By now, many employers have gotten on board with the idea that empowering employees is a good thing. When employees are empowered to take care of some of their own needs and can take certain actions without consulting management or HR, it saves time and money, all the while making employees feel more trusted and often more content. It is also no secret that implementing a HRIS can make it easier to empower employees.
However, it is a mistake to assume that implementing a HRIS will automatically empower employees. If the employees don’t understand how to use the HRIS or are not given specific instruction on how to use the HRIS to bypass functions that normally require management assistance or approval, the HRIS will empower employees to a much lesser degree. The following are a few steps that may be necessary to ensure that the HRIS is actually helping to empower employees.
Employees should be educated on how they can use the HRIS for things like submitting time off requests, updating personal information, accessing training modules, and communicating with peers or managers. Managers should be educated on how to use the HRIS to approve time off requests and to respond to employee communications in order to further foster autonomy.
Allowing employees to practice using the HRIS in a judgment-free environment and encouraging them to give feedback will help to overcome any inhibitions that employees may have about adapting to the system. Once employees see that the system is easy to use and that their feedback about the system is being responded to, they will be much more likely to use the system to meet their needs, rather than defaulting to the old way of doing things.
Daily tasks and even employee job roles may change after a HRIS has been implemented, in some cases. Tasks that used to take days may take only hours or even minutes when automated, freeing up employees to take on other tasks. The shake-up can be stressful and confusing, so employees need sound guidance and as much clarity as possible in order to understand what they are now able to do and how to do it.
As employees begin to use the HRIS to become more autonomous, they will undoubtedly have questions. It is important to make sure that employees know who to get a hold of and the best means of communication when they have questions in order to further encourage an empowered culture. Make sure that whoever is in charge of answering employees’ questions is also extremely compassionate and understanding.
After all necessary steps have been taken to make sure that employees can use the system to become more autonomous, stand back and watch the empowerment happen. Employees will never be truly empowered as long as micromanaging is going on. When employees feel trusted, a culture of empowerment can begin to take form.
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