Is there something as ‘too much’ when it comes to how technology? In the workplace technology is synonymous with automation, saving time and getting things done faster. But doesn’t the momentum with which these changes happen daunt you sometimes?
This apprehension could be a good thing. On example is cyber crime. If your business implemented new network features but forgot to update your online protection system it could lead to catastrophe.
So let’s consider HR Apps. Is caution necessary so you don’t forget something important along the way?
Why Is This Even an Option?
There’s no question that HR apps can pull your HR team from the dark ages into the new millennium. It’s a common scenario that HR employees are so bogged down with admin that they can’t partake in other company functions.
With new software designed for them this technology can free up their time so they can focus on other tasks too. Here are a few examples of recent inventions:
- Wages and work hour time tracking such as the software available from Advance Systems Inc. This software can also track locations.
- Wellness apps that help people create balanced lifestyles and allow employers to view the feedback of the software.
- Management software to allocate job tickets to workers.
- HR platforms to handle leave, payslips.
- Communication tools between workers and the Human Resources department.
Compare doing this online vs using tedious paperwork. You’ll agree it makes sense that companies invest in this software and are willing to allow workers to access it via their mobile devices. Since most people own Smartphones it’s not even necessary for employers to purchase these for their employees.
But what’s the truth about this technology?
Will Your Company Benefit in the Long Run?
Let’s take a few steps back. I can’t refute its efficacy but do managers consider all the side effects and possible problems?
It’s not all bad so let’s look at it from all perspectives.
Risks to the Employer
How did you set up your platforms? You could inadvertently disobey a few laws if you’re not careful. In some areas it could be illegal to track your employees’ locations. And are you sure what information the app collects and stores on your network? Don’t get caught storing private emails or contact information if your employees didn’t agree to it.
On the other hand your employees could damage your business if they’re not careful either. Their personal devices will be used for private matters. If your network doesn’t have secure firewalls an employee’s device could allow malware or other viruses.
Risks to the Employee
The main concern here is about employees’ privacy. It could be interpreted as spying if an employer tracks every movement someone makes. These actions may go against privacy laws.
Much worse is that an app that’s supposed to help you build an effective team could end up turning employees against you. Who wants their bosses to know everything they’re doing? Within boundaries the information is ideal to keep employees accountable but if information is used to discriminate against individuals you’ll be left with many unhappy team members.
Your employees may not be aware of the problem or may not feel comfortable complaining about technology that benefits everyone for the most part. As an employer who should always protect your brand it’s your—or the HR department—responsibility to ensure certain lines aren’t crossed.
Despite the challenges it’s worth considering these programs since with instant connectivity it can bear good fruit in terms of:
- Saving time
- Cutting costs
- Improving communication
- Creating a cohesive work environment through interaction
- Providing management with in depth feedback
- Improving productivity
It’s all you need for your business if you use it correctly.
If the system isn’t managed well you may end up with:
- Facing legal action in terms of privacy legislation
- Negative employees who feel you’re micro managing
- Security breaches via employees’ personal devices
You can see most of these problems can be circumvented and that’s why it’s so important to research these technical developments to their finest details.
Are you giving it a Try? Then Use These Guidelines
You can see we’re not saying you shouldn’t try it. This has the potential to boost your business instantly. But start out with these guidelines in place so you don’t face unnecessary repercussions in the near future.
For Your Employees
Your employees deserve and have rights to privacy. You need to make sure your HR apps don’t cross boundaries or allow employees to feel spied on:
- Make sure they’re aware what information is measured, tracked and saved on your network.
- Inform them of their rights and invite them to talk about their concerns.
- Educate them about the apps. If they can shut down features after hours, show them how.
- Provide information about how you’re keeping their data secure so you don’t breed distrust.
- Teach them about your security measures so they don’t inadvertently allow breaches.
For Security’s Sake
Of course you also have the right to protect your business:
- Ideally all employees’ personal devices should be audited by your IT department. Ensure the correct security settings and virus protection programs are activated.
- Draw up a contract that should be signed by all employees who use the HR apps on their personal—or company—devices. State detail such as what information will be collected to prevent complaints about crossing privacy boundaries.
- Educate yourself about privacy laws. Countries and states have different guidelines & you need to adhere to the right ones.
- If you’re concerned about security you may want to purchase company owned devices. It’s a high expense but it lowers the risk of getting hacked.
Yes these apps can benefit your whole team but only if you keep everyone’s perspectives, actions and motivations in mind. Here are you biggest motivator behind sound management of HR apps: Ensure you comply with privacy laws and know that the respect you show your employees can be met with growing loyalty. Isn’t that what you want? Now go be a good manager.