Being based in Berlin, surrounded by innovation and start ups, we are learning about new solutions and HR tech companies in HR on a weekly even daily basis. At conferences and fairs HR managers are surrounded with new ideas and trends. Some of those are reinventing existing processes areas of HR, others are bringing up completely new products.
Yet, the question arises whether those innovations are fit and needed in the company.
Looking at HR in the anglo-saxon world, it seems that Europe and especially Germany are somewhat “behind” on developments and structures. This is not at all based on a lack of ideas, but foremost on the HR landscape that is underlying more strict regulations and procedures. Experiencing different work cultures and companies, we learned that it is always important to look at different aspects when evaluating whether a trend or solution is really bringing an advantage to HR. Some questions one should consider:
- What are the most pressing challenges in the company?
- Is it difficult to implement?
- What are the possible blockers?
- What are the data security implications?
- Do my people want and need this?
Especially the latter is quite difficult to determine. Lots of times HR implements new tools, processes and initiatives. All of those are based on apparent company, and HR-perceived needs, however, rarely on staff perceptions. Did the new work-life- balance measures really help? Do people use the offers introduced last year?
In the start up community one sentence is predominant: “Truth is in Data”. But how do you know whether something is simply a “nice-to-have” opposed to “really-needed”? The office grapevine only gives insight to a small portion of employees’ opinions and rarely HR receives feedback on how their projects are being perceived by the staff.
With regard to data, one probably receives an understanding of how much and when tools, initiatives and measures are used, but rarely on how people feel about them.
Any time HR wants to launch a new procedure it should be important to ask whether people really are in need and after launch, how effective it is in reality. Companies spend thousands on employee benefits, but rarely get an understanding on how their people feel about them.
teambay offers an easy way of simply asking – in real-time. Might it be the new bike-rental, lunch subsidies or a change in training offers: Simply ask.
Employees know very well what it is they would need in order to progress at their work and can assess best whether a new measure improved their work and well-being. Sometimes it is just as easy.
Important, however, is to ask frequently, not once every two years. Agile working needs to find a way into HR and that includes an immediate reaction rather than a two year delay.
HR initiatives are supposed to support employees and improve their work surroundings. Yet, this is only possible if you know what your employees are thinking and how they are perceiving their daily work.
Truth is in data, make your decision based on data – data from your employees perceptions.
Author: Sarah Bohlmeier