hris integration and the future of hr

By in Appreciation, Employee Rewards Programs, Insights, and Recognition Strategies
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big data

Recently, a colleague and I were meeting with clients in the L.A. area, and after the day was spent, I needed a ride to the airport. My colleague recommended I try Uber, the smart-phone enabled car service app.

In less than a few minutes, I had requested a ride and my driver, “Joseph” was en route. Not only that, my phone showed a real-time map of his truck approaching the business complex, so I could literally see him before he pulled into the parking lot. My coworker and I were fascinated with how convenient technology made getting a ride in the city where traffic gridlock is as prevalent as In-N-Out drive-thrus. Even today, we can’t help but laugh when we think back to our Uber adventure and my ride off into the pink L.A. sunset.

Uber is powered by a Google Maps Application programming interface (API), or code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other. Recently there has been a huge rise in API popularity, demonstrating how critical integration is to how we conduct business and live our lives. In fact, according to a recent Accenture Strategy Report titled “Trends Reshaping the Future of HR”, data integration is one of the top five digital developments that is transforming HR as we know it.

But what do APIs and data integration mean for your recognition strategy? According to James Hilton, Director of Product Development at O.C. Tanner, there is both elegance and necessity in delivering intuitive and powerful open technology standards that are seamless. Here are 3 key benefits of recognition integration:

1. Seamless data synchronization. Integration with your employee, recognition activity, or payroll data can make it easier to not only implement your recognition program, but also to manage it on an ongoing basis. Real time data exchange eliminates the need for ongoing data files and file transfers, ultimately making appreciation programs run more seamlessly. HRIS integration means recognition data can tie into talent management tools, helping companies tap into insights on employee behaviors, trends, top performers, and what values are being rewarded around the globe.

2. Better user experiences. Integration enables users to fluidly interact with the tools they work in every day. Have you ever posted a picture to Instagram, and at the same time added it to your Twitter and Facebook feeds? Or have you used an application like Strava to track your bike ride, and at the same time logged it with your wearable wellness device? If so, you are taking advantage of what is called “embedded application integration.”

“Clients love this conceptually,” says Jason Andersen, O.C. Tanner’s Director of Product Development. “In particular, we are talking to companies about ways to send thanks from within their own customer loyalty mobile apps. Right now we are working with a large financial services organization on a solution for sending recognition from within their own mobile app.”

3. Breaking down barriers to recognition. Recognition should be a natural extension of the work employees do day-to-day. How many times during the week have you thought about the need to thank someone, but then gotten caught up doing other tasks and forgotten? Email recognition through a plug-in can provide the ability to type a thank you message in an email application, and cc: your recognition program, and then allow your recognition program to do the rest. The recognition moment is tracked, recorded, and can even be broadcasted company-wide.

According to the Accenture report, in the future, we will continue to see new cloud-based platforms being built from the ground up with web-services-based connectors, open architecture, and an orientation toward data analytics and integration. It will be exciting to see how organizations take advantage of these technologies to integrate recognition programs, making them easier to implement, and ultimately making it easier to recognize a colleague (perhaps even easier than it is to get a ride from your phone).

By callie apt
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