I watched a video by Jacob Morgan called Why HR and IT Need To Get Married. He talks about the importance of these two departments working together in order to improve the employee experience. He says that providing employees new technology, usually a combined effort of both HR and IT, is not just about completing a checklist of tools, rather it is about meeting the needs of employees. His point is that many of the things revolving around employees, such as reviews, feedback, flexibility in work locations, all involve technology. Thus he feels HR and IT should be married.
Morgan’s discussion reminded me of something I read in Tom Peter’s book The Little Big Things. Peters has a section in that book titled Getting Along and going to lunch: Solving the Cross-Functional Cooperation Problem. He says that organizations are often tripped up by nonexistent or contentious communication or relationships that result in the organization being much less than it could be. Peters says to overcome this you need to “devote a minimum of … five lunches per month… to dining with folks in other functions.” He suggests you tell them that you are tired of botched communication and lost opportunities and that you want to develop, what he calls, a big-activist-intimate network across the organization. (His emphasis, not mine.) He tells you to do it now!
Just do it!
Both Morgan and Peters have both recognized that many organizations can develop a silo mentality. Many times these silos can become armed camps that are not conducive to effective work. In the case of HR when we are introducing new employees into the company we have to make sure that the onboarding experience as well as the ongoing experience is one that promotes effective work practices.
Maybe you don’t get married to IT but you should certainly have a closer relationship to them in order to improve the employee experience.
You can watch Morgan’s YouTube below.