Human Resources

Still Using Spreadsheets and Emails to Manage HR? Here's How to Do It Better



Are you relying on emails and spreadsheets to manage your HR admin and processes? They can serve these purposes fairly well, but there are better options out there – namely, HR software systems, which are specifically designed to help businesses manage their HR activities.

The HR landscape for SMEs According to a study from software comparison website Capterra, 43% of SMEs in the UK use HR software. This makes sense, as many companies are automating their HR in general, in order to stay competitive and cut down on the time and costs spent on their HR processes.

Why Choose HR Software?

When you have software in place to manage your HR, you’ll spend less time chasing up emails or making sure spreadsheets are up to date. Instead, all your HR information and admin processes will be available from a central, secure online system where administrators, managers, and employees only have access to what they need and accountability over their information.

HR software helps ease the amount of admin you need to do, so you can spend more time focusing on what matters: your business and your employees.

5 Ways You Can Manage HR Better With Software

Here are just 5 ways a HR software system can help you handle your company’s HR admin more smoothly than emails or spreadsheets:

1. Storing and sharing documents

Having to email staff the company handbook and policies at regular intervals – especially when everyone has forgotten to save the documents or where to find them in their files – can be frustrating and easy to forget. Moreover, how can you make sure staff have actually read and agreed to those documents?

HR software is the ideal place to store those important company-wide HR policies and documents, as well as contracts and agreements with individual employees, as everyone knows where to access the documentation they need within a secure system. Also, many HR software systems require staff to confirm that they have read and agreed to documentation, which can help you understand who has read what and tackle any potential compliance or disciplinary issues.

2. Recording holidays

When staff are asking to take annual leave via email, it doesn’t take long for requests to pile up or for clashes and understaffing to occur. A spreadsheet can give you a bit more of an overview, but then you still either need to take requests via email or have a free-for-all of staff filling in the days they want whenever they want. It can be a bit of a nightmare to manage!

HR software provides the company with a clear and accessible staff holiday planner, so that employees can see who on their team or the whole company is on holiday and plan accordingly. A holiday request system, where employees can request leave and a manager/HR admin can approve or reject it, makes the whole process much smoother.

A robust system should also be able to update staff holiday entitlements, so employees and their managers know how much holiday they have left – helping avoid those end of the holiday year request frenzies, or anyone from missing out on their statutory entitlement (as statistically many employees are missing out on this!)


3. Monitoring absence

Staff absence can be a big drain on a company’s resources and productivity levels – especially sickness absences, which usually can’t be planned for in advance. In 2019, sickness absence stood at an average cost of £544 per employee (and probably further costs that the employers surveyed could not directly connect to absence, such as reduced performance and missed business opportunities). That can really add up, especially for SMEs.

Recording absence accurately and having a good overview of any patterns and issues within the organisation is crucial, but it can be difficult for managers to keep on top of this along with all the other things they are doing day to day. It’s easy for return to work interviews to be missed or documentation to be lost or forgotten.

Absence management is another central part of a good HR software system; you can use software to track absences, send out reminders to managers, upload related documents, and automatically calculate Bradford Factor scores. Software can help you keep on top of your absence management processes and ensure compliance at all times.

4. Managing staff information

Do you have all the latest, up to date HR information on your employees available when you need it? Or is it scattered around in emails or out of date in a spreadsheet in a folder somewhere? HR software can help you with this too! The software effectively acts as a staff database, where you can review information for individual staff members much more easily.

Staff can also review their own information and keep it up to date with self-service options (with the option for managers/administrators to be alerted to updates to ensure everything remains accurate). Taking your HR ‘filing cabinet’ online is particularly useful when you have a remote or hybrid team, as employees can access their information securely from anywhere.

5. Tracking training

Training and personal development are so important for employee upskilling and retention, but it can fall on the wayside when everyone has so much else on at work. It can be all too easy to forget to do the updated version of that industry-critical course, or to complete that personal development plan.

Luckily, many HR software platforms also provide training management functionality, so you can create a staff training database, send timely reminders, and get feedback from employees. Staff will know what training is available to them and managers can more easily keep track of essential qualifications and training/development activities for their employees.

So, ready to stop doing HR with emails and spreadsheets? Maybe it’s time to start looking at a HR software solution to help streamline your admin activities and free up your time to focus on staff engagement and your HR strategy.

Author Bio

Camille Brouard is a Senior Marketing Executive at myhrtoolkit, which provides a HR software system that is tailored for SMEs and used by over 1,000 businesses in the UK and Ireland.

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