Making Work Human: Human Moments That Matter

December 16, 2020 Lynne Levy

3-minute read 

computer and paper on deskWe are at a point in history where everything we do involves a system, an application, or some kind of automation. Every move we make is tracked. Every keystroke we enter is stored. As artificial intelligence and machine learning become more commonplace, organizations can use these tools to start putting together a picture of how work can get done. A new category of applications, called human applications, enables insight into how goals and KPIs can be achieved. 

In the sixth chapter of "Making Work Human," authors Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine outline the case that human applications drive connection, enabling innovation and business success.

The power of data 

We live in a data-obsessed business environment. If you want to be heard at a meeting, you better have data with you. If you're going to disagree with an idea, you better have data to disprove it. As Eric succinctly puts it, "Data is the river that runs through everything."  

In the past, HR departments leveraged systems that focused on administrative work, such as benefits and payroll. Now, using human applications, HR teams can not only perform these essential business needs, but also promote a better, more human way of working. By enabling insight into how work gets done, these applications promote connectivity, engagement, and well-being because they are rooted in informal communication and trust.

How human applications help 

Human applications leverage advanced data analysis to map the reality of how work gets done by analyzing how people interact with one another. For example, they can identify who is influential in decision-making, what amount of communication in a team is optimal, and how innovation occurs. These applications can drive a human-centered enterprise where employees feel comfortable bringing their best, most productive self to work each day.  

Some of the key principles human applications are designed to support include: 

  • Engagement: Human apps give employees a way to interact with each other in a positive, meaningful way, leading to an increase in employee engagement overall. 

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Human apps support DE&I initiatives to create a sense of belonging and inclusion, regardless of gender, age, race, or other demographic information. 

  • Retention and employer brand: Human apps support an emotional connection among employees, colleagues, and managers. The connections created through their use raise the emotional stakes of leaving and increase the organization’s reputation among potential candidates. 

  • Performance management: People who are more connected and encouraged at work tend to be more productive. Human applications support continuous performance management through feedback, check-ins, and recognition, while celebrating employees for their productivity. 

  • Vision, goals, and values: Human apps that include recognition and feedback bring employees into daily proximity to company values and goals, creating greater meaning and alignment for the humans who drive the organization. 

  • Trust in leadership: Human apps build trust between employees and leadership by increasing transparency from the top to the bottom of the organization. 

Becoming data driven  

Human applications create the ability to draw a narrative out of data. They correlate behavior with outcomes, giving people leaders the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t. For example, they can measure the promotion and advancement rates of the people certain managers mentor. Organizations can analyze the language used through natural language processing to see how often managers praise employees and learn how this impacts the workforce 

Human applications create a human-centered work environment, driving growth and innovation. Using the technology and resources available, HR leaders have the unique opportunity to transform how work gets done in their organization. Now is the time to shift our focus away from supporting processes and start supporting people.  


Making Work Human: The Power of Purpose, Meaning, and Gratitude

Making Work Human: The Future of Work Is Human

Making Work Human: The Human Enterprise

About the Author

Lynne Levy

Lynne Levy is a Workhuman evangelist who lives and breathes helping organizations build cultures that bring out the best in the employees. Her mantra is “do what you love, love what you do.”

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