When considering the broad scope of people management as a function, it’s sometimes all too easy to overlook the impact that slipshod HR processes can have on IT teams and processes within an organisation. From a leadership and HR perspective, the day-to-day challenges presented by people management are self-evident, with HR teams in particular finding the lion’s share of their working week dominated by the need to drive forward effective strategy, but what about the IT function? What can the impact be on them, and of a wider organisation’s efficiency, of getting people management processes and systems wrong?
We sometimes forget that from an end-user perspective, IT teams are down in the trenches along with HR and leadership teams. Their role may not require the same level of day-to-day engagement with people management processes or the systems which support them as HR teams, but when things break down, it’s hard to deny that IT teams are the people most affected and involved.
From the perspective of your IT teams, the technological nuts and bolts of how these solutions operate is of paramount importance to making your ongoing people management goals a reality. Your IT expertise can be the make-or-break point between a solution being a long-term boon for an organisation or a flash-in-the-pan idea. People management software is fairly unique in that everybody, no matter what seniority, within an organisation will be expected to engage with it in some sense and from an IT perspective, this means that the smooth adoption, implementation and operation of any new technology is absolutely critical.
In this blog, we wanted to explore a few of the major impacts poor people management processes can have on your IT teams and why a specific focus on how these challenges manifest for technical teams will be vital for the long-term health of your people-led strategies.
Ease of use
Unfortunately, regardless of the complexity and competency of a solution, from time to time, things can simply just break down. IT teams will already be keenly aware that they are the first port of call when technical issues arise.
While any form of breakdown is a huge inconvenience for businesses, breaks in the chain of functionality from a people management perspective can be particularly stressful. Technical errors in collating payroll information for example can massively impact an organisation’s ability to pay their people on time which in turn, leads to a disgruntled and stressed workforce- not to mention the threat of potential legal challenges.
Technical challenges are often compounded by an organisation insisting on sticking with legacy or outdated systems. People management requirements are broad and complex in nature and the technology which supports HR teams exists in a rapidly evolving space. What this means is that when companies find This can mean continuous technical roadblocks presenting delays at every stage of the productivity journey and more time demanded of IT teams to put out fires and manually correct errors, rather than focus on more meaningful tasks.
Integration also presents a significant hurdle for organisations when it comes to digital transformation of their systems. A business may be dependant on a core system for day-to-day operations and the make or break factor determining the success of a new solution may well be the ability for new systems and technology to not only communicate with these functions but to fit seamlessly into the wider workflow.
For IT teams, the constant demand of repetitive support queries can be a source of huge frustration- not mention the resentment it can breed amongst the wider workforce who find their daily functionality hamstrung by technical issues.
Adoption of new technology
We’ve spoken about the dangers of sticking with legacy or outdated solutions but unfortunately, understanding you need to make a change is only one part of the process- the requirements of an effective people management solution can be complex in nature and the dangers of getting it wrong and fumbling the digital transformation process can be a huge barrier to organisations.
From the perspective of your IT teams, the technical how these solutions operate is of paramount importance to making your ongoing people management goals a reality. Your IT expertise can be the determining factor between a solution being a long-term boon for an organisation or a flash-in-the-pan idea.
A chief area of concern is the interplay of various systems and processes. In the people management space in particular it’s not uncommon for organisations to find their HR, time and attendance and payroll processes split between different systems, with varying degrees of complexity. This can create roadblocks, particularly when certain systems are unable to talk to each other in an intuitive fashion. The pressure is then heaped on IT teams to make these disparate processes work and to find a way to get these systems talking.
Intuitive solutions are a necessity not only from an ongoing support process but also for daily ease of use. Systems which communicate effectively between one another creates fewer areas for error to crop up, but it also means cutting down on complexities which demand lengthy training time- all of which places additional burden on IT professionals. Digital transformation of your people management processes means granting a greater degree of autonomy to your wider workforce to be able to pick up and use a system right away, without relying on complex training modules.
Data breaches, and particularly those of a sensitive nature such as involving customer or personnel information, represent a grave threat to all organisations and can fatally impact their standing amongst customers and colleagues.
Data integrity within your systems is absolutely paramount but it has to be remembered that the older a solution, the more that inbuilt protection is eroded away. As suppliers bring out newer versions of a solution, software updates and security development of older systems fall by the wayside, ultimately leading to ongoing support being discontinued altogether and organisations open to the threat of security breaches.
IT teams by nature have to be somewhat obsessive when it comes to security. Beyond protecting their organisations from the threat of legal action, there is also professional pride that comes from ensuring high levels of technical integrity. Lapses in security presented by older, outdated people management solutions represent unacceptable danger areas.
