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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:36

Is Leveraging Technology a Trend or a Lasting Benchmark?

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What's trending in the news, in business, or with our employees? Within the HR field, it can be critical to pay attention to trends. It is important to pay attention to the priorities placed on pieces of our business and our resources. We must understand the wheels and cogs of the transactions we complete. We must be able to measure our success and the completion of our work. Even though it is important to stay on top of priorities which are trending, it is also important to know how to weed out trends and knowing which are the most important to your business organization.

Leveraging technology is it a trend or is it a lasting benchmark? There are so many ways in any given situation to leverage technology. It can be used to measure the business “what-if’s." It can be a vehicle to capture business metrics, a way to achieve more, or a way to complete tasks. In my organization we have been able to meet the increasing demands of the business, the increasing demands of society, and the increasing needs of our customers with the use of technology.

However, when using technology, it is important to collaborate and gather the opinions of many audiences, many customers. It would be easy just to consider the simplest route. It would be easy to consider one single point of view. However, collaboration may be the key between overcoming a temporary obstacle and resolving a long term issue. Leveraging technology should mean integration. It should mean integrating multiple views and integrating more than one area in a decision or an action plan. It means utilizing multiple strengths and opinions for the greatest possible coverage of the what-ifs. It also means evaluating multiple weaknesses and nay-sayers for the greatest coverage of why we “can't.”

Our organization leverages technology to measure our resources, our business and related data. We leverage technology to complete our tasks. We have software programs. We utilize the internet for research or benchmarking. There are probably no less than a million responses to any "google." We use application systems which are online. We enter time on electronic time sheets. We process payroll using computers. We use direct deposit for making payments. We have laser printers and scanners. We change any picture or document to a PDF. We can make the data portable and universal. We have electronic personnel files. We use eVerify to check employment eligibility. We have smart phones, laptops, iPads. We can Facetime, Skype or view videos online. We can blog. We can survey. The list goes on and on. Technology is everywhere.

Sometimes the options can be overwhelming. Leveraging technology means making decisions. Decisions must be made about what is best, not just for the immediate solutions, but what is best use of resources. Resources are generally finite. That makes finding the right solution as efficiently as possible even more important. To find the right solution, we must answer the right questions. We must have the best discussions including all pieces of the business equation. Simply, we must include others. We must understand the obstacles to overcome and decide the best way to overcome them.

We must not only include others, we must develop the relationships we have with them. We must develop these relationships with colleagues, customers, management, and co-workers with care. We must open our ears to hear their concerns and open our eyes to see the big picture. We must take the time to understand their concerns and understand their priorities. We must not minimize the value of listening and truly understanding. And then once we establish a relationship, we must take great care to maintain it and cultivate it.

We can leverage technology to solve problems; however, we must also leverage people.

Phaedra Harris currently serves as the Director, Human Resources at Florida State University (FSU) overseeing the Benefits, Employee Data Management, Time & Labor, and ERP Liaison areas. She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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