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Make Sure Your Human Capital Management System Works as Hard as You Do

By Lisa Dodman, Chief People Officer at Unit4

Is your human capital management (HCM) system working hard for you? If you’re still bogged down in paperwork and tracking metrics on spreadsheets, maybe it’s time to expect more from an HCM system. HR teams are busier than ever today — the brunt of organizational change in the wake of the pandemic falls mainly on HR. But paper-based processes and a lack of data centralization is holding many HR teams back.

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As the pressure increases on HR, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re focused on strategy instead of slowed down by administrative tasks. The right HCM system can help with workflows that improve and automate processes, alerts to help you manage compliance issues and employee self-service capabilities to empower staff with secure and confidential access to their own data.

Quick wins for a growing biomedical research company

An HCM system that humanizes the experience for employees and HR alike is the best option. One biomedical research institute based in Europe recently upgraded its HCM system. The team was looking for a new way to manage their people data because most of the processes and information were housed on spreadsheets and documents, so it was difficult to aggregate.

The team wanted to house people data on a single platform for easy accessibility. Their goal was to be able to pull information together quickly for analysis to pinpoint opportunities that could improve HR operations. They also needed a flexible system since the organization works with interns and academics who aren’t employees.

After implementing an advanced HCM system, the biomedical research institute realized quick wins with more accurate information and quicker access to data. Using a single platform improved their ability to create accurate reports, opposed to the previous approach of manually aggregating information from spreadsheets. A central system also made working from home easier for HR, with access to the same tools as in the office.

When considering HCM options, one of the institute’s must-have features was the flexibility to manage multiple types of people, including those who don’t officially work for the company. The team chose an HCM system that allows them to manage competence by tracking employee and affiliates’ education levels, which simplifies tasks like applying for project funding.

For the biomedical research institute’s HR team, the highest priority was to find a system that could adapt to their reality and accommodate unique circumstances. The organization found the technology they needed to create a centralized data repository, improve access to HR tools and manage the distinct needs of their workforce and partners.

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Driving compliance and efficiency with technology

Centralizing information in one place has immediate benefits for an HR team, as the biomedical research institute found. But if you’re in the market for an HCM system, consider that it can also empower employees by giving them access to their own data. Instead of having to contact HR to update personal data like phone numbers and addresses, employees can keep their information up to date themselves, view available PTO time, get reminders when it’s time to choose benefits and much more.

With an advanced HCM system, HR maintains control with an approval process (for employee’s personal data updates, vacation time requests, etc.), but the system can also double-check the available PTO to make sure that the employee has sufficient time in the bank. A system that integrates various modules can also eliminate data errors that occur when HR manually enters information multiple times in spreadsheets.

HCM systems can also streamline and automate critical processes around compliance. For example, it can help you track visa status to comply with right-to-work legislation. This can help your company avoid fines by automating alerts to notify HR and affected employees before temporary visas expire, giving you time to take the necessary action.

A system with dashboards can provide your HR team with a holistic visualization of the company’s workforce status. Your team no longer has to use spreadsheets to generate reports with a well-designed HCM system — it will provide dashboards that present key metrics like headcount, absences (by reason, e.g., illness, vacation, etc.) and costs automatically. The HCM system surfaces trends and allows users to drill down by cost center.

The right HCM system can give your HR team a broader understanding of the organization and its status than a collection of spreadsheets and reports can. This gives you the ability to analyze data at a higher level, detect patterns and mitigate risks, which increases the strategic value HR adds to the organization.

This is why so many companies are investing in HCM systems, even in an economic downturn, because it ultimately saves time and money. The right HCM system can also humanize the experience for employees and HR professionals alike. When your HCM system works as hard as you do, employees have more time to do their jobs, and you get more time to focus on strategy.

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