Don’t make the mistake of treating technology as a fix-it-all solution rather than a tool

leverage technology

Steve Jobs once said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

In a sense, this logic can be applied in the business world, and more specifically within the realm of talent management.

Essentially, organizations need to understand what they’re trying to solve before introducing technology to fix the problem. In today’s tech-flooded world, it’s tempting for companies to react with “we need that!” before they’ve truly assessed what gaps need to be filled.

So you might find that an organization ends up investing in an HR program focusing on wellness benefits, for example, in an effort to curb resignations without knowing why they’re struggling with attrition, or which areas of their talent management efforts need work.

They fall into the trap of believing that technology is an all-encompassing solution, rather than a tool that supports their strategy and improves their processes.

How then do you best leverage technology to get the most out of it as a tool?

1. Follow Jobs’ advice – start by understanding your employees’ experience

Talent management, just like other business processes and strategies, is shifting as a result of all the change happening around us. As such, it’s important to understand what today’s employees are really after and assess whether your organization has taken this into consideration. It’s essential to perform an honest dissection of your organization’s specific objectives, its company culture, and areas where it needs to grow. Where do gaps exist?

If you’re struggling with high turnover rates, for example, have you identified the reason? Are you losing top performers because they don’t have the freedom to innovate, or because they don’t have access to opportunities to grow? Or are there other reasons? One way of gathering feedback is via exit interviews, but an even better way of staying in tune with employees (before it gets to the point that they choose to leave) is by keeping channels of communication open to understand your employees’ perspective.

With a bit of time, effort and careful observation, you’ll be able to gain deeper insight into what tools you really need to address the challenges you face.

2. Ensure that your strategy supports the technology you use – and vice versa

Perhaps the best way of avoiding the tempting belief that technology can ‘fix it all’ is by ensuring that you have a clear-cut strategy in place. Your strategy will help you determine how to leverage technology and which tools are needed to address challenges and improve processes. Similarly, it’s important that the tools you choose to implement underpin your strategy and truly help you achieve your objectives.

To continue with our example: if you’ve identified a lack of opportunity as one of the main reasons you’re losing great people, you may want to make room for internal gig or training opportunities within your retention strategy, and introduce software to help you manage these processes.

In brief, your strategy and the chosen tool ultimately need to work hand in hand. In this case, your strategy can be seen as a map, while the technology you use can be viewed as the vehicle that helps you get to where you need to be.

3. Select the tools that are the right fit for your organization

There is a wealth of technology available nowadays and deciding which tool would offer you the greatest benefits might seem like a daunting task. Again, it boils down to your strategy and your organization’s objectives. Once you know which gaps need closing, it’s easier to assess which tool would best suit your requirements.

It may take some research to narrow down the options, but don’t be afraid to reach out to companies to inquire about the tools and ask for a demo. It’s also a great idea to see what others, who’ve had the opportunity to engage with the tool first-hand, have to say. You can hear our customers’ thoughts by watching the video below.

You might also like: How to select the right performance management software for your firm

4. Enhance take up with a change management plan

To maximize your return on investment and to best leverage technology, it’s recommended that you carry out a change management plan when introducing new technology. The last thing you want is for great tools to go unused or underused by employees. Before introducing the new tool, communicate with employees to convey its benefits and encourage take-up.

You may even want to appoint someone to oversee the change management process and take the lead in getting users engaged and evangelizing the tool. It’s also beneficial to host meetings with managers or team leaders to discuss feedback and monitor the adoption of new tools among teams. Of course, one of the most effective ways to ensure that employees use the tool effectively is by offering them training sessions and showing them how to use the tool to reap the most benefits.

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