Three things you can do to make your HRMS UX better

Let’s begin with three statements:

  • Return on investment (ROI) is the end goal of selecting and implementing a new HRMS

  • User adoption is a significant influence on ROI

  • User experience is a significant factor in user adoption

If you can agree with those statements, then user experience (UX) should be an important consideration when looking to get the most from your HRMS.

First of all, the user experience is broader than the user interface - the screen(s) your people are faced with when they log in to the HRMS. To put it bluntly, HRMS UX is more than just UI.

Of course, that interface is important. User-friendly, intuitive functionality and welcoming, modern-looking screen layouts are key design elements. But driving up user satisfaction, making them enthusiastic about accessing HR information via a screen, and ultimately creating a more efficient HR service relies on more than pretty visuals.

1. Meeting their needs (not just yours)

When it comes to streamlined processes, and the features and functions that users can access, ask yourself whether your HRMS is making a difference to everybody’s working lives or just the HR team’s? Much of this derives from the stakeholder engagement you carry out as part of the selection process.

You need to really explore and understand the full variety of user needs and then ensure the chosen system addresses their priorities. If it’s not useful, they won’t use it. A simple example: if you have remote and field workers on the team, your HRMS had better be mobile-friendly.

Recommended reading: find HRMSs optimized for UX with our extensive HRMS vendor directory.

2. Avoid the obvious design mistakes

Some of these classic HRMS UX errors may be addressed through customization, some may be issues at the selection stage:

Usable is always better than impressive. Fancy visuals are great but not at the expense of utility; over-bold colors and images can obscure buttons, links and fields and be off-putting. Not everybody needs every feature. Categorize users according to their needs and trim away unnecessary links or buttons from the visual display.

Avoid placing too many barriers between the user and the functionality. People want to get in, do what they need to do, and get out. Popups with critical corporate messages, short surveys, or requests that they update their personal information (again!) can be very effective tools, but not if they are overused.

Resist kneejerk responses to feedback. Just because a user (however senior) complains doesn’t mean the system must be changed. Listen, explore, deliberate, decide. Don’t rush to fix what may not be broken.

Consider your branding. As HR, you’re selling a service and the respect you receive in the organization is often precarious. Clean, simple design that aids easy use is the goal.

3. Provide easy access support

The traditional option is the classic helpdesk phone number but enabling people to solve their own problems is not only more efficient but is often more appreciated. Online help options, instant chat messaging, FAQs that are based on actual reported issues (such as common calls to the helpline), and just-in-time mini-tutorials that focus on single procedures and functions are all strategies to improve user experience.

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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