How to increase user uptake of your new HR software

Getting your people to use your new HR software is a challenge. But don’t worry – these five helpful tips will help you increase uptake of your new HR system.

Abbi Melville • 
How to increase user uptake of your new HR software

HR professionals like nothing more than exploring the latest HR software tools to find exciting functionality to make their HR jobs easier.

However, typical employees don’t log in to HR apps for sightseeing: they enter only to complete critical HR tasks before signing out to log in to another work software system.

Some may not even do that, and it can be disheartening to see your new HR implementation being slowly adopted by users, but understandable given the competition for your employee’s attention.

You are not alone in this challenge as research from PWC of nearly 700 HR leaders found that around 80% of them were having problems getting employees to embrace and use new HR tools effectively. So, here are some tips and tricks to maximise user uptake of your new HR software.

1. Involve stakeholders in the selection process.

One of the most effective ways to increase user adoption of HR software is to involve stakeholders in the selection process. By involving key stakeholders such as finance, HR admins, line managers, and the general workforce in the selection process either via meetings and/or surveys you are more likely to specify and select HR software functionality that addresses key departmental and organisational pain points. Engaging stakeholders in this way should lead to a more user relevant HR implementation with higher adoption rates, than if you dropped an ill-fitting new HR tool on your workforce.

2. Maximise accessibility via mobile.

Only half of HR professionals prioritise mobile access when choosing software, yet when present, this feature is 85% effective at increasing HR software adoption rates, according to PwC research.

Ensure you prioritise mobile accessibility when selecting HR software to maximise user adoption by choosing an app that is compatible with and tested on as broad a range of operating systems as possible to maximise accessibility and uptake. This really is low-hanging fruit.

In addition to this, research tells us that up to 20% of your employees are potentially still using older smartphones which may not be backward compatible with some Human Resources software.

Don’t fall into this inaccessibility trap and ensure that you select backward-compatible HR apps like Sense HR to maximise user adoption.

3. Gamification

Gamifying the HR software adoption process has been shown by PWC research to be over 80% effective at boosting HR software user uptake, but again this method is underutilised by HR professionals with under half of them applying this method.

Gamifying the HR software adoption process is easier than you think and should start early on in the planning processes. Some vendors may offer in-built gamification to drive and encourage uptake by incentivising the completion of induction programs around key functionality such as holiday self-service, updating personnel records, or producing reports.

This can be done manually too of course, or by integrating it with a broader gamification tool you may already be using. Rewards might include additional time off, spot bonuses, and vouchers. You decide.

4. Make certain HR services exclusive to the HR system.

One of the biggest drag factors on the adoption of a new HR system is the continuation of legacy processes. Once a new HR system is in place, people management must refuse to accept employees trying to engage with HR in the old ways.

Establish and publicise a zero-tolerance sunset date for legacy HR data submissions following which employee interactions with the HR process must be delivered via the new HR system, not through excel forms, word files, paper forms or whatever predated the software.

If employees believe that after the sunset date the only way they can book a holiday and view holiday balances, access KPI information for bonus programs, communicate with payroll, etc…, is by using HR software, they’ll soon log on and adopt!

Getting them to log on regularly is half the battle and is a stepping stone to the adoption of wider functionality which can then be prompted by in-system cues and incentives.

It’s a kind of shock-and-awe approach admittedly, so ensure that there is a training program running alongside to support the employee’s transition from legacy processes to your new software.

5. Senior leadership buy-in

If you encourage your leaders to use and be seen to use your HR system, research suggests you will increase the adoption rate of this software down the hierarchy thanks to the research-proven trickle-down effect.

It’s a big ask to get the C-Suite to become ambassadors of your HR software, but the rewards will be significant in terms of user adoption.

By engaging stakeholders effectively, you can choose game-changing software that streamlines your employees’ working lives which will maximise user adoption of your new HR software.

If you have any other tips and tricks that you have successfully deployed to boost HR software user adoption rates we’d love to hear them below.