HRMS of Future, will be about less-is-more

The genesis of any product is identifying the stakeholders. Basically, “who are you building this product for?”

This is precisely, where we have gone wrong with HRMS of the past.

 

Look at any of the legacy HR-tech solutions. What do you see? Mammoth heavy-duty, feature overloaded (“15000-feature solutions” as I like to call them), chunky software, based on super-standardized HR processes. Uncannily, they sync well with existing IT workflows in the organization, which makes for a strong selling point. I have a question at this stage. Whose life becomes easier with the above? 

The lives of the department that needs to administer these processes, i.e. HR and IT. These functions are also typically the decision-makers of an HRMS purchase. In other words, HR and IT are the “customers”, i.e. buyers. In itself, that is not a problem. 

Problem is this.

Who are the actual end-users? The “consumer”? 

Employees. 

 

And the problem is, the entire HRMS product design caters to the “buyer of the product” and completely overlooks the experience of “user of the product”. 

 

Philosophically, this is what I call a “point-of-sale” approach. The product design is focused on what makes it easier to sell to the buyer, instead of improving the experience of the user. 

Unfortunately for the sale-driven products, employees are becoming increasingly empowered. They no longer accept an experience imposed on them, nor have qualms making themselves heard, and worse – walking away. Therefore, this strategy will no longer work. Simply put, HRMS design simply cannot afford to ignore this user. 

 

Here is what I think, will work.

 

HRMS of the future will be about doing a few things really well. Innovation will be, not in terms of the number of features, but going in-depth into each process. This coincides with the evolving HR approach of acknowledging each employee as unique, requiring a unique approach. Tech products will need to support those micro-processes, naturally requiring deep solutions. 

For example, to date, we have blanket compensation structures for all employees. But don’t we all have different needs at different points in time? Some may need more cash, and others more benefits. 

Similarly, for learning. Why do we have mass training workshops? Wouldn’t micro-modules of learning, at the time you need it, work better?

 

But do HRMS tools enable a unique approach for every employee? No.

 

But they will need to.

This is why organizations need to choose specialized deep solutions, instead of bulky platforms that try to solve all problems; but end up addressing none, effectively.

 

Yes, I know the questions you want to ask at this stage.

 

1. Wouldn’t it be a challenge for employees to engage with multiple specialized tools instead of one standardized end-to-end HRMS?

This answer is simple. 

Today technology has made it possible. API integration allows organizations to bring together multiple deep-solutions to build a consortium of HRMS, where the tools can talk to each other, and employees interact across tools, effortlessly. 

2. Will it cost us more?

This answer is more of a question. 

We are talking of HR as a strategic partner today. If that be true, for how much longer will it take for us to transition from “cost-saving” to “value-creation”? The Indian HR market has been marred by the approach of 30 rupees-per employee for checking all boxes. Actually, I am asked this question often. Sometimes my question in return is, “how much do you spend on toilet paper?” The new age HRMS might cost less than that.

As I see it, the cost is not so much an issue. It is the inconvenience of change.

Elon Musk said, “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is a disaster.”

Ignoring the empowered employee of today is nothing short of business disaster. This has been established often enough. Therefore, the only option is to change the way we approach HRMS in future.

And in that future, HRMS will need to be about, less-is-more.

 

Is it time to welcome decentralised workplaces?

When I was young and less experienced than I am now, the thing that I hated the most about work was the fact that I had to be in office for 8 lengthy hours whether I had work or not. Now, while that idea doesn’t seem so bad in 2019, life back in the day was not half as interesting online. So unless you were really good at creatively wasting time in the office, sitting through long, empty hours was excruciating. 

You see, earlier, workspaces used to flourish under rules and regulations that made sure that everyone was present in the office at the same time, putting both managers and employees on the same page in ways. But with technology and more resources that came with the digital revolution, things are thankfully changing. And one of the best things the future of work has introduced us to has been the idea of decentralised workforces. 

 

Welcome to the world of decentralised workforces 

 

If we are to take popular opinions seriously, a decentralised workplace isn’t one where all employees work from wherever they wish to. 

