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A Human Resources Management System Essay

A Human Resources Management System (HRMS) or Human Resources Information System (HRIS), refers to the systems and processes at the intersection between human resource management (HRM) and information technology. It merges HRM as a discipline and in particular its basic HR activities and processes with the information technology field, whereas the programming of data processing systems evolved into standardized routines and packages of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. On the whole, these ERP systems have their origin from software that integrates information from different applications into one universal database. The linkage of its financial and human resource modules through one database is the most important distinction to the individually and proprietary developed predecessors, which makes this software application both rigid and flexible. A Human Capital Management Solution, Human Resources Management System (HRMS) or Human Resources Information System (HRIS), as it is commonly called is the crossing of HR systems and processes with information technology.

The wave of technological advancement has revolutionized each and every space of life today, and HR in its entirety was not left untouched by it. What started off with a simple software to help improve the payroll processing of an organization, or a software to track the employee work timings has grown to become the Human Resources systems that helps improve the process efficiency, reduces the cost and time spent on mundane tasks and at the same time improved the overall experience of the employees and the HR professionals. In short, as the role of Human Resources function evolved, HR technology systems also changed the role they were playing. The function of human resources (HR) departments is administrative and common to all organizations. Organizations may have formalized selection, evaluation, and payroll processes. Management of “human capital” progressed to an imperative and complex process.

The HR function consists of tracking existing employee data, which traditionally includes personal histories, skills, capabilities, accomplishments and salary. To reduce the manual workload of these administrative activities, organizations began to electronically automate many of these processes by introducing specialized human resource management systems. HR executives rely on internal or external IT professionals to develop and maintain an integrated HRMS. Before client–server architectures evolved in the late 1980s, many HR automation processes were relegated to mainframe computers that could handle large amounts of data transactions.

In consequence of the high capital investment necessary to buy or program proprietary software, these internally developed HRMS were limited to organizations that possessed a large amount of capital. The advent of client–server, application service provider, and software as a service (SaaS) or human resource management systems enabled higher administrative control of such systems. Currently human resource management systems encompass:

1. Payroll
2. Time and attendance
3. Performance appraisal
4. Benefits administration
5. HR management information system
6. Recruiting/Learning management
7. Performance record
8. Employee self-service
9. Scheduling
10. Absence management
11. Analytics

The payroll module automates the pay process by gathering data on employee time and attendance, calculating various deductions and taxes, and generating periodic pay cheques and employee tax reports. Data is generally fed from the human resources and time keeping modules to calculate automatic deposit and manual cheque writing capabilities. This module can encompass all employee-related transactions as well as integrate with existing financial management systems. The time and attendance module gathers standardized time and work related efforts. The most advanced modules provide broad flexibility in data collection methods, labor distribution capabilities and data analysis features. Cost analysis and efficiency metrics are the primary functions. The benefits administration module provides a system for organizations to administer and track employee participation in benefits programs. These typically encompass insurance, compensation, profit sharing and retirement.

The HR management module is a component covering many other HR aspects from application to retirement. The system records basic demographic and address data, selection, training and development, capabilities and skills management, compensation planning records and other related activities. Leading edge systems provide the ability to “read” applications and enter relevant data to applicable database fields, notify employers and provide position management and position control. Human resource management function involves the recruitment, placement, evaluation, compensation and development of the employees of an organization. Initially, businesses used computer based information systems to: produce pay checks and payroll reports;

maintain personnel records;
pursue talent management.

Online recruiting has become one of the primary methods employed by HR departments to garner potential candidates for available positions within an organization. Talent management systems typically encompass: analyzing personnel usage within an organization;

identifying potential applicants;
recruiting through company-facing listings;
recruiting through online recruiting sites or publications that market to both recruiters and applicants. The significant cost incurred in maintaining an organized recruitment effort, cross-posting within and across general or industry-specific job boards and maintaining a competitive exposure of availabilities has given rise to the development of a dedicated applicant tracking system, or ‘ATS’, module. The training module provides a system for organizations to administer and track employee training and development efforts.

The system, normally called a “learning management system” (LMS) if a standalone product, allows HR to track education, qualifications and skills of the employees, as well as outlining what training courses, books, CDs, web based learning or materials are available to develop which skills. Courses can then be offered in date specific sessions, with delegates and training resources being mapped and managed within the same system. Sophisticated LMS allow managers to approve training, budgets and calendars alongside performance management and appraisal metrics. The employee self-service module allows employees to query HR related data and perform some HR transactions over the system. Employees may query their attendance record from the system without asking the information from HR personnel. The module also lets supervisors approve O.T. requests from their subordinates through the system without overloading the task on HR department.

