HRIS: turn your challenges into opportunities in a few steps

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Human Resources Management Information Systems (HRMIS) are now an integral part of the way companies operate. However, it has to be said that their adoption remains laborious. With off-putting interfaces and inadequate support for change, employees are reluctant to embrace these tools, whose potential often remains untapped.

Yet formalising the optimal HR processes in the tool is essential. It makes HR processes more fluid and paves the way for modernised team management. So how can you overcome the obstacles and turn these technologies into a real performance driver? This article sets out some ideas for transforming your HRIS from a constraint to an ally of choice. Follow the guide!

Why is it difficult to adopt an HRIS?

The adoption of an HRIS by a company’s employees is not self-evident. A number of pitfalls explain the reluctance and difficulties encountered by employees in familiarising themselves with these digital tools.

Poor ergonomics

The first major obstacle to their adoption is the poor ergonomics of some HRIS systems. Complex, unintuitive interfaces with multiple tabs and sub-menus put users off. When navigation is complex and requires numerous clicks to access information, frustration quickly sets in.

These everyday irritants end up discouraging employees, who then waste precious time looking for their data instead of concentrating on their work. For example, if the holiday request process involves navigating through several menus, then entering the same information several times, employees will prefer to use another, faster method.

What’s more, the ergonomics on mobile devices need to be carefully thought out to enable intuitive use on the move. Yet few HRIS systems are optimised for smartphones and tablets.

Lack of training and familiarisation

The lack of support for users when adopting an HRIS also represents a major obstacle to its adoption. Without clear explanations of the tool’s functionalities, employees are unable to see in concrete terms how it facilitates their day-to-day work.

What’s more, it’s detrimental not to plan a period of familiarisation. Employees need to gradually familiarise themselves with the interface and the possibilities it offers, so that they can “forget” the old tools. Dedicated testing and exploration time is therefore essential before the actual switchover to the new tool.

In addition, training needs to be tailored to the different profiles. Managers do not have the same needs as HR teams, for example. Specific content and materials need to be created for each target group.

Finally, long-term support helps to remove any obstacles as the system is used. Employees must be able to ask questions and be guided for as long as they need. Otherwise, they will quickly turn their backs on the HRIS.

Insufficient or missing functionalities

Some HRIS systems have functional shortcomings that prevent employees from adopting them as fully as possible. For example, the lack of mobile applications means that HR data cannot be entered or consulted while on the move. Nomadic employees are thus penalised, as they cannot enjoy continuous use of the tool.

Another recurring pitfall is the inability of managers to generate customised reports on the fly. If they can’t easily extract and cross-reference the information they need, they will turn away from the solution.

What’s more, the limited integration with other software used internally adds complexity to the processes. This generates damaging workload disruptions. Interfacing with other solutions must be optimal.

These functional gaps lead to frustration and wasted time. They convey an image of an incomplete tool to users.

Poor governance (or poorly established governance)

Unclear or non-existent governance of the HRIS complicates its adoption. In the absence of clear rules for use, employees do not know which tasks must be performed using the tool or how to share information internally.

This approximate governance leads to redundant data entry, a multiplication of exchange channels and, ultimately, a disparate level of adoption from one department to another. Some departments abandon the HRIS for lack of clear guidelines.

However, it is vital to formalise optimal HR processes in the tool. It makes user paths smoother and empowers employees. Defining who does what and how via the HRIS is essential.

Governance involving the various departments also makes it possible to identify any necessary adjustments. Feedback from the field continually enriches the user rules.

No support for change

Adopting a new tool changes well-established working habits. Without adequate support, employees are naturally reluctant to change. They fear that they will lose efficiency by the time they have mastered the new environment.

That’s why change management is a natural part of any HRIS roll-out. The same goes for any new solution. It helps to dispel apprehensions, in particular by explaining the tangible benefits in the medium term. The change must be presented as an opportunity.

In addition, identified advisers can help employees to adopt the new reflexes on a daily basis. Peer support encourages individual commitment.