Inspired by the ideals of ownership, responsibility and freedom, a successful decentralised workforce is one where people shun feudal ideas like hierarchy and centralised decision making. In an attempt to disrupt the classic pyramid structure that most workforces have been used to, they value collaborations and of course, transparency. Decentralised workplaces also encourage creativity by enabling employees to take decisions without having to wait for permissions to be able to take any kind of action. 

 

Navigating through the new 

 

Though the very idea of celebrating freedom and transparency can be liberating for many, being decentralised isn’t as easy as you think.  For starters, with the idea being very, very new and not enough adopters out there, it’s never easy to figure out what you need to do when you step into this whole new world. 

Secondly, with no one in charge, unlike traditional workplaces, it can be challenging to successfully motivate employees to embrace and accept the new. 

Lastly, with the need to become more independent to fit into roles that decentralised workplaces have to offer, many find the thought of such great freedom intimidating, and thereby shy away from being what they believe can be their best. 

But with technology helping workspaces change and grow, managing a decentralised workforce isn’t as hard as you think it is. 

When there’s Dockabl, there’s a way! 

  • By prioritising simplicity and user experience, Dockabl makes sure that no user is confused or intimidated by the platform and doesn’t hesitate to use it. 
  • With a great emphasis on clear communication, users can have anchored conversations and receive actionable feedback. Thus, reducing the possibility of misunderstanding and ensuring better collaborations across teams.
  • You can actually be as flexible as you want to be. Starting from defining timelines that suit your convenience to immediately recognising people for the good work done. You can even run multiple reviews simultaneously, there’s no longer a need to adhere to old practices. 

So you see, changing times aren’t as scary as you thought them to be. If anything, it’s a whole bright future that guarantees a better life at work! 

The Future Is Here. But Are You Prepared For It?

Gone are the days where highly skilled expertise was the hero of your success story. The present and the inevitable future is quite different, to be honest. For starters, you’re in for a rather bumpy ride if you have a problem with accepting rapid changes. Why? The future of work is all about being agile, adaptable and creative. At the end of the day, how else can you keep up with such rapid changes that are constantly evolving? 

The times, as we know them, are changing. And along with it, so are workplaces. The huge shift that came about with the Digital Revolution not only introduced newer jobs and opportunities in the market, it also created a demand for newer skill sets that are a lot more fluid than we expected them to be. 

But does this mean that you should take to heart the worried whispers and be scared about what the future might hold for you? What if we told you, there’s no need to. Being prepared for the future is easier than you think it is. 

 

Flexibility bridges gaps

 

Contrary to what some believe, a Digital Revolution does not merely mean automation of specialised and general jobs. It also means greater flexibility. And with flexibility comes agile working. By shattering the age-old idea of 9 to 5 jobs, agile working allows employees to effectively be more productive. Flexible working does not only mean convenient working hours. By using technology to build robust online workspaces, companies can expand beyond geographical limitations. It also allows employees to work from anywhere, ensuring that they don’t burn out. 

By being able to access Dockabl from literally anywhere, employees no longer have to be constrained by the need to be physically present in the office. With an intuitive and easy to use interface, employees won’t waste hours keeping track of their task lists, feedback and deliverables. 

 

Learning never stops 

 

While educational institutes and degrees are important, learning on the job is no longer a matter of joke. After all, that’s how most millennials and centennials are learning. Be it videos, blog, online courses or even feedback from seniors and peers, millennials and centennials never shy away from making most of their curiosity and creativity. 

With Dockabl, the whole process of feedback becomes a lot less cumbersome than you think it is. For starters, it is no longer restricted to a few hours once a year. Additionally, it also enables you to appreciate those who have been performing exceptionally well. Not only does this give an employee a very realistic idea about how they are performing, it also gives them the space to recognise and rectify their mistakes and learn from them too. 

