HR Management & Compliance

3 steps to effective HRIS system implementation

HRIS systems can be critical in managing employee data. An HRIS – human resource information system – is an integrated system providing information to be used by HR and management in decision making. HRIS typically use one or more interrelated databases to track employee info. In order to get the most out of HRIS systems, it’s crucial to understand how to best use employee information and how to prepare for implementation to get it right the first time.

Why use HRIS systems?

There are many good reasons to use an HRIS:

  • They allow employee self service. In other words, they enable employees to update personal data and address changes, etc., without the intervention of HR. This frees up HR staff for more strategic functions.
  • They store data all in one place. This allows time-efficient reporting for compliance, employee development, and strategic means.
  • They can allow executive and management reporting capabilities “on the fly.” Managers can access the information in a timely manner as it pertains to employee development, performance improvement, and wage details (as appropriate).

3 Key steps to effective HRIS system implementation

With these good reasons, it’s easy to see why so many organizations are implementing an HRIS system. There are three key steps to an effective HRIS system implementation:

  1. Configure the HRIS for the company’s process and policies. Think about the specific policies and workflows associated with payroll, pay increases and training (for example). Think about how you need the system to work and “make sure that that HRIS can accommodate how your business runs today.” Amy Letke advised in a recent CER webinar.
  2. Interface the data with other systems and convert the company’s historical data into the new system. This will require organizational preparation and may mean employees have to do things differently. Training will need to be prepared accordingly. Sometimes it is beneficial to roll out the system to a small test group first to get feedback on how training should go.

    Another tip when linking the HRIS with existing systems is to form teams to deal with the various activities of the HRIS, such as ERP, payroll, etc. Oftentimes HR team members find that original data is not up to date. This is a good time to get up-to-date employee data from the employees.
  3. Prepare for the system, including budgeting time and money for implementation, training, and communications. Extensive time, energy and money will go into implementing a HRIS. During this time a lot of problems and stress can arise since a lot changes will take place before, during and after a HRIS is implemented. You will want to create a communication plan and use your teams to help manage the change.

HRIS system implementation data checklist

To help you get started, here is an implementation data checklist. Make sure you have this information for all employees:

  • Employee personal information, including basic contact information, demographic data, dependents, and emergency contacts.
  • Benefits administration including plans, on-line open enrollment, premium calculations, eligibility, benefits statements, cost summaries, HIPAA certificates, COBRA tracking, and carrier information.
  • Total compensation information, including base pay, other pay, planning tools and pay grades. If you have it, include the history of each of these as well.
  • Absence accrual balances, time-off requests, paid time-off and FMLA status.
  • Employee development, including training courses and classes, on-line enrollment data, qualifications, competencies and certifications.
  • Other items specific to your organization.

All this data will need to be loaded into the system.

The above information is excerpted from the webinar “HRIS Systems 101: Selecting the Right Information Service for Your Organization.” To register for a future webinar, visit CER webinars.

Amy Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the founder and CEO of the HR consulting and HR outsourcing company HR Integrity, Inc. She has 20 years of progressive experience in human resources management and senior leadership in various industries.