Human Resources Information System Supports HR Management

It has been said that Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is an important tool in the integration of HR information and the organization's human resources function.

Apart from this, effective HRIS can indicate how strategic human resource management contributes positively to business outcomes. Organizations look forward to such encouraging results each time and every time.

It forms an important part of human resources management.

What is HRIS?

This is recognized as an effective method in the management of HR information.

It refers to a system that makes available the right information to the right person at the right time.

Accurate and up-to-date data is relevant to the objective of this system which is to ensure a free flow of such information throughout the organization.

It consists of:

  1. Networks through which the information is made available such as intranets;
  2. Personal computers (PCs);
  3. The right software;
  4. Automated telephone systems, and so on

Surveys have shown that the adoption of an HRIS is not widespread among organizations. Payroll systems are fairly common. And UBS is implemented by many organizations.

Even during this information age, many had questioned the effectiveness of the type of HRIS implemented by many organizations. Whether or not it is encouraging, the accusing finger appears to point toward HR departments.

Every organization has implemented some method of managing information. Your organization may have some form of information system.

This new way of managing information is to ensure that the system can facilitate the positioning of people as an organization's "most important asset."

Benefits of Implementing an HRIS

When you have implemented a Human Resources Information System, your employees can have direct access to important information.

They can use this information to make better decision, when to act and how. They can optimize usage of their time in the performance of their respective job.

Successful Human Resources Information System Implementation

Effective implementation is indicated by the following:

  1. HR Managers are playing their role as "a human resource strategic partner", not content in merely performing administrative duties;
  2. The HRIS that your organization has implemented is aligned to HR objectives;
  3. Your overall business objectives are linked to the HR strategies under the HRIS that your organization has implemented;
  4. The right technology is chosen based on effective assessment of what the HRIS can help to achieve;
  5. The workforce is ready for the new technology and accepts it, and
  6. Senior management provides full support for the HRIS and make use of it in decision making.

Human Resources Information System: Choice and Design

First, your organization may have to choose between decentralization and centralization of HR activities and data input and reporting.

Choose a flexible HRIS. Ensure that it is capable in handling new and unforeseen circumstances. Of course, it is impossible to foresee every possibility one hundred percent.

Implementing an intranet system facilitates on-line communication of information on important HR matters. The information includes human resource policies on various HR-related matters such as recruitment, employee engagement and motivation, training and people development, performance, exit interviews and termination.

This results in better management of HR activities that do not add value. Leave application and updating of employees' address are examples.

You can also use an HR intranet as a method of educating your people on your HR policies.

Confidentiality of Information

It is accepted that Human Resources Information System deals with confidential and often sensitive information.

Assure your employees of confidentiality of data in the system. Implement a clear set of policies.

This will avoid problems that are legal in nature and that can cause employee-employer problems.

If confidentiality is not safeguarded, the credibility of the system is lost and will be very hard to restore.

Improve confidence in the system by taking certain steps such as:

  1. implementing definite and clear rules on user access
  2. ensuring accuracy of data through a cross-checking process
  3. indicating "to whom" and "what type" of information your employees can disclose
  4. giving employees the right to see, verify and correct data that are personal in nature including specified service information
  5. safeguarding HRIS security by implementing rules and procedures
  6. taking other actions that are considered necessary under the circumstances

Caution in the Use of Technology

See to it that that clear Human Resources Information System guidelines are established and implemented.

This includes policy on whether or not employees are allowed to have access to the internet. And if they are permitted to do so, state whether the purpose is official, personal or both.

The internet provides important information. Giving access to employees in the course of performing their work is reasonable and recommended.

There are organizations that disallow access to lower rank employees. Some do not allow any access to any employee.

It is essential that access to internet is controlled - not denied - for a number of reasons. But you need to choose the wording of the policy very carefully. This is a sensitive matter to some employees.

However, it is good to know employees' behavior with regard to technology use.

  • Studies show that employees surf the internet during working hours for reasons not related to their jobs.
  • Extensive use of email can seriously interfere with employees' productivity.
  • Your organization is open to legal action for the type of words employees use in emails and for accessing "undesirable" websites.
  • It is also known that employees convey unfavorable information about their employer through emails.

Some HR experts do not favor rigid control in the use of technology by employees such as the internet, emails and telephones.

Their opinion is that building trust and implementing codes of ethics in the responsible use of organization's resources are better options.

For example, allowing employees limited use of the telephone for important family matters is reasonable.

"Reasonable use" is one measure you can use to control usage. It can result in a win-win situation. You may allow up to three minutes at a time for employees to make important calls that are related to very important and / or urgent family matters.

Justification for Implementing Human Resources Information System

The most apparent reason for implementing a Human Resources Information System is the savings made in HR management activities.

Start with your personnel records.

When you are ready, proceed to include HR policies online, compensation and benefits system, HRD System (that is, Human Resource Development), performance management, and so on depending on your needs and budget.

Another matter you may want to consider is an HR dashboard. HR metrics is connected to this dashboard.

Human Resources Information System is a Tool and is not an End in Itself

Main Purpose of Human Resources Information System

Use HRIS to advance the interests of both employees and the organization.

Its main and ultimate purpose is to help HR Managers and line managers in making decisions that "add value".

  1. HRIS facilitates HR Managers to become strategic partners.
  2. It helps in making analysis of important matters such as the HR costs.
  3. It is an effective communication channel, complementing the employee manual or written HR polices.
  4. HRIS facilitates better decision making.
  5. It can contribute to employee satisfaction and productivity.
  6. It implements "paperless" HR initiatives.

It is fairly clear that your organization can benefit from implementing HRIS.

The system is effective and beneficial if employees can have access to accurate, timely and relevant information that are linked to the accomplishment of your organization's mission and strategic objectives.

Choosing the right technology and managing it based on clearly defined policies can contribute towards cost-reduction and the formulation of strategic plans.

A well-designed Human Resources Information System must satisfy the needs of your employees and organization.

This can improve your strategic human resource management initiatives.

It is one form of effective communication within your organization. It complements your Human Resource Manual and Employee Handbook.

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