 

There’s more to creativity than you think 

 

Whether we want to admit to it or not, what scares us most about the future of work is the simple fact that there are high chances that the jobs we do will be taken over by AI. In simpler terms, automated. However, no matter what technology has in store for us, one thing’s for sure. There’s no way technology can replace human traits like imagination, curiosity, empathy and resilience. With these innate human capabilities being the pillars for Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, Critical and Adaptive Thinking among others, workspaces devoid of these will lack character and values that make it unique. 

Easy to use and convenient too, Dockabl is perfect for setting timelines as well as giving real-time feedback.By being flexible and smart, it also helps you communicate easily with your team on the platform and recognise their strengths and weaknesses too.

Do You Know Enough About A Workplace Evil We Call Performance Reviews?

Once every year, employees seem to be hustling harder than ever. Brows creased in concentration, they click away furiously at their keyboards. Even the procrastinators and regular office sinners seem to be hard at work. Sleepless nights of making presentations might not be a regular part of everyone’s work lives, but when it comes to acing the performance review, everyone wants to show off their best – even if it is just for a few days. 

 

Welcome to the world of performance reviews 

 

It was in the 1900s with the Personnel Administrative Movement that employers realised that work satisfaction does actually yield greater productivity. Conceptualised by Frederick W Taylor, his ideals about Work Design, Work Measurement and Production Control brought about a major transformation in the field of personnel management. 

However, it was only in the 1940s that management styles actually evolved to address the social needs of employees. From being relentless taskmasters, managers around this time became more empathetic and understanding, and in ways better leaders than they were in the past. Over the next years, it scientifically evolved into a workplace philosophy that actually improved productivity and efficiency through employee satisfaction. 

 

Evolving towards the better? 

 

However, what started off as a strategy to boost productivity evolved to become a rather painstaking process that actually affected teamwork as well as workplace morale rather negatively. In 2008, UCLA professor and management Sam Culbert emphasised on its evils. 

“It’s time to finally put the performance review out of its misery,” he wrote in the book Get Rid of The Personnel Review. “This corporate sham is one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most ubiquitous of corporate activities. Everybody does it, and almost everyone who’s evaluated hates it. It’s a pretentious, bogus practice that produces absolutely nothing that any thinking executive should call a corporate plus,” he declared. 

 

Evil lurks around 

 

In a world that is changing rapidly thanks to technology, it is wrong to believe that trends won’t. Even if they had been proven to work scientifically in the past. If anything, performance reviews consume a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources making it an expensive affair in more than one way. With faulty performance measurement metrics ruling the roost and inconsistent feedback joining in, traditional performance reviews are nothing but stressful in the world we live in. 

  •  Timeline Trouble 

Most performance reviews end up focusing on the most recent months that lead up to the review. With the focus being strong on just a few months of work, most achievements are usually forgotten. Similarly, errors made only during the recent months come under the spotlight often making it worse than it is. This also has quite a negative impact on morale. At the end of the day, if your entire year’s work has been compressed into one presentation, there are high chances that you end up feeling tiny and insignificant.

  • Human Follies 

Performance review processes are usually rather boring. Even more for a manager. Filling out the same paperwork for multiple people can be enough of a bore for some unmotivated ones to just go with averages without actually caring about how the employee is actually performing. 

  • Feedback Failure

More often than not, feedback is just a part of the performance review process with no real follow-ups in place. While it is easy to point out someone’s errors during the review, without follow up feedbacks, it’s impossible to figure if the employee is actually working towards improvement.

 

Future Perfect? 

 

So how can we really improve the process in the future? 

In an era of technological advancements, there is little you can do apart from upping your game to be in sync with the millennials and centennials. At the end of the day, it is no secret that employees perform better when their superiors not just recognise their talents, but appreciate and reward them too. 

While traditional performance reviews failed to make the process effective personally, a smart Performance Management System like Dockabl can make all the difference your company needs! 

  • Review Routines 

With Dockabl, not only can you establish timelines for each project, you can track your employees’ progress individually, give real-time feedback to them and even follow up pretty effortlessly. 

