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Annual Health Check – Your Systems MOT

Your HR and Payroll systems are fundamental to your business processing – but how often do you look under the bonnet and check it is safe, secure and ready to motor on for your business?

When you buy a new car the first 3 years are without MOT – it is considered that as the car is so new there should be no need to have an annual review of its fitness. I consider that to be bad practice for HR and Payroll systems.

Let’s look back over the last few years – the rise of the gig economy, off payroll working, gender pay gap reporting, executive reporting – all things that we knew were coming and needed to do something to our systems to ensure we could respond to the changes (and challenges!). These are the external factors, but what about the internal factors. Consider this:

  • Have you changed terms and conditions for employees since implementing your HR and Payroll systems?
  • Have you changed any internal processes within HR and payroll?
  •  Are there any legislation changes in the horizon that may affect you?
  • Have there been any significant changes in business size since implementing your systems?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes – how did you assess the impact on your systems? Did you do a full impact analysis or simply ‘fudge it’ or ‘make do’?

“Often we are so entrenched in the day to day with our systems that we forget to consider the bigger picture, we tinker with our systems rather than developing them”

 My first golden rule with systems is Develop don’t tinker! When the business leaders set the strategy, and the HR team set the People Strategy – does anyone in your organisation consider the impact on systems?

Do you have a development plan in place for the systems and how they would cope with these changes? Let’s take an example: Your business plan is to grow by 30% in the next 3 years.

Your People plan sets out an expectation that new hires will be onboarded seamlessly and have an induction within their first week in the business. Your current recruitment software has an onboarding feature with document storage and form filling capability but you haven’t got round to looking at it yet.

The annual MOT looks not only at how fit your systems have been in the past but also looks to the next year, will your systems cope with the mileage for another year until the next MOT. What are the advisory’s? What are the failures?

I recommend taking some time out each year to review your system health – are there niggling jobs you know you want to get done that you don’t have the time for? Have workarounds been created for something that you know you could solve if you only had the time?

Often when you add those things together and make a list you have the foundations of a strong development plan for the year ahead to chip away at, in a prioritised order and in line with what the business needs from its systems.

Phase 3 are leading providers of People Technology Consulting and Services.

For more advice and tips on all things HR, make sure to head to the Phase 3 insights page.

This blog was written by James Proctor, Head of Consulting and Services at Phase 3.

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