You know it will make your life better. You know it’s user-friendly and cost-effective for business. If only you could convince your boss…
It’s a Friday and you’ve got a half-dozen PTO requests on your plate. You’re scanning and filing them manually, looking up each employee’s accrued paid time off individually, referencing your company’s org chart to see which supervisors need to provide authorization, and doing a half-dozen related menial tasks.
This is not what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning.
You know this stuff can be done in half the time. You’ve been looking into cloud-supported HR management solutions. And you found one that makes sense. It’s simple, reasonably priced, and cost-effective. And of course, it will make your life a lot better.
Integrated HR management software keeps HR managers from pulling their hair out every day. We know it. We’ve seen it. But as obvious as the benefits of a new, full-service HR management solution may be to you, your boss probably wears a few hats and has competing priorities. So if you want them to act on your recommendation, here are some tips.
First Thing’s First: Priorities and Temperament
The perceived expense and difficulty of switching to a streamlined, cloud-supported HR management system often makes this topic of discussion stressful. But so is all the stuff you have to grapple with because your current workflows are inefficient: extra steps in payroll prep, tedious org chart updates, time-wasting discussions, and above all: the inefficiency of manual documentation (complete with coffee stains).
To de-stress the situation, start by putting together a business case. You’ll want to consider both financial and cultural priorities. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here, but combining these two approaches is reasonably likely to hit the mark.
#1: It’s a good call financially
Too often, business owners think of HR management as a cost of doing business (or face it—a necessary evil). But even if you can’t change their mind about that, you can present a more streamlined HR management system as an investment. You just have to make the case that the financial returns (of efficiencies, savings and competitive advantages) are greater than the costs.
…as obvious as the benefits of a new, full-service HR management solution may be to you, your boss probably wears a few hats and has competing priorities.
Better analytics and streamlined workflows will eliminate paperwork, speed up decision making, boost employee engagement, and allow you to focus on value creation instead of menial tasks.
That’s sensible enough, but it helps to quantify those benefits. Track the amount of time you’re spending on individual tasks like time off requests, onboarding new hires, org chart updates, timekeeping, payroll and onboarding new hires. Calculate the financial benefits based on your wages and the amount of time you’ll save.
Your supervisors and employees will also be spending less time on unproductive tasks that can be automated or streamlined. You can quantify the value of that time too. But odds are, cost-effective HR management software will be justifiable on the basis of your time alone. Make reasonably conservative assumptions so you don’t get a ton of pushback.
Efficiency? Costs? Benefits? Bueller?
Administrative efficiency might be the most intuitively obvious benefit of a streamlined HR management system. But it tends to be a low priority for most business owners. Inefficiencies tend to go unnoticed. That’s why it’s important to think beyond them.
Business owners and CFOs tend to be more cognizant of costs, which are easy to pinpoint, than benefits, which accumulate over time. You’ll want to lay these out so a six-year-old can grasp them (no offense to 6-year-olds—they’re delightful).
Here’s a simple format for building a financial case:
We don’t adore spreadsheets any more than you do. That’s why we made this:
HR Hours Spent per
Mgr. Hours Spent per
Employee Hours Spent per
Applicant Tracking: posting open jobs / communicating with applicants
Onboarding: distributing PDFs for signature / collecting signed docs / filing completed docs
Time Off Tracking: distributing paper request forms / collecting signed docs / updating accrual spreadsheet
Timekeeping: Ensuring that employees have completed timecards and managers have reviewed.
Payroll: Manually data entering time into payroll system
Change of Employee Status: updating changes to employee position and compensation status
Performance Mgmt: distributing paper eval docs / collecting and reviewing completed docs
- Typical HR Generalist/Admin annual salary = $45,000. Hourly rate is $45,000 / 2088 work hours per year = $21.55
- Multiply $21.55 x 15 hours = $323 spent per week on manual HR activities. Monthly cost is $323.25 x 4 = $1,293
BizRun HR Software Cost
Multiply number of employees times $4 per employee per month.
- Example 1: 50 employees. BizRun subscription cost per month is 50 x $4 = $200
- Example 2: 100 employees. BizRun subscription cost per month is 50 x $4 = $400
Monthly Cost Savings
Automation of tasks and elimination of paper, manual calculations, and data entry
- Example 1: $1,293 – $200 = $1,093
- Example 2: $1,293 – $400 = $893
Don’t forget to consider that there are both direct financial benefits and positive knock-on effects of improved processes. For instance, if improved day-to-day satisfaction from intuitive time-tracking, smoother HR/employee interactions and quicker PTO approval prevented even one employee from leaving, how would you value that financially?
The key is to quantify the benefits of HR management software—even if the decision is a no-brainer from your standpoint.
#2: It improves people’s day-to-day quality of life
In some cases, simply making the case that HR management software improves the employee experience may be the best approach. Improved employee engagement and productivity, while not strictly quantifiable, is an enticing business case. By making the hiring process speedier and more pleasant, smoother applicant tracking also helps secure more talented applicants.
Here are some punchy examples of what HR software can do:
- It can facilitate communication, learning and relationship building within a company.
- It can make mundane things like time-tracking frictionless.
- Employees benefit from faster approval or closure on PTO requests.
All this amounts to improved employee satisfaction, which many executives see as desirable for its own sake. But even the most hard-nosed executive (if they’re competent) dislikes the costs associated with employee turnover. So it doesn’t hurt to mention how this will potentially amount to a reduction in turnover.
If this is the approach best suited to your boss, it will probably still help to be prepared with some quantifiable benefits.
Inefficiencies tend to go unnoticed. That’s why it’s important to think beyond them.
The bottom line is that a streamlined HR management system improves the bottom line. It can reduce the burden of paperwork on employees and managers, improve employee satisfaction, and eliminate redundancies and menial tasks that interfere with managerial decisions.
How to best approach this discussion with your boss is a matter of attuning to their priorities and temperament. If you’re ready to support your recommendation on the basis of employee satisfaction and cost effectiveness, it will improve your odds of getting buy-in from your boss and CFO.
BizRun HR Software Simplifies It All
- Eliminate Paperwork
- Get Rid of Spreadsheets
- Optimize Performance Management
- Streamline Employee Onboarding