Article | March 15, 2020
Technology is one sector that is constantly evolving and finds purpose in every thinkable domain. There is an upward graph for number of innovative technologies and the number of industries adopting the technology. This decade’s most happening topic in the tech industry is the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and it has had a successful entry into HR tech startups. Following the other sectors’ lead of replacing predictable and repetitive tasks with AI, HR tech startups are also choosing AI for intelligent and disrupting hiring technologies.
Article | March 15, 2020
How can HR practitioners attract and nurture a wholly diverse workforce, and why should they? That’s a big ask for one article, but in this piece I’m going to try to summarise the opportunities that employers have in recruiting a more diverse workforce. These days we speak a lot about employers’ responsibilities where diversity is concerned, and of course they do have a responsibility to be far more diverse and inclusive than they have been in the past.
Article | March 15, 2020
Ever since managing a remote workforce became the number one HR challenge, HR tech had to configure a new way to keep up with the changing demands. If you are looking to ramp up your organization’s HR tech ecosystem but don’t know where to start, you are not alone.
According to a PwC study, over 74% of organizations plan to increase their HR software budget. However, with the advent of new technologies, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to the tools, features and integrated solutions at your disposable.
But which one goes best with your organization’s specific HR objectives?
Next-generation HR systems like cloud people management, automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are helpful to know. But do you need them?
Before answering this, you must understand why you need to have a seamless and robust HR system and how to pick a human resources application software that’s the right fit for you?
Why do you need robust HR software for your business?
Have you ever wanted to optimize a business process, automate repetitive tasks and implement algorithms to make smart decisions? The right HR software can do that and so much more. But, just like any other business process, HR needs a robust application to make it effective and resourceful.
The demand for HR software is set to cross $10 billion by 2022. Additionally, the HR tech landscape is ever-evolving. With new technologies coming to the fore, this is the right time to rethink the tools you use and how you can build a resilient HR system for your organization.
Some of the functions a robust human resource application software can perform are:
Supporting recruitment practices.
Implement automation for day-to-day HR operations
Maintaining a categorized database of candidates and employees
Enabling training, workshops and learning journeys for new and existing employees
Maintain a record of leaves, work time and timesheets
Managing payroll, compensation and benefits
Launching and tracking employee engagement programs
Benefits of HR software solutions
Whether you are a small business with less than 50 employees or a large organization with multiple operations, HR software offer functionalities that translate into tangible benefits. The right solutions can help you optimize about 40% of administrative tasks saving your time and money in the process. Recognizing areas of HR your organization can improve is the key to leveraging the HR software tool you choose.
Improve core HR capabilities
HR tools offer the ability to automate tasks so that your HR team can focus on more important projects. For example, with less paperwork and administrative tasks, HR can devote their time and attention to recruitment needs, enhancing training and boosting employee engagement efforts.
Make a well-informed decision
Data is at the heart of HR management, whether it is maintaining employee information or tracking day-to-day tasks. Yet, HR teams are unable to get the most, even after having access to this valuable data. HR tools empower HR by generating reports, aiding analysis and capturing key insights that can guide decisions related to recruitment, performance, retention and much more.
Create an enriching employee experience
Studies report that engaged employees are healthier, more productive, report fewer absences, and are less likely to look for opportunities elsewhere. You can incorporate employee engagement programs that take your employee loyalty to the next level with the right HR tool.
HRIS vs. HRMS vs. HCMS
Depending on the function, you will find different types of HR software specialized in managing different tasks. However, there are essentially three categories that cover every aspect of HR.
Human Resource Information System (HRIS)
HRIS software is designed to deal with day-to-day HR operations. It revolves around digitizing employee records, managing documents & reports, and providing a centralized tool to access all employee data.
Human Capital Management (HCM)
HCM encompasses all the functions that HRIS software performs and more. In addition to digitizing employee records, HCM software goes a step further. It helps HR teams deal with the planning and organizing areas of HR. It also allows HR teams to evaluate, process and analyze employee performance related to productivity, engagement and value.
Human Resource Management System (HRMS)
HRMS encompasses everything that HCM software offers, with the ability to digitize and automate tasks. In addition, HRMS tools offer extensive management tools and are usually integrated solutions that cater to large organizations.
