Upgrading Your HR Tech Stack? Start With Learning

December 12th, 2023 – SkillCycle

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If you’ve been feeling frustrated with your HR tech stack, you’re not alone. Many companies have added tools and systems over time to manage different areas of HR, but the result is often too many systems with few actionable insights.

“Overall, most companies are using too many HR tools,” says Kristy McCann Flynn, CEO and Co-Founder of SkillCycle. “Doing so gets convoluted because each one of those tools and systems owns just a small piece of HR, with no connection between them.”

If your HR processes are held in disparate tools, you may feel like you’ve got all the puzzle pieces but can’t figure out how they fit together. Systems that collect data and add to the administrative load of your HR team may not be doing enough to contribute to your organizational goals. 

Instead, your HR tech stack should act as an ecosystem that supports employee engagement and drives learning and performance outcomes. Why is it imperative to look beyond processes and focus on outcomes? Organizations that proactively manage talent development tend to outperform competitors, according to McKinsey.

In this article on keeping learning at the core of your HR tech stack, we’ll explore:

  • Common HR tools and tech you may rely on
  • What’s likely missing from your HR tech stack
  • Why learning is foundational to performance
  • How learning contributes to effective employee experience management


Common HR tools and tech you may rely on

Nearly every company will begin with a human resources information system (HRIS) to manage employee data, payroll, and benefits. However, the tech that gets added later on depends on the size of the company as well as the outcomes it wants to achieve. 

Beyond an HRIS, your HR tech stack may include performance management, employee engagement, career planning, mentoring, succession planning, and other employee experience solutions. Some of these functionalities may exist as add-ons to other systems; others are stand-alone tools. 

New tech can support your employees, but when companies add tools without considering how their HR tech stack will operate as a whole, challenges can arise. Without that connection, new tech and its associated processes simply become a weight on HR teams to manage. 

“HR teams need to be able to get out from under administrative burdens to connect their efforts to outcomes,” says McCann Flynn. 


What’s likely missing from your HR tech stack

Most organizations have been adding to a suite of HR tools over time to cover the basics of managing people and pay, then perhaps growing to add performance management. However, the result is often a disconnected set of systems all holding different data sets, and no way to pull meaningful insights together to influence future decisions. 

“What a lot of people miss about automated systems is that they’re not building their people,” says McCann Flynn. “They’re not building their organization.”

Many employee experience solutions leave a gap between how the information collected helps drive people development and company growth.

“What’s also often missing is visibility into your organization’s current state,” says McCann Flynn. “You need that to build a bridge to the next level or pull the levers that will help you deliver and execute on your HR strategies.” 

When building out your HR tech stack, aim to go beyond just automating processes. If all you’re doing is adding a platform to manage and collect data on steps you’ve been following for years, you’re likely not gaining the traction you could be. 

Collecting data using employee experience software is just one step. What you do with the data can help drive better decisions when it comes to talent development and the improvement of your overall employee experience.

“Without the right systems, you’ll find your HR teams and employees feeling held back, and you’ll continue to find skills gaps in your organization,” says McCann Flynn.


Why learning is foundational to performance

Connecting everything in your HR tech stack to learning can transform how your company performs, because you’re investing every day in improving the performance of your employees. 

Learning fills the gap to help make goals feel relevant to the people in your organization. They, in turn, are motivated to perform well because they can see the connection between their efforts and the company’s success.

“What you want is for performance and engagement to trigger learning, and learning to trigger outcomes that are connected to your organizational goals,” says McCann Flynn.

As these components begin to work together, they become a natural part of your workplace routines and rhythms, with learning built into every step. Offering learning and development opportunities to your employees is considered one of the top five drivers of a great work culture, according to LinkedIn.

When working as an integrated system, coaching and mentoring can be paired with relevant content and a personalized plan for improved performance. Ideally, you have a plan that is customized to your needs that you can manage and measure along the way to ensure engagement and performance continue to rise. 


How learning contributes to effective employee experience management

Creating a culture of continuous learning is easier with a robust HR ecosystem connecting all the elements of development and performance. Employees need to understand how their work contributes to company goals before they can care about those goals. Making this connection is essential. 

The benefits of prioritizing talent development for employees are well documented. A focus on learning at work can help your team gain valuable new skills and take on new challenges at work, enabling them to progress toward their own goals. 

When you put learning at the core of your HR systems, you demonstrate that you’re willing to invest in your employees and want to see them succeed. This type of commitment drives up the willingness of your employees to engage in the work and put in the effort required to continually improve their performance. 

Reach out today to learn how SkillCycle’s talent development platform goes beyond most employee experience software by connecting employee learning to your business results.


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