Sometimes when it comes to making organizational changes there’s a “why fix what’s not broken” attitude – which ignores the fact that while old processes may not be broken, there are missed opportunities for improving efficiency and accuracy.
When HR spends most of their day checking processes or paperwork they’re not able to make the most of their expert knowledge. All the vendors HRM spoke to noted that efficiency in any area of HR is key.
“It’s a matter of removing the administrative transactional stuff that piles up on their desks and you remove the perception that they’re the bottle neck,” ADP Canada VP of marketing David McIninch said. “That’s an important distinction – you’re never removing the middleman, you’re allowing the middleman to do his job in a much more efficient way.”
For example, ADP’s application allows workers to complete parts of their annual performance review by self-selecting goals, which their managers can approve or adapt and link back to organizational objectives, all without the paperwork having to cross HR’s desk.
Smoother processes and accurate information also means more accurate and accessible analytics. When all your workforce compensation data is at your fingertips, that pay rise decision you have to make becomes much clearer.
“You have all this data about your workforce and people, building on layers of analytics, reporting and contextual tools can help make your data meaningful and relevant to help make better decisions every day,” James Arsenault, strategy consulting manager for Ceridian Dayforce, said. “If you don’t have to step outside the system to do this analysis – no more pulling files from multiple systems and combining in excel for analysis – you can speed up the response time.”
Instead of employees impatiently waiting for what they think is a simple decision, the fast turnaround will show staff that their requests are being prioritized.
Accuracy and fairness
Even if each individual manager is going through the same paper process, it’s easy for different approaches to lead to different outcomes. Different levels of strictness could mean two employees in similar situations don’t get the same result in leave applications or promotions. By introducing a program that requires following the exact same process you improve fairness, which ties to employee engagement and trust.
“From the manager perspective, some of the tools that they’re going to be able to use are going to help them action absenteeism immediately, consistently across the organization so all employees are treated fairly, that’s a big thing with employee morale,” Kronos workforce solutions consultant Charis Sie said.
The best programs are flexible to meet the needs of all employees, and help bridge the gap between cohorts. For example, applications that allow fast responses can help Baby Boomer and Gen X managers meet the feedback needs of Gen Y.
“Gen Y are used to social media. They expext frequent, instant feedback, control over their own image and fast reactions to problems,” McIninch added. “That can be difficult for managers who aren’t used to managing in that generation or who don’t use those tools when they go home at night.”
Products need to be designed in a way that acknowledge these needs, and that not every employee has the same needs or abilities.
Read the rest of HRM's 2013 Tech Toolkit:
Timely tech: how the right tools can add value
Automate for success: recruiting and onboarding
Reduce the cost of absenteeism and non-compliance
Modern ways to boost efficiency and engagement