The reinvention of HR Line Management and HR Tech

Katie Harrower |


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HR departments continue to say, ‘we’re reinventing how HR is delivered’.

What they really mean is that they’re fed up being dumped on, or feeling under-valued, being too transactional and reactive, or made to be the fall guy for when anything to do with people management goes horribly wrong!

In our own experience, those businesses that get it more right than wrong, tend to have a leader who leads, who encourages rather than prescribes, and has a fundamental understanding that his/her colleagues have a need to feel empowered and supported to deliver against each of their responsibilities.

Few of us would dispute that effective and successful leaders have a vision that they share, each and every day, with those who are to unlock the potential of the people within the organisation. These further leaders are the line management team members. There is an opportunity to encourage this group of individuals in any organisation, allowing them scope to be creative, and to find new and innovative ways to deliver business excellence.

However, their responsibilities are plentiful, in that we ask our line managers to be many things, including:

  • people manager
  • project manager
  • motivational guru
  • counsellor
  • coach
  • financial analyst
  • policy enforcer
  • employment law expert!

Each and every one of us with line management responsibilities has an innate sense of belonging and a desire to do what’s right; we simply don’t always know how. We can lack the skills, the know-how, but more importantly we can feel extremely vulnerable. We may live our working lives with some anxiety day-to-day, but what about the financial impact of this? What if line managers deliberate for too long, don’t tackle things head on, and simply because they are unsure of how to process information or undertake a particular task? Excessive rumination and worrying amongst the line manager group means that things aren’t going to get done in a timely fashion, not done well, or not done at all – the costs of this can be massive.

Line managers, just like HR departments, are willing to reinvent themselves but lack the creative scope being afforded to them and they simply work within a framework of ‘we’ve always done it this way’. Maybe they lack an understanding of what is expected of them, or they don’t know where to gain the knowledge and the reassurance to undertake a particular people management process or how to tackle a difficult or sensitive issue.

An open, unified, trusted and commonly understood set of business processes and shared resources is the key to providing the management team with the know-how, allowing them the ability to deliver their required activities efficiently, coherently and consistently, and with a transparency that ensures trust and a reassurance with business owners, other stakeholders and associated team members alike.

There is no doubt that HR technology has changed hugely over the years and it too is seeking to reinvent itself. Such change is at various stages with the many system suppliers that exist within the UK market.

Most software vendors will continue to listen to their customers but will also look to the American HR software market, because they are ahead of the game in terms of what’s coming next.

“Worldwide, every one organization will revisit their technology strategy. They will revisit the strategy. And re-implement their technology stack. Going forward, HR systems will be replaced with a function that understands process management, change branding and overall outcome-based storytelling.”  Jason Averbrook, CEO, Knowledge Infusion

Yes, we all agree that HR software still needs to be tactical and transactional but it will continue to evolve in support of the challenges we face within the workplace. The vendors who will succeed will be providing a technology platform that has the true capabilities of being a critical and strategic enabler of both organisational and social activity, whilst offering guidance, procedural definition, collaboration, transparency and embedded analytics.

Now that is useful!

Did you find this article useful? Youmanage HR offers software to help you streamline your HR processes and ensure compliance within your company. We also write articles on HR, leadership, employee engagement, health & well-being and much more. Start a free trial of Youmanage, get in touch to ask questions, or check out our blog to help you to deliver HR best practice in your business.

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Katie is the Marketing Executive here at Youmanage. Within the wider team, she is responsible for managing all aspects of marketing communications, including content and digital strategy, social media, website traffic, prospective client experience and the overall satisfaction of existing Youmanage users.