How do you measure turnover? Most people think they understand turnover. It is a simple and useful concept when it comes to understanding the flow of people through your organization. It is an important marker for determining overall organizational health and likely productivity impacts. If turnover is too high, your business stalls due to constant re-training; if turnover is too low, it can stagnate, leading to mediocre performance.
One software industry analyst has been watching the human resources management system market for some time and has discerned some trends. With the economy recovering from recession, organizations are focusing on core HR concerns, such as strategic hiring and productivity. As a result, they’ll invest in technologies that help in these areas, particularly if they “offer an immediate return on investment or meet some compelling management or regulatory need”.
Back in the heady days of summer 2010, our sister publication HRinfodesk began a series of polls on human resources management systems (HRMS) and metrics. In July, about one-third of respondents said they already use an HRMS and just over one in ten said they were considering it. In August, one-third of HRMS users said it makes their jobs easier, while the rest said the system offered no improvement or actually made things more difficult.
Human resources management systems (also known as human resources information systems) exist “at the intersection between human resource management and information technology.” Usually, this means taking previously disparate HR information and automatically integrating it in such a way that users can gain a clearer picture of what is happening in the company—in a more efficient way than if HR had to gather all of the information from its various sources, and analyze it manually.
This diverse information includes payroll, work hours and overtime, benefits administration, recruiting and development, training and learning, performance records and more. You’ve probably already automated one or more of these services, either internally or via an external service provider; companies commonly outsource payroll and benefits functions, for example. But even so, can you imagine what you could do if all of those functions were integrated and all of that information could be compared with little effort? That’s the promise of human resources management systems.
A while back, the Conference Board of Canada came out with a study that found while workplace absenteeism continues to rise, Canadian employers take a “relaxed” approach to tracking employee absences and measuring their cost. According to the study, the absenteeism rate has been increasing steadily in the past decade, rising to 6.6 days per full-time employee in 2008–09 from 5.7 days in 2000–01, the most recent fiscal year. This is the highest point since the board began surveying employee absences 20 years ago.