HR applications for POA Network


#1

Within the last decade, the use of databases and HRIS platforms has radically changed the role of the Chief Human Resources Officer on the executive board, and how HR functions are able to contribute to the business. Their focus has gone from managing basic labor administration and employee complaints to becoming a force in the boardroom. The modern HR team plans strategic succession, integrates with every level of management to help objectively measure engagement and reward performance; they work closely with finance to tune headcount strategy, and track the legions of applicants who interact with the company and manage their employment lifecycle once hired.

I believe there is another revolution coming to HR and that blockchain frameworks afford companies an unprecedented balance between privacy and transparency. Here are two ideas:

  1. People Analytics:Amazon has made press recently for placing sensors on their warehouse employees that track and give feedback on their efficiency. Humanyze is a startup company that’s trying to sensor up desk-bound employees in order to measure productivity and the unwritten layers of an organization. This sounds like an episode of Black Mirror already, but I find it disturbing that much of the data collected by these sensors gets blackboxed. Employees may never even understand the criteria they are being judged on. If the future of the workplace does involve such a level of measurement, I believe that employees will only widely buy into such programs if they can view their own data and trust that it is not being tampered with. A permissioned blockchain that supports high speed transactions but is visible with limited privileges to employees would be an good place to store such data. In addition to the company, employee advocate groups and third parties would run validator nodes to ensure that the data remains tamper-proof.

  2. Smart Contracts for Compensation: While using blockchain for payroll is a no-brainer, integration with HR would also have valuable implications. Currently, there is a very subjective process for paying out bonuses & spot rewards. Smart contracts could run against performance metrics (see #1) and become a fair and transparent vehicle to pay out commissions, allowances, equity and annual bonuses. Enabling sidechains that could provide a limited view into compensation design and payouts, which would seriously simplify governance through audit, removing manual pulls that are prone to error. This is especially important in this age where we’re striving for pay equity across gender and other protected classes. I can even see a day where elected groups of employees would serve as validators for such data (for example, the Works Council concept that they employ in Germany).

I think that POA holds all the key features I mentioned (permissioned network, high-transaction rate, validators) to offers solutions in the HR space and lead in this market. What do you all think? I appreciate your feedback.


#2

WOW. Thank you Kevin, I’ve not seen anything on this at all in the blockchain space. This is truly seminal work.

The models you have laid out solve (or at least deal with) age-old issues. This technology transfers beyond conventional employee paradigms to outside contractor and commission-only space. With your models, people need no longer worry about arbitrary decisions of a nepotism prone manager; we can rely on smart contracts in a trust-less environment, each of us pursuing excellence and understanding that the contract presented is the contract that will be paid.

This deserves a name, maybe, “Joy HR Integrity Blockchain Principles” or, “Joy Blockchain Principles” for short. I’m going to take this over the next few days and share with some heavy hitters in the space. Great Stuff, Kevin. We are lucky to have you here.

Jim


#3

Jim, thank you for your exceptionally kind feedback! I’ve never given my name to anything before… I’m delighted to oblige :blush:

Seriously though, you are absolutely correct. A model like this would find tremendous use in the ever-expanding gig economy. Contractors currently gain work flexibility and in the process, lose nearly every other benefit and bargaining leverage that “regular” employees enjoy. They are consistently subject to unfair & opaque processes and advocacy for this segment of the workforce is still notional.

The extension is that increasing transparency and fairness in this labor market could actually open up the gig economy to a much greater swath of people and actually turn it into viable way to earn a decent living.

I am very excited to hear what your colleagues have to say about it. Thanks again!


#4

Kevin @hearth - very thoughtful post and great examples. Indeed, integration of blockchain in workplaces to track employees’ productivity and performance could eliminate so many conflict situations, when employees’ performance assessment is subject to managers’ discretion and, hence, leaves so much space for biases and personal preconceptions.

Few more thoughts on how blockchain could benefit HR-related issues:

  • Besides making payouts more fair due to the use of smart contracts, it could also allow for more flexibility and accuracy (i.e. the accounting period may be as short as required: hours instead of days or even minutes instead of hours)
  • New ways to incentivize the employees through fractional ownership of employers’ tokenized assets. This opens up a topic of employees’ motivation by linking it to the overall performance of the company in real time
  • Furthermore, smart contracts could enable income-sharing mechanisms that would motivate workers to accept shifts that are less desirable.

I have also spent some time thinking about how blockchain in general and POA specifically could change the way old industries operate (POA Application for Buyside Finance and Non For Profits). Would really appreciate your feedback!