There’s An App For That: How Technology Could Be Failing Your HR Strategy

There’s An App For That: How Technology Could Be Failing Your HR Strategy

Depending on the size of your business, you may rely on data from your HR department to let you know how you’re doing in terms of employee costs, and those dreaded losses from absenteeism. In the smallest of businesses, employers are tracking HR analytics—even if it’s as simple as a conversation at the water cooler.

“Where’s Pat?”

“Out sick, again. Second time this week.”

You review the numbers month after month, and as employee absenteeism and turnover rise, you see profitability fall. There may even be meetings to discuss how to increase productivity, or a call for more effort from existing staff. And likely, these strategies have little positive impact on your bottom line.

The Human Element

Enter the ‘H’ in HR. Humans can’t be manipulated on a spreadsheet or amortized over a fiscal period. Nor can they be motivated to become more productive by being told to do so. As unempirical as it sounds, people want to know what their company stands for, be valued for what they contribute and be considered an investment to be developed, not a resource to be stripped.

Having engaged employees won’t come from crunching numbers in an app, and yet, it isn’t as hard as you might think. Although it will take an investment of time and money, here are some affordable options to consider, and the benefits employers reap in return.

  • Have an open culture where employees know the company’s purpose and their role in achieving it. Valued employees stay with their company and are customer-service champions.
  • Consider cross-training high performers to keep these motivated employees feeling challenged within your organization, and not looking for opportunities elsewhere. Not only will businesses see increased employee retention, they’ll be better prepared for absenteeism.
  • Encourage suggestions on improving efficiencies from the people doing the jobs and reward them on their wins. Including everyone in problem-solving creates a sense of ownership and shared purpose, not to mention cost-effective innovation.
  • Invest in staff’s mental, physical and financial wellness through affordable employee benefit plans. Healthy, secure employees are more motivated, and knowing that an employer is taking care of them and their families builds morale and retains staff. Let’s look at the numbers:
    • Sixty-five per cent of employees say health benefit plans keep them with their existing employer, and 90% of workers would consider leaving a company if they lost their benefits.
    • For every $1 invested in an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), employers see a more than eight-time return on investment versus a $10,00-$30,000 cost of losing a trained, skilled employee.
    • Financially prepared employees, like those with GRSPs, report being 22% more engaged than those facing financial insecurity.

Solutions to reducing costly absenteeism and increasing employee retention won’t appear in analytics. Putting the ‘human’ back in HR by connecting with employees, developing their potential and making them feel invested in will do more for productivity than any technology. Sometimes the benefits are the solution to happy, motivated employees and profitable business bottom lines.


Victoria Miron Vranic