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Implementing a New HRIS: 7 Common Mistakes to Avoid

by Victoria Fitoussi

Aug 16, 2018

Why get an HRIS?

There are many ways to determine which HRIS is best for your organization. To learn more about the benefits of using an HRIS check out The Balance Careers which helps identify the HR functions that can be automated. 

Is your team ready to implement an HRIS? 

First, you need to do a basic cost-benefit analysis (what’s in your budget) and value proposition of adding a new HRIS this to your organization. You need to have a baseline of what you can spend and how it will benefit productivity on your team and the employees you serve.

Once you have this cost-benefit analysis move onto the next step, determining what platform has the best features for your organizations needs. Getting recommendations from HR colleagues at similar-sized organizations is a great place to start. Finding out the ‘best of’ in the industry, such as from PC Magazine helps by giving a side-by-side comparison of these tools to help narrow the options that could be scaled for your organization.

Mistake #1: Believing all HRIS are the same

Don’t choose a new system simply because your HR colleague loves to use the application in her organization. Committing to an HRIS isn’t as simple as purchasing a grade schoolers back-to-school supplies. Create a comprehensive list of ‘must haves’ for an HRIS along with the user bandwidth necessary to make it effective and accessible for all employees. Find a system that will allow the organization to grow - for example, if your organization is 150 employees go with a system that allows for 500 users but choosing one for Unlimited users is unnecessary.

Mistake #2: Thinking, "We don’t have the budget for a new HRIS"

Make a case for the allocation of financial and training resources by including this in your cost/benefit analysis and work with your leadership team to show the value proposition of having a robust (for your organization) HRIS. Be sure to check employee feedback, frustration and pain points unrelated to performance and you’ll undoubtedly see it’s a lack of access to benefits information, timesheets, etc where the right HRIS can help. Review this HRIS toolkit developed with a grant from USAID to help you strengthen the HRIS system in your organization.  

Mistake #3: Hoping for a seamless roll-out because you have a great HR Team

No matter how seasoned your HR team, this won’t be a quick and painless roll-out. There will be bumps in the road from training to implementation to user error. Make sure the HR team is well versed (via training, time to digest materials, hands-on practice) to ensure a seamless as possible roll-out.

Mistake #4: Thinking all employees will embrace ‘improved’ access to benefits

Face it most people don’t like change. Even those on the HR team may be uneasy with a new HRIS. Create a message that provides the value proposition for all employees as the organization moves to a new HRIS. This may seem like extra effort but having your team and employees embracing the change will make the roll-out easier. Do a short survey (like Survey Monkey, for example) to quickly allow you to identify concerns so you can determine how to alleviate misunderstandings, field questions/concerns and use as a springboard to an  education and training plan for a successful roll-out.

Mistake #5: Thinking it’s a waste of time to educate & train all employees pre-rollout

Don't let employees wonder why the organization is investing (they will think it’s a waste of money and time) in a new HRIS. Be transparent with the value proposition for them! Hold an HR open house with light snacks and answer questions or host a brown-bag Lunch and Learn with a demo of the new system and show how it will benefit all employees. Hold different sessions to demo the product to the Leadership team and front-line managers tailoring each to provide instruction on the aspects that will be most beneficial to them in their position. Still notice convinced? Read what our Co-Founder and CEO Bart Macdonald said about 2018 trends and see the importance of training employees.  

Mistake #6: Relying too much on FAQs, and not preparing your HR Team to handle ‘fallout’ post implementation

Even after months of preparation and internal training don’t assume your HR team is ready to handle the inevitable employee fallout post implementation. Provide targeted training for your team to ensure they are armed with an FAQ (tailored to your employees needs not one provided by the HRIS) and help them determine when they need to research a question or call the Vendor before getting back to an employee. Partner with the Vendor to ensure you have an open line of communication with their Help Desk folks to get those tougher not anticipated employee concerns addressed in a timely fashion. High level of employee satisfaction (including the HR team) will make any roll-out hiccups seem like they are speed-bumps and not craters in the road.

Mistake #7: Thinking your HR team will immediately get it right

There’s no doubt your HR team is the best, however, do frequent check-ins with them to ensure they aren’t overwhelmed. Empower them to contact the HRIS vendor (designate a point-person) to get questions answered so they can learn more about the platform and follow-up with employees. This rollout is bound to put additional stress on the team but with your support, encouragement and the tools to find out the answers it will go more smoothly. Don’t assume because they sat in the same training that you did that it answered all their questions. Test them before the roll-out and throughout. 

In the end there is no one-size fits all HRIS but with a keen eye on choosing the platform with the functions your organization needs and be realistic in education and training all employees from pre- to post implementation you can some avoid common mistakes.

Choosing the right HRIS can go a long way towards higher employee retention. Sapling's HRIS feels like an all-in-one platform with none of the compromise.  That's because we have powerful integrations that allows you to select the top tier of the products you love for the best possible employee experience. All while being supercharged around Google’s G Suite. That's our best of breed HRIS approach. Want to learn more?

 Speak with a product specialist →

Victoria Fitoussi

Victoria joined Sapling's marketing team in Spring 2018. She is passionate about connecting people, any and all creative pursuits, and helping Sapling enhance People Ops leaders to deliver employee experience programs with consistency, visibility, and analytics.