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Is your HR system outdated? Here's how to tell

HR departments and operations professionals work harder than ever to ensure they perform at their best. They're juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities to keep up with the demands of the modern workplace. This is even tougher for small businesses with limited resources and small teams.

Your HR system can either alleviate problems or make these challenges worse. An efficient HR system can make tasks easier and help teams work more efficiently. But one that has outgrown your needs can create more problems and slow down work.

This blog post will show signs that your HR software is struggling to keep up. Learn about common problems to watch out for and decide if your current HR solutions are still effective or if it's time for an upgrade.

Common challenges for HR and operations management

HR and operations management teams ensure smooth operations and drive success in every organisation. However, navigating the challenges and complexities of these responsibilities is no easy feat, especially as businesses scale and expand their workforce. 

With more employees, there's more paperwork, from hiring to managing benefits, adding pressure on HR teams. Duplicated tasks and disorganised data handling cause frustration and lower productivity. This means it’s hard to focus on important company growth strategies with this overload, leading to burnout and inefficiency. Alarmingly, 90% of UK adults experienced high or extreme stress last year, showing the urgent need for effective HR workload management software.

Secondly, nearly half of employees[1] report that ineffective communication affects their productivity. Poor communication between HR, managers, and employees creates misunderstandings and delays. It might stop essential updates, such as policy changes, from getting across correctly, causing confusion and slowing decision-making.

Additionally, misunderstanding security protocols can result in data breaches, leading to financial losses from penalties and fines, not to mention damage to your reputation.

Thirdly, shifting between various software for routine people management tasks or using outdated systems that don't fit the purpose results in missed opportunities and delayed responses. For instance, manually gathering and processing data can lead to missing critical deadlines for regulatory compliance reporting.  

Also, employees may experience frustration and disengagement if their requests for support or resources are delayed due to communication system inefficiencies.

Next, HR and operations teams are increasingly tasked with promoting diversity and fostering an inclusive work environment. This can pose challenges in recruitment, retention, and integrating different cultures, slowing down a company's efforts to attract diverse talent and integrate different cultures.

Finally, HR is a strategic partner and needs to show how its actions help the company make more money. This means it has to prove that its efforts in hiring, training, and employee satisfaction lead to better business results. 

Challenges arise in continuously assessing and refining people strategies involving thorough data analysis and interpretation. Collecting and analysing data from various sources, such as employee performance metrics and financial reports, requires specialised skills and robust HR software.

7 warning signs that show you’ve outgrown your current processes

Let’s be honest. Day-to-day HR operations can leave you feeling like you’re trying to juggle a dozen spinning plates at once, each representing a different responsibility or issue needing attention. This can cause you to overlook essential signs indicating it's time to invest more in updating your HR tech stack for the digital future of work.

Here are seven telltale signs that it's time to schedule an upgrade. Discover solutions and unlock new possibilities. 

1. You struggle to onboard and get new employees up to speed

Over half of organisations struggle to attract the best talent. Stiff competition from other employers for top talent, especially in high-demand fields such as data analytics and information security. This competition often results in a limited pool of qualified candidates [2], making securing the talent you need to drive innovation and growth harder.

Outdated methods for sourcing and attracting candidates and ineffective onboarding strategies can complicate onboarding a new hire, extending the time to fill open positions. For example, if your current system doesn't have electronic forms or automated workflows, you may need to manually input new hire information, resulting in delays and errors.

Cue Appogee HR Success.

Comprehensive features, like a customisable online onboarding portal, simplify and streamline the onboarding process, reducing manual tasks. The award-winning HR system provides new hires access to critical information, updates them with welcome messages, introduces them to their team, and fosters strong relationships. 

What’s more, robust HR technology reduces potential confusion or inconvenience when managing employee leave and sickness requests. Providing new starters with simplified access during the onboarding stage to book leave and upload documents, such as proof of identity, prevents any surprises later, benefiting you and your new hire.

“The onboarding portal has been great for employees to fill out forms and upload documents in time for their induction. Payroll is a breeze now, too, having the Heads of Departments approve employee timesheets in just a few clicks has been great!” –Jess Churchill, Employee Relations Team at Envelopes Ltd 

Reduce the HR burden and eliminate the need for duplicate entries. Allow employees access to add their key details. This will help reduce errors associated with payroll management, benefits enrollment, and time tracking. It will also start educating your new hires on the HR system you use, speeding up onboarding time.

2. You’re constantly switching between different platforms

Picture this. 

You're using one platform to update employee learning and development information and manually inputting spreadsheets to analyse payroll data for stakeholders on another. Remembering your login details for each platform is one thing, but you also have to switch back and forth between them, which is time-consuming and inefficient.

This constant multitasking lowers productivity by 40% and increases the chances of making a mistake. 

Also, the disjointed nature of using multiple platforms creates confusion and frustration for you and your teams, impacting morale and job satisfaction. Considering that 81% of HR professionals identify maintaining employee morale and engagement as one of the top three priorities in 2024, finding a solution is crucial. 

