HRIS Implementation Pitfalls

Everyone knows by now, implementation a sophisticated information system is often more of a challenge than client expects, and several potential pitfalls account for this. Cost is one problem: for example, a representative from “All state Insurance Company” reported that the costs of moving to a new HRIS had increased 10% per year for five year and that additional investment would be required to make the transition. Other systems run into management resistance. At one pharmaceuticals firm, for instance, the new HRIS requires line managers to input dime information (such as on performance appraisals) into the HR system and some object to doing tasks previously performed by HR. Others trigger resistance by including in convenient or unworkable user interfaces for the employees to use; still others are installed without enough thought being given to, whether or not the new HRIS will be compatible with the firm’s existing HR information systems. Inadequate documentation or training can undermine the system’s utility and increase resistance to the system by exactly those employees and managers who are supposed to aid in its use.

Actually installing the HRIS therefore needs to be viewed as a whole but also as a process composed of separate projects, each of which must be planned and realistically scheduled. Given these sorts of hurdles a careful needs assessment obviously should be done prior to adopting an HRIS .Particularly for firms with less than 150 employees, consideration should be given to depending more of individual software packages for managing separate tasks such as attendance, benefits and payroll and OSHA compliance.

HRIS Vendors: Many firms today offer HRIS packages. At the Web site for the International Association for Human Resource Information Management (mentioned Earlier) for instance Automatic Data Processing Inc Business Information Technology, Inc., Human Resource Microsystems, Lawson Software, Oracle Corporation, PeopleSoft Inc., Restrac Web Hire, SAP America Inc., and about 25 other firms are listed as HRIOS vendors. As another example, Business Computer Systems offers a line of ABRA software products for firms ranging in size from 20 to 10,000 employees. As one example, you can point and click to find a list of employees reporting to a particular supervisor and print over a hundred reports such as salary lists, employee profiles and EEO reports.

HR and Intranets: As note above, employers are creating internal intranet based HR information systems. For example LG &E energy Corporation uses its intranet for benefits communication. Employees can access the benefits homepage and (among other things) review the company’s 401 (k) plan investment options, get answers to frequently asked questions about the company’s medical and dental plans, and report changes in family status (such as marriage) that may impact the employee’s benefits.

A list of other HR related ways in which employers use the intranet include: create an electronic employee directory, automate job postings and applicant tracking, set up training registration: provide electronic pay stubs; publish an electronic employee handbook; offer more enticing employee communications and newsletters; let employees update their personal profiles and access their accounts, such as 401 (k); conduct open benefit enrollments; provide leave status information; conduct performance and peer reviews; manage succession planning (in part by locating employees with the right skills set to fill openings); and create discussion groups or forums.

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