CHRO should focus on first implementing a system covering all the operational areas & then pick one or two point solutions which are critical to the company's operations
There is an increasing need for a unified data since workforce is operating in remote areas and dispersed across different geographies and time zones
HR Technology should adapt to the needs of today’s organization by providing seamless integration of data & applications and ability to address the needs of a mobile and geographically spread workforce, says Balaji Ganesh, CEO, Adrenalin eSystems Limited
In today's increasingly service-driven economy, attention is gradually shifting toward assessing and managing the performance of the less tangible assets like the human capital. How does a HRIS/HRMS system contribute to this objective? How are workforce analytics tools different? How do both complement each other?
Performance measurement is a very important factor and more so in a service-driven economy where you need to extract more from less. Continuous performance measurement is a challenge for everyone, not only because it is time-consuming but also because it is complicated and very difficult to co-relate. The problem gets compounded when the operation of the company is geographically spread.
This is one area where automation can be very effective. Having defined the rules for assessment and periodicity, an effective HRIS/HRMS can take over and handle it with ease. These systems can help in ensuring transparency and also adherence to timelines. Performance assessment can be translated into training needs to groom for improved performance apart from compensation related factors. Identification of right talent and job fitment is possible through objective based assessment.
Companies today are also keen in ensuring that goals are aligned to the top. This again is easily handled by HRIS as it would otherwise become difficult to track. Workforce analytics tools help organizations to have a consistent view of various data for analysis and decision-making. The data can relate from absence information to employee performance to compensation, et al.
Assessing and measuring performance is essential for analytics to throw any meaningful insights. One without the other is again going to lead to a lot of wasteful manual work and misleading interpretations. In an effective system, these complement each other in such a way that analytics quickly summarizes performance data thereby helping in quick decision making.
How are HRIS systems evolving to adapt to the changes of workplace and work time? What is the future in your view in relation with HR Systems?
The workforce has changed dramatically over the last decade. Today, employees need to learn faster, work faster and master more skills to be productive. There is an increasing need for a unified data since workforce is operating in remote areas and dispersed across different geographies and time zones. The trend that one can see in future HRIS systems would be that it offers seamless integration of data across enterprise, ability to integrate with other enterprise applications, ability to address mobile workforce needs and takes care of geo spread and time zone aspects.
With many offerings in the market today, from the HRIS/HRMS product landscape, to workforce analytics tools, to niche products for specific verticals like recruitment, LMS, KMS, PMS et al., how should a company assess their HR Technology requirements? How should the CHRO assess what combination or permutation of product his/her organization requires?
The choice is really dependent on factors such as the needs of the organization, cost of running and managing the solution and achieving relevant ROI in relation to business benefit. The CHRO in most cases will be well off where he first covers all the operational areas and picks one or two point solutions which are critical to his operations. However, these must be tied together or else it will be a nightmare validating the outputs of each of them. For example, if the company’s core revenue is on resource billing and timesheets are essential, it might be a good idea to check out for a point solution in Time Sheet Management that can track right from time spent to billing and collection, if his generic HRMS solution cannot provide it. However, overall functional need should be the umbrella under which the point solution should exist. In some cases, they can be independent too. For example, a KMS can run independent of HRMS and the only linkage possibly could be in terms of professional development time an employee has spent on KMS (an input to performance assessment).
Which criteria should companies use to choose the most suitable product/partner? How to assess the different options and make the right choice? How does one assess over time if the choice of product/vendor was accurate?
This is the most difficult part of the decision making process. The market is flooded with vendors claiming to offer everything under the roof. Some of the factors that should be considered are the product offering (whether the requirement is being handled or not), usability of the product, product features vis-à-vis business requirement, the commitment of the vendor to this space, proximity of the vendor to the business operation location, track record of the vendor in handling customers of their size or operation, scalability of the vendor in times of need, scalability of the product as the business grows, demonstrating able product road-map and references, and lastly, the ROI.
Whether the choice of the product or vendor was right or wrong again would depend on various factors and they need not necessarily be related to the vendor or the product per se. For example, did we have our requirements clearly spelt out for implementation or roll-out, did we adequately manage the project, did we deploy the right resources for taking this within the organization, did the project have necessary executive sponsorship and visibility, et al.
Assuming these were in place, the easiest way to cross-check whether the decision was right or wrong is, for example, to examine the benefits derived from the new system as compared to what was set as targets in the beginning of the project, ROI, opportunity time gained by implementing the new system, vendor’s ability to scale up to the demands, ongoing support that the vendor is capable of providing the organization and its users - either in presence or off-presence, positive working relationship that the team has established with the vendor, product stability and lack of surprises, et al.