Why HR needs to play a bigger role in optimizing the digital tech stack

HR Comms Trends for 2024 - Involving HR in the Tech Stack
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Brittany Barhite
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You’ve made it to the third installment of this blog series on the top HR communications trends for 2024. In case you missed the first two posts, be sure to review Top HR communications trends for 2024 and Creating a customer-like employee experience

In this post, let’s take a look at optimizing the digital tech stack—a topic often left to IT professionals but one that should be part of your HR communications strategy.

Optimizing the digital tech stack

Along with using technology to personalize HR communications, HR should help orchestrate and organize the digital tech stack. You might be wondering why HR would be involved in this endeavor alongside IT—the answer lies in the substantial role HR plays in buying and utilizing HR technology.

“The typical HR organization has 11 systems of record, the typical recruiting department has more than 10, and the typical L&D department has almost 20.”

Josh Bersin, The Josh Bersin Company

HR plays a critical role in orchestrating the way employees navigate their technology ecosystem to access resources and communication vital to their job performance and overall engagement.

My top recommendation is to create a companywide digital committee. This committee should bring together a cross-functional team consisting of IT, safety, security, communications, and any other department that interfaces with digital tools. Together, they can collaborate on organizing the tech stack to maximize efficiency.

Personalization powers engagement
“Ensuring employees have access to the latest information, and having it personalized to them, is really important. It’s transformed the way that people interact with our comms. Before Firstup, we weren’t able to do that.”

The committee’s objectives should include the following:

  • Optimal utilization of platforms: Define and help educate employees on what the platform does and how/when it is used.
  • Strategies for interconnecting platforms: Do you have one modern intranet or one source of truth where you can link all the platforms and resources? Can you cross-link where it makes sense so employees can easily navigate to the tools they need?
  • Employee accessibility: Are there deskless employees who can’t access some of the web-experience programs or don’t have access to a kiosk? How can you get them access? Are there Wi-Fi issues at certain global locations, or have employees forgotten their passwords? What can you do to improve accessibility to help connect employees to the information they need most? 
  • Mobile phone policies: As more and more platforms provide mobile applications—which creates a more customer-like employee experience—the question of putting work apps on personal devices often comes up. Have your committee work through updates to policies about when, where, and how hourly and/or union/nonunion employees can access mobile apps on or off work time. Also, should there be a mobile stipend—such as $10 per employee (or the equivalent based on currency)—so they download a work app to their mobile phones? 
  • Safe integration of mobile phones: Deskless workers often work in environments where safety is the top priority. That means no cell phones while on the manufacturing or warehouse floor. If they work in retail or healthcare, they cannot be scrolling through their phones while serving customers or caring for patients. This is an opportunity to discuss safety policies. Can you create a safe spot where employees can use their mobile phones? Can they use their phones during breaks? Do you need to integrate important platforms into other technology like hospital computers or cash registers?

Your committee will have plenty to discuss on how to help employees find necessary resources and use technology to be more effective and productive. Optimizing your tech stack can help you eliminate redundancies, streamline processes, and get more done in less time. 

By leading this collaborative approach, HR not only enhances the functionality and accessibility of the tech stack but also bolsters engagement and the overall employee experience. An optimized tech stack also results in better retention. According to Gartner’s 2022 Digital Worker Survey, employees who are satisfied with their technology are 1.6 times more likely to want to stay and grow in their current organizations.

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