Jilaine Parkes: Employee Development – are these 5 technology myths holding you back?

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Training-and-DevelopmentEmployee development, including professional, personal and organizational development, is an integral part of the performance management cycle. It requires a system that builds in relationship management and promotes trust as well as leadership skills. The construction of a development plan should be one of the goals of a good performance management system.

What does technology have to do with employee development? The results of the Towers Watson 2012 HRSD Survey indicate that while “talent and performance management remain the primary HR service delivery issue,” the overarching theme is a push towards technology to achieve this goal.

According to the Towers Watson survey “HR technology spending remains steady and strong” with the understanding that “advances such as software-as-a-service have become impossible to ignore. Those companies maintaining the same HR structure risk missing opportunities to realize new efficiencies.”

Yet despite this embrace of technological solutions so many technology myths exist when it comes to technology and performance management. Here are the top 5 myths I hear consistently about technology in the HR sphere:

  1. It replaces the conversation.
  2. It’s difficult to implement.
  3. It’s a burden to support.
  4. It’s expensive!
  5. It’s not secure and/or it’s unsafe.

Technology is very misunderstood in many cases and may lead to fear and apprehension that ultimately may hold an organization back. Let’s set the record straight!

The right technology actually improves the conversation!

With centralized access and management a good piece of software allows HR, managers and employees to orchestrate the paperwork and thus facilitate the conversation. Writing assistants are there to support users as they thoughtfully prepare feedback and responses.

Technology should be simple – for ALL – and never a burden

From administrators to end users, the implementation of performance management software should be seamless with supported roll out and built in support. A full compliment of user guides, videos and an integrated help desk is ideal. Technology should shift the burden away from managers and the HR department, so that everyone has more time to sit down and talk.

Technology should save you money, not break the bank

When you consider the price of a piece of technology, consider the savings it should bring. Ask how much time the system takes to administer and compare it to what a complex, paper process costs. Well designed online systems slash administrative hours, improve retention and improve clarity of direction. Shouldn’t your performance management system improve the bottom line?

SaaS is safe and sound

Software as a Service (SaaS) is often misunderstood. While you may access your site online, rest assured that your data is being kept on a secure server. Inquire about the security features of these servers – the best ones have biometric scanning (retinal scan and finger print access only) and thus provide a higher level of security than most company owned servers ever could. Ask your provider who owns your data; a good software provider will release your data to you without question, even if you should chose to leave the system.

But how does technology impact relationship management, leadership and employee development? Can an online performance management system help an employee like Harry develop?

About Jilaine Parkes

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About Jiliane Parkes

Jilaine Parkes is a knowledgeable and passionate Human Resources / Organization Development Professional with over 23 years combined experience in large, dynamic organisations and independent HR / OD Consulting. Jilaine has focused her career in areas of Organization Design and Learning and Growth.

While holding senior HR management positions in Bombardier, Kraft Foods, Canadian Tire, Lavalife and Cineplex Entertainment, including a one year stint in Prague, Czech Republic, Jilaine has designed and driven initiatives in Business Planning, Leadership Development, Employee Development, Succession Planning, Performance Management, Learning & Growth Strategy and Team Chartering.

In addition to having worked as part-time faculty at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario she has also worked within the Fanshawe organization in the areas of Leadership and Performance Development.

In early 2009, Jilaine partnered with Bruce Croxon (co-founder of Lavalife and CBC’s Dragon’s Den) and launched an Online Talent Management Software company featuring the automated Performance Management module known as Sprigg. With licensed Users in the thousands across North America and the UK today, this venture has not only a proven track record of success but holds a high growth future for SpriggHR Inc. where Jilaine currently resides as President and CEO.

Jilaine is also an accomplished public speaker and facilitator with a humorous, very direct and down to earth style.

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