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Micah Fairchild The 5 Critical Return-on-Investment Steps for Your HRMS

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 By Micah Fairchild

Post-Implementation Steps to Improve HRMS Software ROI

The dust may have finally settled on the implementation phase of your new Human Resource Management System, but the work is far from over. Aside from the constant evaluative techniques that will have to be launched in the coming days and months, continuous improvement initiatives will also be necessary to ensure strategic alignment with organizational objectives. Aside from providing ongoing technical support for end-users, training and development plans will need continuous re-focusing to ensure that all employees are up-to-speed and engaged. No, the work is most assuredly not over once "go-live" hits, but taking these steps during your organization's post-implementation phase will help to ensure that your HRMS project nets the best possible Return-on-Investment (ROI).

Step # 1: Start Reporting on Your HR Software Reporting Features

For many organizations, access to the reporting features inherent with any Human Resource Management System was the main impetus behind such a purchase. As such, once implementation is behind you, it's time to start tracking (and reporting) on those reporting features. Specifically, start answering questions like: are the standard reports from the vendor up to par? Are any customized reports, created during the implementation phase, being utilized as expected? Are you receiving feedback from end-users that merits changes in how reporting is delivered, configured, or used? Remember that system utility is one half of the equation for ROI (engagement being the other half), so if your reports are not delivering what you need or aren't being utilized by end-users as expected, it's time to revisit the reporting feature.

Step # 2: Move into HRMS Evaluation Mode

Along with evaluating how the reporting features work, post-implementation is also the time to get down into the minutiae of how the system itself is performing. While every application faces performance issues like bugs and downtime, is an inordinate amount of time being spent on these fixes? What about data usability? Are users reporting data that is inaccurate, incomplete, or replicated? Given that the lifeblood of any HRMS solution is reliable and valid information, data issues top the list of things to get fixed fast. As such, organizations should be on a vigilant lookout for data problem solutions. For example, if your system is set up in such a way that multiple editors can alter the same field, consider the utility of setting procedural standards to combat data corruption or instituting data steward policies. Few things can derail both the utility and user engagement of an HRMS like data issues, and because of that few issues are as important to achieving return-on-investment.

Step # 3: Review Your HR System Needs

Given the fact that in all likelihood, no off-the-shelf HRM software had exactly what you were looking for originally, post-implementation is the time to review and reflect on whether the initial choices and customizations of the software achieved expectations. For example, based on the needs analysis conducted prior to HR software selection, were there specific facets of the ideal system that have yet to be deployed? Are end-users complaining about those missing features? Or what about the facets of the purchased system that weren't seen as necessary at the time of implementation? Are those features still not being fully utilized? Whatever the case may be, once your HRMS is functioning at a sustainable level, it's time to look back over the requirements that led you to this investment to determine whether there are missing pieces, and if so, how important each piece really is. Compromises were inevitably made to achieve implementation, but they may not be appropriate or necessary for the long-term system ROI.

Step # 4: Extend Your Software Communication Strategy

No doubt when the idea of an HR management system was first batted around, great care was taken in communicating the benefits of such a solution. Newsletters, email blasts, etc. were all probably used to make sure everyone was aware and (as much as possible) on board with the idea. From, a Return-on-Investment perspective, don't let this strategy go just because "go-live" is over. Instead, keep communicating information about upgrades, enhancements, and other system issues to all users regularly. For example:

  • Create a drop-box for employees to communicate system suggestions;
  • Promote advanced user trainings via the company website, intranet, or social feeds;
  • Keep an updated list of Frequently-Asked-Questions (and their subsequent answers) in an easy-to-find place; and
  • Proactively alert users to any "bugs" or better ways to utilize system tools.

By keeping the lines of communication open with your user community, a return on investment is inevitable, because you're treating users like customers—and after all, isn't that the ultimate communication strategy?

Step # 5: Embrace an HRMS Engagement Strategy

One of the fastest (and frankly most effective) methods for improving software solutions is to engage the user community. Not only can these users provide invaluable first-hand feedback on the positives and negatives of a given system, but improvements, shortcuts, and work-arounds are also likely to be found through their feedback. It's no different for an HRMS solution, and because of that organizations should do everything within their power to connect and engage with users from HR, finance, accounting, payroll, etc. to find out: Do the pre-defined processes work? Are there suggestions for process improvements? Are end-users satisfied with the new system?

By engaging users on these topics (through focus groups, surveys, etc.), several important elements are captured for ROI. Namely:

  1. Continued employee buy-in can occur because you are seeking out user opinions;
  2. Shortcuts that inadvertently affect the system in a negative way can be more easily identified; and
  3. Holes in the HR change management strategy can be more easily located and thusly amended.

HRMS Return-on-Investment is Within-Your-Reach

Sitting back and relaxing after implementing costly, time-consuming software such as a human resource management system is not possible if any hope for ROI is expected. Hence, organizations should take care to thoroughly evaluate as many features as possible post-implementation, as well as revamp efforts for engaging users and communicating strategies. By doing so, the return-on-investment from the HRMS solution will be not only achievable, it will also be fast. End

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Post-implementation is the time to review and reflect on whether the initial HR software choices and customizations achieved expectations."


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