Web 2.0 in HCM
Posted by Amy Wilson on January 31, 2008
I hesitate to use the term web 2.0, as it will probably be out of vogue in a month or two. Nevertheless, the concept of web 2.0 (or collaborative tools) will grow as a business model and personal requirement in the coming years. It is helpful to define how this applies to HR …
HRWorld just published an article on this topic –> Human Resources 2.0
Here’s what I think:
The term “Web 2.0” refers to the rapidly changing way people use the internet as a way to communicate and achieve outcomes. When the web was first introduced, it was very flat and did not lend itself to the way people actually interact. While it did provide many benefits such as posting and sending out content quickly to a global workforce, web usage was limited. It was top-down, passive, and one-size-fits-all. Meanwhile, the workforce is full of individuals with individual interests. The tools in the Web 2.0 arsenal appeal to individuals as they are collaborative, personalized, and agile. Such tools include interactive blogs, collaborative wikis, social networking, tagging & bookmarking, and RSS feeds.
Web 2.0 tools may be used in conjunction with traditional HR solutions for maximum benefit. For example, employee development has long been an area of interest to HR. Traditional solutions involve the establishment of development goals based on personal and business needs, coursework targeted toward those goals, and new assignments to test out what has been learned. By adding Web 2.0 tools to these traditional solutions, HR can significantly enhance the development experience. Employees can leverage communities in identifying goals, depend on colleague ratings and reviews when choosing coursework, share informal tips & techniques, and subscribe to an RSS feed to jump on upcoming opportunities.
Web 2.0 capabilities serve HR organizations in two important ways. First, is at the micro-level. These capabilities stand to improve the effectiveness within HR itself. As with any organization, HR can leverage the collaboration tools and techniques to improve its own efficiency, idea-generation and goal achievement. As a result, HR may elevate its appeal as a place to work – attracting individuals that think strategically and like to work in such an environment.
The second way Web 2.0 serves HR is at the macro-level. Assuming that one of HR’s primary goals is to create a highly engaged and highly performing culture, web 2.0 tools can be leveraged in a broader sense. By embracing these tools, HR can facilitate increased interactions, relationships and collaboration amongst its leaders and employees thereby increasing morale and retention. Beyond just facilitating, HR can also leverage these interactions to elevate its strategic importance. For example, HR leaders can identify pivotal talent based on relationship, response, and output data.
Web 2.0 provides HR organizations with tools that can elevate the engagement level of the workforce, which in turn increases customer service levels, innovation, and profitability.