Along the digitising HR journey, we often talk about quick wins. These are lightbulb moments where business managers realise the value of digitising HR.
Most quick wins are related to enhanced employee productivity. After all, you would be hard-pressed to find a manager who doesn’t want to know the answer to “how do I get my team to do more in the same amount of time?”.
So how do you enhance employee productivity through HR tech? Typically speaking, there are five ways:
Placing people in the right positions
It’s no secret that employees are at their most productive when they are placed in a position where they feel content. With AI, it is easier to assess the personality, knowledge and skills of viable candidates. So you can be sure that a role matches their skills and will enhance their productivity.
You can even measure the productivity of a team or department following the addition of new team members with certain personality traits and skills. This information is invaluable because it can inform your future recruitment strategy, making entire departments more productive.
AI can also establish when an employee is feeling demotivated or if they are ready for a new challenge. Vibe, for example, analyses keywords and emojis sent by employees on Slack to discover how satisfied they are within their role.
What’s more, we’re already seeing AI used to help employees and managers identify the skills an employee is missing to advance their career. Take new start-up Fuel50: the software provider uses an algorithm to analyse successful career paths within a company. It identifies where there’s demand for more skills and offers bespoke recommendations for employees to advance their career.
Make self-service mainstream
Employee self-service is now more affordable than ever, thanks to the cloud. It offers several benefits that directly enhance employee productivity. It removes some very real gripes that employees complain about. The option to view and manage key aspects of their working life online provides a source of independence and control.
As integrated payroll software provider, Brightpay says:
“On the surface, an employee self-service system is designed to relieve a bit of pressure on your HR department. But the benefits to the business go much deeper.”
Self-service can reduced incidents of human error, lessen administration, keep staff informed of company news, and even reduce absenteeism. All this makes for a much more productive workforce.
Create more flexible working
The latest O.C. Tanner Institute Global Culture report, shows that workers are 3.2 times more likely to be at their most productive when they feel they ‘belong’.
Key to belonging is flexibility and communication. Your employees will likely span four generations. Some will wince at the thought of digital communications, whilst others will crave the instant connectivity, as the Microsoft Ignite Generations Preferences at Work research below shows:
The key is to blend each generation’s preferred communications methods into one central location and there are plenty of HR software providers that can offer this.
Some employees are also more productive when they are given more flexibility. A recent Powwownow study found that 70% of millennials want more flexible working options.
Depending on the role, flexible working can reduce environmental stress, allow for better concentration and encourage digital communications whilst eliminating unnecessary meetings.Before you rush into creating a flexible digital-based working environment though, you’ll want to make sure what you’re introducing will not lower productivity. Consider:
- Creating a plan with supporting processes and policies
- Setting up a communication platform for remote employees
- Training managers on how manage flexible workers
- Running a pilot first
Rewarding and praising staff has long been a cornerstone of business best practice. And with good reason. According to a Gallup study, ‘Professional career growth’ is a top job priority for 87% of millennials. And it’s just as vital to 69% of non-millennial workers.
But developments in social technology is democratising the appraisal process by allowing employees to identify colleagues they feel should be recognised.
Take Slack, for instance, its inbuilt social stream allows employees to engage with each other in real-time. They can like posts, comment on project work and openly praise other members in their team. For line managers, it’s a window into staff attainment, which can reduce ‘recency bias’. A quick email, or public post, congratulating that employee for a job well done can greatly enhance productivity.
We’re also witnessing the emergence of technology that brings various metrics together. Take KangoGift, the software tracks real-time job performance, social conversation and a whole host of other insights – from a word cloud summarising a year’s worth of communication to prompts to line managers of an employee’s work anniversary.
A recent CIPD study shows better management is needed to tackle workplace stress and unlock healthy, productive workplaces. It reports, stress-related absence is on the rise in nearly two-fifths of the UK’s workplaces.
The report also acknowledges, amongst other factors, ‘reviewing the use of digital technology’ can help reduce stress and discourage leavism. Leavism is a new counter-productive trend; where employees are choosing to use time off to complete tasks they cannot fulfil during the working day.
So, how can HR technology help?
Aside from automating more administrative mundane personnel tasks and adopting self-service, there’s some interesting developments. AI tools such as Humu provide managers with insights on employee morale. Using a sophisticated algorithm, the software adapts over time to support each employee and manager in the moments that matter.
The key is to understand exactly what you want your technology to do. What do you want it to tell you? What are your employee productivity pain points?
At Silver Cloud HR, we support businesses of all sizes to find innovative digital solutions to enhance employee productivity. To book a no-obligation consultation with one of our HRIS consultants, contact us today.