HRMS Training: The Process and The Users

One of the factors that makes an HRMS implementation such a challenge is that everybody needs to be able to use it. It may perform a variety of highly-specialised and specific functions but the cadre of users couldn’t be less specialised; after all, every single employee needs to at least be able to log on and handle the routine personal data management tasks that are designed to free up your HR staff for more demanding work.

Add to this that any change to an IT system is by its nature a de-skilling process, with users suddenly having to re-learn how to do once-familiar tasks as well as get to grips with new functionality (just think of the frustration you experience every time Facebook gets an overhaul or WhatsApp etc.) and it’s obvious that HRMS training is a make-or-break part of your implementation success.

Of course, just as there are different stakeholder groups, so there will be different user groups (in fact, the two groups often by and large mirror each other). The users whose HRMS training and instruction you need to consider, generally include the following as a minimum:

  • The Executive or C-level users, who’ll need to access HR analytics and strategic level reporting features.

  • Line managers, who’ll be focused on employee recordkeeping, workforce scheduling and leave management, recruitment and onboarding and performance management tracking.

  • Individual employees (the workers), who’ll need to know how to access to their own personal records and keep them up date, book/request time off, make benefits choices etc.

  • HR staff, who’ll need to be able to advise everybody else, carry out various statistical and strategic number-crunching and so on.

In terms of the HRMS training process, it’s no different to any other upskilling project.

First, establish what you need each group to be capable of doing. This is the ‘destination’ and should be determined by (or at least linked to) the overarching business objectives that the HRMS is intended to support.

Second, find out what users are capable of doing now. In other words, where are they now? You don’t want to waste time on training materials for anything they already know, but equally you can’t risk making any false assumptions.

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Third, design appropriate learning interventions to take each group of users from their current state to the desired destination state.

Then, deliver that learning solution. Then, evaluate it. Then, tweak/amend/redesign it as necessary (maybe even start all over again in extreme circumstances). Then review progress and readiness for go-live.

The main message here is not to underestimate the importance of HRMS training to your HRMS’s ultimate success. Hitting your go-live target date is hugely desirable in terms of being seen to deliver what you promised. However, staging the big ‘switch-on’ in line with the original timetable at the expense of users’ ability to utilise the system is a false victory. Effective and targeted HRMS training doesn’t just enable everybody to use the system effectively, it also demonstrates your commitment to providing a system that will actually be of value to the organisation and to the individual. That’s the kind of engagement that you don’t want to compromise on.

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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