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Efficiency and the role of HR Technology

Remember the old days when your employer handed you a blank piece of paper with some boxes to fill in your hours worked and called it a “timesheet”?  That little piece of paper stood between you and an accurate paycheck.  It only had to go through three other hands (your manager, the mail courier, and a payroll clerk) to be manually entered into a system that processed the payroll checks.  Scary,right?

Unfortunately, too many organizations still rely on this manual, antiquated system of collecting employee’s time and other processes.  The Public Sector is notorious for being behind the times when it comes to technology, but HR departments have a lot of pressure to be more efficient.  In a recent blog by HR Bartender, Sharlyn Lauby states “It’s time to realize that HR and technology are forever intertwined. More and more human resources functions and solutions have a technology component to them. Human resources technology is part of our jobs. Frankly, technology is part of our jobs – no matter what position or level in the organization. Period.”1  How I interpret that statement is “put budget and the “we’ve always done it this way” sentiments aside and just explore what is out there”.

An open mind can lead to some innovative ideas that don’t necessarily change your entire way to doing things.  Remember the goal is efficiency.   Taking an existing process and just finding a more streamline way of doing it.  Let’s look at a couple of HR technology examples:

  • Village of Schaumburg, IL2 – With internal communication primarily being done through the village’s intranet site, Schaumburg knew it needed to modernize this approach and move to social media.  They quickly adopted a portal hub for all village employees.  Now, projects are open for all to share information, track progress, and keep phone/email communication to a minimum.
  • City of Orlando, FL3 – After being hit by three hurricanes in under 6 weeks, the city was going to have to rely heavily on FEMA funds.  Instead of manually calculating hours dedicated to the clean-up and public safety needs during those events, Orlando took advantage of their automated time tracking system for quick, real-time reporting on labor hours.  All leading to quick and accurate reimbursement.

So, if I can get you to walk away with one goal for the New Year, it’s to venture out into the world of HR Technology and see what’s new.  Go for some test drives, look under hoods, and kick a few tires.  You may be more ready for a change than you think.



1 HR Technology and 2014 – #HRTechtrends – HR Bartender, Sharlyn Lauby, posted 12/12/13

2 Village of Schaumburg Case Study – SuccessFactors

3 City of Orlando Case Study – Kronos

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