Human Capital Management

Christmas Around the Corner What's on HR's Wish List

Christmas is Just Around
the Corner, so What’s on
HR’s Wish List?

Melanie Hache-Barrois,
HCM Strategy Director at Oracle @mhacheB


HR is in the middle of a digital transformation: here are the trends that will define 2017

2016 has been the year of digital transformation. It has seen established companies like ENGIE, AXA and Vinci reinvent their HR approach. It has also given rise to an ecosystem of HR start-ups, including ZestMeUp, PahtMotion and SpeachME, who have quickly brought fresh thinking and approaches to the industry.

HR teams are already looking forward to putting these new ideas into practice next year. Here are three that should top every company’s Christmas wish-list:

A culture of continuity

Digital and mobile technologies have created a culture of immediacy. We share our experiences in a matter of seconds using selfies, buy goods online in as few as 3 clicks, and curate notifications on our phones to ensure we’re up to the minute on issues that interest us.

 Having the processes and technologies in place to create this culture of continuity will help employees work to a higher standard while also making them more engaged in what they do.  

This holds true in the workplace as well. Convenience and continuity are essential. Employees want continuous feedback from their line managers. They also want continuous learning opportunities and, crucially, they want their employer to support continuous collaboration.

Having the processes and technologies in place to create this culture of continuity will help employees work to a higher standard while also making them more engaged in what they do.

A new user experience

Just as digital technologies have reshaped our relationship with time, they have also raised the bar for what we expect from our connected devices. The issue is that HR technology has not caught up to this shift.

As Manuel Diaz, president of Emakina, explains: the “five-star customer experience” was created for consumers. The user experience for workers is to the retail customer experience what a campground is to a luxury hotel. Where someone might spend 2 minutes booking a holiday on our smartphone, they might need to spend hours wading through pages of logins and convoluted systems to find simple details about their holiday allowance.

 HR leaders need to step into a worker’s shoes using methods like Employee Experience Journey Mapping to anticipate these administrative pain points and cut them out of their processes.  

HR needs to address this gap. Not only does it slow down processes, it also breeds a poor relationship between employees and the business. HR leaders need to step into a worker’s shoes using methods like Employee Experience Journey Mapping to anticipate these administrative pain points and cut them out of their processes.

A simple and efficient user experience is certainly near the top of employees’ wish list, and HR should be ready to deliver if they want to keep their valuable talent happy.

Getting personal with chatbots

The relationship between employees and HR needs to feel personal, but in a company with hundreds of employees this is not always easy. Enter chatbots.

It might seem a simplistic comparison, but chatbots are to HR processes what the Roomba is to vacuuming. My Roomba doesn’t just clean my floors for me; it automatically maps out every corner of my apartment so I can just leave it to vacuum the entire place with no effort on my part. It takes on an important job that requires minimal brainpower (cleaning) so I can focus on more important things like finishing my book or learning to play an instrument.

 Chatbots are powerful tools that can greatly reduce administrative burdens and free up HR leaders to tackle major concerns like the widening skills gap and an increasingly uncertain economic environment.  

The parallel here is that chatbots can take on low-level tasks that are important but take up much of HR’s time (inquiries about holiday allowances, questions about previous performance reviews, even requests to have business cards created) so HR teams can instead focus on more strategic initiatives. Crucially, thanks to increasingly sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI), employees can interact with chatbots in a way that feels personal and conversational.

We are still in the early days of chatbots, and they do remain limited for more complex tasks. There should also be no delusion that AI technologies will completely replace HR. That said, chatbots are powerful tools that can greatly reduce administrative burdens and free up HR leaders to tackle major concerns like the widening skills gap and an increasingly uncertain economic environment.

So there you have it, my 2016 wish list for the modern HR department.

What are you hoping for this year?


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