In a recent conversation with a colleague of mine, the subject came up about the ever-increasing pressures that human resource practitioners face daily. One would think with all the technology and resources that are available today that this wouldn’t be the case. I mean there are so many new tools at the average HR pros disposal, it should be easier to manage people resources, right?
Not so fast.
My colleague expressed how overwhelmed he feels on an average day. From the time he arrives at the office to the time he leaves at night, it seems like he is putting out multiple fires. Too many systems from employee performance and payroll to recruitment and budgeting are adding to his frustrations. It’s not that he isn’t already proficient in his role as the HR Director; it’s that he has too many things at stake. He must switch gears continually to maintain things, and he only detracts from this effort when a crisis arises.
After talking with my friend, it occurred to me that what’s really bugging him is that he is losing touch with the very thing that spurred him to get into this line of work in the first place. He is losing that vital connection with the PEOPLE at the organization. In the midst of managing all that big data and monitoring things to ensure the ship runs smoothly, he is drifting further and further away from the human element of things.
Is it technology that is working against HR folks or something else?
Most companies have multiple systems for handling various aspects of the business. This is something that HR has become accustomed to. Not all these systems play well together, unless the company invests a huge amount of time and money to streamline a customized solution. But even that can become cumbersome at times, as the system needs regular updates. HR pros dream about ways they can save time. They are perhaps the most in-tune with being efficient and saving money. But they are also one of the most under-served departments.
I would encourage any HR professional who is facing this issue to unplug a little. Put down the cell phone. Step away from the computer. Get out from behind the desk and do some walking around the workplace. Reconnect with the people that work for the company. These are people who need to know that HR is present and concerned about their experience. Focus on people first, then you can get a better grip on what’s happening and what gaps exist from the technology standpoint.
You are, after all the center of your organization.