According to the latest hype, all of your HR problems can be solved by installing a state-of-the-art LMS, TMA, HCM, or ERP. This is the message from an article in December T+D titled, Holistic Skills Management Comes of Age, promising software that can solve all of your performance management problems. Apparently, if you have the right application you will make quality hires, identify and close skills gaps, connect learning and development programs to key business objectives, identify high potential leaders, do succession planning, and connect pay to performance. The author writes:

The era of disconnected HR silos is officially over. Organizations can now create a true performance-driven culture by integrating the practices that attract, manage, develop, motivate, and retain key employees.

Wow! I wish it were so. I really wish technology could do all of that. I think most organizations have a few human problems to solve before they can use these kinds of systems effectively, starting with getting people to talk to each other. I find that most managers still don’t talk to their direct reports about their careers nor do managers actively help their direct reports with performance improvement. Managers don’t give employees the feedback they need to succeed in the organization. Work cultures don’t encourage cross-department sharing of information. Employees don’t have the really difficult conversations that they need to have with each other. I don’t see how a software application, as elegant and sophisticated as the new technology may be, can help an organization until these communication problems are solved.