Human Resource systems are software programs designed to help HR staffers better execute their job functions. However, there are often barriers to implementation with even the best systems that can be attributed to poor training, system incompatibility and unfriendly usability.
An unused HR system is no good to companies. Fortunately, there are solutions to help staffers use software that can ultimately make their jobs easier.
Smart Business spoke with Brian Donovan, managing director at IntegreatHR Technologies, about overcoming the common barriers to adopting HR systems.
What are some common complaints about HR systems?
The user experience is always top of mind when it comes to HR systems. While many systems are feature-rich, they are not as intuitive as many staffers would like, so many of the features go unexplored and unused.
Another issue is the level of vendor support. These systems are in demand, so vendor resources are not always available at a time of need and users get irritated.
Other common concerns include how systems integrate with existing systems, having multiple logins, the ease with which data is imported and exported, the look and usability of dashboards, and the system’s ability to generate business intelligence, measurements and analytics.
These issues can make adoption a common challenge. Beyond staffers who inherently resist change, insufficient training at the onset can lead to slow adoption.
What improvements have been made that can solve these issues?
As with all software, HR systems are evolving. Vendors continue to improve usability, feature availability and system capabilities by developing mobile platforms and apps for self service, data entry and access.
There is also a movement to systems that offer ‘hire to retire’ capabilities that follow employees throughout their working life, and systems through which data exchange and ‘reuse’ is possible. The latter has a feature that allows forms to be populated from information provided in other functions, which improves the user experience while reducing errors.
Why might HR staffers not get the most out of the available technology?
Training and continuing education on the system’s features are often lacking. As with anything, staffers need to practice and apply what they’ve learned or it’s forgotten. Further, the power users — the administrators — are usually swamped with work, which makes it difficult for them to dive deeper, learn more and share knowledge.
While perpetually evolving software can bring improved usability, the consequence is that users must keep up with the changes. Some of these changes are system based, some are regulatory and compliance driven, and others are simply because of the number of systems a company may be using.
What help is available to facilitate better use of HR systems?
Most vendors have in-depth websites, both online and in-person training programs, and help desks that can deliver answers to address issues with the actual products.
But what is more important than the system is looking at the processes, workflows and business rules that the systems are designed to execute.
There are companies that provide assessment and system review services to help identify where improvements can be made and how to make an investment in the system to produce better returns.
In most cases, a customer knows where the problem areas are and where challenges and worries exist. It then becomes a matter of examining the processes and improving the workflows to address the business realities. All systems can be optimized, but they don’t need to be in every area. Find the critical functions — the areas taking the most time or causing the most errors, calls to the help desk, etc. — break them down and improve and train. Technology companies with consulting practices can help get that done, and can provide training and ongoing support. But for companies using HR systems, it often just takes an investment of time to improve a system’s implementation.
Insights HR Outsourcing is brought to you by IntegreatHR Technologies