Most business leaders would agree that the business environment is getting increasingly more complex and uncertain. Over the last decade, much of how businesses would usually interact with their customers and create value has today evolved into a completely new system of interaction. And this has most arguably been the result of the rising use of technology.
The Fourth IR, and the technological developments like AI and machine learning that have come to define it, has been at the core of organizational change. And high-performing companies are no exception to this. Technology has been a key factor in enabling companies to create greater customer value, often at a lower cost. This has meant that incoming digital technologies find a greater use within companies not just within the tech facing sectors but also in ones like retail, automobile, banking. Being one of the primary drivers it's easy to mistake tech implementation as a ‘cure-for-all’ but rather a solution requires careful and diligent handling. Companies have been noted to find it hard to hold on to the gains from their digital advances. Most of the benefits must be passed on to customers, as is required to remain competitive. Further, many markets are constrained and so cannot reward technology investments with commensurate revenue growth. These harsh realities can lure companies into a digital race to the bottom.
But besides creating customer value, tech within many internal processes has become important in improving their efficiency. The same holds true for HR tech. Given its proper contextual use, HR tech can drive results. It can monitor trends and engagement levels better and force HR professionals to look at areas which often go ignored when it comes to employee management.
In cases of companies that want to adopt a more performance-driven approach, HR professionals have a key role in enabling their workforce to shift to newer parameters of work and align their objectives to that of the company. Creating a high performing company is often the result of a multitude of tweaks but overall they are reflected in the company’s ability to become more agile, put performance first, operate in small but impactful teams while allowing talent mobility, and hiring efficiently for both future and current needs.
Business agility - The way making fast decisions and adapting to changing market ecosystems rapidly, has defined much of how tech facing companies, from large IT companies to new startups, operate. This strategy of being agile has helped businesses be more responsive to consumer change and perform better. But to become agile is no easy task. Without changing how the company operates and mobilizes its human capital, it can become extremely difficult for companies to become agile in their practices and still ensure consumer satisfaction. This hampers deploying agile strategies at a meaningful scale. In addition, if much of the human talent of the organization remains unengaged, following a more market-responsive, performance-oriented approach would yield little result.
HR tech can enable companies to identify specific blockages and address problems more closely than traditional means. Given how HR tech based on the application of AI and automation, has improved various facets of employee management like learning engagement, it can enable HR professionals to undertake better initiatives to make the company agile. Working in small cross functional teams, a component of agile companies, for example, greatly benefits from tech-based decision and work allotment mechanism.
Gallup research revealed that it is an employee’s manager that influences 70 percent of their engagement. This statistic suggests that it is the relationship between manager and employee that is the crucial factor in determining why performance varies so wildly from one group to another. As a result, organizations now recognize the importance of the manager-employee relationship and are challenging HR leaders to produce ways to better understand, measure and influence these relationships and in turn drive performance, productivity and engagement. HR tech can impact performance management in the following ways:
- Assessing performance more holistically and in a 360-degree manner.
- People analytics can help drive performance and ensure employees have better ways to grow within the company.
- It can help companies provide their talent with the right strategic positions to create impact.
Thanks to technology, organizations now can institutionalize the process of collecting feedback/input, manage the process of initiating interactions, and provide the tools and plans that enable employees to develop and improve. This is at the core of how companies can make performance a key focus area and ensure employees are aligned to such a change.
There is also a widespread social concern about the future of work as technology replaces people and jobs are lost. It seems more likely that the nature of work will change, as technology will amplify the human potential to yield unprecedented levels of efficiency and effectiveness. Creating a high-performance company entails multiple steps that indicate the need to adapt not only strategically but also behaviourally and tactically.