Allegion CHRO: HR Technology Journey

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Allegion CHRO-HR Technology Journey_businesswoman with suitcase in hands looking at virtual panel

Where HR technology is concerned, there is no doubt human resources is and has been on a journey.  In a lot of ways, it’s a journey that seemingly will never end.  Why?  The reason is simple:  technology continues to change and mature as does its application.  HR is becoming increasingly more automated.  Employees are using technology to personalize their work experiences.  And data… data has become the most important currency in the pocket of HR professionals outside of actually money.

Like other companies, Allegion Chief Human Resources Officer and HR Exchange Network Advisory Board member Shelley Meador says her company is on a journey of its own.  HR Exchange Network Editor Mason Stevenson sat down with Meador recently to discuss the topic in more detail.

Mason Stevenson: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with me. When you think about the challenges of HR technology, what's the one big challenge that you would like to fix in HR technology? What would that fix be?

Shelley Meador: I think where some of the challenges are generated, it is really trying to understand what are you trying to have that technology achieve, what's your goal with it. Really connecting with the business to understand the need, and then ensuring does that technology in how you've set it up, utilize it, etc., actually achieve that need. There's a lot of different technologies out there, but first it’s making sure that it's aligned with the objective or the goal at the end of the day.

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As we think about technology at Allegion, some of the challenges we've had up front is about the data; is it good data? We've learned we have a lot of data, but is it good data? What are you going to do with the data? That too influences what technologies and tools we would utilize to ultimately bring value to the business.

Mason Stevenson: Can you talk about what the technology journey looks like for Allegion?   

Shelley Meador: It's really been about the bigger picture of what's possible, what's out there, how are people in our industry actually thinking about these technologies in a different way, and that has broadened our mind. It’s partnering with people who approach things differently than we do. Especially from a risk, they have nothing to lose.

Mason Stevenson: Do you feel like you really have to have a healthy relationship with risk, when it comes to this? Because you mentioned, looking from the outside in and partnering with folks, do you really feel like that healthy relationship with risk is almost a necessary component of this learning journey?   

Shelley Meador: Yes, I do. People can be at different levels of that, it does not require that you are comfortable with all the risk in the world, but risk, agility, ambiguity are critical. Ambiguity and risk really go hand in hand. You need to have some tolerance and appreciation for that, to really take you into the future, whether it's with technology, whether it's with your processes that you're evaluating, whether it's with the skill sets that you need for the future, just being comfortable that you might not have it all, That does help enable an organization when you have appetite and appreciation for ambiguity, risk, agility etc.

Mason Stevenson: For Allegion, what has been one critical success that you look back at your department, at your organization, your company, and you say, Wow, we’ve really worked through some stuff to get to this success. Is there an example that you have in terms of that success, that is just really powerful for you folks? 

Shelley Meador: Ultimately, we refreshed our strategy, we are a five-and-a-half-year-old organization, we spun off from Ingersoll Rand about five and a half years ago, so Allegion is relatively new. Although annually, we look at our strategy and we confirm it's still the right one, it's still the right objectives and focus. Going through this learning journey and opening our mind to what security and safety could look like in the future, it broadened our perspective on the world of access and the role that we play in that space. As someone goes throughout their day, whether it's at home, getting on the bus, riding a bike, getting into their building, going to the doctor, there are a lot of points in time in which safety and security is pretty critical, but yet someone can be stopped along the way and their day can be inefficient.

So then how do we take safety and security to make it more seamless throughout someone's day, so the customer’s experience or the individual’s experience is much better and how can we play in that experience.

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The strategy on a page hones in on the people and human capital aspect of it. It was a step in the right direction for Allegion and it really elevated our game, or is going to enable us to elevate our game.

Now we've been connecting with our 11000 employees throughout the world on what is this strategy on a page, and as an individual, how do I connect with this strategy. We have a very robust communication plan for all leaders, individual contributors, employees to feel connected, understand what it means, understand their role and how they can play a part and impact this. I would say that's probably our biggest achievement, since we started the learning journey over 18 months ago.   

Mason Stevenson: Wow, that's phenomenal. Final question:  can you pick maybe one book, that you would suggest that any HR professional taking on this challenge read, to help them out?   

Shelley Meador: Well, I’ll share a book that we read a year ago, which launched our HR org design journey, which we're still on and we will be on for another year or two, as we ultimately deploy the outcome of this. That was HR From the Outside In. It was written in 2012. One might think, how is that still relevant? It's extremely relevant, it was forward thinking. It talks a lot about how well do you know your business.

Mason Stevenson: Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to chat with us. This was a great conversation. Since you're still on this journey, I’d definitely love to check in with you again over the course of the next few years just to see how it's going and what new you've learned and what new information you can share with HR audience. Thank you very much for your time.

Shelley Meador: Thank you, Mason. I’ll be more than happy to stay connected on this.


Shelley Meador is the CHRO for Allegion.  She is also an HR Exchange Network Advisory Board member.  Meador has spoken at IQPC's CHRO Exchange and the HR Exchange Network's HR Tech Online Summit North America event.

Photo courtesy:  StockPhotoSecrets


Shelley Meador
Chief Human Resources Officer