Live from #SHRM13: @SteveBoese Puts the Social in HR

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Steve Boese 1, 4PM presentation slot on Monday 0.  That’s no easy slot to have after a long day of presentations but Steve had no problem filling the seats.  It could have been because of how dapper he looked in his suit.  Or maybe it was the free t-shirts or dishing on who has the best BBQ (it’s Texas in case you’re wondering). But what I liked best was the mood lighting, which sparked my favorite quote of the day from Steve – “it’s dark, late and we’re just getting to know each other.”  Steve Boese, you’re new best friend.

Now the details. The session was From Transactions to Engagement: Harnessing Social Tools to Transform HR and it was great. Some stats jumped out at me right from the get go:

  • 1/5 of all time spent online is spent on some type of social platform
  • 1 in 7 people on earth use Facebook

Why is this important?  Well, workplace technology follows consumer technology not the other way around so from an HR perspective, we’d better be ready to play a lead role in this new world.  Gone are the days where simply having a good solid system of record to track a bunch of stuff being enough.  We’ve entered the era of systems of engagement.  Systems that focus on communication, interaction and support social constructs (sharing, liking, rating, etc.) are expected from our employees and will be an integral part of the workplace of the future.

So let me boil it down to the 3 main points I tool away from the session:

  1. Employees will demand access social technologies.  In our “real” lives we use social technology all the time to find a good restaurant, choose a hotel, shop, and interact with our friends.  People who join the organization of the future will come to expect that the way they interact in their day-to-day lives will be the same way they interact with work.  The forward thinking organization will realize this and be prepared for it.
  2. Bring your own device and technology (BYOD).  The notion that a company can manage the technologies that their employees use is no longer possible. Why? Because people will bring in the technologies and tools they find useful and just start using them!  No big implementation and training process.  If it helps facilitate interactions (and being cool helps) then it will get used.  Plus, organizations move too slow to be at the forefront of technology. Your employees will drive adoption whether you like it or not.
  3. There’s an opportunity to have access to all types of interesting data.  The most important point I took away from this session was if you can get comfortable with the first two points your organization can take advantage of a treasure trove of information that all the sudden becomes available to you.  Information on how people actually work (which is often nothing like the org chart depicts) and how they are spending their time and energy.  If you knew this information real-time I would venture to guess that it might influence some of your HR strategies.

Overall, a great session.  I’m looking forward to seeing Steve again at HR Tech and HREvolutuion in October!

FOT Background Check

Andy Porter
Andy Porter is a VP of HR/OD with Merrimack Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA which means he works with some wicked smaaht people. Some days, he indeed does wear short shorts around the office(call it a morale booster) but it really just makes people uncomfortable. Other days, he spits some mad game on cheese. No really – he’s somewhat of a cheese aficionado. But more importantly? At Merrimack he gets to contribute his small part as an HR Pro towards improving the lives of cancer patients.

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