By Jason Compton
Consider this: Since 2014, there have been more mobile devices than people on the planet.
So it’s no surprise that a growing number of people are relying on smartphones to manage both their personal and professional lives. Nor should it be a surprise that human resources professionals, whose job is partially to help employees manage their careers and find a better work-life balance, are also relying more on mobile to do their jobs.
Here’s a look at six significant ways mobile is transforming the HR department:
- Enhanced employee engagement.
The mission of human resources has significantly evolved. No longer is HR simply relegated to performing tactical employee-related transactions. The function is much more strategic today. Now HR is more a center of employee engagement, as finding and retaining top talent gets increasingly challenging.
In fact, various studies show that roughly one-quarter of workers in the United States are actively planning to look for a new job in 2017. Data from the ADP Research Institute® puts that figure at up to 70 percent, including workers who are actively and passively looking for new opportunities.
The key success criteria for an HR team today is to create a talented and productive workforce, said Stuart Sackman, corporate vice president, global products and technology at ADP®. He added that an organization that has the right people in the right jobs will want to keep them engaged, and that mobile connectivity “provides fantastic new tools for doing just that.”
By making it easier to reach employees whenever and wherever they are, mobile enhances HR’s ability to engage employees and satisfy their needs. Mobile also improves HR’s flexibility, enabling access to more data and resources in a convenient, digestible manner. Complicated portals and email blasts are on the way out. Fostering a better HR experience for employees on their mobile devices is here to stay.
- Easy-to-use self-service.
Mobile HR technology can virtually eliminate simple transactional inquiries by putting the most common ones in a mobile app. According to ADP internal statistics generated by the patterns established by over 10 million ADP® Mobile Solutions app users, employees most frequently use time clock, time card and paycheck information modules. These inquiries might otherwise chew up valuable HR help desk hours. With access to a mobile app, employees and their managers are more free to work on innovating and growing their business.
- Streamlined and accessible HR.
If you’re concerned that smaller screen sizes and the shorter attention spans that mobile brings are a detriment, you’re looking at it the wrong way. Those constraints have forced organizations to rethink HR processes and focus on putting the most important and relevant information within easy reach.
“Mobile helps you think about progressive disclosure,” Sackman said. In mobile, only the most important information is visible at the top of the screen; more detail reveals itself as you scroll down. “The smaller footprint forces improvements by encouraging organizations to be more concise and streamlined,” he said.
The growing mobile reality also helps organizations rethink the intranet-only HR services they may have deployed over the years. Many complex and infrequently used, but important, services — such as retirement planning and annual benefit selection — are closed off. But many employees want to have family members nearby to provide insight and input while they make crucial retirement, benefit and other “life” decisions. Mobile takes those decisions straight to the kitchen table and encourages employers to find secure ways to make access more open and flexible.
- Boosted security andcompliance.
Many mobile devices have robust fingerprint scanning and similar shared-login capabilities, making it easier for employees to authenticate and access HR services without having to look up specialized passwords. Mobile creates additional security considerations for global organizations given that data protection rules can vary by jurisdiction and mobile HR access means employees can potentially access their information at any time — but the industry has shown that it is determined to keep up.
- A convenient corporate news channel.
Mobile push notifications and short messaging are spurring a revolution in corporate news. Instead of publishing slick newsletters and long-form articles that employees rarely consume, HR teams are using mobile apps to provide short, digestible, engaging updates.
- Efficient employeeevaluations.
As more organizations move away from big annual reviews and toward continuous evaluation, mobile apps are the ideal resource for instant engagement between peers and for the employee/manager relationship. Weekly check-ins through a mobile app can help close the gap between reality and expectations. Managers can also use feedback apps to communicate with employees who need encouragement or coaching. Deep analytical tools can observe patterns known to lead to dissatisfaction and severance, helping managers heal the relationship before employees leave.
As mobile HR apps evolve to be more personalized, proactive and predictive, they’ll be even easier to tailor to each employee’s specific needs.
Mobile is an ideal platform through which HR departments and professionals can engage with employees and position themselves as trusted resources in that elusive hunt for work-life balance.
For more information and for more articles like this, visit adp.com/spark.
Jason Compton is a writer and reporter with extensive experience in enterprise tech. He is the former executive editor of CRM Magazine.