It’s all about the data
We have heard from many analysts that this is HR’s moment to shine. For HRTECH vendors too, this is an opportunity to prove that their stuff really works. eLearning consumption is way up, for instance, as is use of survey tools. Processes like Kurzarbeit in Germany and furloughing in the UK mean that flexible and well configured payroll and time management systems show their value. Organizations that have their administrative processes well organized are far more agile and flexible when it really matters.
I worry though, when the desire to ‘innovate’ exceeds the quality of the data that the organization has about their employees and workers. Let’s start with some basic ones.
- You would like to provide specific guidance to all line managers that manage contractors in their departments.
- You have decided that independent contractors that have worked at least 20 hours a month for more than six months before the plant shut down will receive a hardship payment.
- You would like your contractors to watch a new health and safety video before they return to work, and formally confirm that they have watched it.
- You wish to model out alternative transport options for employees and contractors to get them to work when your main plant re-opens next week.
- You would like to send several non-medical masks to all your workforce at home, so that when they return to the office it is easier for them follow safe guidelines.
- You would like to send a gift to your retired employees.
Before you start, check if you actually have an up to date home address that you can actually post something to for all your workers. The sad fact is that many organizations don’t. No amount of fancy technology will help if your core master data is shoddy. Do you even know who your independent contractors are?
Some of those same organizations that can’t track home addresses think that they can predict workforce churn through some AI magic, or worse, track and predict covid exposure in the workforce.
If the postal code is on-premise and wrong, it is wrong. If the postal code is in the cloud, and wrong, it is still wrong.
Before you post stuff to the wrong John Smith, insist on an accuracy audit of your core HR data, pull a 100 or so random records and have them checked (bearing in mind GDPR etc). But start closer to home, and look at your own record. If your own key 30-40 data items aren’t spot on, it is very unlikely anyone else’s would be. If you haven’t watched the health and safety video yourself, it would be tough to expect your workforce to be held to a higher standard.
I'm a venture capitalist at Acadian Ventures, investing in the future of work.