HR Technology Q & A with Lynette Silva

The 2016 HR Technology Conference is October 4-7. Over the next month The SHRM Blog will feature a Q & A series with several HR technology experts who will offer their perspective on how technology is impacting the HR profession today -- and their predictions for the future.

The following is a Q & A with Lynette Silva, Senior Recognition Strategist and Consultant at Globoforce.


Q.  What do you want HR professionals to understand about the process of selecting HR software?  What are the key considerations?

The most important consideration with HR software is the employee experience. The tech must enable, amplify, support or enhance the employee experience in a way that makes them feel more engaged, more loyal, more connected with others, and more in tune with the goals and objectives of the organization. Yes, some HR tech is more in the background, but when it touches the employee directly, it must be an engaging, interesting, useful experience or employees won’t use it (or use it very reluctantly). And to engage, it must be easily accessible. Is it fully mobile enabled as well? For offline employees, how will you facilitate access and use in a fully participatory manner? Plan wisely for the change management process for the tech – how are you going to excite and inspire your humans to use your human resources tech? Other key considerations from the business side are security and compliance. Employee data, even if not PII, must be held to a higher level of security considerations. Compliance needs can be quite wide ranging, depending on what the system is for – global tax and payroll implications, local works council, internal business regulations or process requirements. How will the tech support or feed the necessary information for compliance on the factors important to you?


Q. What important questions should HR professionals ask HR technology vendors in the selection process?

Is it easy to use? Is the intent of the program clear? How global is the program? Is it available to all employees, everywhere? (This is particularly important for global or multi-national companies as too often employees outside of the country of HQ are made to feel like second-class citizens who never get the same cool stuff as their HQ-country counterparts.) Does it comply with the new EU Privacy Shield? Is it available in local languages around the world to facilitate ease of use? Does it automatically push interesting and useful information to the user/employee to encourage them to take advantage of the system? Can it be accessed when it’s most convenient to the employee – from a smartphone, tablet or computer? What other methods are in place to ensure all employees, regardless of job type and including those who are offline, have equal access to the tech or to the experience the tech is intended to create?


Q. What advice do you have for HR professionals that will help to ensure a more successful technology implementation?  Where are most mistakes made?

Involve representatives from key user groups in strategizing about your program. As a group, define your ambitions and metrics for success up front. Ensure program implementation decisions support the achievement of your ambitions. Find an executive sponsor who will help secure the resources you need to implement the right up, including change management. If your tech solution is intended to impact or involve your organizational culture, make sure both your CHRO and CEO are involved. Mistakes are most often made in underestimating the resources needed and not considering other initiatives (even regular annual events like benefits planning) that could interfere with your implementation or launch efforts. Start with ambitions, build a plan, find resources and align with other company priorities.


Q. New HR technology no longer looks to automate, but to improve the “employee experience”.  How are you using HR tech at your organization to improve the employee experience?

Our research with IBM, announced at HR Tech, provides a new global index designed to measure employee experience and the organizational practices necessary to impact that experience in a positive way. Those human workplace practices include meaningful work; strong coworker relationships; and recognition, feedback and growth. Social recognition is one of the most powerful ways to impact these drivers. Specific, detailed recognition tells the recipient how their work is meaningful and makes a difference in the organization. Pausing to express your gratitude and share with others how they have helped you succeed naturally builds and strengths relationships among peers and across the organization. And, obviously, social recognition is an easy yet powerful means to recognize others, provide crowdsourced feedback, and generate information on potential career opportunities. Bottom line: if you want to improve the employee experience, you must first measure it to understand what it is today.  Visit for the full report. 


Q.  As technology evolves, what do you think the future of HR will look like?  

We’re now entering the human era – where the real measure of a valuable worker isn’t just their hands or brains but also their heart – their commitment to your company and your values. As such, today’s work environment necessitates more human-centric approaches that keep employees at the front and center. The traditional pillars of HR are crumbling. One of the most visible areas of change is in the reimagining of the traditional performance review process to align with how humans think, work and react. The crowdsourced performance review approach is focused on much more frequent feedback, coaching conversations, recognition, and information gathering from a far wider network, including peers. Technology is now becoming an enabler of more connections, deeper relationships and greater trust between people. Tech is making it easier for us to work more human in our vastly distributed and often contingent work environment. In many ways, tech is drawing us closer to each other, putting the “human” back in HR.



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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