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How integrated HR systems can boost workforce engagement and post-pandemic recovery

from  August 12, 2021 | 5 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the role of HR managers and highlighted the critical part they play in a company’s overall wellbeing.

From handling administrative tasks, they led the charge in the transition to remote work. This remains a crucial function, as many companies plan on continuing remote or hybrid arrangements for the foreseeable future.

A Gartner survey found that about 74% of companies plan to have permanent remote work arrangements for some of their employees, and a Hays survey found that 85% of respondents in Malaysia and 83% of respondents in Singapore say remote work has become more important to them since the pandemic hit. Eight out of 10 Singaporean workers also prefer to work remotely or have a flexible work arrangement, according to a Straits Times survey.

During a time of uncertainty and mental and emotional distress, HR also played the crucial role of looking out for and engaging employees. In Singapore, there has been a rise in the number of people seeking help for mental health issues amid the pandemic. A YouGov survey of Singaporeans who are fully employed also found that 94% are stressed out about losing their jobs.

In the post-pandemic world, the most pressing challenges HR managers face include ensuring employee engagement, fostering social cohesion, and continually updating remote and/or flexible working policies. They are also tasked to improve the operational efficiencies of various HR processes, including onboarding new employees, skills testing, talent management, filing for leaves and claims, and attendance tracking.

Moving forward, HR managers will play strategic roles in reimagining their organizations. They should expect to lead efforts to safeguard employee wellbeing and work-life balance, develop talent strategies, and faciliate the return to on-premise work.

But the lack of a unified way to communicate with the rest of the company, as well as poor oversight over HR-related employee data, can result in delays, errors, and information gaps.

To reduce confusion and redundancies and make managing remote teams easier, companies can deploy a cloud-based human resources management software (HRMS) that integrates several HR areas.

Here’s what HR teams and their organizations stand to gain.

Integrated systems can help HR engage employees

Companies with an engaged workforce are more productive, retain employees better, have fewer workplace accidents, and are 21% more profitable than companies with low employee engagement, according to research by Gallup.

In Asia, however, employee engagement hovers close to the low global average of 20%, sitting at 24% in South Asia, 14% in East Asia, and 23% in Southeast Asia. A workplace culture of wellbeing—measured in terms of career, social, financial, physical, and community dimensions—is also less prevalent in the region than in other parts of the world.

The distributed nature of work these days can make promoting employee engagement even more challenging.

But by combining best practices and the right tools, HR managers can help their organizations build a more engaged workforce and a stronger culture of wellbeing.

Solutions like Unit4 Prosoft, for instance, have talent management features that allow HR managers to run engagement surveys, performance analysis, trainings, and skills certification all on one platform. Because the Prosoft training module integrates with its appraisal module, HR managers can help formulate the best learning plans for employees.

These features also comply with personal data protection laws.

It’s important to note, however, that employee engagement is not just HR’s responsibility. It’s an organization-wide effort that managers and top leadership must take seriously in order to bring about real results. It entails creating a culture that recognizes people’s contributions and where employees trust the leadership. Having frequent check-ins and open communication help. It’s also important to make employees aware of opportunities for growth.

Fewer human errors, more time spent on things that matter

Having an integrated system also makes it easier for employees to request for leaves, file a claim, and submit timesheets and eForms. This frees up their time to work on more meaningful tasks that engender a sense of connection with the organization’s mission.

For HR teams, integration and automation make recruitment, payroll, and administrative functions easier to handle. They also decrease the likelihood of human errors. HR teams can then spend less time on repetitive data entry and manual record-keeping and focus on more exciting things.

Cloud-based HR platforms can be key to business recovery post-pandemic

During the pandemic, companies rapidly digitalized. This included migrating their HR systems to the cloud. According to an ISG survey of 260 companies worldwide, 46% used cloud-based HR platforms in the past year, up from just 20% two years ago.

These solutions drive business value by improving employee engagement, supporting remote workforces, increasing productivity, reducing costs, and making HR teams more agile.

Moving HR to the cloud may even bolster an organization’s overall recovery post-pandemic.

Specifically, analytics can help businesses make better workforce management decisions, which can then drive revenue growth. This is something that most cloud-based integrated systems provide. By leveraging data analytics, HR teams gain actionable insight on what motivates and demotivates people in their organizations. This can help them plan their employee engagement strategies.

An integrated hire-to-retire functionality—which streamlines processes from onboarding all the way to offboarding—can also allow for more effective talent recruitment, management, and retention.

In general, most cloud-based platforms are more resilient to disruptions than on-premise solutions and are accessible 24/7 using any device. They are also typically quicker to update.

Scale your remote teams quickly and get fully visibility of everything HR

Likewise, scaling is simpler and more cost-efficient than systems that are not cloud-based, which makes them a great solution for teams of all sizes. These platforms work well for small companies but can easily handle the demands of medium to large corporations.

With Unit4 Prosoft, new users can be up and running in about 20 working days, and migration for existing customers can take as little as five days. Migration cost is fixed and disruptions during onboarding are kept at a minimum. For companies that plan to allow more employees to work remotely, this can make onboarding new users a lot easier.

Lastly, because all data on personnel, payroll, talent management, and recruitment is in the cloud, HR managers and directors get a comprehensive view of their remote workforce anytime, through any device.

Enabling human resource managers to focus on people

By automating simpler tasks, pooling relevant data in one place, using analytics to inform decisions, and leveraging the cloud, integrated systems for human resource management can help HR focus on the lifeblood of the organization—their people.

And with an engaged and empowered workforce, everyone wins.

Visit Unit4 Prosoft to learn more about how Unit4 can help your organization manage remote teams and drive business resilience.

Unit4 Prosoft

Unit4 Prosoft have been serving customers in Asia for 30 years and is trusted by over 1,000 businesses across the APAC region in the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, construction, and professional services industries. Unit4 Prosoft HRMS has modules that support every aspect of your HRMS programs and allows you to manage people’s entire hire-to-retire cycle with a central control center and database. Your people get the flexibility and freedom to have what they need—how, when and where they need it.