The digital age has breather new life into the human resource information systems (HRIS) often used by HR departments. There are so many options on the market that administrators and HR professionals are overwhelmed by the decision to update their antiquated and redundant systems. The main reasons that HR practitioners need the benefit of a superior management system is to navigate emerging trends like coaching and training new managers, using workforce analytics effectively, developing and managing employee engagement, rewriting the policies that govern important issues for both global and local employees, and responding to the widening gap between the Millennial and Baby Boomer generations and their expectations as employees. For these companies busy with details, how does HRIS implementation work?
The not-too-recent past of most HR departments reveals professionals held back by a rigid focus on compliance, talent management, and making whatever technology was available to fit the bill for operations. Since then, things have changed but not completely for the better. To correct the errors from the past, disparate systems were brought into the environment, where too many redundancies and stand-alone applications offered too much data to be of use for consolidated and accurate reporting. There are decentralized stores harboring fragments of employee data all over the place. The first thing that must be done is changing the mindset of an HR-department being in the how-to-manage operations to the fact that their just is first and foremost people-centric.
Finding the Right Approach
When it comes to considering an HR management system, there are several things to take into account before getting started. You first need to review your human capital processes and the overall value your employees are bringing to the table. Because HRIS systems will offer many different focuses and perspectives on management, you need to first discover the areas that need further attention. Think about the way you conduct the onboarding or training process. Does it need to be more streamlined or should it be expanded? Consider the benefits or incentive packages offered to your employees. Are they working to improve retention and company loyalty? Simple bringing in an HRIS system won’t fix problems that are more systemic and still going to be difficult as you move ahead. Look into the possibility of strategically overhauling these processes or areas of concern as you get ready to implement an HRIS protocol. Develop a goal and consider the impact on your workforce when you evaluate the combination of new technology and new processes on the productivity of the organization.
Don’t Overshoot the Goal
Most organizations will need to think small and efficient when they initially select an HRIS system. While there are many models available, your needs and operating costs will determine how much of an investment you need to initially make. There is no sense spending money on the Ferrari of systems when a SMART car will deliver exactly what you need at a more economical price point. The top things to look for include:
- Cloud-based hosting and storage
- A single record system for HR data
- Ability to standardize HR data among multiple business units and geographic locations
- Options that move away from legacy systems
The standard lifespan of a quality HRIS plan is roughly a decade, and your investment into the system should account for your intended growth and changes within that time. Newer models can be implemented along the way to help expand your HR functions or areas of expertise, but this doesn’t need to be done during the initial changeover. Your visions for implementation you should clearly identify the stakeholders and their concerns, a realistic timeline for completion, clearly articulated expectations for administrators and their new duties, and well-defined processes for successful long-term integration.
Getting everyone on the same page prior to implementation will make the change easier. However, plan on headaches and prepare your way to address them.