How HR tech tools integrate work, life

HR technology has become a necessity during the COVID era, and it will continue to be a major asset for companies in the future, global analyst and HRE columnist Josh Bersin recently told a webinar audience.

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The new HR technology tools integrate work and life, Bersin said during the HRE webinar sponsored by Oracle Cloud. With many employees still working remotely, the issues of family, wellbeing and health all have become more connected to the workplace. And what used to be relegated to the category of HR tech–focused on payroll, recruiting and benefits–has expanded to become work tech, which also includes employees’ home life.

“The way we are working is changing so fast with people going home, coming in part-time, working on different projects, working on cross-functional teams, we need the HR tech to be as morphable as the organization,” said Bersin, who is also dean of the Josh Bersin Academy.

Companies have also developed new tools to drive fairness, diversity and inclusion, and harassment and misconduct reporting. Eskalera and Vault are two companies that have taken major steps to increase these aspects in the workplace, he said.

Josh Bersin
Josh Bersin

“Eskalera is a new start-up that has basically built a new diagnostic and analytics system for all aspects of diversity and inclusion,” Bersin said. “Vault built a whole resolution management system for misconduct reporting.”

And employee surveys are a great way to figure out how employees are feeling and what managers can do to improve the employee experience, he said.

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“Virtually every company in performance management has introduced a survey tool because it is so important, and this is not a small market,” Bersin said. “Companies such as Qualtrics, Surveymonkey, Medallia, Glint and Culture Amp are each valued at over $1 billion.

“If you are a bigger company, you should think about this as an integrated set of data that goes beyond an annual survey and focuses on providing meaningful actionable results for managers.”

Performance management, engagement analytics, learning, and recognition and rewards are four categories that are slowly converging to create an action platform, Bersin said. Those platforms will be a way for HR leaders, managers and employees to drive the company through feedback, assessment, data and experience, rather than process.

With all the new technology, the demand for learning platforms has grown.

“Young people are not asking for digital skills, they want to know how to get along with people, how to get promoted, how to know the business better. We need learning that provides power skills,” Bersin said.

“The future of learning is not content all over the place. It’s really taking people to a place, an academy where they can go to learn what you need in the company,” he added. “The other thing that is really big in learning is called the skills cloud. The idea is that we are going to figure out, from all sorts of signals, what people know.”

With remote work as the new normal, understanding employee satisfaction is key to keep people productive even while working from home.

“In the nature of wellbeing and employee experience, the job is the most important thing. Job design and understanding the roles of the company’s transition are so important when you work in employee experience,” Bersin explains.

The Josh Bersin Academy has developed recommendations to address many of the questions employees have about their work situation.

“It isn’t just giving [employees] PCs and access to the internet, it’s also coming up with standard time for meetings, norms for how people are going to behave and interact with each other, how we are going to do performance management and onboarding, and on and on.”

WATCH: View the replay here.

Skyler Zur
Skyler Zur was an HRE summer intern.