Why is the responsible use of technology important? 

Technology can provide opportunities to optimise outcomes for organisations and their people. CIPD research shows that the use of technology can improve productivity, enhance job quality and provide good work. Yet where good practices in implementing technology are overlooked, technology can reduce return on investment, undermine workers’ wellbeing and performance, and even result in the loss of valuable skills.

What do we mean by ‘technology’?

In this guide series, ‘technology’ is defined in its broadest sense. It can include: ‘Artificial intelligence and machine learning, the internet, the internet of things, big data analysis, digital technologies; combining and applying these technologies in diverse ways; and the collection of techniques and processes used by people in relation to these technologies.’ (CIPD, 2022). 

What do we mean by ‘responsible’?

In this guide series, ‘responsible’ is defined as: ‘having ethical and sustainable practices that consider and involve the workforce and other stakeholders during business decision-making’ (CIPD, 2022a). 

People professionals' role in responsible technology use

When it comes to workplace technology, CIPD research shows that only 46% of people professionals are involved in decision making, and only 35% are involved in implementation of technology. With so few organisations benefiting from the advocacy of people professionals during the design, procurement and implementation of technology, it is perhaps not surprising that 80–93% of employees don’t think that increased technology has improved business performance. 

People professionals have an opportunity to leverage their unique position and function across areas heavily influenced by technology to help businesses make better decisions, improve working lives and accelerate business performance. This could include:

  • Reducing the time to hire through automated recruitment processes
  • Setting up automated prompts for managers to standardise performance management reviews
  • Monitoring out of hours technology use to examine the impact on employee wellbeing
  • Synchronising communication channels across email, blogs, newsletters, intranet and social networking sites to help employees share knowledge, views and ideas
  • Deliver personalised learning and development experiences 
    Share critical inclusion and diversity metrics with managers to deliver actionable insights.

Technology and people' is a core knowledge area of the CIPD Profession Map. These are professional standards for CIPD qualified HR professionals. Effective people professionals will understanding the range of technology available to improve organisational agility, know how to maximise collaboration through technology to improve performance, understand how social media can build community and enable employee voice, advocate a people perspective to the design of technology enabled people practices and know how to assess the impact of technology on the workforce and people practices. 

Find out how becoming a tech-savvy people professional can raise your own standing and the profile of the HR team in the organisation. 

About the series

Guides in this series


Technology use in recruitment and workforce planning

Guidance on how technology can be used responsibly to help manage people


Technology use in employee performance management

Guidance on how technology can be leveraged to support employee performance management


Technology use in employee wellbeing

Guidance on how technology can be leveraged to support employee wellbeing

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