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Best Practices in Human Capital Management

7/17/18 5:43 PM

Productivity depends on workforce engagement. An engaged workforce is satisfied and productive. Organizations need a human capital strategy that enables them to think strategically about managing, engaging and retaining the entire workforce.

All too often, though, the systems that manage human capital alienate rather than engage both employees and managers – making it challenging, for example, to easily access schedules or pay stubs without the need to call HR or do self-service assessments of career path options. This is reflected in the research finding that 76% of organizations believe that use of their existing systems reduces productivity. That’s why increasing workforce productivity is a top factor motivating change in HCM in 68% of organizations today.

Takeaway: Systems can impact workforce engagement and productivity.

Adopt Unified Applications for HCM

Today’s workforce is changing, and it’s time to think strategically about how to handle those changes. The simple fact is, to stay competitive, mitigate compliance, and drive business growth, you must make your people more effective, more productive, and more engaged throughout the employee lifecycle.

Standalone applications waste time and create frustration. Our research finds that only 10% of organizations believe their human resources management system (HRMS) meets their business needs very well. Many are relying on spreadsheets to manage employee benefits and time worked and taken off, which is inefficient and increases risks related to regulatory compliance. And while HRMS can track the human resources side- benefits, accruals, contact information, an HCM can track all of those things,  plus timekeeping, payroll and more. 

In cutting-edge HCM, by contrast, applications are unified and work together, enabling staff and managers to seamlessly access and use employee-related information to assess employee engagement. A unified set of applications brings efficiency to the process, easing the burden on the workforce and its managers to perform human resources tasks. 

Takeaway: Unify HCM applications to meet the entire range of workforce management needs.

Plan for the Full HCM Lifecycle

An effective HCM system integrates the HRMS with the applications used to recruit and onboard new employees, the talent management applications that help retain them and the workforce management systems that help manage them. This encompasses the full lifecycle of workforce management.

When these systems work together, processes such as employee on-boarding and off-boarding are connected to employee scheduling so data is immediately available. When these systems are not well integrated, both processes and the underlying data cannot be managed efficiently. That’s a problem, since a top priority for workforce management is aligning the workforce to business goals and objectives (cited by 36% of research participants).

Takeaway: Choose systems that offer efficient  approaches to human capital management.

Consider a Common HCM Platform

A streamlined HCM strategy supported by technology can most easily and effectively be deployed on a common software platform across the organization. The platform must not only integrate the various applications but also keep employee information secure.

A unified approach delivers distinct benefits, including: 

  • Increased effectiveness in managing HR processes because there is a single place to get information and administer the workforce. 
  • Faster completion of people-related tasks such as requesting time off, reviewing schedules, participating in performance reviews and accessing HR-related information. 
  • A speedier process of delivering paychecks in the form desired.
  • Improved workforce engagement because of reduced time spent in performing HR-related tasks.
Takeaway: Adopt a common platform to support effective HCM.

Ease of Use Maximizes Engagement

Simplifying the tasks related to human resources management saves time and resources and increases engagement.

Simplification is about application ease of use. Usability is very important for 76% of organizations evaluating HRMSs and 70% of organizations evaluating workforce management. Usability matters for both existing tools and the evaluation of new ones. By ensuring optimal usability, organizations can improve workforce engagement in HR- and people-related tasks and enable employees to do their jobs more easily.

Takeaway: Prioritize the usability of HCM to increase the engagement of the workforce.

Free Human Resources Solution Guide

Employees Benefit, Too

Business leaders and operational managers aren’t the only ones who need a unified HCM and workforce management system. 
Employees today want control over their work-life balance and expect a consumer-grade experience from their workplace tools. That’s why your organization needs to empower employees with the right technology to manage their own day-to-day work environment if you hope to keep the workforce engaged and fulfilled. 

Without a unified solution, your organization is missing an opportunity to maximize engagement. Combining workforce management with HCM gives employees greater transparency into their schedules and greater ability to submit time-off requests, swap shifts, communicate with managers, and track their performance — all while providing HR and managers with the data they need to make informed decisions, increase efficiency, and drive employee engagement

Create a Single Employee Record

Your people are your organization’s most valuable and strategic asset. Being able to engage your workforce starts with understanding all the factors that go into individual and business performance throughout your organization.

When organizations use an array of individual systems to manage the many HR-related tasks, they duplicate not only effort but also data. Having multiple copies of the employee master record creates needless work and increases possibilities for errors – most notably, it increases the risk of regulatory infractions. Our research finds that almost half (43%) of organizations have duplicate employee and talent profiles stored in the HRMS.

Adopting a unified approach to HCM establishes a single authoritative version of employee data that is used by all applications. This approach can optimize the efforts of human resources and ensures that information is accurate and up-to-date across all applications.

Takeaway: Using a single  employee record optimizes HCM  processes by reducing inefficiencies.

Assess Cloud and Mobility for HCM

HCM and other business applications are more accessible than ever before. Two key technologies have enabled this: the advent of cloud computing and ubiquitous mobility enabled by portable devices.

Cloud computing enables organizations to deploy and use applications that are managed outside of the organization and are always up to date. The spread of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has also made it easier to access applications from anywhere. Easy mobile access is a top technology priority in 54% of organizations. Mobile self-service is most often deployed (by 36% of organizations) to support HR management.

Takeaway: Embrace cloud computing and mobile access to modernize HCM.

Invest to Maximize Benefits

It’s clear that an effective human capital management strategy supported by the right technology can save time and resources, improve the management of people-related processes and drive greater employee engagement. Our research finds that improving business processes is motivating 89% of organizations to change their HCMS.

Key Benefits of HCM


The key benefit of an HCMS most often cited is simplifying management of employees and employee-related information (80%), followed closely by improving management, actions, decisions and alignment (78%). Substantial majorities also said an HCMS improves the organization’s compliance ability and improves workforce productivity. It’s therefore no surprise that improving the efficiency of human capital management processes is a top priority.

Takeaway: Invest in human capital management to foster a positive employee experience and maximize the productivity  and engagement of your people.

Effective HCM Delivers Value

Modern human capital management can deliver value. It enables  the use of technology to support an HCM strategy focused  on the efficiency of human resources and other people-related processes and to remove barriers to optimal engagement.  Simplifying processes with a common platform is key to these  efforts. Adopting a dedicated human capital management system  also helps streamline processes, enabling organizations to manage  the needs of workers, managers and top management as well  as administrative and operational aspects of the organization. 

A unified HCM and workforce management system empowers your organization to link relevant employee data together easily and make informed, timely decisions that engage employees and drive business performance. Your HR leaders will be able to work “smarter” to:

  • Drive performance and engagement
  • Optimize resources
  • Develop and retain talent
  • Mitigate risk
  • Manage compliance
  • Process payroll accurately and efficiently


Free Human Resources Solution Guide

The benchmark research reports Next-Generation HRMS and The State of Workforce Management can be purchased from Ventana Research at

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