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Are your Business Leaders Asking HR Technology for Employee Collaboration Tools?

Soraya Kassamali, Senior Director, Enterprise HR Technology, Cox Enterprises

Soraya Kassamali, Senior Director, Enterprise HR Technology, Cox Enterprises

It’s Tuesday, lunch time, and I am off to meet one of my favorite customers, the VP of Strategic HR solutions. We always have this banter back and forth about what’s going on, inherently brainstorming a new idea or refining an existing one. This time, we started talking about employee collaboration tools. I got excited and started talking about how my team is piloting Slack. She said there are pockets of people using it, some using Yammer, some SharePoint. She wanted feedback on Slack because she was looking for a collaboration tool as well.

As I said goodbye and walked back to my office, it struck me: Our communications team owns employee collaboration tools, but my customer assumed we (HR Technology) owned them.

It’s the following Wednesday, time for lunch with another customer, the VP of HR Service Delivery. I start probing her on employee collaboration tools and to my surprise, she says, “Yes, why doesn’t HR technology own that?”

It made me think: Where does HR stop and other departments begin? How is the role of HR technology transforming? We are in a state of constant change. The services our businesses expect from HR are also evolving. Josh Bersin’s 2018 HR Technology disruptions predicts tools for workforce technology are one of the 10 disruptions likely to transform the overall landscape of the HR Technology market.

Below is a diagram from Bersin that reflects the shift in the future of HR Technology tools. Now I am not saying HR must own the tools, but we are critical boundary partners that should be involved in the decision making. Let’s think about what we know TODAY:

• People are spending more and more time online.

• We are moving away from traditional email and toward collaboration applications like Slack, MS teams and Workplace by Facebook.

• Companies are beginning to shift from traditional hierarchies to team or project based assignments.

• Millennials want real-time purposeful feedback.

• HR software vendors are actively partnering with collaboration tool vendors to improve productivity. Slack is partnering with Workday to provide real-time relevant people information as you collaborate . Workplace by Facebook has multiple integrations including MS SharePoint, ServiceNow, Jira, Trello, Amplify and others to create collaboration flexibility. This list goes on.

HR technology must deeply understand the value and appropriate use of collaboration tools. HR Technology must partner with internal Communications and IT to develop a purposeful strategy to implement collaboration tools in the organization. This gives your HR technology teams an avenue to drive productivity, integrate with HR applications and overall contribute to create a better experience for the employee.

Begin thinking about how collaboration tools integrate with goals, performance, coaching and areas to retain and promote talent within the organization if you have not already. Initiate the conversation with IT and Communications on the plan for collaboration tools. Let’s be part of the transformation in how employees will work in the future.

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