Relationships Are Not Happening On Apps (Dating Apps Excluded)

Ben Martinez Ben Martinez, Performance

There continue to be many HR Tech tools and apps sprouting up that claim to make it easier to give feedback and guidance to people. While I’m a big fan of more transparency, when it comes to conversations about performance or just giving clear guidance, these conversations…wait for it…should happen in person.

The HR Tech tools out there sound good and offer a lot of bells and whistles – pulse surveys, AI-based analysis and recommendation systems or culture assessments. They all promise to save you time by writing snippets of text, then layering tons of analysis on top. Sounds like cool technology, but these tools are doing little for building relationships or inducing real conversations.

“Boss to Employee” – Let me offer you some praise or criticism of this app: humans should never think this way…

The one test to see if your coaching and performance tool has a chance of living at your company is to check in with the CEO or executive team. Do they use it? If they do not use it, it is probably not because they are bad leaders. It’s likely the technology doesn’t work for them and they are building relationships through coaching and guidance in person over cups of coffee and cocoa, not on an app.

If you are the HR pro at your company responsible for rolling out the performance and coaching technology, think on this: if your C-suite is not using the tech, why should anyone else? You are wasting your time trying to get user adoption. Your job will quickly turn into the role of performance management police, which keeps you busy doing anything but driving performance.

I once bought an app that was designed to give feedback to a team once per week. I was lured in by the great marketing of this app and the incredible spokesperson with management hair.  I even had the CEO of the feedback app company come present to my company about how the app will help us with performance feedback and coaching. My bad – I was wrong…

Instead of finding an app for feedback and coaching, work on the skills needed for coaching and leading people. Train people with scenario-based situations about how to coach in a tough situation. Let the app find its place but do not use an app until the ability to coach team members is there. Use an app or technology to document but it should not replace ongoing conversations about performance.

Find an app and praise or criticise me in the comments below. I gotta go, my coffee is getting cold.

Ben Martinez

Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.

Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.

PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.

Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.