Using HR payroll integrations, such as the Xero integration, automatically pulls data for reporting requirements and reduces manual errors. This helps save precious time when logging in and out of different software packages and reduces the risk of facing hefty financial penalties for non-compliance and inaccurate financial reporting. Employees can also access pay-related information independently, reducing the need to liaise with HR.

3. There’s an increase in employee complaints 

A rise in employee complaints about outdated or ineffective processes might suggest that current methods no longer meet your needs. You may be dealing with more employee conflicts or sick leave. This could indicate deeper issues, emphasizing the need to reassess and potentially overhaul your HR systems.

Furthermore, a lack of recognition is the number one reason employees quit their jobs. In fact, two-thirds of employees say they would leave their jobs if they didn't feel appreciated.

Give your people the recognition they deserve and reduce complaints by not allowing employee achievements to slip under the radar. Advanced performance management features let you create effective and valuable employee performance reviews, letting staff know when they've performed well or achieved targets.

Recognise and reward outstanding work with 360-degree feedback and self-assessment tools to understand employee performance.

4. Productivity has plummeted

Delays or bottlenecks in workflow due to poor systems can signal that your current methods cannot handle the required volume or complexity of tasks.

When tasks take longer to complete due to inefficiencies, it can lead to feelings of frustration and stress as employees struggle to meet deadlines or accomplish their goals. Additionally, constantly dealing with delays in workflow can make employees feel undervalued and unproductive, impacting job satisfaction.

When employees spend excessive time on administration tasks due to inefficient processes, they waste valuable time and resources and impede progress on critical projects and initiatives. This can affect your bottom line and competitive edge in the market.

However, there's a solution: software features like goal management, including objectives and key results (OKRs), help align employee, team, and company goals and provide the tools needed for advancement. This is important because it ensures everyone works towards common goals, boosts productivity, and drives business success. 

5. You’re struggling to scale

Is your organisation struggling to expand because current processes can't keep up? Perhaps you're overwhelmed by the volume of tasks and the complexity of managing a larger workforce.  

Struggling to meet the demands of expanding business operations can mean falling behind competitors who have invested in more scalable HR solutions.

Handle the increasing volume of HR tasks associated with managing a larger workforce with Appogee HR Success.

Our comprehensive data and analytics can help you forecast future staffing needs, analyse workforce data, and make informed decisions about resource allocation. This is essential for rapid growth and ensures you have the right talent to meet business demands.

Track and review location data and get crucial insights when deciding whether to downsize or upsize office space. Staff location recording tools let you plan and report where employees work, making office capacity management easy. These tools are also compatible with teams that work from home, allowing you to manage hybrid workspaces easily. 

6. Information is inadequate to meet compliance needs

Not meeting regulatory requirements or industry standards due to limitations in existing HR software can indicate its unsuitability. For example, a manufacturing company might need help with environmental regulations because its outdated processes can't track the latest employee health and safety training. This risks fines and unsafe working practices and harms its reputation and trust with stakeholders.

If data mistakes or gaps continue despite efforts to keep workforce data accurate, it could be a sign that an HR upgrade is needed.

When asked what would help reduce the complexity and cost of the risk and compliance process, 49% of experts said standardising risk and compliance frameworks across their organisation. 

Since cloud-based HR systems store all employee data in one secure location, it is easier to access and manage. This ensures that confidential information is protected and only accessible to authorised personnel, helping you comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR, regardless of work location. 

Comprehensive software, like Appogee HR, can help you maintain compliance and align goals with features such as automated reminders for crucial compliance tasks, customisable compliance checklists, and centralised storage for compliance-related documents.

But don’t take our word for it.

Erica Garner, Director of Corporate Service at Delphic HSE, says, “We can demonstrate constant awareness and activity across the whole company, meaning we aren’t just ticking a box to comply with the ISO standard. We can clearly show how a goal is part of our business strategy and trace it from an executive level to the whole business.”

Furthermore, upgrading your HR systems will allow you to maintain a comprehensive audit trail of all employee-related activities and changes made to HR data. This ensures accountability and transparency and will enable you to demonstrate compliance during audits or regulatory inspections.

7. Your customers are making more complaints

If your customers are unhappy with service or product quality, your current HR methods aren't meeting their changing expectations.

For instance, when employees consistently miss deadlines or make errors in their work due to inefficient HR processes, this can impact the quality of service provided to customers. This customer dissatisfaction could indicate that your people management processes need improvement. 

Project tracking software makes project management easier and improves teamwork. Seeing project progress in real time helps you make smarter decisions and allocate resources effectively. As a result, you can ensure timely delivery of high-quality products or services, reducing customer complaints or exceeding expectations!

Tackle HR challenges with Appogee HR

Upgrading your HR system to a comprehensive platform undoubtedly offers better security, integration, and analytics.

By tackling bottlenecks and inefficiencies, you can streamline tasks like onboarding new employees and automating payroll processes, reducing the HR burden. You can focus on more strategic initiatives and align workforce management with strategic goals.   

Our user-friendly interface and customisable options empower you to tailor the software and boost efficiency and productivity. Book a meeting with an HR Transformation Specialist today to find out more.


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[1] Forbes
[2] World Economic Forum