Your workplace is digital. Your industry is virtual. No matter how physical it may feel—and stores, hotels, restaurants and factories certainly feel very there, very real—the backbone of your business is increasingly electronic.
From POS systems that process payments and manage inventory control to connected lighting and security systems... and HR has certainly not gone untouched. The IT department, once hidden away in a basement and only called on when technical issues arose, increasingly has a prominent, vital even, seat at the table for almost all key decisions made within organizations.
If you’re a senior HR (or Internal Comms for that matter) professional who wants to create a winning workplace, then you’d do well to head down to that IT department with a box filled with donuts or buy lunch for your CIO just to let them know how appreciated they are. Because you’re going to need their help very soon.
Here, we run down the top 10 reasons for IT and HR to collaborate.
1. Compliance & Information Security
Trust in HR is low. Very low. This can have a knock-on effect on everything from employee comms to productivity. While not all of that erosion of trust is due to the collection and use of employee data, by leaning into the regulations that guide IT—GDPR, ISO, HIPAA etc—and making IT our partner when it comes to choosing R tools, you can reassure employees that you take their data and privacy seriously.
2. HR Application Sprawl
Onboarding software. Payroll software. Training tools. Scheduling apps. Recognition platforms. The list goes on. While adopting off-the-shelf cloud-based technologies is a smart way to scale up and remain agile, these packages rarely talk to each other, leaving employees to navigate a mess of HR apps. That confusion inevitably leads to lower adoption and usage. By bringing in your IT team, they can help you choose tooling with compatible integrations so you can create a simple HR hub for your workforce.
3. Single Sign-On
Better still, IT can help to choose and integrate SAML 2.0 compatible tools that allow single sign-on through your organization’s Identity Provider. If that sounds technical, it essentially means one password for all tools.
Recruitment is the latest area of HR to be disrupted by digital technology. For sectors like quick-serve restaurants and retail, which have colossal staffing needs and churn, anything that can help to scale the recruitment process has vast potential upsides. Expect software that streamlines job advertising and applications, as well as machine learning, to become the norm soon. Which means you’re going to need to lead on your new buddies in IT.
5. Preboarding and onboarding
First impressions count. What first impression do your new employees have of your company? Successful pre-boarding and onboarding can increase employee retention by 50%, which is why many large organizations are investing in technology that integrates with existing HR and communications tooling to provide, measure and improve the whole onboarding experience to all employees.
6. Employee communications
Employee communications are table stakes now. If you’re serious about delivering a quality employee and customer experience, then having a communication platform easily accessible by all employees is a no-brainer. The reason it’s so important from a technical perspective is that best-in-class employee communications apps can target employees extremely specifically, making them the ideal channel for delivering other solutions (like onboarding or training). Also, as the most used solution in the employee armory, they make for the perfect central hub, into which all supporting (payroll, scheduling, holidays booing, expenses and sales performance, for example) apps are integrated.
7. Remote, secure access
With the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies—especially crucial for retail, hospitality, leisure, travel, manufacturing and facilities organizations with large numbers of frontline non-centralized employees—and with 90% of employee app logins via mobile device, all departments need to make sure they choose tooling with best-in-class security protocols. Your IT department can help make that decision.
8. Training & development
Employees are desperate to learn and improve. Especially younger employees. However, training and development doesn’t happen in the classroom, but rather on the shop floor. Micro-learning—snackable doses of bite-size learnings targeted directly to the relevant employees—is the future of workforce development and can be technically integrated into existing comms and HR platforms to deliver training opportunities to the workforce better.
9. People metrics
Data will save and revolutionize HR. People and productivity analytics will give HR directors a seat at the table for all major strategic decisions. Being able to demonstrate and improve HR programs and prove ROI is critical. The problem is that, right now, a large part of the C-suite don’t have access to, or don’t trust, HR data. Look to the departments that have already achieved that—sales, marketing and IT—for examples of how to get it right.
10. Data capturing and processing
Pulling and making sense of all the data generated by your suite of employee software solutions is key to enabling much of the growth and improvement of your workforce. While analytics doesn’t live with IT, the ability to integrate technologies does. So grab that box of donuts, spring for after-work beers, and make your IT and HR departments BFFs. It’ll make your life easier, your workplace better and your employees happier if you do.