For some senior HR executives and business owners, HRMS Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) smacks of a lack of control – if potentially everybody has a different device in their pocket/briefcase then surely that’s going to be tricky to manage? Factor in enhanced security risks and the fact that BYOD might not be such a great cost saving after all and it begins to look positively unattractive. But what if… what if BYOD had some beneficial effects elsewhere and one of those elsewheres was employee engagement (still the Holy Grail for many organizations)? Suddenly, BYOD could be swinging back into favour with those same C-suite control freaks.
Formal Policies Around Existing Processes
Firstly, BYOD is happening whether anybody likes it or not. In a sense, the whole BYOD trend is simply the legitimizing of employees using their own technology to make their jobs easier (a Forrester study a few years ago found that 37% U.S. information workers were utilising technology without waiting for formal permissions or policies to be in place. There’s a sense of inevitability about it and now that it’s become a genuinely accepted movement, there seems little point in opposing it – it’s not whether you go BYOD but how.
One of the big themes in the current workplace is social collaboration – people working across traditional silos and boundaries, collaborating with whoever they need to in order to the best possible job done. Question #1: what is essential to socially collaborative working? Answer: mobile devices. Question #2: Which mobile devices are people most comfortable using and able to use most skilfully? Answer: their own. If you want people to work together, set them free. Collaboration boosts innovation and quality of results; and when people feel free to achieve those quality results in their own way, they are doubly engaged in that achievement.
Remember e-learning? Then there was blended learning. Then m-learning, where the “m” stands for “mobile”. More and more, people want a buffet or tapas approach to information and development, i.e. they pick at it and take what they need, when they need it. In other words, when they’re hungry. A good HRMS BYOD program can boost online, just in time learning opportunities which in turn boost performance… and when people feel enabled and supported with the right training, they feel engaged.
Finally, make your HRMS BYOD setup easy to use and include plenty of self-service functions. No offence to the IT department but the less time people spend dealing with the help desk, the happier they tend to be. Give them some features that enable them to tackle some common problems themselves and they’ll be even happier. If a device is lost, a geo-location function that can be accessed via a web portal is helpful; as is the facility to automatically delete corporate data remotely should the device be irretrievable. Also, simple but obvious tools like PIN/password resets go a long way to keeping things smooth.
When the right tools for the job are available, easy to use and fully-functioning, the people in your organization have a tendency to just go ahead and do that job. BYOD is all about empowering, engaging and then getting out of the way.
About the author…
Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.
A version of this article appears in hrmsworld.com