Barely a decade ago, technology in the workplace would typically imply the introduction of new hardware and gadgets for the employees that might help improve their operational efficiency. However, technology is now deployable in ways that can help advance employee skills, improve relationships, and help people become more engaged.
According to Oracle’s 2016 Employee Engagement Survey, 44 percent of the respondents said their companies use the latest technology to help them do their jobs. The Oracle survey questioned 4,700 employees across 20 markets in five regions worldwide.
Gretchen Alarcon, vice president for human capital management strategy at Oracle, said that the survey results reveal there is an opportunity for companies to think about what they could do differently. Alarcon sees three key areas in which HR technology can drive employee learning.
The first is during the on-boarding process, when technology can help a new employee to understand the company and its culture, and feel comfortable within the first one to three months of employment. The second area is ongoing engagement and skills development through technology-enabled collaboration. Employees can, for example, create videos to share knowledge with each other.
A third benefit is career development, where HR technology can provide employees with the information to help them understand what it takes to be successful at the company and move forward. Talent management apps help managers assess expertise and other attributes, identify mentors and successors, build talent pools, and create employee development plans.
According to Alarcon, the more employees share about themselves with HR technology, the more their employers can recommend new roles to them based on a number of different factors. More effective moves for employees can be made based on their skills, experiences, and recent assignments.
Oracle’s survey showed the importance of building strong relationships with employees, by giving them regular access to their direct managers and ensuring that those managers have regular coaching discussions, provide feedback, and remain aware of what their employees need at the individual level.
That consistent contact becomes possible with technology, such as workplace wikis, discussion forums, and videoconferencing, which facilitate daily or weekly conversations. Longer term, HR and other technologies help with employee retention, creating a bond between employees, their colleagues, and ultimately the company.
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