Employee engagement tips and advice

A handy roll-out checklist for your online HR system

Finding a new HR software solution that you know will make a big difference to your business can put you on a huge high. Just knowing how much easier it will make your life in terms of streamlining HR processes, consolidating personnel records and enhancing reporting capabilities can be a big relief.

However, it won’t matter a jot how marvellous the software is if it isn’t deployed effectively. So we have put together this handy checklist to help you navigate the roll-out of your HR system with ease.

Just follow these top tips to deploy your online HR system:

Appoint your project champion

If you are not planning to be the champion for your new HR software, you will need to find a senior member or members of staff happy to take on this role as soon as possible. This is because ensuring the effective deployment of your software across your staff is critical to you reaping the rewards of buying the system in the first place.

Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen unless staff can see their managers have bought into the system themselves and have the authority to insist it be used. As a result, you will need to choose someone with the seniority to be listened to and with the project management skills to ensure staff start using the system within a set timescale.

Consider a partial roll-out

We realise it can be very scary for your HR staff to let go of trusted legacy HR systems that they have used for years. Yes, they may have been frustrated rooting through filing cabinets of personnel files or hunting for emails from specific staff. Nonetheless, taking all of that information and storing it on remote servers can seem like they are leaving themselves without a solid, physical backup.

However, it is really important that you have faith in your HR SaaS solution for two reasons. Firstly, good cloud-based systems are protected by a huge raft of security measures to keep your data and communications safe. Secondly, trying to run new and old systems in tandem can not only add to confusion but will also create even more work than you had before.

That said, when you initially start using your new system, it might be advisable for larger firms to try a partial roll-out.

You can do a partial roll-out in two ways. Firstly, you could use the system on a small scale, for example only rolling it out to your smallest department or team to start with. This will enable you to identify any teething problems and integration issues before deploying it across the organisation.

Secondly, you can use parallel testing, running your old HR processes alongside the new HR software to ensure the system is giving you the sort of data you are expecting.

Make sure you provide adequate training

Getting to grips with any new business software application takes time, so your busy employees won’t do it if they have to work it all out by themselves. Instead you will need to provide training tailored to each level of user, be that controllers, managers or other employees.

Schedule a time for this so they cannot just let it drift. It doesn’t matter if you do it face-to-face or through online training sessions, so long as you get confirmation that they have completed the training by a set deadline.

The key thing is to make sure someone is responsible for managing this process; if you don’t push staff to learn about the new system you are indirectly telling them that its adoption is not that important.

In this regard, line manager buy-in is critical. As well as playing a vital role in encouraging their staff to learn to use the system, they must also get used to using it as a daily tool to help them with managing their staff. Not only does this drive early adoption of the system, it also helps enforce use of the system across their team.

Let your staff know why they will love the new software

One of the easiest ways to motivate your staff to use the new HR software is to explain how it will make their lives so much better. If you have a marketing team, talk to them to discuss how they can promote these benefits to staff to maximise interest and enthusiasm. Also, try to identify people in your business who are happy to be champions for the software within each department.

Listen to staff who don’t seem to be using the system

If your HR software allows you to view access history, you will be able to see which staff are not using the system and be proactive at finding out why this is happening.

Often as not, you will find that they are not sure how to use the system properly and just need a bit of hand holding. However, you might also find that you need to adjust your options or settings to fit in with local rules, for example where staff must give two weeks’ notice to book off a week’s holiday.

Your staff can also give you some useful feedback on product development that would improve usability going forward; something that any HR software provider worth their salt would be more than grateful to hear about.

What you must not do is just ignore any issues a user is experiencing with the system as they are then likely to revert to more traditional methods like emails and phone calls.

Managing your HR software roll-out

As you can see, deployment of a new HR software solution is just like any other project: if you want to make sure it is a success you will need to draw on all of your project management skills. Just keep in mind all of the tips above and you will go a long way towards achieving an easy early adoption of your software.

If you would like advice on the key issues you need to consider when choosing an online HR system click here or call 0845 225 0414 for specific advice on myhrtoolkit HR software.