HR challenges in user adoption of HRMS

It’s all about the users. Really. It doesn’t matter how bleeding edge your HRMS is, or how rigorous the selection and implementation process. It may function perfectly and do exactly what you hoped but if everybody isn’t using it then watch your return on investment evaporate.

In this crucial sense, HRMS user adoption is a critical indicator of a successful HRMS project, and therefore an important element in your ROI strategy.

So, what problems do businesses face with HRMS adoption?

People are stuck on old processes 

This may affect the HR staff using the system in their daily roles, or perhaps members of the workforce struggling with new self-service options. People tend to prefer the known to the unknown and even if the new system offers vast improvements, they’ll still need convincing and weaning off the old (and familiar) ways of doing things.

A lack of comms and marketing

Linked to the above point, to convince the workforce to adopt a new HRMS, they need to understand the benefits it offers, both to the business and to them as individual employees. A failure to emphasize ‘what’s in it for them’ can undermine user adoption.

A lack of incentives

Motivation (in this case, to use a new HRMS) can be either carrot or stick. Sure, the stick works. But the carrot is also much easier to apply than a stick. Consider how you can make the consequences of HRMS use positive, as opposed to making the consequences of non-use negative.

Learn more about the most common HRMS implementation challenges

Peer pressure

What colleagues and teammates think is a powerful driver, but in which direction? If the general mood is uncaring or dismissive (‘Yet another waste of money!’) that can be contagious. Use peer pressure to your advantage and enlist enthusiasts from within the workforce to act as ambassadors.

A lukewarm top team

Focusing on the C-suite as users, their hierarchical position make them influential within the organization. If senior executives are openly avoiding (or disparaging) the new HRMS, others will be swayed. Look at what such users want from an HRMS (strategic insights, fancy analytics, a clear boost to the bottom line) and ensure that they see it is happening – use their influence positively.

A user-unfriendly system

User experience is probably one of the biggest determinants of user adoption. An awkward, clunky system that is difficult to use is a big turn-off.

Access problems

Can your people access the HRMS features they need, when they need them? In the modern workplace, hours worked and locations worked from are increasingly flexible. If the HRMS can’t cope, they won’t use it.

Poor training

Your user training program is key to overcoming unfamiliarity with the system and is also a primary channel for communicating the system’s benefits. If users leave the training at all unsure of how to use function that they need to use, or unconvinced that your new HRMS is anything other than a waste of time and money, you’ll have a problem.

A lack of follow-up

If communication is key during the HRMS selection, implementation and launch, what about afterward? It’s easy to breathe a sigh of relief after a successful go-live and relax. But you’ve made a number of promises to users (benefits, improvements, etc.) and if you don’t report back on progress, they’re going to be less inclined to accept your propaganda next time around.

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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

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