HR Software Show: how organisations can bridge the communications gap

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Employees find it difficult to get responses to simple HR and payroll queries.

Employees want clear and easy access to key information such as payroll and benefits, but not everyone has a positive experience of getting this data from HR. A new system launched at the recent HR Software Show can help.

Too often, employees still have negative experiences of HR, according to a survey by Redshift Research for Bond HR and Payroll Software.

Its report, Realising the Strategic HR Vision, found that just over two-fifths of respondents had either little or no understanding of the HR function’s role – often because they could not access the information they needed.

One-third of respondents said their experience of HR was either negative or very negative, after having simply been told where to look for information and being left to their own devices after lodging a query.

Roger Moore, managing director of Bond HR and Payroll Software, explains: “In a lot of cases, HR sit at headquarters behind closed doors and employees only hear from them if it’s a disciplinary matter or they need to ask a question. Other than that, they often don’t have any real contact.”

Queries tended to be administrative in nature, with just over two-fifths (43%) being payroll related.

Often, workers had been paid the wrong amount or there was some issue with HMRC and their tax codes – and this is despite nearly four-fifths of staff believing that they have a good or very good understanding of payslip information.

However, a smaller proportion have got to grips with benefits information. Some 42% fail to understand what they are entitled to or have had to research the topic themselves to get it.

Inaccessible information

Just getting to the information can be a challenge in itself.

In a lot of cases, HR sit at headquarters behind closed doors and employees only hear from them if it’s a disciplinary matter or they need to ask a question. Other than that, they often don’t have any real contact.” Roger Moore, Bond HR and Payroll Software

Despite ever-increasing levels of home and remote working, only 5% of employees have full online access to the information available via in-house HR software.

This means that they have to come into the office or phone HR to find answers to often quite basic questions.

“A lot of companies don’t want to allow internet access, as they worry about security, hacking, viruses and the like so consequently they build systems that people can only access in the office,” says Moore.

“But if you’re working in the field, you won’t be able to access to the information you need and so you’ll have to phone in.”

More than two in five employees complained of having to wait more than two working days for a response to their query, feeding into the negative perception of HR.

In a bid to address some of these issues, Bond has redesigned its Teamspirit HR and payroll system and renamed it iConnect.

The offering, which was launched at the recent CIPD’s HR Software Show, is accessed via a browser and automatically resizes content for whatever screen is being used to view it, whether it is a PC or mobile device.

The product will be sold in three versions on a per-employee, per-month basis. The first will be a basic, uncustomised release. The second comprises a premium edition that Bond will customise to individual business requirements for a consultancy fee. The third consists of an “enterprise” version, which will come with tools that organisations can use to customise the offering themselves.

While the company will continue to maintain and support Teamspirit, it definitely sees iConnect with its mobility-friendly features as being one of the ways HR can improve its communication issues with employees.

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