I’ll have to be honest – I’m having a really hard time with some of the new technology. I’m supposed to be a technologist and be up on all the latest stuff. But I find myself at odds with some of the theory and philosophy. There seems to be an emerging sense of immediacy and generality emerging in communications that I don’t like, and this blog is one that seems to be in the middle of it. You see, over the last few years (for multiple reasons including my own commitment to writing), systematicHR has suffered from a gradually declining readership, from a rather amazing peak of 20k unique hits per day to around 5k now, the audience has gone off to things like twitter for news.
I don’t blame twitter one bit. I use twitter because it’s the fastest and most efficient way to cull through a hundred ideas to pick up what I might be interested in. You decide you like and trust certain people and you read their tweets and go on to read the links they have decided to put out there. I’m not one of the people who will go out and tweet though since the most successful people are literally putting out hundreds of tweets a day. I don’t have the time or interest in transitioning systematicHR from the blogoshphere to twitter.
However, there is a deeply engrained philosophical problem here too. While my readership drops, twitter really can’t function without blogs like mine. Without me and many other bloggers, the guys on twitter just don’t have much to write about. A one sentence blurb might be an interesting thought, but does not convey any depth that the reader is eventually looking for. This idea of immediacy without details is good and bad.
We love managers who will actually look at their dashboards occasionally. We want them to be able to pick up the overall direction of process and HR statistics. We want them to be able to quickly diagnose and understand what they should be thinking about. To be honest, the dashboard is spectacular, but we can’t forget that our managers are not HR experts. In the deployed HR service delviery model, we also have HR business partners that are out in the field with our managers, theoretically coaching them and presenting the context that the data sits in. Without this context, managers understand generalities of direction, but not the full meaning that the dashboard is presenting to them, and certainly the should not be expected to know how to act.
We always seem to deploy HR technologies with simplicity in mind, and this is absolutely the right approach. Just like twitter, we want high engagement and high activity. But we must also remember that as with twitter, there is also another side with context, detail and more depth. HR technologies are not the source of all information, but more of a reference point. We provide data, and sometimes we provide process, but we don’t provide explanations that come from our service delivery partners. No matter what we do, we are not the full solution, and any technologies we deploy must be augmented if we expect our customers to have a complete understanding of HR.