3 things to consider as part of your requirements analysis for social HRMS

The “Social Age” is impacting more and more on the workplace and given that social and HR are all about people, it’s hardly unreasonable to expect an HRMS package to flex a few social collaboration muscles.

Social collaboration functionality is all about breaking down walls and barriers, letting stale air out and new ideas and perspectives in, and working across traditional boundaries. It’s what your people are used to out there in the ‘real’ world and they’re increasingly expecting it in the world of work too. If you’re looking over some new HRMS options, here are a few key features that you should be expecting to see.

1) A web of communications possibilities

Classic organizational lines of communication tended to go up or down, following the strict lines of reporting and hierarchy. These days, we all pretty much accept the value of reaching out more laterally, crossing departmental or functional boundaries.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Self Service - Successfully implement an HRMS that your employees can access

With employee self-service meaning that virtually every member of staff has access to the HRMS (albeit in a limited fashion) there is a golden opportunity for flatter communications that many HRMS providers are leveraging. More and more HRMS systems are including real-time communications functions, direct messaging, employee forums, crowdsourcing for problem-solving… Driven by the expectations raised by social media in people’s online personal lives, similar ease of connection is coming into the workplace.

2) Social learning

Old-style corporate training was a top-down process. Training needs were identified via narrow and rigid appraisal meetings and/or change initiatives. Staff access to the learning management system used to be restricted to using an on-screen catalogue to book and attend training courses. Now, more social systems are available, allowing individuals to identify bite-sized learning units by reference to their skills (existing and potential), and also see what the most popular training is, access the same courses as their mentors, and – possibly most importantly – access the knowledge of their colleagues to fill a specific gap that a generic learning package might not fit.

3) Gamification

(Almost) Everybody likes games and as part of bringing the wider online experience into the workplace, gamification of corporate software functionality has been a hot topic for a couple of years now. Whether it’s part of a learning package (with knowledge and skill measure by a score) or just simply a route for informal performance management (with colleagues offer real-time points and feedback to each other) a gamified HRMS can have a substantial impact on employee engagement and motivation and, ultimately, on the business’s bottom line.

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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