Is HR technology the key to making better managers?

With the HR industry incorporating advanced technologies into their hiring processes, with the aim of harnessing big data and AI to make smarter decisions, can managers use these same tools to enhance their leadership qualities too?

When thinking about the application of recruitment and staff retention technologies in business environments, people tend to think of advanced AI algorithms pairing candidates with relevant opportunities at lightning speed, or staff utilising platforms to seamlessly upload expenses or track their work hours.

Forward-thinking companies are increasingly appreciating the value that these tools can offer in delivering vital insights about the workplace as a whole and substantially improving managers’ leadership qualities and decision-making processes.

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A major benefit of these technologies is their ability to analyse and assess large swaths of data in mere seconds – and for today’s businesses to be successful, it’s crucial to accrue quality data not only about their customers, but also about their employees and office environments.

The details are in the data

Data is the lifeblood of AI – and it also functions as the mirror to a company, providing an accurate reflection of its makeup, helping managers better understand the decisions they are making, and ultimately tackle the bigger question of why.

Harnessing data to analyse hiring decisions, for instance, businesses can delve more deeply into the demographics of their offices. Do graduates from certain types of universities account for a disproportionate share of the workforce? Is the company achieving meaningful diversity in gender, race, and ethnicity?

From a moral and ethical perspective alone, businesses have an obligation to pursue diversity and combat ingrained biases. But diversity is not solely a moral issue. It’s also essential to bottom-line performance; a recent McKinsey report concluded that more diverse companies generate higher cash flow per employee and are significantly more likely to outperform national industry medians on their financial returns.

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Moreover, managers who display an in-depth understanding of the employees they oversee are best-positioned to motivate their employees, effectively inculcate corporate culture, onboard new team members, and critically reflect on how the decisions they make will impact the office dynamic.

Knowing where your employees stand

In gauging employee opinions and helping managers formulate a proactive approach to handling workplace issues, HR management platforms can serve as powerful assets. Anonymous feedback tools can indicate when employees feel overwhelmed and provide them with a platform for suggesting areas of improvement, enabling managers to keep their fingers on the pulse of employee sentiment, helping them make decisions that address concerns head-on, ultimately improving performance.

As the Boston Consulting Group’s Yves Morieux told the Financial Times, “Happy employees create high-performing organisations … because there are more opportunities to satisfy their aspirations, job security, chance of promotion, career development, [and] wages.” Even a highly productive company will see its performance suffer over the long term if it does not take sufficient measures to ensure employee satisfaction, Morieux noted.

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As HR platforms continue to integrate more advanced AI capabilities, they will be able to add predictive analytics, further assisting managers. Through the analysis of industrywide data, predictive analytics can notify managers when an employee is at highest risk of leaving the company – for instance, if they have remained in their current role without a promotion for a certain period – equipping managers with the actionable insights necessary to keep employees motivated and improve retention. Amid tight labor markets and heightened competition among employers for talent, ongoing monitoring of employee sentiment is paramount for companies hoping to retain their competitive advantage.

By making company wide polling easier, retention platforms can also help managers glean important information for helping decide which benefits programs to implement and for setting policies on matters like allowing employees to work from home.

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Meanwhile, HR platforms allow for real-time tracking of work processes, keeping managers up to date on the status of key projects and helping them determine exactly when to demand more or less from their teams.

The unparalleled advantages of AI-driven platforms are fueling the AI revolution in the workplace. The data upon which these platforms rely promises to be a game-changer in promoting better business management, and given companies’ vested interest in attracting and retaining the best talent. Soon these platforms will be widely utilised across industries.

Emotional intelligence and robust interpersonal skills are indispensable qualities in effective managers. By augmenting those skills with cutting-edge HR technologies, managers can lead their teams to new heights of success.

 

Sourced by Ben Reuveni, CEO and co-founder of Gloat

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is the editor for Information Age. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and cyber security.

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