Just imagine if your organization’s HR department spoke English but Accounting spoke only French, Operations spoke only German, and Legal spoke only Mandarin. How would you ever get any work done?
The same concept applies if your various HR software applications can’t communicate with each other. And given that companies have accelerated their move to cloud-based HR platforms amid the pandemic and are expecting adoption to grow in the coming years, it’s more important than ever to ensure the platforms you choose can all communicate with each other and share data to glean deeper insights.
Indeed, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent survey found that nearly seven in 10 organizations expect a significant percentage of their employees (more than 20 percent to work from home in 2022 and beyond, and most believe between 20% and 40% will work from home.
Experts say this will create the need for greater investment in HR tech to support efforts to manage workers remotely and greater adoption of HR system application programming interfaces (APIs), which are essentially software intermediaries that allow two applications to talk to each other. (Each time you use an app like Facebook or send an instant message, you're using an API.)
For businesses to succeed in this environment, it’s essential to have COVID-19-specific functionality to comply with new payroll legislation, track COVID-19 cases, and help manage the return to work. And, in turn, those functionalities all need to be able to share information.
The pandemic has served as a stark reminder of HR’s need for workforce planning data and analytics, including real-time data on absences and employee sentiment, as well as the ability to plan and execute furloughs and return-to-work events.
In addition, when disparate HR systems are able to communicate with each other and participate in real-time, data-driven decision-making, that can foster collaboration among employees in a remote work environment, as well as monitor their performance, productivity and engagement.
While advancements in HR analytics are encouraging, there are still opportunities to leverage enterprisewide HR metrics to drive action. A change management effort will be required to build skills and habits. Ensuring all your HR platforms can all communicate with each other is the vital final step in the process.