Time to capitalize on HR tech trends

A recent webcast outlined the three areas of focus that will help HR managers increase the return on their technology investments

Time to capitalize on HR tech trends

In order to demand respect at the executive table it’s essential for an HR department to implement a well thought-out, effective systems strategy.

That is just one of the key findings from Sierra-Cedar’s latest revelatory annual overview of important HR systems trends. To discuss insights from the study in more depth, Sierra-Cedar recently collaborated with Ultimate Software to host an on-demand webcast entitled “2019 HR Technology Trends You Need to Know.” The webcast had three main areas of focus.

The first area of focus is the voice of the customer in HCM enterprise software. For Sierra-Cedar, looking at customer feedback in a single mode is simply not enough - they look at five major areas: application gap data (what is missing), application user experience ratings, vendor satisfaction ratings, application customer complexity chart (data averages), and vendor satisfaction feedback (why give specific ratings).

The review revealed the specific factors that are driving vendor satisfaction: good/poor service and support, vendor relationships, access to integrated solutions, ability/inability to customize, best practice functionality, high costs and user experience.

The second area of focus in the webinar from Sierra-Cedar’s annual report was HR technology adoption and use. Investing in technology is purely a first step, and for Cecile Alper-Leroux, vice president of HCM innovation at Ultimate Software, the most expensive software is the one that is not used.

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Interestingly, Sierra-Cedar found that HR technology is specifically being used to replace paper-based HR processes (86%), input/access information (85%), influence workforce business decisions (52%), and inform business strategy (38%).

“Adoption of technology is critical because we go through all of the trouble and expense to implement a promising software solution,” Alper-Leroux said. “But if people don’t experience any benefit from using the technology, they’ll stop using it and you’ll never see the return on the investment you’ve made.”

Sierra-Cedar found that on average, only 10% of organizations are currently measuring HR technology usage. It’s little surprise that those same companies are also achieving better talent outcomes, HR outcomes, and business outcomes, which include customer satisfaction, innovation and market share metrics.

The third area of focus brought a new term to the discussion “systems of interaction” and the emergence of intelligent systems. HCM technology that can truly be defined as a ‘system of interaction’ can, according to the webcast, understand people and their motivations, reach out to them directly and make them more effective and happy employees.

“The systems are not going to take your HR job; they’ll just help you do your job better,” said Stacey Harris, VP of research and analytics at Sierra-Cedar. “That’s the conversation we’re having particularly with managers, because what you’ll hear from many managers is an overwhelming feeling of ‘just too much on my plate.’ The idea of being able to leverage the technology to highlight the things that you should be focusing on and the things that will make a difference to the employee and customer is what intelligent systems are all about.”

The webcast culminated with three important recommendations to HR professionals. One is to be intentional about adopting HR technology. Another one is to listen to the voice of employees and take action. Last but not the least is to seek to truly understand employees’ work experience and be as interested in how they’re feeling as what they’re doing. If you missed the live webcast, the good news is that you can still watch it on demand on Ultimate Software’s website.

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