Improving HR by Fixing IT

Steve Gifford Audacious Ideas, Change, Communication, Driving Productivity, HR Tech, Influence, Organizational Development, Steve Gifford, Web/Tech

How many logins do your employees have? I sat down to think about it, and came up with the following list for a field supervisor:

  • A Windows login
  • A login to get into their Outlook email
  • A login to access their sales


  • A login for the HR intranet (yes, a different system)
  • A login to EZ Labor to approve timecards (the same login will give them their own pay stubs)
  • A login to the Applicant Tracking System to look at candidates
  • A login for the employee 360 evaluations

I’m also confident that I’m missing more than a few on the operations side of things.

Now, the average HR Manager might look at this list and say, “Huh, it looks like IT has some work to do”, and then go back to updating I-9’s. But you’re no average HR professional – you read FOT, after all!

On staff, we get segmented. I do HR, they do marketing, someone else does accounting, and other people do IT. But it’s helpful to remember that our employees don’t work that way. They’re just “doing work”, and sometimes that will involve people, and sometimes it will involve technology. If you get to segmented, you lose track of the items in the other areas that affect yours – in this case, affect employees. Sometimes HR means that you need to make meetings shorter, even though “regulate the length of meetings” isn’t part of your job description. Here, paring away at “system creep” isn’t an HR role, but it still needs to happen.

Our job is to make employees more effective. This list looks like a pretty good barrier to being effective, and it also looks like it’ll be a goal item for me for next year.

What goals do you have on your list? Hit me in the comments…