Peter Drucker once said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. In today’s faced paced environment though, I believe digital technology influences what’s for breakfast, especially when the strategy relates to your enterprise leadership and organisational culture.
With technology being served to the human resources function faster than ever before, it feels like being in a baseball batting zone with multiple balls simultaneously coming at you. You dodge a few, swing at some and connect with others. The challenge is which HR technology ball do you connect with to transform inputs into outputs that ultimately influence the company culture and it’s mindset of effective leadership. It’s clear making the right selection counts more than we may anticipate.
I am a believer any technological change implemented should prevent frustration, work arounds and short cuts being taken by managers just because it makes the work of HR easier. We should not let the chosen HR technology create a negative influence on your company vision, culture or create a non-constructive leadership mindset amongst leaders.
When selecting any HR technology to improve the HR department’s ability to assist the organisation’s experience with HR, the decision shouldn’t be made by only applying a budget value and the company values in the procurement process. When I state values, I am considering the user experience both by the leader and the recipient employee who experiences the actions and behaviour of their leader when using the HR technology to discharge their responsibilities. Hence, it’s critical we identify how HR technology enables company values and constructive leadership behaviour we desire to be displayed by leaders can be channelled into experiences and felt impact by recipient employees.
An individual’s mindset influences a company culture. Experiences with HR technology subsequently flow through to others and consequently lead to emotions such as:
my job thanks to how this HR technology helps me lead, perform and achieve.
When seeking to introduce HR technology to solve business needs, here’s the unconventional list of what this CHRO considers when assessing any HR technology before effecting change across the business:
1. Will it enable the company vision and values? No point introducing technology if you aspire to be dynamic and growth oriented and the system takes the person away from their core job purpose and places them into bureaucratic workflow management. Ask yourself, will the values, vision and employee performance be compromised due to the experience of the new workflows?
2. Will it make managers more task oriented at the expense of being people oriented? If the answer is yes, what can be done in system configuration to ensure the right balance occurs?
3. Will the technology support managers in creating job significance? That is, will the technology allow the manager to be viewed by their team as having an important impact on them and enabling them to be more achievement oriented? If not, what is the value of implementing a change?
4. Does the technology support devolved decision making or foster an organisation power base? Will it support the company’s culture of accountability and the expectations of where responsibilities rest?
5. Will the technology lead to desired motivation? That is, to what extent will the technology cause managers to behave in ways consistent with the attainment of organisational goals?
If the answers to questions 1-5 lead to emotions such as I like or I love or I enjoy rather than I hate, my experience has been it’s a win-win situation for the HR team introduction HR technology change/transformation as both the constructive leadership mindset experience improves and the company culture is enhanced.