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There are so many benefits for including HR software as part of your small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). But without purpose, these benefits would just be ‘nice to have’, so while we will explore 5 key benefits of HR software, it’s vital to first consider why it’s important to even think about HR software for your SME.

Why HR software?

The most valuable and important asset in your company is the people who work there, not your office building or your warehouse but your people. Without them, your SME simply would not exist. Human resource is the most critical factor in production and the effectiveness of end to end processes for any organisation. Therefore, one of your top priorities is to look after your people, the most precious resource in your business.

HR software makes managing people simple, it will save you (and everyone else) a lot of time and will help you to keep your most valuable asset happy, motivated and focused on the job at hand.

Here are even more reasons to ditch haphazard systems of spreadsheets, documents and post-it notes and adopt HR software into your SME:

1.It saves a huge amount of time

Affordable HR software will automate the time-consuming tasks which you loathe to do, so you have more time to come up with that incredible idea which will take your business to the next level.

If you have more than a few employees, then staying on top of basic employee information can become a nightmare if it’s all paperwork and filing cabinets. Just think, how long does it take you to dig out the holiday request form someone filled in a few months ago to find out how much holiday time is still remaining? “I have a spreadsheet for that” I hear you say, but I’m willing to bet it took you a few hours (and headaches) to set up and requires some time maintaining it.

The impact that HR software can have on your SME can be significant: from automating simple processes, such as holiday allowance, absence, training, and giving employee self-service (to maintain their personal details for example), to streamlining processes, enabling your employees to be efficient and productive, and focusing on the activities that are valuable to your business. These are just some of the many ways HR software will save you time (and money).Everything available, at a glance

2. Our clients tell us that they love how everything they need to know, is readily available at a quick glance.

Having relevant data immediately available whenever you want or need makes decision-making easy. On the flip side, poor decision-making can happen when the information we’re looking at is out of date or inadequate.

Additionally, with great data comes great power, having the ability to really dig into analytics can help you solve problems and spot trends. For example, is there a particular role with a high turnover or absence? You can dig into this and find out if those employees were getting enough training or having enough one-to-ones with their line manager. HR software makes collecting this data easy and accessing it will be a breeze.

The opportunities are endless and would simply be unfeasible given the amount of time and effort using a paper-based system would take to gain the same insights.

3. Grow your staff

As explained earlier, your staff are your most valuable asset and holding on to them is a top priority. It is also more cost effective to grow and develop the staff you already have than to keep recruiting. Which is where HR software will be hugely beneficial.

Human resources software can help you to keep track of all points of development for your employees, from performance to the training courses they’ve attended. For instance, we know that holding regular appraisals is hugely beneficial to your employee’s morale. With HR software you will never forget an appraisal again and will always have the data available to remind you what you talked about, the feedback received and the objectives you set together. All this information is also available to your employee helping them to feel engaged with the company and their work and drives your business forward as employees’ contribution increases as their performance develops and they improve their skills.

Using all this information you can work together to plot the career development of your staff, giving them something to aim for.

4. Secure document management

For too long companies have kept all their sensitive employee data in a filing cabinet. With your obligations under Data Protection and GDPR, it’s time to ask ourselves how secure is that filing cabinet? We simply cannot know who has access to it or even if someone unauthorised has actually accessed it.

With modern HR software, all the information you store is extremely secure and you can set permissions on who can access what information.

The added benefit to storing all your documents within cloud-based HR software is the knowledge that all your data is safe from any physical catastrophes such as a flood or fire. As long as you have a computer (or mobile device) you can still access your data.

Only with HR software will you get a full document management solution. From knowing who reads what when, to increasing productivity by reducing paperwork. It’s also an easily accessible place to archive old documents, policies, staff handbooks and training manuals. You no longer have any need to print everything out, meaning you can finally become a ‘paper-free office’.

5. Leave and sickness monitoring

Properly managing absence is a necessity when running a small business. Having a problem with sickness absences or a rush of annual leave can be a nightmare to manage with a small team. With HR software you can implement more careful holiday planning and know the data behind absence.

Even more than being a glorified calendar, good HR software will also calculate pro-rata entitlements, keep track of remaining leave and manage all holiday requests.

Most HR Managers agree that holiday booking is the most time-consuming aspect of people management, but with HR software you can automate it. Making the whole process simple and straight forward, allowing employees to request holidays at any time. No more messy, time-consuming, email trails and spreadsheets!

There are many more benefits to HR software, but I hope that this has given you a helpful overview of what HR software can do for your business.

So if you’re fed up with being bogged down with your current HR admin and processes, I’d love to hear from you.

As the second half of 2018 begins, you can’t help but reflect on your successes (and setbacks) as you think about what lies ahead.

When all has gone well, your next steps are clear. Double down on what’s working and get implementing towards that next milestone. But what happens if you’re falling short of targets, are struggling to get profitable, and are stuck with outdated systems and methods that aren’t taking you forward?

