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Why you need to buddy up with HR

Rebecca Merrett | Aug. 28, 2013
There's an obvious reason why CIOs and HR managers should get together.

The final piece for success
Technology can be brilliantly implemented, but it doesn't stop there. In order for any technology to be successful it needs to have a strong level of take-up with staff and to do that, they need to feel comfortable using it, says Andrew Hill, Deloitte Consulting Human Capital partner. Too often, CIOs put all their efforts into implementation only to find employees are not using it and it simply costs them money.

Working closely with HR to help staff adjust to any changes in how they go about their day-to-day work and to help foster take-up is a vital part in the final piece for IT/HR success, he says.

"Technology is the domain of IT, but the skills, programs and knowledge on how to adopt them sits in HR. An organisation can spend an enormous amount of money on large, technology-driven transformation, but they will never realise the full value and they won't realise it rapidly without the HR skills to effectively drive adoption of the technology and the solutions," Hill claims.

"IT comes at it with the 'ones and zeros' view and it is HR that can help them deal to the shades of grey that are the people programs."

Forgione says CIOs need to work more with HR in getting the message 'out there' in the organisation about a technology change the IT team is working on so that when it is implemented, it is embraced quickly and easily.

"As IT people, we are not always aware how we need to communicate the requirements for change in an organisation. HR is very good at doing that and maintaining that message," he says.

"Not only can they help with that message for change, they are also likely to be the ones that get the feedback when you have made that change.

"When staff go through performance reviews, or they are being spoken to about their performance, if they ask 'why aren't you working at a particular level?' nine times out of 10 they will probably say 'we have a brand new IT system and it sucks'." Depending on the staff member, they may not give that feedback to IT but they will generally give it back to HR, Forgione adds.

"Every opportunity I get to sit down with HR and have a meeting, I absolutely do that."

IT and HR: Innovation curators?
Atlassian's MoodApp, which won the Most Innovative Use of Technology for the 2012 Australian HR awards, is an example of where technology and HR have joined forces in actually delivering innovation to help improve staff retention.

The application runs on a series of iPads located at all the exit doors of the office. Once or twice a week, as employees leave the office, they quickly rate how they are feeling at the end of the day and the answers are then pooled together in real time for HR to see. This provides a constant stream of information to help address staff satisfaction levels.


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