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Five Keys to Leveraging HR Technology | #HRISWeek

Social-Media-and-Human-ResourcesIn our first post for #HRISWeek, we are reproducing an article from SHRM which discusses how today’s HR technology is moving rapidly to web-based systems to deliver data and services such as employee self-service (ESS), online recruiting, web-based training, online applicant testing and online benefits management. Many organizations now support HR portals, which provide one point of contact for a range of HR services. To better leverage this technology, leaders must focus on the underlying HR processes supported by HRIS.

Keys to pairing powerful technology with solid HR processes include the following:

1. Use new technology as an opportunity to change HR

When new or improved functionality is added to an HR system, it is an opportunity to reexamine the way a process is done. For example, HR workflow technology can reduce the cycle time of processes and streamline decision making. Fewer people in the loop usually means greater efficiency and lowered cost per transaction. Very often, processes built into HR vendor offerings are more efficient than an organization’s existing HR processes. Although it may be tempting to view technology as the solution to an organization’s problems, most firms will see more productivity and profitability gains by seizing the opportunity to improve HR processes.

2. Make employees self-reliant for HR services

Organizations using HRIS to delegate HR transactions and data maintenance to employees will outperform those using these systems solely as an HR compliance or reporting tool. Employees have become data consumers in their non-work lives and want that same level of access and control in their work lives. Giving employees access to their information increases the transparency of HR processes and helps employees better understand the role HR plays in the organization. Increasing employees’ perception of control over their information can also lead to an increased sense of fairness and job satisfaction. the opportunity to improve HR processes.

3. Communicate with employees when monitoring performance

Computer-based performance monitoring can be a valuable component of a performance management system, but it is important to inform employees about the aspects of performance being monitored and the reasons they are being monitored. Research has shown that communicating with employees in this way leads to increased acceptance of monitoring and to improved performance.

4. Use more data to get more answers

The implementation of HRIS lets HR answer new questions with newly available data. Forward-looking organizations can use these data to ask and answer basic questions like: “What information on job applications predicts long-term performance and retention?” HR managers commonly report that one of the most dramatic effects of third-generation HR systems is the ability to analyze HR data and respond quickly and accurately to questions from the C-suite.

5. Pay attention to appearance and functionality.

Web design has evolved into an art form, and users’ expectations are very high. We expect web sites to be intuitive and work in a logical flow. Unfortunately, not many HR professionals have experience in design and user interfaces. When moving to online HR services, it is important to carefully test and evaluate ease of use and functionality of the HR portal or ESS application. Employees will form a revised opinion of HR based on their experiences with the web site. Remember, for many employees, the HR web site is HR. A sophisticated, well-designed site will communicate a sophisticated and well-run HR team, while a site that is cumbersome or difficult to use could detract from the department’s image.

Source: Leveraging HR Technology for Competitive Advantage, SHRM Foundation

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