It never fails and a day doesn’t go by, and yesterday was no different, without someone asking me questions dealing with risk of using technology. These questions and comments usually go something like this.
- What if our employees waste their time on Facebook instead of doing their work?
- What if our workforce isn’t ready to use technology?
- What if people make comments using social collaborative tools that are inappropriate?
- What if the workforce doesn’t follow the process and goes around the technology?
All of these are great questions but the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter whether it is a bulletin board (remember those), a telephone or a “scary social media type technology”; there will always be a few that abuse but a majority that adopt and embrace the technology. Where am I going with this?
HR must stop managing to the .01% of the people who “might, just might” abuse the technology and start empowering the workforce by deploying collaborative tools anywhere from employee and manager direct access (yes, this is a simple form of collaboration) to true social/knowledge and innovation sharing type collaboration tools.
HR has made a living managing to the exception vs. the norm. Being reactive vs. proactive and in the mode of avoiding risk vs. creating change and innovation. In an era where speed, innovation and the ability to empower a workforce to think like CEO’s of themselves. Without a mindset focused on the positive benefits of the technology vs. the “possible” negative things that could happen, HR will continue be seen as the corporate police and the tools, processes and communication it pushes out will have a “big brother” connotation vs a “big mother” enabler of workforce engagement and success.
This is not an overall negative statement against HR, but I hope that in 2013 and beyond, we as a collective community can begin to focus on the positive vs the negative.
In every organization, 99.99% of the people want to do the right thing and make the workplace and workforce a better place. Stop letting the .01% drive your strategy and technology mission. If your focus is on the .01%, do something today to change it.
Another infusion of knowledge…