Staying Flexible When Facing HRIS Changes

Joseph Stubblebine
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Adapting to change is never easy, and this holds true when your company's trusty HRIS systems are no longer meeting your needs. This can happen when your company's software is compromised by a bug or virus, when you adopt a new software package that you aren't accustomed to, or when your company's policies change to the point that the old systems are no longer adequate to meet requirements. Whatever the reason for the changes in the HRIS systems you're familiar with, you need to have a plan in place to deal with sudden disruptions and keep things running smoothly in HR. Here are a few of the things you can do to make adapting to change a little easier for everyone.

Many large companies and government offices have proprietary HRIS systems that were developed in house to meet the individual demands of tracking personnel, payroll, and other HR data. Once you learned the quirks of your office's HRIS systems, you probably began to depend on their user interfaces immediately. When a system is down for maintenance or lagging between necessary updates, even the best HR professional can feel at a loss.

To get around this lag, cultivate a close relationship with your company's IT department. Working with your developers to anticipate planned changes to HRIS systems provides insight into what's going on and might help you discover new ways to handle employee data during transitional periods. If your new HRIS systems have bugs or problems, your close partnership with IT should encourage developers to get them resolved more quickly.

Another way to stay flexible when your HRIS systems change is to develop a secondary method of data tracking that can fill the gap when the preferred method is disrupted. While tracking payroll on paper sounds old fashioned and inefficient, it's not as bad as being unable to track the basics of employee data at all because of system updates. Having alternate methods to manage data—even if they're less than ideal—provides peace of mind that, whatever else happens, your HR department will get by.

To an HR manager charged with responsibility over employees' pay, schedules, benefits, and analytics, the prospect of doing without familiar HRIS systems is worrisome. Anticipating the inevitable, however, can smooth the changes all HRIS systems go through at times and help keep your department on track during periods of disruption and change.



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