OPINION: TECHNOLOGIES PROMOTE NEW THINKING IN PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
Liesma Rijniece, HR digital change ambassador at the data technology company SQUALIO
Personnel management has long ceased to be a story of finding employees, the conclusion of labour contracts, or the termination of labour relations. Today personnel management is the strategic partner and support for business activity, as well as the principal consultant in issues that involve the most valuable resource of a company or an organisation; namely, a person.
It is important to explain that changes in personnel management affect each of us. Technologies, digitalisation, process automation affect us as an employee by determining how we perform our work duties or how we feel within the team, to what degree we are capable of affecting and planning our work and whether the company, where one works, promotes one’s growth and development.
Of course, personnel management still involves classical processes like work performance and talent assessment, competence development, planning of work salary and the bonus system. At the same time, new trends are arising, which have been well known in the world, while we have only started to pay attention to them recently, especially in the conditions caused by the crisis. For instance, employee experience explains how a person feels at their workplace, how satisfied they are with processes, how simple or complicated they perceive the performance of work tasks to be. It is interesting to note that, in Latvia, employee experience is perceived to refer to bonuses granted by the company, while elsewhere in the world this term is viewed in the context of workplace conditions – equipment of premises, technical or technological provisions, as well as procedural and bureaucratic load. So a comprehensive attitude towards the notion of employee experience is adopted worldwide to promote the productivity of work, support the balance of work and private life, and in some cases even the integration thereof, which in the long term, promotes employee loyalty and increases work efficiency. Meanwhile the notion of wellbeing primarily means employee health and safety at the workplace. Historically, this notion has arisen with the purpose of reducing the number of days of illness, which is a factor that significantly affects business activity, considering the fact that an employee who is frequently ill may cause high costs to the company. The notion of wellbeing is supplemented by a psychological aspect – internal culture of the work environment, feeling of value and belonging. Meanwhile employer image is the most common and popular notion affected by all of the aforementioned. Employer image is very important in keeping existing employees and attracting new ones, and for ensuring the productive, successful and long-term work of employees for the particular employer.
The issue of the introduction of new systems or process automation is no longer topical; a new way of thinking and new approaches to processes are being considered instead – how a company or organisation co-operates with current and potential employees. Technologies help in attraction, selection and analysis, as well as in improving employee involvement and the development of employees by adopting data-based decisions. The development of technologies is currently occurring at unimaginable speed, while human nature has not changed – our behaviour is exactly as it has always been; one’s basic needs have remained unchanged. However, the environment, where these needs must be satisfied, has changed.
Different technologies have entered Latvian companies, which show the ways of changing and simplifying the processes, as well as raising employee involvement, motivation and even wellbeing. Considering our strongest personnel management professionals, I would like to emphasise and mention the brightest examples of Latvia. I am glad to see that TET is closely monitoring the wellbeing of their employees by regularly “measuring” their satisfaction – brief and regular employee surveys are performed by using QR codes. Meanwhile, for the needs of management of Elektrum Olimpiskais centrs and for the purposes of team building, the Peero development technology is used to strengthen the feeling of belonging to the company and team, which are united by common culture and values. It facilitates the integration of company values in the daily work of employees by promoting involvement, motivation, mutual assessment, by using the elements of gamification, providing immediate feedback and the analysis of team co-operation networks. Among others, this application, which was created in Latvia, is the first in the Baltic states that is integrated within Microsoft Teams. I consider the insurance company BTA to be one of the heralds of digitalisation, since they have simplified transaction, as well as personnel management processes, by using a very simple step; namely, the use of e-signature for each transaction procedure, including the processing of labour relations and the adoption of any types of changes. Several companies known to me – DNB Servisa Centrs, Optibet, Amserv Motors, Mogo – choose to simplify the daily routine of their employees by providing them with the Cake.hr mobile application for the notification of absences (holidays, work incapacity certificates, business trips or any other absences). Furthermore, it is not a simple application, but a fully-fledged personnel management system, which has been developed in Latvia and must be considered to be a real success story.
While introducing personnel management technologies, a company needs to select solutions with the long-term perspective in mind. Therefore, it is important to consider the following aspects:
- Opportunity to “administer” the system themselves, thus speeding up process changes without dependence on the availability of system developers, as well as potential additional costs;
- System availability on a cloud solution, since such systems are usually available with finished standard solutions for different personnel management processes that simplify system introduction works and considerably reduce the scheduled implementation time;
- Existence of a mobile application for the system, which ensures much more convenient employee access and the more efficient provision of processes;
- Analytical HR options; namely, reports generated by the system to ensure the tracking of, for instance, human resources selection processes or the use of absences and accumulated holiday, which, consequently, helps in planning personnel related costs;
- Administration of access rights, considering personal data safety issues, since it is important to ensure that authorised users who only see information required for their work, have access to the system. For instance, employees see information about themselves and contact information of their colleagues or absence calendars, while team leaders have access to the performance results of their team work, remuneration, training plans, etc.
Innovation in the personnel management sector means that we view personnel management processes differently; namely, through a more modern perspective. For instance, we analyse our team co-operation networks by determining how people are feeling, what the groups are within the framework of which they co-operate in order to ensure decision making on further involvement and motivation, which, respectively, raises productivity in the longer term. Technologies help us summarise and analyse data, which support company or organisation management in the adoption of different decisions.