HR software workflow
The number of tools and resources available to manage HR may seem extensive but easy to understand. Here is how the three HR application software components fare with each other:
Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Employee Self Service
Time and attendance tracker
Leave and Absence management
Learning and Management
Single-click Payroll Management
Time & Labor Management
How to choose the right HR software tools for your organization?
HR software tools not only allow you to manage your workforce but have implicit effects on your bottom line. So how do you go about choosing the right HR software to maximize ROI?
As employers continue to adjust to the new way of work, they need pragmatic and integrated solutions to help them protect their business and people.
- Greg Golub, Founder and CEO of Sequoia
Identifying gaps in your current process will help you ask the right question. But if you do not know where to start, here are the key aspects to consider before you zero in on any HR application software or features:
Scalability and Flexibility
HR software that is growth-ready can and will save you time and resources in the long run. However, your application needs to account for business expansion. Is it flexible enough to account for upgrades in technology, third-party APIs and cloud support? Will you be able to scale with your current software without requiring large-scale customization? Ideally, your HR software needs to offer the scalability and flexibility that a forward-looking, agile and dynamic business needs to grow.
Seamless integration capabilities
While today’s HR software is ahead of its time, it is essential to consider integration with your current HR system. Having a meaningful integration strategy can help you improve processes and comply better with data and security regulations. Does the HR solution provider offer integration support for your core HR systems? Does it need extensive modifications to work with your applications?
Training and implementation
To get the most out of your HRMS tools, you must consider the training and implementation aspects of the application. An effective training program that assigns accountability will quickly orient your team and troubleshoot any issues in implementing HR software. Your training program must help employees understand the scope of the application and make the most of the tools on offer.
Human Resources application software usually comes with inbuilt data security and compliance capabilities. These allow HR teams to secure large amounts of confidential employee information. HR tools also offer high levels of control that allow HR managers to share data securely and maintain the highest standard of all-around privacy.
Before you go
In all, the importance of HR software applications cannot be overstated. Using an optimized HR system has cascading effects in the long run. It can save you cost and time, improve critical areas of workforce management and enhance virtually all aspects of your business, like revenue generation and customer experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need both an RFI and RFP when seeking HR software providers?
With a request for Information (RFI) form, you will be able to get a complete overview of the HR application software from your potential vendors. It is meant to give you an insight into their functionalities and whether they meet your specific feature requirements, budget criteria, compliance standards, etc. On the other hand, a Request for Proposal (RFP) allows vendors to customize their offer as per enterprise needs and provides a more tailored insight to what is on offer.
Who should take the buying decision?
Ideally, a combination of HR and IT teams should be on your decision-making team alongside finance. Once a tentative budget is finalized, both HR and IT leaders add valuable inputs on the feasibility, functionality and features that best meet your organization’s goals.
How should I do my research for the right vendor?
Researching HR news sites for new and old players in the market, following the latest HR tech trends and keeping an eye out for new vendors through industry conferences and exhibits are just ways to find potential vendors online.
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"text": "With a request for Information (RFI) form, you will be able to get a complete overview of the HR application software from your potential vendors. It is meant to give you an insight into their functionalities and whether they meet your specific feature requirements, budget criteria, compliance standards, etc. On the other hand, a Request for Proposal (RFP) allows vendors to customize their offer as per enterprise needs and provides a more tailored insight to what is on offer."
"name": "Who should take the buying decision?",
"text": "Ideally, a combination of HR and IT teams should be on your decision-making team alongside finance. Once a tentative budget is finalized, both HR and IT leaders add valuable inputs on the feasibility, functionality and features that best meet your organization’s goals."
"name": "How should I do my research for the right vendor?",
"text": "Researching HR news sites for new and old players in the market, following the latest HR tech trends and keeping an eye out for new vendors through industry conferences and exhibits are just ways to find potential vendors online."
Article | March 15, 2020
Remote work has become the norm in 2020, and it has brought forth newer challenges for organizations. While productivity has increased over 13% after this switch to remote mode, employers are still struggling to figure out a way to measure and quantify the productivity of remote workers.
It is now more important than ever to have defined key performance indicators for all your remote workers. But before getting into how you can evaluate them, you need to formulate a plan to deal with remote work.