The impact of poor HRIS adoption on companies

Poor adoption of HRIS by employees and managers has damaging repercussions for the company:

Widespread disengagement

A clear lack of interest in the HRIS on the part of users leads to increasing disengagement. In the absence of any perception of real added value in their day-to-day work, employees gradually desert the tool. They only use it out of obligation, for a few basic administrative tasks and/or constraints.

As a result, the HRIS does not become a natural part of their working habits. Over time, they tend to develop their own parallel tools, which they feel are more agile. Spreadsheets, messaging and shared drives are insidiously replacing the official HRIS.

Managers are making similar observations. Seeing no operational use for the HRIS in managing their teams, they turn their attention to other tools that they are more familiar with. In the end, they even give up encouraging their staff to adopt the HRIS.

This vicious circle maintains a chronic under-investment in the tool. Despite the functionalities deployed, usage remains limited to what is strictly necessary. Teams confine themselves to the minimum required. Under these conditions, it’s hard to get a return on the initial investment made by management.

Inoperative data

As a direct consequence of low HRIS usage, the quality of the HR data entered is inexorably deteriorating. Without rigorous adoption by all employees, information quickly becomes incomplete and erroneous.

This corrupted data then proves unusable for effectively steering the company’s HR policy. Managers can no longer accurately monitor the development of skills in their teams, or identify training needs.

Similarly, staff turnover forecasts and recruitment plans become less reliable, which hampers career management. Without solid HR analyses, it is impossible to anticipate recruitment needs in a forward-looking way.

Over time, the HRIS inexorably loses its primary role as an aid to HR decision-making. The value of the information it centralises is continually diminishing, putting a strain on all the HR processes that depend on it.

This decay means that a massive clean-up is needed to try and restore usable data. This tedious task is rarely enough to halt the deterioration in the long term. Only a vigorous reappropriation of the HRIS by everyone can turn things around.

Disengagement from the tool

A domino effect: the low level of use of the HRIS by the first users creates a negative image which discourages other employees from using it in turn. A vicious circle quickly sets in.

The lack of enthusiasm on the part of the early adopters leaves their colleagues thinking that the tool is not as useful as advertised. Especially if the managers themselves are not using it. So what’s the point in investing the time to learn how to use it?

The HRIS thus suffers from a stubborn reputation among employees as “ghost software”. They continue to use their usual tools, deliberately ignoring the HRIS, even though it was deployed at great expense.

New arrivals conform to this widespread trend. And the vicious circle is self-perpetuating, with the disengagement of some feeding the disengagement of others in a negative spiral.

Breaking this vicious circle requires strong action to restore employees’ confidence and desire. We need to demonstrate to them in concrete terms the added value of the HRIS in their day-to-day work, through relevant use cases.

How can HRIS adoption be improved?

The rejection of an HRIS within an organisation is not inevitable. There are a number of ways in which you can effectively guide your employees through the changeover to an HRIS. Here they are:

Take stock of disengagement

A precise diagnosis of the current level of adoption of the HRIS is a prerequisite. Interviews and questionnaires with users provide a factual basis for assessing their level of commitment.

This enables us to identify the main sticking points or irritants by department, hierarchical level, function, etc. This detailed analysis highlights the particular reluctance of each population.

It avoids a one-size-fits-all approach when each target group has its own specific characteristics. For example, managers may deplore the lack of appropriate reporting, while sales staff may find it difficult to enter data from their mobile phones.

Armed with this properly segmented diagnosis, HR managers are then in a position to define calibrated actions for each of these populations, in order to respond precisely to their expectations. Support is thus optimised.

What’s more, this analysis of the digital maturity of each department guides the right mix of efforts. Investment can be rationalised by targeting the most reluctant departments as a priority, in order to trigger a positive dynamic that benefits the whole group.

Regular communication

Informing employees before, during and after the roll-out of the HRIS is essential to ensure that it is adopted. No communication, no adoption.

Beforehand, you need to explain the overall meaning of the project to your teams: its objectives, the changes it will bring to their day-to-day lives, and the expected benefits for everyone. This educational approach clarifies the reasons for the change and encourages buy-in.

During the deployment phase, regular milestones provide reassurance by showing how the work is progressing. Employees are kept informed of the next stages.

