3 steps to ensuring your employees will actually use your new HRMS

User adoption is the secret. The bells, whistles and slick features on your shiny new HRMS count for nothing if employees won’t use it. In fact, less than nothing; anything less than maximum utilization is effectively a loss in ROI terms.

So, how do you drive up employee adoption of your new HRMS? You build it and them, into the process from the very beginning, including the selection stage.

1. Conduct joint selection

A new HRMS system is change and all change is pain and loss. Even a change to something better means leaving behind the familiar and if you want employees to use new technology, you have to sell it to them. Early communication of the need to change comes first. They need to be aware of why a new HRMS is necessary. Then they have to want it. Communicate the benefits. Consult employees as part of the selection process: ask them what features would make their lives easier, what would help them in their roles, what are their opinions of the various options under consideration. By all means manage their expectations but don’t be afraid to raise them either. Having realistic expectations means they’re looking forward to using the system, and that’s half the adoption battle won.

2. Remove the element of choice

As already mentioned, selecting a system equipped with features that employees actually want is a good way to boost adoption. The other (complementary) strategy is to select a system that becomes the only channel to accessing some services. It has the potential to backfire, but processes such as workforce scheduling, shift switching, booking vacations, accessing training and development, and even just online paychecks are all common HRMS features and if the new HRMS becomes the only way to access them then people will use it. Removing the element of choice may sound harsh but if you make the HRMS the normal way of conducting business then when an employee has business they want to conduct… they’ll use it.

3. Provide excellent training

Surprisingly, training in how to use the new system is often where corners are cut during the implementation process. It should be obvious that if people don’t know how to use the HRMS then they won’t, but when budgets are tight or the project go-live deadline is looming, training is a big expense in terms of money and time and it’s tempting to cut it.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Selection Survival Guide - 9 steps to help select a new HRMS your employees will use

But people don’t enjoy feeling incompetent; especially with technology. So, boost their competence. Provide a range of training options: courses, downloadable modules, just-in-time guides, super user support, an implementation helpdesk, and so on. Even better, let them choose the options that suit their learning (and starting skill level) best.

It’s not so complicated: if you want people to use your new HRMS, then engage, attract, and tell them how.

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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