What Are Effective KPIs for Remote Employees
KPIs or key performance indicators are tools that help employers quantify employee performance in real, measurable terms. When it comes to performance and productivity, there are a lot of vague assumptions in place. Also, each employer or manager has their own idea of productivity. Some may find punctual employees to be effective, while some may not care about their timings at all as long as they complete their work on time.
In this case, how do you make sure that all employees are judged effectively and fairly? This is where KPIs for remote employees enter the picture. They serve as a point of reference for employers when evaluating employee performance. KPIs for remote workers are objective and offer a fair indication of remote employees’ performance.
When you have teams working remotely, KPIs are especially effective. When you don’t know when the employees start work or how many breaks they take, the only effective way to measure their productivity is to have defined KPIs for remote workers for each process. This will also allow you to formulate a remote work based pay strategy for your employees.
So how do you ensure effective KPIs for remote workers?
There are several ways to determine KPIs for remote workers, but one of the easiest and most effective ways is to make sure that the KPIs for remote workers are SMART. SMART is a planning tool, but it works really well for KPIs too. After all, KPIs are a method of planning towards success. SMART KPIs are:
Make sure that the KPIs for remote workers are not vague or ambiguous. Do not set goals like ‘improve the quality of the blog’. Ambiguity will only lead to further chaos. Be specific in what you expect, and communicate it well. A good example of a specific goal would be:
Proofread all the blogs and make them error-free.
Setting KPIs for remote workers is supposed to help you quantify performance. Make sure the KPIs for remote workers are measurable in clear and precise terms. If you were to make the above-mentioned goal measurable, it would look something like this:
Proofread 20 blogs and ensure they are error-free.
A lot of leaders believe in setting the bar high to inspire their team to do more. But there’s a difference between setting a high bar and gearing up for an impossible task. If the KPIs for remote workers are impossible to achieve, it will demotivate your employees and they won’t be able to perform at their best. Evaluate each of your employees’ capacity before you set KPIs, that way you will know if the KPIs you set for remote employees are achievable or not.
The work culture in each company is different. What is considered important in one organization may not be of any importance in the other. In this regard, the nature of KPIs differs from workplace to workplace. However, it is important to stay relevant for the sake of efficiency. ‘Dress appropriately’ may be good advice, but it cannot be a KPI for remote employees as it is irrelevant to your employees’ work unless they are in an exclusively client-facing role. Here’s a sample of KPIs for managers:
Calculate the working hours of all your team members and report it to the Human Resources department.
The KPIs you set for remote workers may be fantastic in every other aspect but if they aren’t time-bound, you will not be able to quantify them. Take the above-mentioned example – Proofread 20 blogs and ensure they are error-free. Here, the employee knows what is expected of them in clear, measurable, and defined terms but they have no time limit to work within. An employee might finish 20 blogs in a month while another might take three months. Are both these employees equally productive?
In order to have a clear understanding of your employees’ performance and productivity, you need to ensure that the KPIs for remote workers have a time-bound deadline. This way, you and your employees will have a clear picture of expectations vs. performance. A good example would be:
Proofread 20 blogs by the end of the month and ensure they are error-free.
SMART KPIs are tried and tested in several organizations and have proven to be an instrumental tool in evaluating employees.
Consider OKRs as an Add-on
Most organizations use KPIs for remote workers to quantify and evaluate performance. However, with Google’s adoption of OKR, there has been a noticeable shift towards OKRs. OKRs are Objectives and Key Results —it’s an evaluation mechanism designed by Andy Grove for Intel. This system allows you to define objectives and tie them to key results that act as smaller goals for your employees. A good example of OKRs would be:
Objective – Increase website traffic by 50%
Key result 1: Create 50 pieces of informative content for visitors.
Key result 2: Promote created content on social media.
Key result 3: Run a Google Ads campaign to gain more visitors.
You may wonder what the difference between OKRs and KPIs for remote workers is. The key difference is that KPIs are activity-based goals while OKRs are objective-based goals. Take a look at the same example to understand this further:
Proofread 20 blogs by the end of the month and ensure they are error-free.
