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July, 2018

3 Strategies to Improve Usability for Your HR Systems

3 Strategies to Improve Usability for Your HR Systems

Originally published by Christian Valiulis on

Making strides to update antiquated HR technology and processes is a noble feat — one that should be applauded and supported — that many companies are preparing to undertake. The challenges HR managers and employees face when implementing new systems are minimal compared to the profound benefits they stand to reap. We’ve all heard of companies “suffering from growing pains,” which implies this same notion: Power through the changes brought by expansion now, and you’ll see the greatness that’s in store later.

Unfortunately, despite overwhelming recognition that business process improvement is necessary, only 17 percent of companies surveyed in the 2017 Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey reported having plans to integrate new HR technology. So if companies acknowledge the need for improvement, why are so few enacting change?

Results from The Aberdeen Group show that 40 percent of companies cite low levels of technology usability as the main culprit of HR inefficiencies, and thus the investment might seem counterproductive. Expecting success from HR technology is useless if employees and managers deem a system too difficult to use. So how can companies overcome the “growing pains” of implementing a new system and increase user success to maximize their HR technology’s potential and their ROI?

Usability Inefficiencies Stalling Success

For a company to get the best return on its technology investment, that technology must first be usable from the top down — meaning that both managers and employees should be able to utilize the full spectrum of capabilities with ease. Take a flashy car, for example: A top-of-the-line interior and shiny paint to match makes for the appearance of speed and excellence. But a car without a working engine to power it just sits idly in a garage. The same holds true with HR technology — you need the catalyst for usability and success, or it won’t get used.

Unfortunately, HR departments and employees face some universal challenges that stall their progress. For example, having to input the same data in multiple places within a disjointed system is frustrating and can lead to duplicated data riddled with errors. Reliance on technology on which users are inadequately trained can also be a negative factor in HR technology adoption and usability. Likewise, limitations like insufficient mobile accessibility can be a source of usability inefficiency

Increasing System Usability

The ultimate goal of implementing an HR technology solution is to eliminate existing issues with outdated HR technology and systems to streamline processes. To combat the issues that hinder success and companywide usability, implement these preliminary strategies:


1. Utilize Customized Reporting

When using an HR technology solution with data and reporting capabilities, it is important to understand what type of reporting you want to utilize so you can create the most effective HR strategy for your company. Your technology solution should help you achieve company goals and provide a solid HR strategy by providing accurate and customized data. Use the information to build the reports you need, and you will see an increase in comprehension and effectiveness.

2. Strategize Internal Communication Processes

Employees in HR are responsible for communicating with each manager and employee, and workflow automation software makes it possible. Automating reminders, emails, task completion updates, and more offer HR managers the tools to quickly and effectively minimize their time spent on internal communication. A reliable system that utilizes automated messaging and grants users the flexibility to access it at their fingertips on any device lends to higher usability for everyone.

3. Train Using Your Own Data

During the in-between phase when a company is learning, adapting, and preparing to fully adopt a new HR technology system, it is essential for employees to train using the information pertinent to them. Using and manipulating the actual data that will be managed upon fully incorporating the technology into the day-to-day of the business will ensure adequate training and will support usability. Learning a new software can be challenging, but with the proper support and implementation process, navigating the system becomes exponentially simpler. This guarantees confidence in usability and eliminates the possibility of system abandonment.
The growing pains associated with change and expansion might seem daunting, but rest assured, they will be minimal when given the right solution and support is offered. Use these strategies to effectively maximize an intuitive HR system’s potential by ensuring companywide usability.

About Christian Valiulis

Chief Revenue Officer Christian Valiulis at APS is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. As a national human capital management and full-service payroll processing company, APS delivers a unified cloud solution backed by guaranteed payroll tax compliance services. Christian oversees marketing and sales, channel partnerships, and strategic product and service alliances. Connect with him on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with his most recent publications.

More From Christian:

Christian hosted a webcast with discussing how HCM technology can help push past barriers to truly great employee lifecycle management. You can access the recording of the webcast by clicking the button below. Click the image to download the Employee Lifecycle Management report referenced in the webcast.

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