Oracle Human Capital Management
Product Lifecycle Management

Beyond Traditional HR:
Maximising Engagement

Ronnie Toerien, HCM Sales Development and
Strategy Leader- Africa, Oracle Corporation @RonnieToerien


HR Tech Fest is a new HR technology event in South Africa which took place from the 19 - 20 September 2016 in Johannesburg. Ronnie Toerien, Oracle ECEMEA spokesperson shared his views at this event, attended by more than 200 people, on how cloud can be used to improve the HR function in the workplace.

 With millennials set to comprise nearly 50% of the workplace over the next five years, HR leaders will now need to engage with a diversified workforce that is more orientated towards using modern (social/collaborative) tools in the workplace. 

The rapid changes in business and the increased pressure for productivity, innovation, and profits have taken a toll on both employees and employers. Employees feel increasingly disengaged and believe that the only way to advance may be to leave the company, however they  are worried about their future prospects and disruption to their lives. At the same time, employers are looking for new ways to retain top performers as they are concerned about low productivity levels and believe that they may be  losing the battle for talent.

 Given these trends, the HR teams within organisations should look at how they can take advantage of the social revolution to engage more successfully with its workforce.

Fuel Employee Collaboration and Engagement

There are four key aspects that HR can focus on to maximise employee engagement:

  • Build highly engaged teams; enable conversations; give recognition to high performers and fuel collaboration.
  • Enable real-time feedback, social learning, and instant knowledge-sharing
  • Find and attract the best talent through innovative social sourcing tools
  • Build an agile workforce that is more engaged, productive and innovative

Modern HR empowers the individual by leveraging easy to use tools that are personalized, social, deliver insights and cover the full employee lifecycle. This includes having internal social networking such as using blogs, wikis and getting information from subject matter experts to drive conversation about social learning and adapt to the changes in the way that we learn today.

The old classroom structure way of doing things is just not applicable anymore because education needs to be more hands on and flexible - adjusting the type of learning as we incorporate social into learning programs. For example Oracle’s Network at Work application allows employees to communicate with their peers and subject matter experts using this collaboration tool almost like an internal LinkedIn. Gamification tools harness our inherently competitive nature to encourage competitions between employees or teams which will lead to improved productivity and allow us to incorporate social performance tools that can provide immediate feedback.

Oracle’s ‘My Competition’, which is a gamification tool, allows HR to create and run competitions to allow ranking of employees on different metrics to make things more challenging in the workplace. It also fosters collaboration when employees work in groups, thereby  increasing interaction and productivity.

The Employee Outside of Work

The new generation aspires to create a work-life balance with more quality time for leisure activities and “work to live” motto. This scenario presents a challenge for the employer. Social reputation and wellness can be built into HR applications so that companies can drive more engagement amongst employees. Oracle’s “My Reputation” is a tool that can monitor social profiles, presence and total reach across social media platforms. The “My Wellness” tool aligns  wellness related metrics, including activities, sleep, and even calorie intake. The tool innovatively uses this information to further drive performance and engagement.

As one of the HR Tech Fest speakers and moderators, I focused on this topic as this was based on a research about  what attendees wanted to discuss at the inaugural event in South Africa. Maximising engagement was high on the list of topics that people wanted to know more about.


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