As business process and software consultants, we work with a variety of clients every day. While many companies – even small ones – have invested in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, a surprisingly large number have not made a similar investment in a sophisticated HR management software system for their HR data. Whether they think HR management solutions are too expensive, too hard to learn, or have more features than they need, some SMBs are hesitant to make the leap, even though their HR departments face many unnecessary challenges just to do their job well every day.
9 Common Challenges of Paper-Based HR Management
It is not uncommon for organizations whose HR departments still use paper filing systems and lots of Excel spreadsheets to suffer from major workflow issues. Here are nine common challenges many of our clients’ experience:
1. Disconnected or “Siloed” Information
It’s not uncommon for HR, payroll, time or recruiting information to live on separate spreadsheets or databases. Without a centralized system, accessing the needed information takes extra time.
2. Incomplete Information
Without the ability to run a query in a centralized system, critical employee information gaps (like a missing W4) may not be caught until it’s too late.
3. Inconsistent Information
When data is housed in multiple locations and multiple people use the data, details like job titles, naming conventions, or EEOclassifications based on job descriptions may be different in each data location.
4. Time Consuming Audits or Employee Verifications
With data in various spreadsheets and paper files, any type of verification takes time.
5. No Data History
When working in Excel, there is no way to see how data has changed over time. Often, it is important to be able to see the progression of an employee within an organization, especially when it comes to pay and job history.
6. Manual Compliance Reports
Reporting (like Affirmative Action reports, EEOC and OSHA reporting) is big part of HR department’s responsibilities. Without a centralized system that can run the necessary reports, aggregating the data for and populating critical compliance reports can be time-intensive and error-prone manual tasks for an HR staffer.
7. Manual Benefits Reconciliation
Without a centralized repository, a company may have a different headcount of employees enrolled in the various benefits plans than a carrier has on their books. Since carriers invoice based on enrollment numbers, auditing spreadsheets, and paper files it is a critical and often cumbersome process.
8. Visibility into a Total Compensation Statement
Manual records make it challenging and time-consuming to calculate the true cost of an individual employee, taking into account details like base salary, employer contributions, and PTO. Once calculated, merging this data into a format that can be shared with an employee is even more time sensitive. Generating these statements at the push of a button is a key benefit of a centralized HR management system.
9. Information Security
Not everyone, even within the HR department, should have access to all employee information (such as HIPPA information, salary, etc). Spreadsheets that aren’t permissions-based can be easily emailed to the wrong person, causing confidentiality risks.
Preparing to Make the Leap
Typically, clients come to us when they’ve reached a breaking point; their current processes are no longer serving them well or mistakes, errors, and time-consuming tasks have become costly. The decision to invest in business software should not be taken lightly. Engaging a software consultant to help you navigate the upcoming decisions and implementation process will usually result in a smoother transition from a paper to an HR management system.
Blytheco has helped many clients switch from paper-based HR management to an HRMS system, and our clients have shared that Blytheco delivers the following benefits:
- We take time to understand your company’s primary challenges. We take a deep dive into your current processes, and we spend time learning what employees, managers, and HR administrators are hoping to gain from the new software. From the first conversation through an implementation, we focus on the results our client expects when implementing a new system.
- We examine your current processes. Together, we examine which processes can and cannot be changed, as well as what can be improved for greater efficiency. We also identify the strategic action items HR team members can employ (that will help advance the company’s mission (with the extra time they find after routine tasks no longer take hours). If the capabilities of a software system are not aligned with a company’s processes, the implementation will struggle or ultimately fail.
- We consider your current technology. You likely have other business software in operation throughout your
company. What information needs to be shared with other software systems?
- We identify your company’s capacity for change. Implementing a new software and training the new users can be a bumpy transition if the transition is not carefully planned. We make sure to gauge your environment and create a roll out plan by determining priorities, risks and benefits, plus capacity for change management.
- We prepare your data for migration. We provide spreadsheet templates for the data that will pre-populate your new system. We help you determine what historical information (such as payroll) you want to import, how much history is appropriate, and which areas would be more appropriate for a fresh start.
- We help you plan the best time to implement. We can help you identify inopportune times for significant implementation milestones (such as company-wide events, open enrollment periods, or year-end madness) and we plan your implementation around them.We help you prepare your data for migration.
If your company needs further assistance making the transition to an HR management software, my team and I are here for you. Email us at HRSolutions@Blytheco.com or give us a call at 949-268-4371.
Article reprinted from the Spring 2017 issue of Bellwether.
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