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    HR Tech Twitter Chat No. 3 - Wrap Up

    Last night Bryon Abramowitz from Knowledge Infusion and I co-hosted the third HR Tech chat on Twitter, focusing on the role of HR in Internal Collaboration projects.

    It was a relatively small group, but a quite lively chat and I think the general consensus that emerged was that HR departments have a great opportunity to lead the organization in this area, but many if not most HR leaders are not yet well-versed in the available technologies in this domain, and then how best to proceed in their evaluation and implementation.

    If you missed the chat, all the #HR_Tech tweets can be viewed here.

    Special thanks to Chuck Gillespie, Jun Cruzat, Steve Gere, Troy Heinritz, Chris Havrilla, Lois Melbourne and everyone else (especially the UC Berkeley students) that participated last night.

    The next HR Tech Twitter Chat is scheduled for Wednesday, August 5 at 9 PM EDT where the topic will be Integrated Talent Management Systems.  I hope that you can join in on the conversation.


    What is the meaning of Hard Core HR Professional?

    That was the question posed by an anonymous reader who found his or her way to this blog after hitting 'search'.

    It is a pretty good question, and I don't think they found the answer here, at least not a complete answer.Flickr - valentin.d

    From my perspective as an HR Tech guy, 'Hard Core' HR would certainly involve staying current on the latest tech trends and developments, strongly advocating for and implementing new tools and technologies to streamline processes, improve talent management, and enhance organizational communication and collaboration.

    But most of all it would mean challenging the status quo, pushing the technology envelope in HR, and trying new things even if they make your 'traditional' HR colleagues uncomfortable. 

    Start an internal blog, claim your company's Yammer domain and get the HR staff signed up, post a 'Why its great to work here' video on YouTube, create a free Wiki for posting frequently asked HR questions, use Rypple to get feedback from staff on HR policies and programs.

    Maybe those are not really 'Hard Core' steps, but if your HR department is still relying on blast e-mails, a boring intranet, and the hidebound annual employee survey, then 'Hard Core' really is not needed yet.

    'Medium Core' will probably do for a start.

    What do you think?

    What is the meaning of Hard Core HR Professional?


    HR Tech Chat - HR and Collaboration

    This Wednesday, July 8 at 9:00 PM EDT Bryon Abramowitz and I will be hosting the third installment of the Twitter #HR_Tech chat. This time the theme is 'The Role of HR in Internal Collaboration Projects'.

    With the increased emphasis on internal collaboration using tools like wikis, blogs, microblogs, and internal social networks there is both a challenge and an opportunity for HR departments to take on a leadership role in organizing and leading these initiatives. We plan on discussing this and hopefully some good insights can be shared on how HR can truly be effective in these projects.

    But just what is #HR_Tech chat you ask?Flickr - Kamoda

    It is a Twitter 'themed' chat. Folks participate by sharing their thoughts, comments, and questions on the topic and append the hashtag #HR_Tech to all the Tweets. This makes the overall stream of conversation reasonably coherent, and allows the uses of tools like Tweetchat or Tweetgrid to assist in following the conversations. Amybeth Hale just posted an excellent overview of themed chats on her Research Goddess blog if you would like a better description of the idea.

    At any rate, I hope to see many HR and HR Tech folks in the chat on Wednesday and look forward to a great discussion.


    Measurement and ROI

    I read an excellent article earlier in the week on the Chief Learning Officer site on the inability of the traditional definition of ROI to adequately assess the importance and value to the organization of its employee's networks and the value that is derived from these internal and external network interactions, and by extension the technologies and processes that support these interactions.

    The essential point of the article was that these network benefits are intangible in nature, do not 'fit' the classic ROI model (that was developed to understand how tangible activities like buying a new factory, or upgrading an assembly line) of measurement.  It really is a riff on the 'what is the ROI of e-mail' argument that is often used when folks are attempting to justify time and expenditure on new tools and processes designed to increase workforce collaboration.Flickr - Darren Hester

    Can the organization really accurately estimate the ROI of 'increased network activity'? Does it even make sense to try?

    Unlike the new industrial machine, that is built to precise specifications for productivity, output, and operating costs, it is just about impossible to predict how new technologies and processes for collaboration will be embraced inside the organization.  You may be able to apply typical benchmarks on participation rates and utilization statistics, but I have to believe its just about impossible to intelligently make an argument to senior management that a specific 'return' is likely to be generated, at least prior to the introduction of these tools.

    In many ways organizations that embrace these projects, and the new ways of communicating, collaborating, and working that they introduce have to take somewhat of a leap of faith that there will be sufficient 'return' on the investment (which for all but the largest organizations is chiefly employee's time, the technologies that are most frequently utilized tend to be low cost, sometimes even free). It is very easy for management to constantly drive the focus back to the traditional 'ROI' measure, and it gives many leaders a convenient 'out' from having to address and show true skill and even courage. 

    But just like communication and collaboration advances like voice mail, fax, e-mail, and personal and network computing all moved from experiments to critical business infrastructure mostly without any idea of traditional ROI, so it will be for social networking and collaboration technologies. The smart and leading organizations have already embraced this concept, and I do not think it long before these technologies also become essential components of the modern organization.


    HR Happy Hour Episode 4 - SHRM 2009 Recap

    Well the HR Happy Hour Episode 4 - SHRM '09 Edition is in the bag and the HR Minion, Shauna Moerke and I had a blast hosting HR Bloggers Kris Dunn, Laurie Ruettimann, Lance Haun, Mark Stelzner and Jessica Lee as well as special guest SHRM COO China Gorman.

    The panel talked about their session at SHRM '09, their thoughts on where SHRM is heading, the impact and influence of Social Media on SHRM and HR in general.

    And to keep me on my toes we also had a couple of barking dogs and a police raid (COPS anyone?).

    You can check out the show on the web here here, or also listen back to the archive using the widget below.

    Thanks very, very much Shauna for coordinating the guests for this show and thanks to the superstar panel for taking the time out of your holiday weekend to come on.