Objective – Improve the blog quality
Key result 1: Proofread all the blogs in the next quarter
Key result 2: Create guidelines for content creation
Key result 3: Run all content assets through QC
The key difference in the above given examples is that KPIs talk of a single task whereas OKRs align all the tasks under an objective. So, which one should you use?
To succeed, you should ideally use both of these systems. KPIs for remote workers are really helpful for ongoing projects and small-term goals. However, if you’re starting a new project, or want to realign your company’s objectives towards a single goal, OKRs are your best bet.
Effective Metrics for Remote Workers
No matter what system you use for evaluation, or what your principles behind the evaluation are, it all boils down to the ‘how’. How do you evaluate them? What metrics do you use for evaluating remote employees? While several organizations have their own concept of these, BSC designer has classified these metrics into three important pillars:
Employee learning skills
It’s no surprise that self-discipline ranks number one when it comes to KPIs for remote workers. A remote employee can only be as effective as their self-discipline. And when your entire team is distributed, it is especially important to quantify, assess, and reward self-discipline. But how do you measure a concept as ambiguous as self-discipline?
Set up the metrics in a way that self-discipline is measured through each task. Quantify it through the following measures:
Was the task completed on time?
If not, was it communicated in time?
Was it up to the expected quality mark?
If not, were the reasons communicated in time?
These questions will help you evaluate an employee’s self-discipline in tangible and measurable terms.
According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work report, 17% of the respondents mentioned that communicating or collaborating with their team was the biggest challenge they faced while working remotely. Clearly, communication is a pain point for remote work. And ensuring that your team practices effective communication tactics can alleviate this challenge.
You can use the following factors to quantify effective communication:
Are the requirements for the task communicated to the supervisor effectively?
If working in a team, are all relevant factors shared with the team members at regular intervals?
In case of a glitch or blockers, is the issue informed immediately?
Were the instructions paid attention to? Is the quality as expected?
In case of delays or quality issues, were explanations provided before the deadline?
Is all the documentation crisp, clear, and error-free?
While this list is not exhaustive in any way, it will give you a clear understanding of your team’s communication skills.
Employee Learning Skills
Remote work throws a wrench in your regular processes. Teams have to deal with delayed communication channels, equipment breakdown, network errors, and a lot more. On top of that, while these issues can be fixed easily in an office, they aren’t easily resolved in a remote setting. Your team must be equipped to learn new things quickly while being able to follow instructions to a T. This is where employee learning skills enter.
Measuring learning skills can be tricky, as everyone learns differently. However, the acquisition of new skills and their application can easily be observed. You can use these questions to quantify these skills:
Do they take up learning new skills of their own volition?
If confronted with a task that requires a new skill set, do they volunteer to learn it?
When a new skill is learned, how is it applied to the task?
How long does it take for them to learn the new skill?
How effective is their work after the acquisition of new skills?
How quickly do they understand instructions?
How well do they perform tasks after getting thorough instructions?
These questions will help you grasp your employees’ overall learning skills. An employee with good learning skills is a big asset to your organization.
There are several other ways to determine KPIs for remote workers as each organization has a different set of requirements. However, this will give you a general idea of how to go about setting up your KPIs for remote workers.
Expert Tip: Measure the quality and quantity of work over the time spent doing it. This will enhance your employees’ trust and improve their productivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you set KPIs for remote employees?
KPIs for remote employees are different from those for regular employees. You need to focus on the results over the time spent. Set KPIs that measure the output over input.
How can I monitor employees that work remotely?
An easy way to monitor is to break down the KPIs for remote workers into smaller goals and touch base with your employees frequently to keep a track of their progress.
How do you measure productivity remotely?
Productivity metrics or KPIs for remote workers such as ‘the number of leads converted’ can be a good measure of measuring productivity remotely.
"name": "How do you set KPIs for remote employees?",
"text": "KPIs for remote employees are different from those for regular employees. You need to focus on the results over the time spent. Set KPIs that measure the output over input."
"name": "How can I monitor employees that work remotely?",
"text": "An easy way to monitor is to break down the KPIs for remote workers into smaller goals and touch base with your employees frequently to keep a track of their progress."
"name": "How do you measure productivity remotely?",
"text": "Productivity metrics or KPIs for remote workers such as ‘the number of leads converted’ can be a good measure of measuring productivity remotely."