automation of HR processes.
With the kind of speed that technology is spreading its wings in the HR field, it is certain that we will see the unison of HR and technology taking shape more rapidly.Sambasivam anticipates HR analytics to be a huge focus area for companies as they scramble for talent and work towards building efficiencies, employee engagement and retention. “Analytics can be used to hire the right talent, forecast future requirements, determine employee morale and motivation, anticipate retention risks, drive a more aggressive use of competencies for hiring, skill-development, performance management and succession plan ning. Workforce planning, leadership development and e-learning are other underexplored areas where automation can enable better channelising of energies and investment,“ he adds.As the role of HR continues to evolve from being transactional to strategic, HR professionals will be key to solving challenges such as increasing retentionreducing attrition, quality talent hiring and talent development, points out Amit Kumar. He adds, “The key is in ensuring that HR leverages the entire value chain (from recruiting to development, engagement, etc) in driving technology-based innovations and improvements to help their organisations achieve goals holistically, and remain competitive.“
Thus, the future of HR and technology seems to be bright and this does entail happy times!

Source: The Economic Times.
Date: 14th Oct,2014

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