Benefits of using an HR system in 2021
Many people think that using an HR system is just about saving time and money. But while this is indeed a benefit, I wouldn’t say it was the main benefit. In fact, I can think of five other good reasons to switch to an HR system in 2021.
So if you’re still using paper files, spreadsheets, or multiple other systems to manage your HR information, then this article is for you.
Centralise your important HR information
When you use a dedicated human resources information/management system (HRIS/HRMS), you instantly have all of your critical HR data in one central place.
Dealing with sheets of paper, like physical forms and photocopies, is not just wasteful, but it’s a nuisance. And further to this, you’re not in a great position to show auditors that you’re in full control of your employees’ data. Besides, we’ve been saying for years that you should sell your filing cabinet on Ebay.
The same applies for the countless spreadsheets, or multiple systems, where you have different sets of HR data. Ideally, you want a single HR system to serve as your central point of truth – less fuss in your day job, and crucially, more accurate data keeping.
Pull useful reports very quickly
But even if we forget about the fact that your HR system will serve as a single point of truth to ensure more accurate data, there’s another huge plus to having all your HR information stored in one central location. The fact that when you need to deliver information, you know where to find it.
We know that there are a lot of reasons HR might need to find and deliver particular sets of information:
- The board might want a quick breakdown of employee turnover for the last financial year
- Maybe you’d like to quickly get a list of employees where right to work information is about to expire
- Perhaps employees are asking how much holiday entitlement they have remaining
As you know, when somebody asks you for HR information – whether it’s a complex report or a quick individual fact – they don’t consider how difficult it might be for you to compile or find that information. They just want to know.
That’s why we sometimes like to call the People HR query tool, the “can you just tell me” tool – it lets you build reports on absolutely anything you like, that can be quickly run and exported in a matter of seconds.
Thrive in a remote environment
Normally, when we talk about HR systems, we’re talking about SaaS products – i.e. cloud-based HR systems like People HR, which you can access via your desktop browser, smartphone app, or whatever. And one of the biggest benefits of a truly mobile-optimised cloud-based HR system, is that it helps you thrive in any environment – office-based, home-based, field-based, or wherever.
The year 2020 saw us make the biggest shift ever towards a massively remote global working environment, and it was SaaS products like cloud-based HR systems really came to the rescue for many organisations. And the year 2021 looks set to continue that trend.
But not only can you manage HR admin from anywhere, with an HR system, you can engage your employees through self-service apps that they keep on their smartphones. This helps you in many ways – from cutting out the need for more physical or manual processes (such as emails or paper forms to handle holiday requests), to helping employees feel more connected with their employment, their colleagues, and yes, even with HR, despite their physical distance.
Get quick visibility of uptime, downtime, and everything in between
An HR system lets you see who is working and when. Simple.
And if you don’t think this is useful, then put yourself into the shoes of the line manager who forgot how many holidays she approved for the summer; or think of the campaign planner who doesn’t know when to launch his big initiative because he doesn’t know what the headcount is looking like.
Regardless of whether people are physically at the office, or working from home, a good HR system will give you and your management team good visibility over sickness, annual leave, jury duty, and anything else you can think of – so that you can quickly check who is working when.
Just like IT needs visibility of whether or not their software systems are up or down, HR needs that same visibility of their human workforce.
Improve your data security
When you work in HR, you are responsible for the safety and security of the personal, and often sensitive data, of your employees. This means you need to ensure you’re complying with not just local employment law, but regulations such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
And with the UK having now set sail from the EU, you have to make sure you keep your HR data safe within a potentially ever-changing framework.
And it’s for reasons like this, why I think you’ll sleep better at night if you’re storing your HR information centrally, securely, and with the easy ability to remove personal data from your system, should that be required.
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