Making your HRIS work


HR is an extensive function with a range of activities - other than paperwork - that needs to be performed. As Finance has a financial system, so too should HR be given the tools to perform. Be sure to buy a system that can grow with you. Once a system has been selected a successful implementation is critical. Here are 10 points to keep in mind during implementation.

Be the Champion

As the project owner you cannot be everywhere at once. Don’t try to do everything yourself – delegation is also a skill.

As champion it is important for you to:

  • Make the correct resources available to the project
  • Be specific in terms of the outcome you expect, especially when communicating with the project team
  • Attend the project meetings to track progress made and to resolve any policy interpretation, system modifications or scope changes (time, money and resources)
  • Ensure that management spearheads changing the way people work
  • Keep Line Management informed
  • Ownership - it belongs to you 

This is your system with your company’s people data. The HR Information System belongs to HR. This is the system to keep all your people data together on one database, facilitating decision-making.

Partner with Payroll

They are the closest to your people data and a collaborative relationship with clear role definition is critical.

Partner with IT

IT own the technical components. IT understands concepts like ‘database instances’ have disaster recovery procedures in place and can do back-up’s and restores with their eyes closed (although they shouldn’t). o    The system belongs to you and not your consultants.

The system consultants are there for their knowledge and expertise. Their goal is to transfer their knowledge to you. Be there to understand and absorb the skills.

  • Make sure that the data you provide to upload to your HRIS is clean and correct.
  • Ask for Assistance 

Changing any process requires extra effort. It becomes a mammoth task if only one person attempts this. Involve IT and Payroll from the start.

Identify module owners in line with their job responsibilities to share responsibility. Be sure to map who owns which fields as part of the business process analysis.

Run the Race

. . . step by step, but always keep the prize in mind. A phased implementation may help the company to see results quickly. Align the module implementation sequence to your business priorities, allowing for ‘rest periods’ between phases to entrench new ways of working. You know the busier times on the HR calendar i.e. Annual increases, budgets and financial year, accommodate these in your plan. Small steps ensure long terms success.


Your HRIS needs to be blended into the everyday working life of each HR professional. Value is achieved if your HRIS is used as part of every HR process. Ten people enriching the same system every day is more efficient than burdening a capture clerk with papers at the end of a process.

When implementing a system it is the best time to review business processes. Include all stakeholders to ensure that no data is missed, and that the relevance of that data to all parties is documented. Even just the conducting of a Business Process Review has the added benefit of facilitating cross-departmental communication regarding HR data and functions. Duplicate data sources can be uncovered and eliminated.

Manage the Change

New ways of doing your work does take getting used to. Breaking the slavery to painstakingly gathered spread sheets in all areas of HR is a challenge and requires a new discipline.

The benefit of reports at the click of a button far outweighs the scariness. The mantra of ‘if it is not on our HRIS it is not done’ must be enforced. Only reports generated off your HRIS should be accepted by management.

There is No Box

Create winning combinations (inside and outside the box) - it is not just HR who depends on accurate people data.

Just because your HRIS has for instance an Asset or Occupational Health and Safety module does not mean that HR needs to control these functions. Allocate the modular implementation to the true owners of the processes.

Build synergies where appropriate. Let appropriate information flow – be it the receptionist knowing who is new, on leave or exiting the company, or allowing IT to track the allocation of hardware to individuals. The security settings within your HRIS should permit a variety of viewing and access rights.

Knowledge is power

Working an HRIS should be deceptively easy . . . especially if someone shows you how. Training with the vendor is important as you are taught all the ways of using the system.

The relevant HRIS training of you and your team provides the foundation for confident use and information integrity.

Employee Self Service

The Employee Self Service portion of your HRIS should be as easy as internet banking.

Find some advocates – areas / people that are willing to be the first to implement. These advocates will help iron out any snags and create an additional layer of excitement and expertise.

With your national roll-out create excitement with a few mail-shots and system demonstrations.

Pick a date to move from paper leave forms to electronic leave forms. The success of a system is made possible by the uptake of technology. This means that plans would have to be made for those employees who do not have computer access. Integrating the SMS functionality to those without computer access closes the communication loop.

Don’t panic

There will be surprises

Plan for it.

Logic needs to be applied

If you make an error – read the error message and act accordingly.

Help is a phone call away

We trust this information was of benefit to you. Should you require any assistance with the selection, implementation or audit of your HR Information System feel free to contact us.