The annual HR Technology Conference (affectionately referred to by its attendees as HR Tech) is one of the most interesting trade conferences we attend each year. It's always so interesting to see what the latest innovations look like, and get a glimpse into the future of HR technology.
This year, the themes from the sessions, demos and show floor all centered on a promise to improve employee communication and productivity and to build a culture of empowerment.
Here are some key highlights from the conference.
The awesome "Awesome New Technologies for HR" demo
This session introduces the newest and most cutting-edge innovations from across the HR spectrum - all developed in the last year. Each participating vendor was provided ten minutes to introduce their innovative new offering and show how it can positively impact the way HR and people across organizations work.
Halogen's Chief Product Officer Karen Williams introduced our new mobile feedback app, which makes it easy for employees to capture, share and request feedback anytime, anywhere using their mobile device.
Supporting a feedback-rich culture
In your organization you have leaders and employees who want to give feedback, but don't (or don't give it as often as they should). You also have leaders and employees who aren't comfortable giving feedback because they're unsure of the best approach or whether it will have any impact.
This app is all about helping employees at all levels of the organization become comfortable in giving and receiving feedback. That's because strong employee engagement is closely aligned with the ability to give honest feedback in a helpful way.
It can be used to:
- Send suggested feedback anytime, anywhere
- Instantly capture and include rich content from email, pictures, articles and more when sending feedback to a colleague
- Use notifications to let you know when feedback has been received
- Receive feedback from others
- Build skills at delivering real-time feedback using the app's suggested tips and comments
- Quickly find and connect with colleagues then reach out to them with feedback, by phone or by email
We'll be sharing more details about the mobile app in 2017 - stay tuned!
Why feedback is a gift
At times, we can be resistant to receiving constructive feedback. We may perceive it as unfair, irrelevant or lacking meaning. Or perhaps it's because we're not in the mood in that particular moment to receive that bit of criticism helpful advice, or to hear it from that particular person.
However, when we evaluate the feedback provided to us with the lens of it being offered to help us grow or improve...well, that changes things. At least is should. Because it's not just you who benefits from it. The people you work with benefit too.
We launched the #feedbackisagift campaign at HR Tech to really highlight the positive impact career feedback can have:
HR Tech attendees and Halogen customers shared their career feedback on Twitter and Instagram using #feedbackisagift:
Halogen also partnered with HR blogger Tim Sackett to interview HR Tech attendees and thought leaders at the Halogen booth about their best career feedback.
Laurie Ruettimann at HR Tech 2016 on why feedback is a gift
Craig Fisher at HR Tech 2016 on why feedback is a gift
HR tech trends worth noting
Here are three trends that surfaced at this year's HR Tech Conference worth noting:
1. AI and HR still in a bit of a hype cycle - There was a lot of discussion at HR Tech about AI, machine intelligence and predictive analytics. But beyond recruiting, there doesn't seem to be any real application for it...yet. AI may have limitations to the HR sector now, but that doesn't mean AI isn't going to impact HR in a big way, sooner than we might imagine. An approach that surfaced - and frankly, makes a lot of sense - is the idea of using AI to provide a better employee experience when interfacing with HR. It could automate interactions like coaching employees on how to move forward in their development plan, recommending how or when to update or refine a goal, or reminding the employee to give feedback to a colleague. No matter the hype, the potential application of AI to human capital technology is there, and it is going to be a big deal.
2. Everyone is taking advantage of analytics, except HR - The notion of analytics for analytics' sake also popped up. Does HR understand the data it's collecting, and is the data being used? If not, then why is it being collected? In a panel discussion with Bill Kutik (moderator), Brian Sommer and Naomi Bloom, Brian cautioned about using the wrong data to make people decisions. With predictive analytics in particular, if you don't understand the data or the algorithm used to produce the data, then how can you trust it?
3. HR technology is booming. During InfluenceHR (which ran on the two days preceding the HR Tech Conference), speaker Andrew Arno, a director on William Blair's Technology Investment Banking team, noted that in just two years, there's been almost four billion dollars in capital investment. It is definitely an exciting time to be in HR and the HR technology industry.
Back to Vegas next year!
The HR Technology Conference is truly one of the most interesting conferences to attend. Thanks to Steve and LRP for putting on a great show - see you next October in Las Vegas!
Want more highlights from HR Tech 2016?
If you didn't get a chance to attend HR Tech last week, we invite you to register for our post-conference recap webinar, where from my colleagues Julie Harrison and Evelyn Watts will share the top takeaways from the conference.