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Three Ways Human Resources Technology Boosts Productivity
What is HR Software?
Human resources software is an umbrella term used to describe lots of different computer programs designed to support HR. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would describe it as:
Technology designed to improve an organisation's human resources function , and make staff management and employee administration easier.
Over the last few years, I've worked closely with a number of companies in the Human Resources industry, and I've learned a lot - about both human resources and staff management in general, and human resources technology more specifically.
I've often seen people ask whether or not HR software actually helps a business grow. Well, in my opinion, it does - I've seen too much evidence supporting this to think otherwise. And I'd like to share three things I've observed over the last few years that support my opinion on this matter.
1. Quicker Access to Important Information
The most obvious way HR technology helps to boost productivity within an organisation is by providing HR staff and team managers with much faster access to important company information like right to work information and emergency contact details.
For example, imagine somebody in your organisation has had an accident and is taken to hospital. You have to contact their next of kin to break the news. Which of the following sounds like the fastest route to success?
- The Paper Route. Run to your office, unlock your filing cabinet, sort through hundreds of employee records until you find the right one, flick through the pages to find the emergency contact details
- The Spreadsheet Route. Load up your "HR" folder, find the correct spreadsheet (what was it called again?) and navigate to the correct employee row or column, then find the cell with the emergency contact telephone number
- The HR Software Route. Login. Type name. Check details.
Now, sure... somebody who gets used to doing things via The HR Software Route is naturally going to be a little bit slower at navigating spreadsheets and shuffling through papers, but realistically, we are progressing rapidly through an age of modern technology, and spreadsheets and paper forms are becoming a thing of the past anyway. Do you really want to waste time and money training your people to do something that's slow, ineffective, and out of date?
Considering the rapid access HR software gives you to your information, it is surprisingly cost-effective.
Why waste time? Seize the day!
2. Intimate International Communication
Cloud technology centralises information. Somebody could update a record in Australia, and it would be instantly available in Switzerland... whereas traditional paper forms would require faxing, emailing or phoning through if that same information was needed in several locations.
Now, while this might not have been as much of an issue 50 years or so ago, when businesses were much more local, these days it's a huge issue - people are hiring people from all over the world, as the Internet brings us all closer together.
What do You Think?
Do You Think HR Software Helps or Hinders?
3. HR Software Empowers Your Workforce
This is possibly my favourite point, so I'm going to repeat it:
HR Software Empowers Your Workforce.
Through functionality such as employee self-service, manager access rights and full auditing capabilities, HR software can help the people in your business to take greater control over their individual contributions to your organisation. For example:
- Employees can request holidays without having to take a full hour to fill out the form and take it to HR
- Managers can conduct performance reviews and approve holiday requests without leaving their desks
- HR administrators have the security of knowing everything is fully audit-able
Maybe It's Just Me...
In my opinion, these are just three of the many ways HR software can make your workforce more productive. And I'll be honest, I didn't spend long at all writing this article - I am sure that with a couple of hours and a strong cup of coffee, I could think of many more (and build a more compelling argument).
Maybe I've spent too long working with staffing, management and HR technology experts... but in my honest opinion, the companies I've worked with who have adopted recommendations to implement HR software have become so much more successful as a result. Just sayin'.