HR Systems: Accessible and Responsive as Other Business Decision Tools

Philip Ziman, VP Total Rewards & Operations, Bazaarvoice
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Using HR solutions to improve effectiveness

It seems like everywhere I go I deploy a new performance management process on a different piece of software. While  the basic steps have not evolved much over the years the software has enabled so much more workflow flexibility. This has allowed for a more flexible and iterative process. I fear that it has replaced the need for a real-time interaction between management and employees.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

It already sounds so cliché to say social and mobile, but I have to say, Social and mobile. Why can't I have an app that helps employees manage their relationship with their employer? It is mind boggling to think about all the disparate system interfaces that we impose on our employees. Even with highly integrated applications
like Workday doesn't replace the connection that employees need to have to their 401K provider, stock administrator, health care provider, saving plan administrator,  commuter benefit…the list goes on.

Technology trends impactingenterprise business environment

The speed of decision making and expectation for "on-demand" information continues to accelerate. The HR function needs to move quickly to remain relevant. HR systems must be as accessible and responsive as other business decision tools like expense approvals systems. These tools need to also have the ecision support behind them. The idea of a real life HR person being on call and available 24/7 is unrealistic. As a result, the systems need to also provide the tools and  decision guidance to support the decisions that we expect management to act on.

Role and responsibilities of a Chief Human Resource Officer

The automation of traditional Human Resources business transactions has facilitated a significant shift in the role of Human Resources. HR can no longer justify its existence by processing transactions and controlling information. While this shift has posed a threat to traditional HR thinkers, it has been liberating for strategic  minded HR professionals. Data systems have freed up HR professionals to focus on the strategic needs of the business and enabled them with timely data to support business ecisions. HR professionals have longed to be invited to "sit at the table" to participate strategically in the business. There have been many limitations that have held back the profession from being perceived as adding value and earning the "seat". HR Executives have been distracted with policing transactions and modern systems are allowing them to focus and build skills on activities that add value such as coaching management and organizational design.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CHROs

Back in the day, there were dramatic differences between vendor software functionality, compatibility and hardware infrastructure requirements. Web 2.0 and SaaS
has narrowed the differentiation between various solutions. Even traditional differentiation in customer service and implementation consulting methods has become  pretty standardized. Basically, they are all very good. This means that we need to look deeper to find the right solution.

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