How can SMEs become HR Tech Ready?

Management of employees’ attendance, leaves, compensation, and performance manually will soon be a thing of past. Automation in HR is the new reality. Whether you are a global conglomerate or a mid-sized business, in no time, you will have to implement your HR processes using technology in order to maximise productivity and ensure enterprise-wide efficiency.

From ERPs and HRM software to organisation-specific modules on the cloud, HR technology space is in full bloom. The market for HR technology products is estimated to be around $400 billion globally and the Indian HR industry is reported to be Rs. 40,000 crore. You can predict the future of HR technology from these humongous numbers itself.

Now, how do you gauge whether your organisation is ready to adopt HR technology? What is the right time to automate HR processes? Are your employees going to benefit from HR automation? Here are some quick answers to these questions to get your organisation HR tech ready-

1. Gauging Organisational Preparedness– Understanding where your organisation is positioned with respect to HR policies is the first step in HR technology implementation. Before you head for HR automation, ensure that the existing HR policies are strong and have penetrated the entire organisation. To ascertain this, audit existing HR processes and look for the loopholes that may constrict technology implementation in your organisation.

2. Determining Technology Acceptance– Are your employees tech-friendly? Resistance by employees in accepting new technology is the most cited reason as to why technologies fail to function as intended. Know how comfortable your employees are in using technology. Build an organisational culture that embraces technological changes by incentivising your employees to use tools initially. Also, give enough time to people to get accustomed to changes. Do not push it all at once.  

3. Understanding What You Need– Figure out whether you need a simple product or a complex one depending upon your organisational and HR needs and the strength of employees in your company. Build a team comprising of HR managers, department heads and IT persons to anticipate the risks in implementation and to select the right product. List down all HR processes that you want to automate and choose the product which offers the best of what you need. You are also advised to shortlist 3-4 technologies and analyse the merits and demerits of each before zeroing down on one technology.

4. Choosing the Right Technology Partner– Once you know what you want, hunt for the right HR tech partner. Know the answers to questions like will we need a lot of onsite support in the first year? Will our employees need training in the usage of the software initially? Is the product upgradable and scalable according to the future needs of my organisation? The answers to these questions will definitely help you while choosing the right HR technology partner.

5. Automate Tedious Processes First– It is difficult to automate all HR functions simultaneously. Start with the ones that you struggle with the most. Administrative areas such as leaves, attendance, pay roll and compensation are the easiest ones to begin with. Once your organisation becomes adept in these, you can move to complex ones like talent acquisition, project management, employee engagement and performance appraisal.

Technological transformation is a gradual process and should be implemented in a phased out manner. Preparing your organisation for the changes, automating one HR function at a time and giving sufficient time to your employees to adapt to the new processes will make the transition smoother and seamless.

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