How often do you feel bogged down by Human Resources administrative tasks?
Research by TotalJobs has shown that even elite HR professionals spend on average 8% of their time on administrative tasks, with some HR Managers surveyed spending up to 30% on Admin. The situation is often worse in the case of SME’s with less than 250 employees, as sometimes only one HR professional is employed to enforce policy, with only a small strategic element to their role.
While the proportion spent on these tasks has decreased since 1995 according to a study from the Center for Effective Organisations, there is still work to be done. Time spent on HR administration takes away time from the HR professional or department looking to focus more on strategic HR or bring a strategic element into their role, with tasks such as improving employee relations, implementing training and development programmes, or reducing employee turnover. With 85% of HR professionals believing that practicing strategic HR is important (Society for Human Resource Management), we’ve thought of 4 ways HR software can help ease the administrative burden on HR, leaving more time to plan and execute HR strategy.
1. Employee Self Service
Firstly, HR software provides employees with the ability to take away some of the administrative tasks from HR, by beginning many processes themselves. For example, before the implementation of HR software, it would be quite common for an employee to fill in a form to update their personal details or request time off, pass the form to their line manager, which is then sent to HR for it to be reviewed and either input into a separate system or filed (or both), possibly with confirmation sent back to the employee that their request has been fulfilled. While this process works, not only does it place the burden of administration on HR, but multiple steps with many people involved creates more room for human error.
However, with an online HR system in place, employees are able to input the details of their request into the system themselves, with their updates being reviewed, approved or rejected by either their line manager or HR manager, or both. With one set of information input into one single online store, not only does this save HR a lot of time, but it reduces the possibility of human error.
For example, within our own HR software, seeHR, employees can update their own personal details without additional forms or processes in place. As soon as they save their new address or telephone number, it is updated in the system, so no need for HR to confirm the change has been made. To request holidays in seeHR, the employee themselves inputs the dates on the calendar, which is then submitted to their line manager who approves or rejects the request. Managers can clearly see from their own screen which team members are off when, and approve or reject the request accordingly, with the employee being notified via email once a decision has been made. Their holiday allowance is then adjusted, with the days requested automatically deducted from their annual total. For both these tasks, HR software takes on the burden of paper administration, leaving HR free to focus on more strategic tasks.
2. Move Processes Online
Similar to allowing employees the ability to reduce HR administration by completing some tasks themselves, HR Software-as-a-Service can help reduce workloads by moving processes purely online. Processes between HR and an employees line management, such as logging a grievance or completing performance reviews can be moved solely online, again reducing administration.
Additionally, distributing information online to all stakeholders who need it can aid communication between departments and ensure everyone is on the same page. For example, the ‘Logs’ tab in seeHR gives managers, employees and HR Administrators the ability to add notes regarding anything from a dispute, to a change in position, to an update of personal details. The ‘Performance’ tab also allows the creation and submission of performance reviews online, assessing an employee or manager’s performance in a central location. If you ever need to refer back to previous reviews to check improvement, you’re able to locate them easily.
Reducing time it takes to explain problems or additional needs for employees with the use of software instead of through meetings, emails or letters helps HR remedy any issues quickly and easily. Therefore, HR Managers can focus more on how to strategically improve employee relations, find the root cause of problems or plan ahead for enriching learning & development.
3. Go Paperless
With HR software, your HR department can streamline processes by reducing administration concerned with physical paperwork. Many HR departments, especially those located in SME’s, still store their information either in physical files or filing cabinets, folders of documents on their work computer, or in Excel spreadsheets. Even if you are able to locate the files that you need, when you need them, creating an organisational system and ensuring that any other members of your HR department follow that system will still cost your hours in your working week.
Using an online HR system can help alleviate these stress with an intuitive interface accessible to everyone who needs it. With seeHR, any file type, including PDFs and MS Word, can be uploaded into the ‘Documents’ tab into our secure server, so all your paperwork is managed in one place. All documents are organised by employee names, with only designated Administrations and Line Managers being able to see this information. All applicable managers are now able to access an employee’s documents quickly and easily in an organised and user-friendly interface, reducing paper copies to only the essentials.
Not only does going paperless aid the conservation of the environment, it will reduce costs, improve organisation, enable transparency of information to those who need it, and save time locating copies of documents when they are required.
4. Gather Data as You Go
As strategic HR involves aligning HR strategy with your overall organisation’s strategy, it is necessary to understand trends within your workforce and what actions to take to improve matters. While this is a strategic task, being able to analyse findings to create business insight requires raw data from your workforce and their performance, which must be gathered, prepared and visualised.
Gathering this data is an Administrative function that can become extremely time-consuming, but is necessary to make informed decisions about your workforce. Even deciding to how to gather data can be over-complicated. Do you survey your current employees, and risk a low response count or false answers due to social desirability bias? Do you implement exit reviews when an employee leaves your company, even though data will take time to gather? However, if you are able to gather data automatically, HR managers can focus on creating strategic or remedial plans of action.
At seeHR, we believe software is integral to helping HR departments gain the insights they need to make business decisions for the welfare of their employees. That is why as you input more and more employee information into the system, seeHR analyses your HR data to instantly give you insights into your workforce, without any administration or manual inputting. Few online HR systems offer any analytics capabilities at all, however at seeHR we believe informing HR strategy is key to driving business improvements.
As an HR administrator in your company’s seeHR account, you have access to both an HR and Analytics Dashboard. In your HR Dashboard, you can view your breakdown of employees at a glance using factors such as salary distribution, employment type, new starts and leavers, and your employees’ average age and tenure. From this data gathering, you will able to identify strategic HR issues within your workforce, and spend time working to implement policies and programmes to address points of concern.
For further insights, we also have a built-in Analytics dashboard that uses academic-driven factors to analyse which employees in your organisation are at highest risk of leaving. We use data gathered from the day-to-day use of the platform to show HR departments which employees may leave, how many managers are at high risk of leaving, the factors that significantly impact your own organisation’s attrition, and how much it could cost the business if these employees were to leave. We believe these insights are crucial for an HR department to execute informed and impactful HR strategies. With seeHR, these insights are generated without traditional methods of gathering data that can be time-consuming and onerous.
There we have it, our top 4 favourite ways that utilising a centralised HR platform can help free up time for more startegic HR management. If you’d like to see the time-saving benefits to your own HR department of using an platform like seeHR, sign up for a free 14 day trial – and experience seeing your HR in a whole new way.