Not only that but the real-world impacts of security breaches can lead to IT teams working on a war footing- crisis rooms and overnight problem-solving sessions, just to ensure operational functionality. This represents a huge stress burden which effective digital transformation can help mitigate.
Cost of maintenance
Much like an old car, there comes a point where the cost of keeping a legacy system up and running far outstrips that of investment into a new solution. Legacy systems offer nothing beyond core functionality- certainly, no room for growth, which means that an insistence in keeping a legacy system going is little more than an exercise into sinking costs into something that will yield no long-term investment.
Organisations across all sectors are currently heavily concerned with ongoing challenges around rising costs of doing business. What this means is that there is a huge scramble to keep costs down and make savings wherever possible.
People management solutions which require a huge amount of ongoing consultancy or support to achieve core functionality can represent an untenable cost for businesses at a time when the pressures on their coffers are greater than ever, Unfortunately, the necessity of people management as a function can mean organisations simply take these charges on the chin- making cuts to other areas of the business, rather than focusing on cost-effective digital transformation.
Support queries represent a huge demand on the time of IT teams. With the possibility for any aspect of an organisation’s daily operations to shudder to a halt at any moment, it’s only natural that IT personnel will want to understand how robust the solutions their people teams rely upon are.
Furthermore, from a time saving perspective, the simplicity of understanding who you need to contact when things go wrong is vital. When people management processes are split between various systems, IT teams often find themselves wasting precious time just understanding the origin point of any errors. This means haemorrhaging time on support queries, rather than leveraging their efforts in more influential, strategic led ways.
When your people management solutions find themselves not functioning as intended, it’s vitally important that you’re able to get yourselves up and running as soon as possible. For IT teams, the robustness of support provided by a supplier will be a key concern when assessing the suitability of a system.
Gaps in support and habitual downtime may necessitate a change. When assessing the market be sure to ask key questions such as the quality of the support, whether it is domestically based, whether the supplier has positive reviews related to support, and most importantly- if IT personnel are able to reach support teams easily should something go wrong. How are support teams accessed? Are there multiple channels such as online portals, email, and phone numbers? Does the organisation have customer success teams as an embedded part of its makeup? Are they UK based? This can go a long way to helping you
Intelligent HR is set to be the bow wave of the future for the people function within organisations and the ability to effectively collate and harness data will be the true test for many businesses. Effective use of big data in HR can present a number of legal and ethical challenges but when done correctly, effective data management represents an unparalleled opportunity for organisations to improve their decision-making, keep their workforce happy and engaged and most importantly of all influence and guide their long-term strategy.
What this means for IT teams is that their role is now taking the central stage to not simply offer technical integrity and to keep things operational, but to take an active approach in supporting leadership teams in enacting their long-term strategies.
Data integrity and accuracy, along with the ability to easily pull together insightful reporting, will be absolutely key in giving HR teams and management the oversight they need to plan for success. If current solutions offer up any form of roadblocks in collating information, IT teams may find themselves under a great deal of pressure to offer the clarity demanded by their Technical headaches which stymie growth can see leadership teams piling on the IT function, heightening stress levels.
Many of today’s organisations are also demanding Cloud-based solutions rather than on premise hosting. This does remove a burden from IT teams in that hosting responsibilities are taken out of their hands but it also adds an additional layer of complexity around security and data integrity which teams will be expected to brief the wider workforce on.
It’s clear that the role of today’s IT teams is closely entwined with that of the wider goals of HR and leadership teams.
IT teams walk a tightrope of responsibilities- on one hand, there is a need to focus on ensuring smooth, daily operations, but on the other hand- IT personnel are expected to be vigilant and to quickly pivot into a problem-solving mode and stay on top of errors when they arise.
Outdated or unsuitable people management processes not only carry the potential to disrupt HR and leadership teams but also place heightened demands on IT teams who will be feeling under pressure to overcome technical hurdles and offer a sense of continuity in daily operations, in spite of the challenges posed by legacy systems and technology.
We’ve created our range of Advanced People Management solutions in order to help organisations overcome everyday challenges holding back their people management function and to support all areas of the business in delivering sustained excellence.
From Time and Attendance to Payroll, core HR and Performance Management, Advanced’s People Management solutions have been created by experts in the industry in order to help organisations and IT professionals transform the way they engage with their people and to eliminate the administrative and technical demands which prevent teams from achieving their core goals.
To discover more about how Advanced’s solutions can help your IT teams overcome hurdles presented by poor people management processes, get in touch today.