Is HR technology a help or a hinderance?

Organisations are relying more and more on technology to streamline their operations and improve productivity. HR departments are no exception to this trend, with many companies investing heavily in HR technology to automate administrative tasks, manage employee data, and enhance the employee experience. However, despite the potential benefits of HR technology, an improved employee experience is not always guaranteed.

HR technology plays a critical role in shaping the employee experience and is used to streamline recruitment, onboarding, training, performance management, and many other functions. But it can sometimes be more of a curse than a blessing. So, where do organisations make mistakes?

Over-reliance on automation

HR processes that were once done by people are now automated, from screening CVs to performance evaluations and the dehumanisation of the HR process is being noticed by employees. When interacting with machines alone, they receive generic automated messages, and their concerns are often not addressed.

Lack of personalisation

HR technology often lacks personalisation and employees receive the same messages, notifications, and training regardless of their individual needs or preferences. These types of communications are readily identified by employees and can lead to a lack of engagement and motivation if not carefully constructed. They may feel like they are not valued as individuals, which can lead to disengagement and turnover.


Many HR systems handle only specific types of data or processes and this can be problematic when organisations need to adapt. During the pandemic, many organisations had to rapidly change to remote work. If the HR technology was not designed to support this, e.g. a lack of self-service or process automation tools, they may have struggled to support their employees to complete basic transactions.


Why Getting HR Technology Right Matters

Many decision makers may acknowledge the shortcomings of their current HR systems, but not take remedial action. In doing so, they risk escalating employee frustration in ways that are detrimental to the organisation. Here are a few consequences of inaction around ineffective HR solutions.

Job Burnout - Employees feel the need to be constantly connected and responsive to emails and messages outside of normal working hours. This can lead to a lack of work-life balance and ultimately, burnout.

Lower job satisfaction - When employees are frustrated with HR technology, they are less likely to be satisfied with their jobs overall; but where they are satisfied with their jobs, they are more likely to stay long-term, saving costs associated with turnover.

Reduced innovation - When employees are disengaged and frustrated, they are less likely to be innovative. Further, where employees focus on administrative tasks rather than their core responsibilities, they may not have the time or energy for innovation or creativity.

How to Mitigate your Risk

What can be done to mitigate the negative impact of HR technology on employee experience?

  • Balance automation with human interaction
  • Personalise the employee experience
  • Embrace flexibility
  • Focus on user experience
  • Establish clear guidelines

HR technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we work, but it can also hinder the employee experience. When employees feel like they are interacting with a machine rather than a human being, they can become disengaged and frustrated. This can lead to reduced engagement, increased turnover, lower job satisfaction, and reduced innovation. To mitigate the negative impact of HR technology on employee experience, organisations should strive to find a balance between automation and human interaction, personalise the employee experience, embrace flexibility, and focus on the user experience.

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