As technology has taken on more and more roles in the workplace, many functions have now been converted to software systems. Everything from orientation to payroll can now be handled via some form of electronic management.

The efficiency gained from automation is beneficial in many ways, but there are some problems that emerge when different functions have been automated separately. If the various platforms can’t share information, the workplace has essentially traded one set of problems for another.

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When management begins to look for ways to manage human resources using computerized systems, they now have better ways to do so that no longer involve the use of so many different programs. Fully integrated systems can now cut across various workplace disciplines and pull everything together into an efficient and practical system.

Is the changeover worthwhile? Many managers may question whether the time spent converting will be beneficial, especially when each of their current programs might be very effective individually. The important distinction is that this process is for the long run, and it will permanently improve efficiency for the business or entity in several meaningful ways.

Employee Self-Service

Employees like being able to access their own information. They want to keep an eye on the information they have entered, so they like being able to log in and ensure that their working hours have been entered correctly and that their leave balances are correct. They like the ability to manage fringe benefits and tax withholding online as well.

Unfortunately, many workplaces have several different portals that employees can use to access their information. They might have to log in to one system to enter time, another to view their leave balances, and still another to view withholding and benefits information. With the growing problem of password overload, many workers find the process of accessing their personal work data very frustrating and inefficient. They either jam up the system with constant password resets or simply have an HR staff member do it for them.

By pulling everything together into a single system with a single access point, workers can execute these tasks with far less complexity and far less interruption to other personnel.

Overall Efficiency

A common complaint among office employees is constant updates to software. While it’s necessary and beneficial, it certainly doesn’t have to involve something new every week.

The problem is amplified when there are multiple systems involved in workplace operations. This week the payroll software needs to be updated, next week it’s the training system, and so on. It seems that something is always being updated.

When everything is on a single platform, that changes. The whole system upgrades, one time, across all functions, and that’s it. Efficiency is higher and frustration is lower, making for a more productive workplace. In addition, leadership is able to exemplify a desire to simplify and de-clutter the workplace.

Verification of Information

There’s no greater problem than a lack of coordination. If the right hand fails to match what the left hand is doing, gridlock ensues. When a worker logs time into one system, manages tax withholding in another, and deals with retirement plans in still another, there are many opportunities for errors. This leads to lost efficiency, poor morale, and expensive mistakes.

Bringing all employee functions together ensures that the system will match itself. If payroll has the correct earnings for the employee each pay period, the W-2’s will automatically reflect that. If an employee is required to complete an online training, it can be automatically linked to everyone who oversees the requirement.

The step of implementation is an obvious hurdle in this process, but as we’ve illustrated today, that initial investment will pay off in efficiency that is maintained for years to come. The only way to maximize the benefit of automating HR is to have coordinated automation.