Ways to reduce HR software misuse

by
November 25, 2020
Ways to reduce HR software misuse

One concern when implementing an HR system for your organisation, is how to prevent users from messing stuff up.

It might not be that you worry employees are going to deliberately abuse your HR software. But you may worry about whether or not the system opens your HR department up to accidental oversight – especially if you’re giving employees self service functionality.

Today’s article is all about the things you can do to reduce the likelihood of your HR system being misused by employees, without taking that self service functionality away. But before we go any further, I’d like to just add that most HR systems are designed in a very robust fashion, with self-service in mind. So as long as you set everybody’s permissions correctly, you’re unlikely to run into trouble.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the things you can do to reduce HR software misuse.

Start by assigning the correct permissions

Any HR system worth its salt will let you give different roles to different users. These roles will allow each user to only perform actions that you’d expect them to perform anyway. 

For example, by setting a user as an employee, you’ll be making sure they can’t access confidential records belonging to other employees – they’d need to be an administrator to do that. But they’ll still be able to see their own record, details and entitlements. 

And by setting a user as a manager, you’ll be letting them do things like approve holiday or expense requests for their team, or view additional reports within the system. 

Naturally, each HR system is going to let you tackle this a little differently. But with a system like People HR, you can customise the permission profiles for each user type, to make sure the software works the way you do – instead of forcing you to change the way you run your business.

For example, you might trust your employees enough to let them self-authorise their own holiday requests. Or perhaps you need to add contractors to your system, who have different needs and require different permissions.

Consider multiple approver workflows

On the subject of approvals and authorisations, you might have a slightly more complicated organisational setup, which makes single-line authorisations more difficult. For example, an employee might report into more than one line manager – or rather, there might be more than one line manager with an interest in an employee’s activities.

In this case, a good way to protect your HR system against accidental approvals that might cause problems elsewhere, is to set up a multiple approver workflow. This could take many forms – for example, you might need two or three people to approve a request before the system recognises it as approved. Or you may prefer to set up a traffic light system, whereby one person sees the request in the first instance – and if they approve it, it gets sent along to the second-line approver.

It sounds a little bit complex, but it’s not. And if you’re a People HR customer, there’s a great article on our help site which tells you how to set up multi-authorisation workflows.

“Lock” days against holiday booking

Depending on your industry, you might find there are certain days where you really do need all hands on deck. But even the most well-meaning employee can still accidentally try to book leave on an important day for your company, and even the most well-meaning manager can still overlook the date when approving the request.

If your HR system allows it, you might find it helpful to review the year in advance, and “lock” specific dates against holiday bookings.

This will prevent mistakes being made by employees, which could lead to a shortage of people on one of the days when you need them the most.

Audit your activity history

Your HR software should record a detailed history of every action that any user takes. As the administrator, you should get into the habit of conducting some sort of audit on this data.

You might not feel it is necessary to go through every single activity, line by line. In fact, depending on the nature of your organisation, this may be impossible.

But if you develop the habit of reviewing activity history within your HR system, you’ll be far more likely to detect unusual behaviour before it causes damage.

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