Employers must think beyond automation to improve engagement
- A report by SilkRoad, a talent activation firm, shows that HR is shifting focus from processes and transactions to employee engagement. The 2017 State of Talent report found that 53% of HR professionals polled said employee engagement rose when onboarding improved. The report surveyed 1,000 HR practitioners.
- Of the respondents, 44% cited “developing skills, leaders and succession” as their major concern. The respondents admitted feeling challenged to create engaging employee experiences in learning (57%), performance (46%) and onboarding (41%).
- John Westby, SilkRoad’s vice president of corporate marketing, said, “2017 stands to become a significant turning point for how organizations think about and engage with employees. We can go beyond automating HR functions to activating employees through engaging employee experiences and agile approaches to performance management.”
SilkRoad’s report confirms other studies that find HR is shifting from focusing on maintaining employee data and procedures to helping employees develop professionally, discovering their needs and meeting them, and making their onboarding and work experiences engaging.
An interesting dance is at work here. Automation and responsive technologies, particularly mobile-focused ones, can improve employee engagement by improving user experience with HR processes. But automation's goal should be to empower HR managers to better manage the human aspect of their jobs — and that includes communicating with employees to discern what they want out of learning, performance and onboarding programs.
Motivating employees and being more flexible about managing their performance will be more important in 2017, especially, as AI continues its foray into the space.