definition backgroundOptimize your office chats: The Role of HRIS in the Communication Process

Optimize your office chats: The Role of HRIS in the Communication Process

By Gabriel Birky Pohirieth
Published: 3/7/22

Today, you could be talking to a friend, emailing a colleague about an upcoming project, or organizing a department strategy. All of which requires good communication.

Communication is an essential part of maintaining a business, among other classic HR tasks. Your company might already have a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to help organize these core HR functions, but how does it help communication?

In this article, Appvizer will tell you everything you need to know about the communication process, why it’s important in the workplace, and the role that HRIS plays in it.

With all of that in mind, you’ll be on your way to optimizing the connections that happen in your company.

What does the HR communication process look like?

We might not realize it, but the communication process is deeply rooted in the majority of functions that Human Resources do. This comes in a variety of different forms.

Communication is a key factor in the organization of a company and its employees. You can see the use of it at all stages of an employee’s life cycle.

For example, at the beginning of the recruitment process, knowing how to communicate effectively helps you to create detailed job descriptions to bring in the best candidates. Next, good communication is essential during the interview process when you determine who is right for the job.

This communication process continues through other stages, such as employee onboarding, performance management, and even termination.

But, that isn’t all that HR focuses on. There are many more functions that require such communication, including:

  • preparing employees for company-wide changes,
  • updating employees on new workforce policies,
  • developing safety procedures,
  • resolving employee disputes,
  • informing people of upcoming events or projects.

One-way and Two-way Communications

The communication that happens inside a company isn’t always a one-sided message. Of course, many human resource functions that we saw previously involve direct communication. This is usually either informing an employee of some new information or directing them to complete some sort of task.

But, we’re not just talking to walls that don’t reply.

Employees are bound to respond occasionally with their own questions, opinions, and feedback.

Two-way communication allows complaints to be voiced, missions and projects to be collaborated on, and top-down or bottom-up communication to be effectively heard. This type of communication is vital to working on employee engagement and improving worker productivity.

Watch out: this only works if the employee communication is taken into account and acted upon.

Why is communication in the workplace so important?

Effective communication is an essential part of our daily lives, just like in the workplace.

Without good communication skills between employees, teams, or departments, the proper function and success of your company are more difficult to maintain. Especially since poor communication can lead to disputes, misunderstandings between colleagues, and more.

Responding properly to these types of misunderstandings is fundamental to improving the effects of miscommunication. By speaking with coworkers and understanding what is going on, you can often reach the root of the issues.

What prevented this employee from understanding the task? Why did this process not go as planned? By communicating clearly in the workplace, it can help you :

  • understand the position of others
  • improve processes or procedures that were misunderstood
  • diminish potential points of frustration

On the other hand, focusing on communicating effectively with your employees can have a major impact on their engagement. You’ll be able to more properly understand their motivations, skills, and talents, helping them to develop in key areas.

In other words, you’ll help them be more efficient at their job and help your company reach its goals more effectively.

Active and efficient communication can also simply lead to better relationships between colleagues. Unsurprisingly, this can improve worker satisfaction, overall collaboration, and morale.

Understanding the benefits and role of HRIS in the communication process

So, what do we know so far? We know that communication is a skill that touches almost every aspect of human resources, and the workplace as a whole. We also know that effective communication skills in the workplace are essential to the success of a company and its employees.

Now, it’s time to explore the role of human resource information systems in the communication process. Basically, how can it be beneficial to your workplace communication?

The Basics of an HRIS

It’s likely that if you work in HR, you already have a good understanding of different HR software.

For those who don’t, an HRIS is a suite or collection of digital tools that organize, automate, and structure core human resource tasks. HR information systems are especially useful in that they contain data in a centralized area to efficiently handle employee information and help to complete daily HR functions.

Although all HRIS are not built with the same features, some can be found having similar functionalities, such as:

  • Collecting basic HR information
  • Tools for recruiting and onboarding
  • Employee management (benefits, leave, payroll, etc.)
  • Employee training and development
  • Employee performance management

Remember: make sure to choose an HRIS that has the specific features that your company needs to maximize the impact that you can achieve.

