The fact that both human resource strategies and technology have positively progressed at a phenomenal speed is no secret. Linkages between the two have also evolved at a rapid pace leading to benefits in managing human resources better in most organizations that have gone in for it.
Cautious Use of Technology
The author is surely a votary of strengthening the linkage further for benefiting all the stakeholders of the organization but is in favor of a state of cautious optimism and measured use of technology in a gradual manner since he believes that technology is a fantastic servant but a very poor master. No sane person can deny that atomic energy can benefit society in numerous ways but can anyone forget what the same energy did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki ? Many decades back, the father of modern management, Late Peter Drucker had so eloquently said, “Whatever cannot be measured cannot be managed” and it applies very appropriately to technology as well. Many organizations are jumping into the band wagon of technology usage without appropriate training being given to the people using the technology or the beneficiaries which is leading to confusion and hindering its effective implementation as well as misuse in some cases, knowingly or unknowingly. The author finds very little effort by these organizations towards measuring the impact.
Linking HR Strategies With Technology
Indian corporates have started the e-journey but still have a long way to go to reap the substantial benefits that are possible even today and much more is expected to come in the future. The benefits of aligning technology with HR strategies can be seen from the following examples:
Better connectivity, time saving and cost optimization are three major benefits of technology usage. Keeping everyone in the loop in an environment friendly manner through reduced paper usage or paper less administrative work has become a reality today.
Effective use of technology not only helps in saving a tremendous amount of effort in entering most employee data only once, thereby avoiding re-entries and multiple entries, it also ensures uniformity of employee database and accurate retrieval of data leading to generation of correct and sensible management information reports, which surely helps in better decision making.
Internet and intranet have contributed tremendously in disseminating one way communication as well as interactive sharing of corporate news and information on a real time basis. As a consequence, employees and other stakeholders feel totally connected and updated even when they are thousands of kilometers away from their office premises. This has also led to an environment friendly scenario as online updating of employee handbook and easy access to various organizational policies anytime anywhere have saved a lot of valuable time of HR professionals and employees alike as also drastically reduced stationery and printing cost of employee manuals, circulars and other such things.
A large number of companies have moved to e-Hiring (e-Recruitment and Selection) process wherein they opt for one or more job portals like timesjobs, shine, naukri, monster, etc., which are extremely popular for job postings as also screening and short listing prospective candidates. This is primarily because of globalised connectivity which facilitates access to prospective candidates from all parts of the world very easily, has much less cost implication when compared to the traditional hiring process and also tremendous savings in time requirement. Even interviewing and final job offers are routinely happening through audio and video conferencing through free software like Skype and many others. Additionally, social media like LinkedIn and Facebook are quite frequently being relied upon to help in the human resource acquisition process.
Beneficial Use Of Technology In Implementing HR Strategy from Our Company’s Consulting Assignments
We, at THIRD MILLENNIUM BUSINESS RESOURCE ASSOCIATES PRIVATE LIMITED (Our Consulting Company) are regularly handling a variety of management consulting assignments for our clients. The author wishes to provide an illustration from a recent assignment for a global client in the domain of performance management where the brief was to shift the organization from using the traditional performance appraisal system to an objectively designed Performance Management System (PMS).
We all know that the main purpose of performance management is that it must define, measure, monitor and give feedback about employees’ performance leading to an objective assessment of the organizational performance. In the assignment under discussion, we followed a process which involved the following steps :
1. Systematically identifying relevant competencies (Function wise and level wise).
2. Detailing each competency by:
- Capturing its importance
- Defining Performance Levels (On a scale of five where 1 represented the lowest and 5 the highest level of performance). Definition of the performance levels varied according to seniority in the organizational hierarchy.
- Identifying Negative (Warning signs) and Positive Indicators for more objective assessment.
The chart below maps the process outlined in our Step 2.
|Definition||Why is it important?|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|Warning signs:||Positive indicators:|
3. Referring to the Job Descriptions already in place.
- Creating around five Annual Key Result Areas (KRAs) for each employee, subdivided into quarterly KRAs (may be Key Target Areas or Key Performance Areas, depending on the ease or difficulty in quantification).
5. Defining Key Performance Indicators on each of the key areas identified in step 4.
6. Filling in the Evaluation Report in the Standard Format electronically, using the guidelines given in the Performance Management Policy Document.
|COMPETENCIES||Level of Management|
7. Marks were to be calculated by the computer system based on pre- determined weightages.
8. Reward / punishment to be decided based on marks obtained by each individual employee.
Key Take Away
There is no denying the fact that “Aligning Technology with Implementing HR Strategies” is “THE WAY FORWARD” and the earlier we get used to the idea and enhance everyone’s commitment and competence in its usage, our organization and its people shall immensely benefit from it. However, we must always remember the beautiful words of Abraham Lincoln “BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, OFF THE PEOPLE” as we march in that direction.
This was also presented at :
National Institute Of Personnel Management – Eastern Regional Conference On August 23 and 24, 2013 at Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India
Theme : HR Mantra: Imagine, Innovate, Inspire
Paper Topic: Aligning Technology with Implementing Human Resource Strategies
Chairman and Managing Director
Third Millennium Business Resource Associates Private Limited, New Delhi
Website : www.tmbra2000.com,www. sumitchaudhuri.name
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com