HR leaders to invest in technology in 2016 to drive transformation in HR service delivery

Three Quarters (74 percent) of HR departments will restructure in the next 12 months, as the overwhelming burden of manual, administrative HR services continues to inhibit transformational change in the workplace, according to a survey of 100 of UK HR leaders within organisations employing 2,000+ people, commissioned by Engage ESM and ServiceNow.

Currently, HR teams are focusing less than a third of their time on strategic activities, with the majority of their working week spent on ‘high-touch’ operational tasks that rely on detailed email, telephone calls and spreadsheets, when handling routine employee enquiries, processing leave requests and on boarding new employees.

Every HR leader questioned believes they can make a significant contribution to their organisation’s overall business strategy, but the vast majority (92 percent) felt their efforts are being stifled by the burden of day-to-day administration, preventing them from focusing on ‘high-value’ initiatives, such as employee engagement, coaching and talent development.

HR leaders see technology investment as critical to transforming the perception of HR, both across the business and in the boardroom. More than half of HR leaders will allocate extra budget to technology in the next 12 months, citing clear drives behind the investment:

74 percent of the respondents say HR processes could be further streamlined through technology and 91 percent believe technology is important in improving HR responsiveness. Eight percent agreed a higher level of technology investment would enable the HR function to add more value

Jen Stroud, HR evangelist and transformation consultant, ServiceNow comments:

“There is unanimous agreement among HR leaders over the significant contribution they can make to the business with the right technologies in place. The issue is that HR teams are being strangled by overly-administrative processes and time-consuming, manual tasks, and this means high-touch isn’t translating to high-value,”

“HR leaders have a clear desire to spend their time where high-touch delivers the most benefit, such as mentoring, training or talent management. The focus on technology investment will enable HR leaders to restructure existing operations to standardise HR processes and spend their time on meaningful interactions with employees,”