Once the system is up and running, don’t hesitate to celebrate the quick wins with concrete examples of the improvements made possible by the HRIS. And internally, capitalise on these success stories to encourage people to want to use the system.

More generally, there needs to be ongoing transparency about the objectives, the difficulties encountered, the adjustments made, future developments, etc. This open communication strengthens user confidence in the validity of the project.

Listening to feedback from the field is just as important. Employees need to feel that their feedback is being taken into account so that the system can evolve. This constant exchange increases ownership.

Adapted in-house training

To be effective, training must be adapted to different profiles. In this respect, managers do not have the same needs as HR teams.

Brief, entertaining webinars help employees get to grips with the tool. For business experts, more technical workshops are needed. As for managers, individualised coaching will have a greater impact.

Each person needs to follow a tailor-made training programme to develop their skills at their own pace.

Train with K-STUDIO

Do you want to train your staff in new CRM, ERP, e-procurement or other collaborative tools? Then discover K-STUDIO, our e-learning software for creating 100% realistic interactive training content, and get the most out of your investment in new business tools.

Using IS training aids

To make it easier to get to grips with HRIS, it’s a good idea to use digital training aids. DAPs (Digital Adoption Platforms), for example, enable users to learn independently via interactive, fun learning paths.

Simulators offer a realistic learning environment for risk-free training on the real tool. LMSs (Learning Management Systems) centralise and monitor all training content.

These immersive and collaborative technologies boost the acquisition of HRIS skills. They optimise the autonomy and expertise of teams. Their deployment accelerates and deepens the appropriation of the new tool.

Guide your users with K-NOW by Knowmore

Our K-NOW solution, a digital adoption platform (DAP), guides your teams through the adoption of your HRIS solution. Tutorials, training… everything you need to get to grips with the system and make updates smooth and easy, using onboarding mode, feedback, intelligent guidance, etc.

Involving employees

Involving future key users or their representatives means that certain functionalities can be co-constructed and their needs collected in advance. Everyone feels part of the project and gets more involved.

For example, involving managers in setting the HR indicators and reporting that they need ensures that they perceive the HRIS as being useful.

Monitoring via KPIs

Any tool deployment requires monitoring. Tracking quantitative indicators (usage rates, connection times, etc.) allows you to accurately assess the gradual adoption of the HRIS.

In this way, we can celebrate good progress and react quickly if there are any gaps in relation to the adoption targets that have been set. Another advantage is that this detailed monitoring also identifies areas for improvement.

What’s more, the concrete indicators motivate the teams by demonstrating the increasing usefulness of the tool in their day-to-day work.

Measure digital adoption using K-VALUE

Measuring digital adoption can be complex, but there are solutions! Our K-VALUE solution maps usage and gives business teams the keys to taking the appropriate corrective action to improve the user experience of your software, including training, enhancing guidance, improving application settings, reviewing business processes, etc. So the digital adoption of your software is not a matter of chance. Take a strategic approach and use K-VALUE to measure, improve and maximise the digital adoption of your applications in your business.

The successful adoption of an HRIS requires a global strategy and relentless change management. Without educational support for employees, the most sophisticated tool in the world will remain a dead letter.

Each of the levers activated works together to convey a sense of purpose, to gradually build the skills of the teams and, ultimately, to empower everyone. Because an HRIS only creates value through the use that is made of it on a daily basis.

Beyond the specific case of the HRIS, it is also the digital maturity of the entire organisation that is at stake. Adopting new collaborative tools remains a constant challenge, at a time when digital transformation is accelerating.

But the benefits of successful mobilisation are substantial. The companies that are most agile in adopting technologies will benefit from this sustainable performance lever, thanks in particular to fully committed employees.

Knowmore guides you through the adoption of your HRIS!

Do you want to accelerate the adoption of your HRIS or any other digital tool? Knowmore can help you with its unique digital adoption platforms. Whatever your sector and your applications, Knowmore guarantees that your employees, suppliers and customers will appropriate them. By merging learning and use within a single innovative digital environment, Knowmore transforms your adoption challenges into tangible successes. Contact the Knowmore experts now for a demonstration!

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