A brief guide to HRMS engagement for non-office staff

Flexible working, virtual teams, home offices – just three of the contributory factors making managing the modern workforce more complicated. Add in the fact that the nature of your business may need a number of field workers and the days of a single homogenous team, sitting and working in the same office are over. This change to team dynamics presents certain challenges when it comes to encouraging all employees to make the most of an HRMS.

The first challenge comes before the system is even installed. Good practice when selecting new organizational software is to engage with different stakeholders, to explore what they might need from the new software and build those needs into the system requirements. At this stage, non-office-based staff are a discrete stakeholder group who may have some unique opinions and input concerning remote login, automated procedures, and data security..

Once the system is purchased and in use, the key is to encourage use by remote workers by focusing on a few practical features that will benefit them on a day to day basis – in other words, it’s the classic ‘what’s in it for me’ principle.

Better communications

It’s easy for remote staff to feel isolated from the wider team and an HRMS which includes a selection of internal communications features can help connect field staff with their home base colleagues. Instant messaging, videoconferencing, and more ‘social’ aspects such as crowdsourcing, and community tools help departments work together and connect people in different office, enabling direct communication without anybody leaving their workstation. This technology is even more applicable to the needs of remote workers, connecting them to the main team even when they are operating in a different city or country. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, the distance between colleagues becomes less of a barrier.

Recommended reading: ensure everyone in your company engages with your new HRMS with our six-step guide to HRMS self-service success

Performance management

Every employee needs to know how they’re doing in their job. And most workplaces have long since expanded on the once-a-year appraisal meeting to offer more regular feedback, both formal and informal. However, that informal exchange between worker and supervisor is much more easily done when both are in the same location. Remote staff can often lose out on feedback on their performance.

Some HRMS include communications functionality that allows instant and informal feedback. And for more formal contact, links to video conferencing features offer easy facetime.

Self-service features

Offering self-service features with your HRMS effectively democratizes your people procedures. If everyone is using the on-screen system to request time off, update their personal data profile, check their monthly pay, etc. then everyone is receiving the same quality of service, regardless of their proximity to the HR team’s office (in fact, the likelihood is that the HR team is also scattered geographically). It’s one of those circumstances in which equal treatment equals fair treatment.

Transparency

Finally, there’s the benefit that comes from shared time and attendance information. When everyone can see where their colleagues are and what they’re doing via a transparent calendar function, it helps break down some of the inevitable questioning and mistrust that can arise between 9-5ers in an office and their more flexibly operating field compatriots, reducing any internal ‘them and us’ culture.

author image
Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

author image
Dave Foxall