Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Crazy World of HR – Taming the Data.

Working in HR is strange. People can’t decide whether they love or hate you.

When there is serious illness in the family or a bereavement the help and support provided by HR is appreciated. You get a warm welcome.

The moment you implement and push through changes to working conditions you are the worst person on earth. It’s then people start referring to the HR department as Human Remains rather than Human Resources. Not as funny as it sounds if you are on the receiving end and have had a tough week and I’ve had a few of them lately.

Right now, our firm is growing at an amazing rate. It seems like every time I clock in there is some new skinny, spotty new kid in a freshly ironed shirt and a new suit waiting for induction. Surprises even me how many there are, and the chances are I hired them.
When it came to new staff, things were really getting out of control. We could not keep track of them all. People were not being paid and our training files were not in good order either. If one of the new people had had an accident, we would have been hard pressed to prove that they had undergone the right training.

Part of the problem was our ancient HR system. It had kind of evolved over the years, which meant that we had the data on each employee spread across several different systems.

For years, it worked OK. When there were not so many people in the company and less turnover. It also worked because our HR clerks had been with us from the beginning. They knew the wrinkles of the system. The problems really started when one of them went on maternity and we hired a temp. She just not get her head around our sprawling system and things were missed and lost.

Our ancient HR systems stopped us from being able hire a third party accountant to do our payroll. Our old HR software was so far out of date we could not convert the database into a format the accountant could use. In short, it was a mess.

Fortunately, we found an answer we are now using HR Systems from CIPHR. Everything is in the same place and everyone, who needs to, can access the information. The whole system is much more efficient. The training module is also helping us to train our staff faster. It is far less labour intensive.

Even the technophobes managed to get their heads around the system within a week. It took a few weeks to go back over the temps work and put everything right on the system that had been missed, but apart from that, the transition was easy.

No more new recruits coming to the HR office on Friday night wondering if they have been let go because their wages had not been paid. Now the pressure is off I will be back writing more.

...and the morale of the story is... don’t stand still, update your systems regularly. The improved efficiencies are worth the investment.

Now if this whole post sounds like me subtly justifying my replacing my iPhone 5 with a got me.

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