About 63% of us will have made a New Year’s resolution.

Given that I’m keen to let everyone concentrate on losing weight and eating better (overwhelmingly no. 1 of all the New Year charts) and that we all might need some help nailing down the blissfully vague and ironically disorganised “Get more organised” (coming in at no. 2 in the States last year), here I am offering to take care of the work bit for you if you are here in the UK and in the HR systems business.

To cover first the health kick, note that to be in the 8-10% of us who actually manage to keep our resolutions, I’ve come across some tips to help you too. It does depend slightly which newspaper you like to read, by the way.

There are 2 alternatives:
Either go smart. We all know about SMART goals and New Year’s resolutions are none other. Limit the number, make those goals realistic and specific and phrase them in the positive. Note, by the way, that psychologists suggest willpower is like a muscle – exercise it and it will get stronger; abuse it and you’ll wear it out. So give yourself a break and watch a funny movie after.
Or how about a question? This is for the maverick resolutioner. Asking questions about whether or not you will do something may have longer-lasting effects than making statements, according to a bunch of US university researchers* and I rather like their findings. There is something called the “question-behaviour effect”, which means that in considering questions, there is a significant influence on future behaviour. This can last more than six months. This gets over all of the usual hurdles of our funny brains, which cause that New Year strength of mind to fizzle from New Year fizz into Easter chocolate not too long after the shops have managed to stock up.

Back to work and here goes:
In my Christmas Wish List for HR Technology – I was hoping that the vendors would give those of us in HR and Payroll a chance to get the basics right. I looked ahead at possible trends in a “third wave” of technology products, but I suggested that we could still do with answers on issues that gobble time, money and attention today.
Going with the “question-behaviour” idea, what will I resolve to do on our behalf?

[You might find it frustrating to read questions rather than answers. But note: in the writing I’m really feeling quite keen. Please do read on, but when you’re done, I do rather suggest you go back to the “Give up alcohol” one and get some questions going. I must stop at my Top Ten, because otherwise my willpower muscle will get tired.]

My Top Ten Personal Questions for HR Tech in the UK in 2016

  1. How often will I put out interesting material to help HR folks to get to grips with their HR systems? Will I manage monthly, quarterly, fortnightly? (This one is an example for you to copy for your at-home resolutions)
  2. Can I keep Phase 3 colleagues talking about what the right sector-specific solutions are, as we reflect on our collective consultancy experience? How far can I encourage my colleagues to put out there our combined conclusion with me?
  3. To what extent will I pinpoint the key differences between HR systems choices available in 2016? Can I link these differentiators to organisational contexts and fast-track options finding?
  4. Can I get to the bottom of murky governmental communications on, for example, gender pay as they unfold and explain what that’s going to mean for master people systems?
  5. How much can I make real about analytics? Will I and my clients be able to see sufficient value-adding potential to invest?
  6. Am I able to get sufficiently ahead of developments in the nitty-gritty of living wage, holiday pay, pensions reform? How long will it take us to understand and explain the numbers, impacts and costs?
  7. Will I demonstrate how far I can further the interests of system selectors from an independent position in the systems market?
  8. Will I, with the help of a fabulous team, be able to demonstrate to increasing numbers of organisations the potential for more efficient use of systems expertise and flexible styles of consultancy and outsourcing?
  9. Shall we, together, host some real debates about organisational models for arranging systems services in increasingly challenging times? Will companies and colleagues join me? I hope so.
  10. Will I manage to rise to my own challenge of translation every time that a professional asks me what a tech term means? Every time? Most times? Some times? (Coming soon – our favourite WOTD’s from 2015)

Clearly I have a win-win blog here. Either I succeed in more than 8% of my HRIS resolutions, which is statistically great. Or I don’t, in which case I’m reassuringly normal.
I will also, by the way, drink less bad coffee, get less scrawny, listen to the news “properly”, take up yoga and be nicer to my husband when he is, well, annoying. Possibly.

* YouGov Survey– this is a fascinating survey result to read. Spot the under-report on lapses. I’m asking myself why we only asked the ladies how much (little?) time we get to ourselves?
*Daily Mail December 2015

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