How HRMS can make HR more human

Let’s talk HR clichés… They don’t add any value to the business (not true). They’re petty-minded rules merchants who stop managers doing what they want (if you mean they ensure compliance with relevant legislation, by all means try breaking the law and see how far your business gets). They only care about procedures and forms, they’re faceless, process-bound robots… Actually, most people in HR would say they care about people so it’s ironic that these ‘people persons’ are seen as uncaring. It’s doubly ironic that using technology and automation can help make HR seem more ‘human’ to their colleagues.

How can HR technology help people?

What do we mean by ‘human’ in this context? Well, let’s be honest, human beings are capable of being quite vile so naturally, when we talk about being “more human”, we’re hoping for positive human traits, such as…

Approachability

There’s nothing more off-putting than a really busy person who has no time for anything or anyone else. HR work can be pretty busy but introducing an HRMS with automated processes can free up a lot of HR time for more personal interactions and support, tackling more pressing (and difficult) issues).

Consistency

The harsh reality of dealing with human beings is that we are often more likely to be capricious than consistent. Have you ever heard someone at work say, “That’s not how X did it last time”? Design a fair process, then automate it so that no one can change it and you’ve improved the employee experience across the board which, despite being driven by technology, gives the impression you care (more on this in a moment).

Helpfulness

When information is available more easily and that information is more accurate, that’s helpful. And a desire to help is distinctly human.

Understanding

When processes are as simple as possible and people’s responsibilities in those processes are clear to all, we all know who has to do what to achieve a specific result. That sounds a lot like greater transparency and clarity, allowing everyone to rely on others to do what they should (or hold them to account if and when they don’t).

Respect and trust

Fewer errors mean fewer problems for employees, which means you’re going to the trouble of treating them as if they matter – which, of course, they do! – and that’s respect. Also, an HRMS  often empowers each employee to control their own data, and make more of their own decisions (e.g. re: scheduling). That’s empowerment, and empowerment only works when backed with respect and trust for all employees.

Finally, HR automation shows you care. Really? Yes. When an HRMS streamlines processes, cuts out gatekeepers and unnecessary layers, reduces errors, gives more control to individual employees, and offers closer engagement between the HR team and the people who make up the rest of the workforce, it says you care about everybody’s experience at work. Not a bad message to send: HR for humans, by humans, via technology.

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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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