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7 deadly sins of HR software

7 deadly sins of HR software

monsterid
By Jordan Lang

HR software makes vows to your organization left and right.

It promises to enhance the employee experience, making filling out a survey feel like a trip to Disneyland.

It swears that it will optimize operational productivity and efficiency, keeping your backend running like a Swiss watch.

It pledges to your organization that it will ensure data integrity and compliance in ways of which the CIA could only dream.

HR software builds the hope of organizations only to have everything come crashing down when the time to implement and go live arrives.

The sins cannot continue to go unnoticed. Arm yourself with knowledge and learn how to repent against the 7 deadly sins of HR software.

The 7 deadly sins of HR software

Sin #1 – Prideful UX

Software vendors boast about their simple and streamlined user experiences. They take pride in their platforms and promise that your employees will instantly know the workflows like the backs of their hands.

Oh, but if only this were truly the case.

How much longer must your people ask the same things:

Where can I see how many vacation days I have left?

How do I submit my quarterly review?

Where can I see my payslip?

Questions such as these run like a broken record—with endless repetition. They steal precious time from employees and from those the employees need to bother.

(Not to mention the frustration that comes with each failed attempt at the process.)

How can you repent against prideful UX?

There are two major paths your organization can take and luckily, both will lead to employee enlightenment.

The first is to utilize a code-free editor so you can customize proprietary and 3rd party applications as your organization sees fit. Proactively guide employees to complete any business process across single or multiple applications using strategically placed, personalized content, delivered at the moment of need.

The second is to automate entire workflows with the click of a button, or via a brief conversation with a chatbot.

Skip the HR software ego and jump right into the action.

Sin #2 – Wrath of the never-ending employee onboarding experience

As hybrid offices become a mainstay in the business world, HR departments are working tirelessly to build an employee experience that either mirrors or improves upon what was previously offered in the office.

Adding volumes of software in an attempt to accommodate and engage a global workforce can leave both veteran and new employees drowning in the flood of technology.

In a survey of over 500 executives, nearly half of the respondents’ employees struggled when faced with multiple software applications to perform cross-functional business processes.

To suffer through a new application or workflow every month further delays the employee’s time-to-competency and time-to-value.

How can you repent against the wrath of the never-ending employee onboarding experience?

Provide your employees with their very own digital onboarding guide and checklist. Implementing such a system means your employees will have clear goals with timelines that they can follow remotely while you track their progress.

Keep it quick and painless.

Sin #3 – Gluttonous training and retraining and retraining…

We tend to forget a large portion of what we learn, especially if it is not refreshed regularly in our minds. And when it comes to learning new software, many companies either leave their employees to fend for themselves, or believe they need to continuously train their employees in order to maintain a high standard of digital dexterity.

Adding a new application to the tech stack? Requires training.

Migrating to a different application? Should definitely have some training.

Software update? Does it come with a manual?

Changed a workflow? Can we just get an email?

Does this situation appear familiar?

How can you repent against gluttonous training and retraining?

Avoid the bottomless training buffet and overcome the learning curve by providing contextual support and guidance.

By offering task-specific guidance to employees within their applications as they face each workflow in real-time, you remove the need for:

  • In-person training
  • Video conference training sessions
  • User guides the size of the Old Testament
  • RETRAINING

Sin #4 – Lusting for visibility

Your employees are active on a growing number of applications, and the more systems of record built into their workflows, the more disjointed their experiences become.

How can you be sure that your employees are using the software as intended? How can you keep track of so many people at once?

The lust for software usage visibility emerges.

The inevitable data silos, multiplied with each new application, waste the time of employees as they try to locate answers within a sky-scraping tech stack’s worth of software. These silos also hide crucial information from managers who scour enterprise platforms, searching for a source of truth to measure KPIs and evaluate progress.

Executives will get particularly excited over a clear, simple, and unifying dashboard that draws information about user engagement from multiple applications at once.

How can you repent against the lust for visibility?

Build a composable enterprise.

