This is my first post on the new company site.
As you may remember, I2I sold out this year to Symbolist – a great team of professionals with whom I share the vision of changing the world – or at least our little part of it. This is exciting for me – new site, new interface, new look. Same contrarian point of view and hopefully posts that make you come back for more.
Today I’m riffing on a post my fellow FOT contributor Suzanne Rumsey ran the other day talking about HR technology initiatives and how they add little strategic value. Suzanne references an article published on HR Executive Magazine and a meta-analysis done on various HR tech options from which they concluded that there is no evidence that investing in HR tech provided any competitive advantage.
Think about that for a minute. That is a huge statement.
While the study does say that there are business benefits (cost savings, etc.) they are hinting that you don’t get that far ahead of your competition by investing in HR tech.
The study cites too much standardization, too much “best practices”, too much sameness in the solution sets.
And I think this extends to reward and recognition solutions most HR teams have to review before implementing their “engagement strategy.”
Face it, the system you use to reward and recognize your employees is an HR technology system. Most are now SaaS, most are now built with similar functions, most are now easily deployable, most are just like everyone else. When you look at each system there may just be a few buttons and charts that differ – and some of them are pretty cool. But at the end of the day you have a system that is “just like the last one they implemented with your competition.”
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that you should custom build – most of these systems are more than adequate for doing the mundane administrative lifting.
What you really, really need to make this really work is: (and again I’m stealing/borrowing from Suzanne’s list on her FOT post a bit.)
Those five things have almost nothing to do with the technology side of the equation. But I rarely see company HR departments ask about how the vendor plans on addressing them. Sure, they can tell you how to upload a picture and “like” a recognition event in their system – but can they help you determine what real recognition looks like in your company? Can they create a totally unique set of symbols and references that reinforce your particular brand of awesome?
If they can’t, then their system is just another system.
Success in your recognition and reward initiative is all about the human side of the equation – not the technology side. Keep that in mind as you think about how you want your program/initiative to roll out.
Do you want the same basic system as your competitor with different color bars in the interface – or something that resonates with your employees at an emotional level and connects to things that make you the best place to be each day?
I know where I’d want to be…