Virtually Accessible Messaging

HR information systems have many capabilities to help employee communication. If your HRIS includes messaging options, you’ll be able to make this form of communication a breeze for employees.

The advantage of having centralized virtual messaging means that communication will be that much easier between employees. An employee can have a quick one-on-one conversation with a manager to clear up confusion about a task or ask a quick follow-up question.

All of this while being available on multiple devices, so you can access it whenever you need it.

Messaging between teams or departments can be just as important for announcing upcoming events, projects, or deadlines. Group messaging can then be used to increase direct lines of communication without having to constantly CC everyone.

Many of these communications that are kept clear and succinct, don’t require long meetings to address. Although, there are moments that require a more personal experience, allowing you to more easily convey tone and meaning.

Messaging options in HR systems are oftentimes more efficient than going to find who you need to speak to. Despite this, remember to use your best judgment if a more sensitive or complex topic needs to be discussed.

Improved Long-distance Communications

Messaging and communication don’t have to be a purely in-office experience. In a world where remote work and virtual communication is ever-present, HRIS messaging implementations can be a life-saver.

A large distance or time zone difference can hinder effective conversation. By keeping a direct line of communication, you can make sure that your company is getting up-to-date information and input from multiple locations.

Communicating with employees or team members that are working remotely, working in other states, or even in other countries is a necessary step to ensure effective collaboration.

Self-service Options

Employee self-service is an interesting aspect of an HRIS that actually decreases communication instead of increasing it. In this case, that’s a positive!

Self-service options come in many forms when it comes to an HRIS. Employees can use the system to manage job aspects specific to them and to access personal information.

This means they can request or change leave and absence, view and make necessary changes to personal information, etc. It also allows employees to manage and view their benefits, a 401(k), or any other employee documents put at their disposal by the company.

It’s even possible to give access to training or development-based documents. This comes in useful when employees need to complete specific certificates, safety training, etc.

But why is this good for communication? In this situation, an HRIS reduces the unnecessary communication between HR and other employees, saving time and increasing productivity for everyone.

This way, instead of going to HR the next time employees need some paperwork, they can access their documents directly, increasing their own engagement and autonomy.

Company Transparency

Being clear and transparent in company communications is essential to properly manage the information that is given to employees. This can include communication such as:

  • new policies,
  • analytics reports,
  • changes in benefits,
  • procedural changes,
  • company restructuring,
  • urgent actions or emergencies.

Similarly to the self-service options, employees can have easy access to any files or notices that the company sends out. Communicating directly with employees through the HRIS can diminish potential misunderstandings or problems. Especially ones that arise from company changes lacking proper documentation and communication.

But that’s not all! While reducing issues and misunderstandings is the primary goal, more company transparency can have other benefits.

When employers communicate about changes, it makes sure that employees know that the company isn’t hiding anything. Employees gain more trust in the company and at the same time have a better understanding of any modifications to come.

Feedback and Evaluations

Certain HRIS solutions are also capable of managing employee performance. When it comes to employee review time, effective communication between employees and HR or team managers is vital.

Giving feedback on work performance or providing results to evaluations can easily be communicated through an HRIS. By providing employees with detailed documentation, it can help them learn what they need to improve on or to give praise on what they’re doing correctly.

In this way, employees can personally plan or track their development goals, allowing them to accomplish their tasks more effectively in the future.

Final Thoughts

Communication plays an important part in many everyday business activities. Whether you’re onboarding a new hire, informing someone about a new policy, or any other variety of things, having clear communication will have a positive benefit.

This can make the team more cohesive and productive, make certain tasks more efficient, all while reducing unwanted mistakes or misunderstandings.

HRIS systems have their own role to play in simplifying many of those areas of communication.

It can improve collaboration and communication through messages, save time while increasing productivity through self-service, and help companies to exchange more effectively with their employees.

Experience the improvements yourself and put a human resource information system to work for your company’s communication process.

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