Has Poor Training Made Your HRMS Suck?

Admittedly, this reason for your HRMS user experience sucking isn’t so much about the software or technology. User training is one of those supporting factors, a critical element of the software implementation project. However, training has such a fundamental impact on the quality of the user experience post-implementation, that it directly impacts on the users’ opinion of the system itself. It may not be fair, but that’s how it is.

Initial Implementation

In an ideal world, your implementation will have been accompanied by a cunning training strategy that exposed each and every user to precisely those functions they will need to access, giving them just the right amount of ‘bigger picture’ information, plus ensuring they have the requisite IT skills and computer literacy to use the system to enhance their working life. With a reasonable application of some project planning and preparation, this is actually the easy part to get right. Without HRMS training during implementation difficulties threaten to pile up in the post-implementation phase.

New Hires and Promotions

Firstly, you have to deal with new hires, people who weren’t part of the organisation when the new HRMS was installed. Again, these should be relatively easy to deal with and the training on the system can be slotted into their induction package or onboarding programme, instantly improving the newly hired employees HRMS user experience. It’s trickier to track the numerous job changes, promotions and shifting responsibilities that occur within the existing workforce, each of which may require some additional training or instruction in a fresh facet of the system. Tricky, but far from impossible.

HR System Updates

Then you have updates to the system itself. HR systems are often updated more frequently than other business intelligence software. It’s not unusual to have quarterly updates if only to accommodate the latest legislative changes. Then there may be fresh union agreements, improvements to internal processes, and so on. The more sophisticated the system, the more detailed the framework of data that it rests on, the more often that data changes or evolves, and the more frequent the updates are likely to be. And every update involves training for somebody. If that training doesn’t take place in a co-ordinated and timely fashion then a user or users will be confronted with a system that they suddenly don’t know how to use. The hard-won familiarity has evaporated, frustration sets in, and fairly or otherwise, the reaction is usually: this system sucks.

HRMS Team Changes

One complication with any software system is that the original project team for selection and implementation; the group of people who over a period of weeks or even months came to know the system and the consequent user needs inside out, probably no longer exists. Often consisting of people drawn from different areas and functions within the organisation, that HRMS project team has now dispersed. If your project documentation procedures were tight enough then information on the system and the training will be easily available, but if it wasn’t… then the information that tells you what training has gone before is scattered around the organisation and probably beyond (if you used external consultants).

There are a few reasons why an employee might claim “this HRMS sucks” but poor training does not need to be one of them.

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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.

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Dave Foxall