Many organizations have gone beyond the traditional functions and developed human resource management information systems, which support recruitment, selection, hiring, job placement, performance appraisals, employee benefit analysis, health, safety and security, while others integrate an outsourced applicant tracking system that encompasses a subset of the above. Assigning Responsibilities Communication between the Employees. The Analytics module enables organizations to extend the value of an HRMS implementation by extracting HR related data for use with other business intelligence platforms. For example, organizations combine HR metrics with other business data to identify trends and anomalies in headcount in order to better predict the impact of employee turnover on future output.

Management of Employee Turnover and Employee Retention

Employee retention refers to the ability of an organization to retain its employees. Employee retention can be represented by a simple statistic (for example, a retention rate of 80% usually indicates that an organization kept 80% of its employees in a given period). However, many consider employee retention as relating to the efforts by which employers attempt to retain employees in their workforce. In this sense, retention becomes the strategies rather than the outcome. A distinction should be drawn between low performing employees and top performers, and efforts to retain employees should be targeted at valuable, contributing employees. Employee turnover is a symptom of a deeper issue that has not been resolved. These deeper issues may include low employee morale, absence of a clear career path, lack of recognition, poor employee-manager relationships or many other issues.

A lack of satisfaction and commitment to the organization can also cause an employee to withdraw and begin looking for other opportunities. Pay does not always play as large a role in inducing turnover as is typically believed. In a business setting, the goal of employers is usually to decrease employee turnover, thereby decreasing training costs, recruitment costs and loss of talent and organisational knowledge. By implementing lessons learned from key organizational behavior concepts employers can improve retention rates and decrease the associated costs of high turnover. However, this isn’t always the case. Employers can seek “positive turnover” whereby they aim to maintain only those employees who they consider to be high performers.

In human resources context, turnover or staff turnover or labour turnover is the rate at which an employer loses and gains employees. Simple ways to describe it are “how long employees tend to stay” or “the rate of traffic through the revolving door”. Turnover is measured for individual companies and for their industry as a whole. If an employer is said to have a high turnover relative to its competitors, it means that employees of that company have a shorter average tenure than those of other companies in the same industry. High turnover may be harmful to a company’s productivity if skilled workers are often leaving and the worker population contains a high percentage of novice workers. Companies also often track turnover internally across departments and divisions or other demographic groups such as turnover of women versus turnover of men.

Retention Programs

It is important to first pinpoint the root cause of the retention issue before implementing a program to address it. Once identified, a program can be tailored to meet the unique needs of the organization. A variety of programs exist to help increase employee retention. Career Development – It is important for employees to understand their career path within an organization to motivate them to remain in the organization to achieve their personal career goals. Through surveys, discussion and classroom instruction, employees can better understand their goals for personal development. With these developmental goals in mind, organizations can offer tailored career development opportunities to their employees.

Executive Coaching – Executive coaching can be used to build competencies in leaders within an organization. Coaching can be useful in times of organizational change, to increase a leader’s effectiveness or to encourage managers to implement coaching techniques with peers and direct reports. The coaching process begins with an assessment of the individual’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. The issues are then prioritized and interventions are delivered to target key weaknesses. Assistance is then provided to encourage repeated use of newly acquired skills. Motivating Across Generations – Today’s workforce includes a diverse population of employees from multiple generations. As each generation holds different expectations for the workplace, it is important to understand the differences between these generations regarding motivation and engagement. Managers, especially, must understand how to handle the differences among their direct reports.

Orientation and On Boarding – An employee’s perception of an organization takes shape during the first several days on the job. It is in the best interest of both the employee and the organization to impart knowledge about the company quickly and effectively to integrate the new employee into the workforce. By implementing an effective on boarding process, short-term turnover rates will decrease and productivity will increase. Women’s Retention Programs – Programs such as mentoring, leadership development and networking that are geared specifically toward women can help retain top talent and decrease turnover costs. By implementing programs to improve work/life balance, employees can be more engaged and productive while at work.

