HRIS projects are often referred to as mechanical steps, like selection, implementation, and maintenance. However, it is extremely important to manage the human side of the HRIS equation for the sake of success. A HRIS can be the best on the market and may function flawlessly, but it is worthless if the employees refuse to use it or do not understand how it works.

Employee engagement has come to the forefront of HR discussions as a key factor in reducing turnover, maximizing productivity, and increasing company prosperity. Unfortunately, engagement is difficult to measure as it means different things to different people. While there will never be one perfect way to assess or address employee engagement, HRIS can help you figure out what works best for evaluating employee engagement within your company.

Foster Engagement from the Start

In order to get all employees on board, it’s crucial that each departments’ stake in the HRIS be considered.

It may be worthwhile to include an employee from each major department in the project team. Or, it may be wise to call all (or all relevant) employees to a meeting so that they can discuss what to look for in a HR software system. Making employees feel included before a system has even been selected can drum up excitement and pave the way for a smoother experience.

Address All Employee Concerns

Throughout the project, employees are bound to voice their concerns and challenges. While they may experience hectic periods at certain phases of the project, it is critical that all employees’ concerns are addressed.

If employees feel they are being ignored or cannot overcome challenges in system use, they may become frustrated. This frustration may diminish the system’s effectiveness.

Train Employees Well

A lack of training can cripple a HRIS project. Preparing employees for any changes that the HRIS will cause is crucial. The training program should be established well ahead of time and followed as much as possible.

A support team or at the very least specific managers that are highly knowledgeable with the HRIS should be designated to assist employees with any complications that arise while using or learning the HRIS.

Manage Change

Following a HRIS implementation, there are sure to be many changes in processes and sometimes even the daily tasks that are carried out. Cultural changes should also be considered when managing change. Managing the change during each phase may assist with moving the project along at a steady pace.

First, employees must be prepared for any changes regarding written communications that can be referenced later. Next, employees should be walked through the newly modified systems and processes; this step is best handled as part of the training. Finally, all modifications should be reinforced by reviewing feedback and supporting employees through any changes made to help the system work better for the organization.

Create Meaningful Assessments

Many HRIS solutions provide a template for employee engagement surveys but allow customization. Having this guideline can help to inspire ideas about which questions will provide insights into how employees directly relate and connect to the company’s missions and how invested they are in their own responsibilities and contributions. HRIS makes it easy to tailor surveys for greater effectiveness.

Issue Engagement Surveys

Engagement surveys can generally be issued to all employees with just a few clicks. Employees can then access the surveys using self-service portals through their own devices or on company equipment. This increases flexibility, as employees can fill out the survey at their convenience or at designated times as it works best with company structure and scheduling.

Elicit Frequent Feedback

Since surveys are fast and easy to administer, HRIS can help employers to elicit more frequent feedback regarding engagement. Employees’ responses may vary based on current events, so survey results have a short shelf life and must be refreshed regularly. Annual and biannual surveys just don’t keep employers as up to date as is necessary.

Of course, employees will get burned out if they have to regularly answer a huge number of questions. Keep the survey very short and to the point, using only a few questions that have shown to best reveal employee engagement. Alternatively, administer the survey in a few sessions and compile the results.

Analyze and Report Results

HRIS reporting features compile and report survey results so that conclusions can be drawn and employers can take action to improve areas where engagement is lacking. Engagement is generally broken down into components such as development, interpersonal connection, recognition, and rewards. If results show that many employees feel poorly about development opportunities within the company, for example, steps can be taken to improve the training programs.

Share Results and Action Plans with Employees

When results have been extracted and interpreted based on employee surveys, it can be helpful to share those results with employees. Seeing the same concerns and feelings echoed across the organization can boost employees’ sense of community and make them feel validated.

Addressing the results and rolling out an action plan to improve employee engagement lets employees know that their feedback is valued. HRIS can help to communicate results and plans through messaging features or social feeds.

Continually Work to Refresh Interest

With today’s technology, there is no need to let employees lose interest or become dissatisfied with their HRIS. Simple updates to designs and configurations can assist with making software systems more appealing and may also renew excitement. Gamifying applications can increase employee system use relating to development, succession planning, and other productivity drivers.

Communicating with employees on a consistent basis can help companies reap the greatest rewards from HR systems. Integrating HRIS functions into daily activities will likely increase empowerment, while autonomy can also help in maintaining employee engagement. By managing change throughout HRIS implementation and working to ensure continued engagement with a system, companies can show employees that they care about how the change affects them.

HRIS isn’t a quick fix for employee engagement and administering surveys isn’t a surefire way to evaluate engagement. However, with continuous effort HRIS solutions can help employers take a proactive approach to assessing and improving engagement.

If your current HRIS doesn’t provide the functionality that you need to better engage your employees, we can help. Call 866-574-4968 or visit our vendor match page and we’ll work with you to determine which HRIS solution best meets your needs.

Authored by: Dave Rietsema