This week I read an interview with Apple’s chief executives discussing their strategy in a tightening market. Apple has recently seen some challenges as its stock has fallen and critics contend that Apple has lost its mojo. Long known for its innovative design and superior product, Apple is challenged on all sides by cheaper, nimbler startups.
Sitting on a plane, having paid an extravagant sum of money for what can only be described as a mediocre flight, I was thinking that the airplane industry could use an Apple when I read a quote that was brilliant in its simplicity, from the article:
[blockquote source=”Craig Federighi, Apple Software Chief”]”New? New is easy. Right is hard.”[/blockquote]
This is true about designing an iPad and it’s also true about our organizations.
But what does designing an iPad have to do with HR?
HR pro’s are always being pitched the latest and greatest solution to our problems. Lately, this comes in the form of technology. There are a myriad of payroll, HRIS, applicant tracking, recognition, and talent management solutions that are available to solve all our problems. (Low engagement scores? Implement an online recognition system!)
HR tech has certainly come a long way from the days when paper filing was the norm but no technology will solve these problems:
-The employee who thinks it’s okay to bully and intimidate others
-The bonus system that rewards cutthroat and borderline unethical sales tactics.
-Managers who manage with the “you should be happy to just have a job” mentality
In our efforts to make our company’s better we always look at the latest best practices and technology. There is nothing wrong with that but… any change we try to make won’t matter if it isn’t done right. Getting it right means putting in the time, effort and money to understand your customer and design solutions based on your customer.
Maybe that means companies have to make tough people decisions (Who can be counseled and trained? Who needs to be shown the door?). Maybe that means your people need better training. Maybe it means your CEO needs to step up and demonstrate the behaviors they want to see in the organization. Doing it right for your organization will vary.
We all know this to be true but how many of us still look at that new technology ring in a desperate hope that it will solve all problems?
Speaking of technology…next week, thousands of great HR pro’s and vendors will converge on Las Vegas for the HR Technology Conference. If you can’t make it, check out the Twitter hashtag #HRTechConf to get all the latest information!