Exit Interview and Separation Management Programs

Retention tools and resources

Employee Surveys – By surveying employees, organizations can gain insight into the motivation, engagement and satisfaction of their employees. It is important for organizations to understand the perspective of the employee in order to create programs targeting any particular issues that may impact employee retention. Exit Interviews – By including exit interviews in the process of employee separation, organizations can gain valuable insight into the workplace experience. Exit interviews allow the organization to understand the triggers of the employee’s desire to leave as well as the aspects of their work that they enjoyed. The organization can then use this information to make necessary changes to their company to retain top talent.

Exit interviews must, however, ask the right questions and elicit honest responses from separating employees to be effective. Employee Retention Consultants – An employee retention consultant can assist organizations in the process of retaining top employees. Consultants can provide expertise on how to best identify the issues within an organization that are related to turnover. Once identified, a consultant can suggest programs or organizational changes to address these issues and may also assist in the implementation of these programs or changes.

Employee retention best practices

By focusing on the fundamentals, organizations can go a long way towards building a high-retention workplace. Organizations can start by defining their culture and identifying the types of individuals that would thrive in that environment. Organizations should adhere to the fundamental new hire orientation and on boarding plans. Attracting and recruiting top talent requires time, resources and capital. However, these are all wasted if employees are not positioned to succeed within the company. Research has shown that an employee’s first 10 days are critical because the employee is still adjusting and getting acclimated to the organization. Companies retain good employees by being employers of choice. Recruitment- Presenting applicants with realistic job previews during the recruitment process have a positive effect on retaining new hires. Employers that are transparent about the positive and negative aspects of the job, as well as the challenges and expectations are positioning themselves to recruit and retain stronger candidates.

Selection- There are plethora of selection tools that can help predict job performance and subsequently retention. These include both subjective and objective methods and while organizations are accustomed to using more subjective tools such as interviews, application and resume evaluations, objective methods are increasing in popularity. For example, utilizing biographical data during selection can be an effective technique. Biodata empirically identifies life experiences that differentiate those who stay with an organization and those who quit. Life experiences associated with employees may include tenure on previous jobs, education experiences, and involvement and leadership in related work experiences. Socialization- Socialization practices delivered via a strategic onboarding and assimilation program can help new employees become embedded in the company and thus more likely to stay. Research has shown that socialization practices can help new hires become embedded in the company and thus more likely to stay.

These practices include shared and individualized learning experiences, activities that allow people to get to know one another. Such practices may include providing employees with a role model, mentor or trainer or providing timely and adequate feedback. Training and development- Providing ample training and development opportunities can discourage turnover by keeping employees satisfied and well-positioned for future growth opportunities. In fact, dissatisfaction with potential career development is one of the top three reasons employees (35%) often feel inclined to look elsewhere. if employees are not given opportunities to continually update their skills, they are more likely to leave. Those who receive more training are less likely to quite than those who receive little or no training. Employers that fear providing training will make their employees more marketable and thus increase turnover can offer job specific training, which is less transferable to other contexts. Additionally, employers can increase retention through development opportunities such as allowing employees to further their education and reimbursing tuition for employees who remain with the company for a specified amount of time.

Compensation and rewards- Pay levels and satisfaction are only modest predictors of an employee’s decision to leave the organization; however organizations can lead the market with a strong compensation and reward package as 53% of employees often look elsewhere because of poor compensation and benefits. Organizations can explicitly link rewards to retention (i.e. vacation hours to seniority, offer retention Bonus payments or Employee stock options, or define benefit plan payouts to years of services). Research has shown that defined compensation and rewards as associated with longer tenure. Additionally, organizations can also look to intrinsic rewards such as increased decision-making autonomy. Though this is important, employers should not Effective Leaders- An employee’s relationship with his/her immediately ranking supervisor or manager is equally important to keeping to making an employee feel embedded and valued within the organization.

Supervisors need to know how to motivate their employees and reduce cost while building loyalty in their key people. Managers need to reinforce employee productivity and open communication, to coach employees and provide meaningful feedback and inspire employees to work as an effective team. In order to achieve this, organizations need to prepare managers and supervisors to lead and develop effective relationships with their subordinates. Executive Coaching can help increase an individual’s effectiveness as a leader as well as boast a climate of learning, trust and teamwork in an organization.

To encourage supervisors to focus on retention among their teams, organizations can incorporate a retention metric into their organization’s evaluation. Employee Engagement- Employees who are satisfied with their jobs, enjoy their work and the organization, believe their job to be more important, take pride in the company and feel their contributions are impactful are five times less likely to quit than employees who were not engaged. Engaged employees give their companies crucial competitive advantages, including higher productivity and lower employee turnover.


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