Last updated: 24.12.13

HR teams 'need' technology to win over younger workers

Human resources (HR) departments have an important role to play in driving forward business success through the development of skills and training.

This is according to Theresa Henry, UK HR director for Microsoft, who spoke in a post for HR Magazine about how company strategies can be altered to enhance performance.

She noted that the young employees of today rely on digital platforms in both their professional and personal lives, and expect workplace technology to provide certain capabilities and experiences.

However, not all firms are equipped with the right online systems to meet these demands, and Ms Henry said HR teams need to start looking at how they can engage and retain their digitally-apt colleagues.

The expert reeled off some top tips provided by Microsoft, which include habitually reviewing the role technology is playing within certain modes of working; allowing staff to work remotely and flexibly using their own devices; launching a social media network within the company; and working with IT departments to streamline online platforms.

"Reimagining business and the business of HR is about waking up to a new environment based on collaborative working, on flexible working, on technologies that (used correctly) liberate rather than constrain," Ms Henry stated.

Employees who recognise that their company is embracing innovation and is dedicated to providing the best workplace technology it can afford are likely to be more motivated and remain for a longer period.

A recent report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed that certain online processes, such as the gathering of big data and talent analytics, can help HR departments obtain more evidence to improve operations such as engagement and e-learning.

Ms Henry agreed that analytics has a crucial role in HR, and by using the right reporting tools, professionals can "translate workforce data into insights that business leaders can act on, enabling them to focus on their greater business future".