  • Recognition Matters 

Think someone on your team did a great job on a project? You don’t have to wait for a performance review to show them your appreciation. With a number of badges to choose from on Dockabl, no employee goes unappreciated. 

  • Flexibility for the Win 

Unlike traditional performance review processes, Dockabl is smart enough to understand your needs and help you come up with custom solutions. Solutions that give you the flexibility to track, review and reward an employee to motivate them to perform better. 

  • Communication is key 

By enabling you to communicate easily with your team on the platform, Dockabl eliminates chances of miscommunication and misunderstandings. It also helps employees address issues that would otherwise have to wait for months to be addressed. 

 

In a world where efficiency, accuracy and clear communication reigns supreme, it is only with a tool that eases the process of performance reviews to make it more interactive, personal and dynamic, that they can truly recognise an employee’s strengths and weaknesses and support them to evolve professionally. 

Slow and steady, or are you just lazy?

Have you met Sloth? 

 

At the corner desk, far from peering eyes, Sloth casually lounges about. Their face keeps changing and so do their names, but their irksome traits rarely do. Sloth, given the day and the time, can either choose to go missing in action, or be struck by tragedy or instigate a distraction so overwhelming that no one remembers to check on them… At the end of the day, if there’s anything that can help them get away with doing the bare minimum to keep themselves afloat at their job, they will turn to it. 

Employees plagued by Sloth have an unending list of excuses to allow them to get away without getting much done. At times, even the things they are supposed to. Not only that, they have some rather conniving ways of delegating their tasks to their unsuspecting colleagues, adding to their stress. 

 

Are they lazy? Or is work to blame?

 

While there are employees who excel in the art of being lazy, there are some who might be struggling at work. 

  • Did you know, for instance, bad briefs can lead to an employee appear like they are not doing their best? When an employee is confused about what to get done and when it gets very difficult for them to actually get the task done. 
  • In fact, performance stress can also make an employee hesitate to do their best. Take for example the under-confident young man who shies away from all presentations, despite having put in long hours to have gotten it done. 
  • Too much work can also make some want to run for their lives. Especially if it has become a dreary part of life. So if you aren’t around, how are you ever expected to get anything done? 

 

Experience no bar 

 

Motivating someone to be productive at work can be some serious work. But it gets even more serious when its a manager who needs to be motivated. In fact, things can get much worse if Sloth has chosen to accompany someone who is capable of calling the shots. Veiled by an aura of responsibility and accountability, lazy managers usually are the ones with the unhappiest teams. Sure he takes them to team lunches and remembers birthdays, but that doesn’t stop him from walking away from all that is on his plate… we mean, desk. Reports go missing, feedback never arrives and confusion reigns supreme.

At the end of the day, almost every one of us has a horror story to share about that lazy boss who never did much, but took credit for everything their team did without batting an eyelid. Relatable much? 

 

Happy to help 

 

Though identifying Sloth can be pretty easy, most of the time, that does you no good. Usually discreet and often careful, these employees and managers don’t really leave you much space to penalise them. At the end of the day, they don’t break rules or stir up trouble. All they do is get creative about doing less than their peers and juniors while keeping their jobs intact. Annoying, yes, but nothing a little motivation can’t fix! So at Dockabl we thought long and hard to come up with a few things that can actually make a difference to your workplace. 

  • Easy of use 

Be it a long-term project, or a short-term one, setting it up and keeping track of it on Dockabl is an absolute breeze. Its weekly prioritisation of work and goals not just help you stay on track, it also allows you to manage your time better. 

  • Transparency is key 

Thanks to the Review module, able to keep track of your task force ensures that you know what they are up to and how they are performing. Coupled with the Feedback module, addressing someone’s pain points and helping them through them become a breeze. 

  • Rewards for the win 

We know the importance of recognition and we make sure that no good job, no matter how insignificant you think it is, goes unrewarded. And that’s not it, if you have done a job well, we make sure that you have badges to flaunt and rewards to wait for. 

 

Sloth, unlike most work sins can be rather benign if you know how to deal with them. At the end of the day, all you need to do is ensure that your workforce stays motivated.