how-to-run-a-small-business

How to implement a new HR system

Introducing a new HR system can be a daunting task for managers. There are concerns about low adoption rates and confusion among team members, but there are ways to make sure rolling out a new HR system is as seamless as possible.

1. Set timeframes

An essential question to ask your representative when choosing your HR software is: how long does it generally take companies of my size to implement?

That way, you’ll have a reasonable estimate of the amount of time to set aside so you can begin to introduce it to your teams.

2. Get everything ready to go

Ensure you’ve got all your team members’ details in a master spreadsheet - things like salaries, National Insurance numbers and personal details - so that you can upload it to the HR software you choose as soon as you have it.

It’s also a good idea to upload company handbooks, policies and any other information your team need to know so you can direct people to use the software as soon as you’re ready. Plus, you’ll avoid the day-to-day interruptions of being asked to provide them to your team individually, as and when they ask.

Think about customising your account, too. Add your company logos and imagery, and maybe prepare some introductory slides to impress and inform your team when you invite them into the software. A good first impression can work wonders when introducing something new to a team.

3. Don’t underestimate the importance of communication

When you introduce the HR software to the rest of the company, make sure you’re putting emphasis on how it will benefit your team on a day-to-day basis. They’ll want to self-serve and have better visibility and a more seamless experience, so make sure you’re clear about what’s great about the new HR software and why and how it affects them. They’re more likely to be on side if they know it will make their lives easier.

It’s a wise move to host a separate session for your managers and senior team members so they have a watertight understanding of their role within the new system. If a manager is already au fait with approving annual leave and updating salary information within the HR software, they’ll see the benefits instantly and it’ll spur them on to ensure their teams are using it properly. If they’re bought in, they can act as ambassadors to help the process along and help more junior team members.

Finally, ask the HR software provider if they can share any marketing materials with you. If they have presentations or comms that clearly explain what’s great about their product, you can share it with your wider team. This could save you doing the job yourself.

4. Be on hand to help

Expect some questions to come your way during the first few weeks of implementing the HR software. If you’re the one who’s led the roll-out, then it’s natural that people will come to you if they have a query.

Make sure you choose a system with instant customer service and live chat for your team, so they can get answers to simple problems instantly.

Finally, see whether the software provider offers any training for you. You’re the point person within the organisation, so it makes sense if you know the ins and outs of the software better than anyone else within the business.

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