Imagine if each workflow within an app were a LEGO piece. Now take only the pieces your organization needs to use to build a rocket ship and leave the rest in the box for later.

Enacting a modular approach to tech stacks means minimizing clutter—both visually and in terms of irrelevant data. It brings together all of the information that you and your employees need to see, connecting it in one streamlined interface.

Also, while constructing your masterpiece, it is an absolute must to integrate a data and analytics platform that provides insights across applications. Together, these solutions will surely satisfy any stakeholder’s desire for greater visibility.

Sin #5 – Slothful compliance

Every form, survey, or task that requires the engagement and input of an employee is an opportunity for failed or delayed compliance if not handled properly.

How many times has your HR department sent out an email or Slack reminder to the company beginning with the words, “Don’t forget to…”?

Employees and managers put so much effort into their personal day-to-day performance that any additional requirement can feel like a nuisance and lead to an immediate rush of laziness.

[Based on a real scenario]

 Receive an automated email from payment and benefits that I have not filled out my timesheet.
 “Eh, I’ll get to it later. It’ll only take me a second.”
 One week passes.
 Receive a 2nd automated email from payment and benefits that I have not filled out my timesheet.
 “Oh, right, I should do that soon.”
 Another week passes.
 Receive email from payment and benefits manager notifying me that I have not filled out my timesheet, the window to do so is closing tomorrow, and I will not be paid if I do not comply immediately.
 “OH NO! Okay, got it. Done.” 

How can you repent against slothful compliance?

Have your employees look no further than their own desktops. A notification system that sits on your employees’ home screens can be used to engage with them at any time, just as long as their monitor is on.

Don’t wait for them to open their email—or one of the other 10 communication channels in which you may have invested—to view important updates and tasks that require action. Send a push notification so that they can complete the process right then and there.

Sin #6 – Greed and the failure to prove ROI

“Company X used our platform and saved $1 million in two months!

– HR Software Vendor

A story like this can create unrealistic expectations for stakeholders involved in purchasing expensive HR software. They may choose to invest in a particularly well-known platform, believing that as soon as it is implemented there will be a shift of many magnitudes in the company.

These miracles do occur now and then, but if a statistic like this can be achieved by one company using an application, it would be expected that others can reach the same level of success.

The ability to prove the ROI of your software investments can prevent other business leaders from viewing the HR department as a cost center.

A key factor in the process that is climbing to the top of executives’ minds is the need to create clear, quantifiable goals whose progress can be measured with ease.

Once this is taken into account, is the failure to prove ROI the sin of the software itself, or that of the ones implementing and using the software?

How can you repent against greed and the failure to prove ROI?

Begin by defining success for your organization. Each company will have varying definitions that should be specific to its needs and capabilities, so both internal and external communication are vital to selecting in which direction to steer the ship.

Having a holistic understanding of management’s employee strategies and their influence on your customer base will allow your organization to focus on the impact of your software investments.

The quickest path to success is by cultivating a data-driven culture.

Tally every achievement, take note of pitfalls along the way, and make the necessary adjustments to realize the value your HR software has to offer.

Sin #7 – Envy of digital adoption

So many promises. Such high expectations. HR software gets you to believe that with it on your team, the sky’s the limit.

The classic story of envy:

That friend of yours who works at a competing company said they saw unbelievable results after adopting the latest and greatest HR software.
You present the software to your stakeholders, backed by all of the promises and references, and they actually go for it.
Everyone has login credentials and there's a buzz of excitement in your department.
Days, weeks, months pass and there is nothing to show for the massive dent you just put in the budget. But why?
What did your friend’s company do that yours didn’t?
They mentioned something about a digital adoption platform…could that be it? 

How can you repent against the envy of digital adoption?

That will be covered in the weeks to come in our HR software miniseries: HR vs. HR Tech

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monsterid
Jordan Lang
Jordan's field experience in SaaS sales gave him the opportunity to connect first-hand with leaders of companies from a variety of ecosystems. His understanding of the challenges organizations encounter guide his ability to communicate and relate to a wide range of professional audiences.