Read More

I have a BIG frustration with my industry (perhaps you feel the same way about yours!)

But after a lot of thinking, I’ve decided this is a good thing. After all, frustrations lead you to ask different questions. They inspire you to look at a situation with fresh eyes. They provide the gateway to breakthroughs, new ways of working, and ultimately transformation.

So while this particular frustration has stuck in my throat for a long time, my mind has been working overtime trying to figure out a new way forward.

Sometimes you need to give ideas time to brew – and this has undoubtedly been the case with what I’m sharing with you in this article.

I’m all for rapid action and quick implementation. Sometimes that’s absolutely the right way forward.

But when you move into business transformation, you need to give yourself the time and space to let your thoughts incubate.

That way you can be sure that you’ve hit upon the right outcome – when you find it.

So what was this big frustration?

And why does it matter to you?

Let me explain…

The box doesn’t fit anymore

As a seasoned HR professional who’s worked nationally and internationally and for big businesses and small ones, there’s not a lot I haven’t encountered when it comes to HR.

In fact, I’ve been inside interview rooms where I’ve heard things that would make you squirm, make you blush, and even make you angry at the injustice.

But that’s the real beauty of this role – it’s ALWAYS different. No day is the same.

However, despite my love for an industry I have a deep passion for, I do get frustrated that most people fail to see the enormous potential HR holds for their business.

You see, most people push HR into the box of compliance, legislation, and tick boxes.

And while HR fundamentals are about ensuring things are watertight – for you and your staff – there’s a whole other folder waiting for you to open.

And once you’ve got the fundamentals nailed, this other folder presents opportunities for business growth and personal development that can blow your mind.

And that’s what frustrates me!

Apply HR as an enabler, and your business can transform – in all kinds of ways. From improved attendance, to staff development, to implementing significant changes that rock your world.

Leverage this aspect of HR and it does become a game-changer.

And I want to create the space and opportunities for more of that to happen.

Here’s how I’m going to do it…

Three stands – three ways to change your world, your business, and your team’s success

Opt HR Consulting: There is and always will be a demand for HR advice and consultation.

Get your HR wrong and you can get into all sorts of rough water. From tribunals to fines to getting tied up in red tape, you’ve heard it all before! So don’t worry… you can rely on us to help you navigate the waters.

You can rely on us to help you get compliant, stay compliant, and troubleshoot any ongoing or ad hoc issues and challenges. Everything from grievances to absence, to behaviour management, our team of highly skilled, highly knowledgeable experts will help you get on top.

But that’s not all…

Opt HR Connections: Working in HR can be lonely – especially when you’re lumped under the compliance label! As a result, there is a ton of unlocked potential hiding in organisations and consulting companies across the country.

I want to create a space that unlocks that potential and gives HR professionals an opportunity to connect, network, and share best practice. I want to build a community of high-performing individuals who want to change the perception of HR and help businesses use this knowledge base and skill set to leverage growth, transformation, and change.

That’s why I’m launching HR Connections – through monthly meet-ups, hot seats, mentoring, and best practice shares, we’re working to inspire and empower a new breed of HR professionals who can bring more and add more value to ambitious companies.

It’s the most powerful way I can imagine to change the perception of HR (and what it can do for your business), AND inspire excellent people to enable transformation in their workplace.

Opt HR Coaching: I’ve been coaching my entire professional career. From front-line staff to top-level management, I love helping people work through hurdles, achieve their goals, and show up as their best.

Specialising in supporting HR practitioners and business leaders who want to harness the potential of their team to transform their business, I’ve launched a series of coaching packages.

Focusing on skills development, mindset, and strategies to achieve goals, this coaching opportunity offers accountability and will help high-achievers keep pushing forward.  

To me it’s clear…

Change the perception of HR in business and we can unlock a raft of skills, expertise and knowledge that businesses and managers can leverage to embed and navigate change.

I love the New Year.

For me, it represents a blank slate and the potential to achieve something significant in the year ahead. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be filled with optimism and plenty of exciting plans for 2018.

But don’t make the mistake of running before you can walk!

I understand that you’re itching to get started.

However, sometimes you need to slow things down before you can pick up pace – and that’s especially true when it comes to your staff.

Without the right policies, procedures, and management in place, you risk scuppering your plans before they even get started.

Your team is your most valuable resource.

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With Christmas rushing ever closer, I’m sure you’re busy turning your attention to the festivities, parties, and downtime with the people you love.

But before you down tools for the year, can I encourage you to reflect on the time that’s passed first

Looking back to see what went well (and what didn’t) is vital in business.

If you don’t learn from the past you risk repeating the same mistakes unnecessarily.

And if you don’t identify what worked well, you can’t embed these insights into your 2018 plan.

Of course you should reflect across your entire business, but as well as focusing on the financials, remember to spend some time reviewing your HR.

Remember, your employees are critical to the success of your business.

And to help you do your HR review productivity, here are some resources and ideas to help:

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