Getting the most from your HRIS

by 12 Nov 2009

Q. How can we maximise the use of our Human Resources Information System (HRIS)?

There are several areas you could review to ensure you are getting the most from your HRIS. The first step is to assess your company’s knowledge of the system. If there are areas that team members don’t fully understand, it may be beneficial to attend some refresher training. Once you have a thorough understanding of your HRIS, you will be able to determine if you are fully utilising it.

User group meetings are another way to extend your system knowledge, as well as a great networking opportunity – you may uncover some excellent system tips from other users. A good way to keep abreast of changes is to read the release notes when you receive system upgrades – you might be surprised to find some useful features have been added that give you more ways to use your HRIS.

Reviewing the expectations of management and stakeholders of the HRIS to refresh your understanding of their needs – and to determine if the system is meeting their needs – is also recommended.

Once you have a thorough understanding of your system and the organisation’s expectations, a process review may be worthwhile. Examine the processes and procedures that surround payroll/HR and ask if each process is required or if there is a better/faster way to do it. Often staff members perform procedures because that is how the person who trained them told them to do it. Further investigation may reveal a redundant process or a faster way to perform it. It might be beneficial to have an outsider come in and review your processes – your system provider or a specialist independent consultant may uncover some significant time and productivity savings.

While reviewing your procedures another area to assess is data input and output. If your organisation is spending hours every week or month on data entry there could be alternatives. Leave forms are an area where data entry can be eliminated or minimised. Most HR/payroll systems offer employee self service capabilities and these modules provide a plethora of time and productivity savings to busy payroll and HR staff. If you already have employee self service, ensure your organisation is utilising it fully.

Reporting is another area in which time and money savings can be found. Scheduling reports to run overnight will save time and system resources. It may be useful to prepare a reporting survey for users to ensure all of the reports they receive are required – you may find some reports are no longer needed or a detailed report is supplied when a summary report will suffice. If you are still printing and distributing hard copy reports, it might be worthwhile to switch to electronic distribution, which is faster and cheaper.

By understanding the capabilities of your system and reviewing your internal procedures for redundancies, you will uncover many ways to deliver time and cost savings to your business

By Nick Southcombe, general manager, Frontier Software. Tel: 03 9639 0777 Email: