Standardisation, not a hot topic? Until you realise the difference standardised HR systems can make
What’s every organisation’s greatest asset? It may have become a cliché – in fact, we could all sing-a-long to the answer – but it is, of course, “its people”. Funny, then, that most organisations – even some very big ones (in fact, especially the very big ones) – have little idea where their employees are or what they are up to half the time.
Pulling together fragmented HR systems
The problem is a systemic one. Most HR employee data sits on outdated computer systems that can’t talk to each other. We dream of flashy apps, while in reality inputting employee data on an Excel spreadsheet circa Windows 2005. That sounds like a joke, but sadly it’s true: 37% of companies’ data are left sitting in Excel or similar types of databases.
That wouldn’t be so bad if everyone had access to, and used, the same spreadsheet. But again, in reality we have lots of different documents and systems, all with different permissions, lying around in different offices and desktops. Does that sound like exaggeration? In fact, the ADP Research Institute found that multinational companies manage on average 33 payroll systems and 31 HR systems.
This is reaching epidemic proportions. There is an urgent need for consolidation and standardisation. Success requires HR to have a complete view of its talent, which can only be achieved through standardized processes, technology and services. More than two-thirds of survey respondents say they want a more unified HCM system to simplify workforce management and help them unlock insights to support global expansion and business performance.
Remaining consistent with automated processes
Non added-value tasks such as administration, benefits and payroll take up an estimated 50% of HRs time. This barely leaves any time for activities that can support the business or provide strategic value, let alone manage talent on a global scale.
By automating and standardizing processes – by which I mean brining all those spreadsheets and 33 systems together onto a single piece of cloud-based software that anyone can access and understand – HR and payroll departments can make processes consistent and fully aligned.
In fairness to the Windows 2005 users, that was the best technology available back then. But things have moved on. New technological options abound that can make our lives easier. With a modern comprehensive Human Capital Management system in place, organisations can make processes more strategic for executives, more empowering for managers, more engaging for employees and more efficient for HR.
There was a section in Josh Bersin’s ‘Predictions for 2015: Redesigning the Organisation for a Rapidly Changing World’ which I thought perfectly summed up where HCM is at today, and what organisations need to do to make it work smoothly. He strongly recommends that companies invest in the following:
The time to analyse and rationalise their vast arrays of content
Big Data analytics to provide learning recommendations and smart learning paths for employees
Mobile learning tools for on-the-job performance support
Modernise the digital learning experience
Career development programmes, job rotations, competency-based assessments, and simulations
Tools that tap into social sourcing networks, mobile recruitment tools and referral networking tools.
As today’s organisation grow and market conditions change, any chosen solution must be able to respond to the demands. A standardised HCM solution simplifies employee records, talent management and administrative processes, which in turn makes information simpler to locate during audits and reduces the compliance risk. It can really transform the way a company is managing Human Capital by enabling it to move away from running individual processes across fragmented systems.
Standardisation also ensures that everyone speaks the same language – from HR to senior executives. Everyone has the same, easily accessible data. No one should be left to work in the dark. Don’t you agree?
For more insights on how to implement standardised HR solutions download our latest white-paper: “HR and Payroll Harmonization – fundamental strength to business agility”.