I had the opportunity to read a great piece in Fast Company by Jacob Morgan that detailed why enterprises need a collaboration upgrade and how it could change the way business is done forever. Jacob has written a great new book, that if click on the image of the book, you can buy directly from one of our customers.
While reading this piece, I could not get out of my mind that the four key drivers he notes in his writing are truly things that many HR leaders work on daily as part of their corporate initiatives. Yes, the time is over for HR to wait for IT to drive a collaboration strategy, but it is time for HR to begin its transformation and become a Collaborative Enterprise. No excuses, no more waiting; this must be on your initiative list for 2013 before an an upgrade, before a dumb performance appraisal tool and before you rollout out legacy employee and manager self-service applications. What are the reasons that this is so important? Lets use the same reasons that Jacob uses for our beginning of an HR argument:
1) Knowledge Sharing and Transfer – the concept here is to replace email as our main vehicle for communication and use tools that allow the workforce to collaborate on documents, ideas and communications without “waiting” for a new email to arrive. Email causes version control, locating the information later and challenges with who and when to reach the right people with. One of HR’s key jobs is to communicate corporate vision, strategy and why it is of value to work for the organization, tools such as collaborative enterprise tools are perfect to meet these goals.
2) New Opportunities and Ideation - the fact is that the voice of the employee is lost within most organizations and many of them have the best ideas to drive innovation, efficiency and effectiveness across the enterprise. People always ask me how to create a business case around these tools and I respond, “when is the last time your CEO hasn’t funded ways to be more innovative?”. Combine some of your basic HR transactions (yes, dumb self-service) with new ways for the employees to collaborate and innovate, call this initiative employee innovation and effectiveness and watch the funding come in. CEO’s approve funding for initiatives, not modules or technologies.
3) Thinking Out Loud - we all know that learning is a big focus for many HR departments and enterprises. Well guess what, the best way to learn is to think out loud and learn from others, not from watching a stupid e-learning course. It is still amazing to me the number of organizations that think buying a new LMS (learning management system) will create a culture of learning and sharing. A LMS is dumb, necessary yes but transformative no. Take your LMS initiative and turn it into something that will truly create a learning organization and culture, not just another tool to log into to record that I took a class that I was checking Facebook during. Lets the workforce learn from each other because as we know, the best learning comes from the moments we are engaged with others.
4) Collective Intelligence and Memory - collective intelligence refers to the ability of the organization to use the knowledge of its workforce to make decisions. Well guess what, in HR many of us know less about our workforce than LinkedIn does. Many of us know more about our iPads and laptops than our workforce and many of us have no overall talent profile or way to tap into the collective intelligence of our workforce. The ability to understand, leverage and use intelligence across the enterprise to drive initiatives based on many studies can make the workforce 3-4x productive. Can this garner HR a “seat at the table?” Can this give HR a platform to continue to apply metrics to as a way to begin to place a value on the workforce? You bet it can is the answer to both questions. Tools that engage the workforce hourly, daily and weekly compared to the “once a year” performance appraisal are initiatives we should all plan for in 2013 and beyond and finally kill our legacy processes that most truly think are a joke.
We have reached the point where HR must take this seriously. The Social Enterprise for HR is not a trend, not a fad but a mandate that if we are too achieve our goals of attracting, developing, retaining and incenting Workforce 2020, we must start today. If the social HR enterprise is not part of your 2013 HR and Workforce technology strategy, be sure to reach out and ask how we at Knowledge Infusion can help.
Another infusion of knowledge…