No business comes without its fair share of IT headaches. Computers crash, printers stop printing and the WIFI drops the connection. All minor issues that any IT department can quickly fix. However, it’s very easy to spot these issues and you will almost immediately about them. So what happens when a piece of software or a system you use, isn’t technically broken, it is just a complete nightmare for employees to use.
Poor systems are massively affecting businesses and will frustrate even the calmest of employees. The issues you know about you can fix, however, what about the issues you aren’t aware of? In particular the various HR software you use across your whole business.
Now some of you may be thinking, “Nope, I have never had a single complaint about any of our HR systems, everything works fine”. Well before you give up and stop reading, take a minute to think. Just because you don’t think there is a problem, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
If for a moment, we thought a business to be like a car. You wouldn’t start a journey with a punctured tyre, nor would you leave without having enough petrol in your car. These are like the known issues of your business, like the printer not working. Obvious and easy to fix. However, every year you take your car for an MOT and to be serviced. Not just because it is a legal requirement, garages will find hidden issues with it that you may not spot.
Unfortunately, there isn’t such a thing as a ‘business garage’. It is up to HR to check and fix any HR software that the business uses. It is important that employees have the tools they need not to just do their jobs, but to complete other tasks like booking time off work or filling in HR documents.
To identify problematic systems and then fix them, you may think you need to be a tech wiz. Well you don’t, you just need this article and a bit of time. To identify and fix all your HR software issues, simply follow the 3 easy tasks below. By the end, you will have either found out nothing is wrong and everyone is happy, or all your employees hate a certain HR software they use.
Either way, you can finally do an MOT on your business and know that it is running smoothly or you need a change.
Task 1: Find which HR software is causing the issue
Your first port of call is to find where the issue lies. Now you don’t have to start walking around your office and physically trying to locate it, all you have to do is listen. If employees are struggling with a certain bit of tech, you will probably hear these kinds of phrases.
“Ah why won’t this just work”
“How do I even do this, it doesn’t work, why won’t it just do as it’s told”
“No, I haven’t done it, I have been trying to do it for the past 20 minutes, but it is too complicated”
If you do hear these kinds of phrases, walk over to the individual and ask them 3 simple questions:
Question 1: I heard you were struggling with something, what seems to be the problem?
Question 2: Does this cause you problems on a daily basis?
Question 3: How long does it take you to complete the task using the current system?
These are 3 great questions that will help you identify if there really is a problem with the software.
However, employees may sometimes not voice their frustration or you may miss it. If this is the case, why not send out a small survey to everyone in the business. In this, ask them questions about what HR software they like and dislike, what is causing them issues and what they think would work best. If you find that everyone is having an issue with a particular piece of software, you know you have a problem.
After all that you may find that everything works perfectly. If that is the case, you don’t need to read on. However, if after this little fact-finding task, you know where the issue lies, it is time to move onto task 2.
Task 2: Try to fix the problem
Your second task is to try and fix the failing system yourself. So before you throw in the towel and spend countless hours finding a new HR system, try and fix the problem. You may find that there isn’t anything wrong and it is just user error. If this is the case, then a small training session to all those who are stuck is all that is required. If this isn’t the case, then there are 3 quick steps you can take to try and fix the software yourself.
Step 1: Find the answer yourself
Most providers will have an area on their website with guides and FAQ’s about the system. First, check these and see if they have the answer you need. If you are unable to find an answer to your issue on their website, don’t just give up. There are thousands of forums on the web where people are having similar issues and someone may have provided an answer on one of them. Try typing the issue you are having into Google and look for these websites.
Step 2: Ask around the office
If the providers’ website or Google can’t help you, ask one of your colleagues, or better yet, the IT team. They may have come across the issues before and know a quick and easy fix.
Step 3: Call your provider
Finally, pick up the phone and call your software provider. They should be able to help you with the issue. However, bear in mind that this may cost you, as the problem you are having can only be fixed with an update or extra feature. Which you will have to pay a bit more for.
If you have tried to fix the issue yourself, ask colleges and even the provider can’t help you, there is only one option left. Find a new HR system
Task 3: Find a new HR system
This is probably the hardest step, as it means you will now need to find a brand-new system, which could potentially cost you more money . . . or could it?
You may be able to find a solution that is better and costs less. A win-win. But remember that the grass is always greener on the other side, a new system, no matter the costs, may not solve this issue fully and could cause more problems down the road, frustrating employees to the point of leaving.
Finding a new system that works exactly how you want it, is not a quick and easy fix. You will have to spend time researching new providers and testing new software. To help you with this we have created a great guide on how you can compare multiple systems easily.
If you’re interested in using Edays as your absence management system, request a demo to see just how many benefits it can bring to your organization.
Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.