Painkilling tips for the top six HR headaches of 2020

Date: 14 Jul 2020

Author: Gabriella Barbara

Being an HR Manager is a demanding and challenging job at the best of times. Even more so when your ‘tools of the trade’ struggle to support your initiatives, or to provide you with the data needed for strategic decision-making. Whether your HR solution is old and dusty, or worse – it’s new, but simply fails to deliver, the pain is the same.

We talk to HR Managers and HR Directors every day. And here are the six headaches they tell us affect their ability to do their jobs (and even tip them over the edge), plus some virtual ‘ibuprofen’ to help relieve the pain!


1. Dealing with the dreaded system disconnect

You may have a suite of best-of-breed solutions for HR, payroll, and recruitment and onboarding, but unless you integrate them, your employee data will be out of sync across all systems. Your team likely faces the double, triple, or even quadruple-entry of employee data daily. Even if overlaid with a self-service tool and single sign-in, your underlying solutions all look and behave differently, slowing down adoption and use. 

The upshot is that you have no single source of truth. You face potentially inaccurate, incomplete, and fragmented data, making reporting a nightmare and derailing your decision-making and people management capabilities. Not a good look when you report to the board or business stakeholders.


Woman in white shirt pulling hair out in frustration with her laptop

2. The aching desire for accurate information

If you're like most of the HR Managers and Directors we know, you take a hands-off approach to the systems the business uses. But that doesn't mean that you expect to hang around waiting for the information you need. The time lag you experience between asking for and getting the data in your hands is symptomatic of unintegrated systems. It's hard enough to collect data from disparate systems, let alone collate and distil it into the meaningful information required for decision-making.

So, when you need a high-level view of your workforce from an HR perspective, what you end up with is generally not what you need.


3. Underinvested and unloved technology

You're across all the new HR strategies, but your technology is struggling to keep up. HR processes change more frequently than your HR systems' capability to manage them, especially if there’s no investment in developing the functionality required to reflect the needs (and expectations) of your employees. The outcome? While you want to improve or modernise your company culture or HR practices, you're ill-equipped to do so.

An HR system requires time, money, and love to maintain. Investing in a solution which only solves a short-term pain is a false economy - we can guarantee it won't age well. Without a regular cadence of health checks and ongoing investment, even a two-year-old system will struggle to stay relevant if you're changing the strategic direction of your company culture.


4. An underwhelming (or non-existent) investment in change management

You've got a new solution, but no-one's using it. The ROI isn't looking great. Sadly, HR systems are only as successful as the people that use them. If the business hasn't backed your project with adequate change management, the outcome is usually user frustration and even abandonment.

A new HR application isn't a silver bullet for all your problems unless you invest in change management. The system's success requires a cultural change as well; a new attitude to how you manage and support your people.


Group Of People In A Meeting

5. Overcoming onboarding awkwardness

Onboarding is a hot topic right now. But getting it right is much easier said than done. Over the last year, we've seen the world of HR prepare to embrace automation and streamline recruitment and induction.  

However, many of the older HR software systems don’t support automated onboarding. So, you may find yourself looking longingly at those businesses who can manage the end-to-end process, from contract signing, providing access to tools and applications, induction videos, health, and safety and more. And just sayin' - if you find the perfect onboarding system, complete with intelligent workflows and document libraries, will it add the value you envisage if it's not integrated to your other systems?


6. The fight to minimise the risk of employee 'flight'

Are you frustrated with your inability to gain a 'helicopter view' of the wellbeing of the business' employees? You're not alone.

In an ideal world, you'll have fingertip access to high-level views of current remuneration stats, so you know how well you rank in the market. You'll understand your historical attrition rates and be able to predict how many people will leave the business, why, and from which roles. You'll know how you stack up in terms of pay rates and incentives. You will have an up-to-date skills matrix, so you know if you can fill gaps from your available internal resources or need to invest in further training or recruit anew. You will know the cost per person to run the business, and if you're generating more revenue per person than you were a year ago. And if your people are more - or less - happy than they were at the same time last year.

As the HR Manager or Director, it's your responsibility to have your finger on the pulse of your workforce. But taking on that responsibility without the tools to support you is a significant pain. (And while it's only anecdotal, we've seen a 2-3-year pattern of job churn by senior HR professionals frustrated with the systems they are working with.)


White and blue painkiller capsules

Painkiller tips

We're sure that some, if not all, of the above pain points are familiar to you. The burning question is, what can you do about them? In our experience, the businesses that have overcome these problems most successfully have:

  • Recognised the value of integration and invested in enabling their systems to share data between them.

  • Provided their users with a single point of sign-in and workers with self-service.

  • Overlaid tools to provide at-a-glance dashboards and consolidated reporting.

  • Invested in Business Intelligence tools to support meaningful high-level reporting.

  • Looked for systems that offer automated workflows to manage HR processes.

  • Budgeted for annual health checks and further development to enable the business to change.

  • Understood how essential change management is to successful user uptake.

  • The ultimate painkiller: investing in an innovative, all-in-one people-centric, cloud-based solution with a single database, comprehensive workflow and automation functionality. Complete with dashboards, real-time on-demand reporting (high-level and granular), self-service, and a look and feel that is designed from the ground up to provide an engaging and intuitive user experience.

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