Why Your HRIS Alone Can’t Meet Your Employee Experience Needs

Why Your HRIS Alone Can’t Meet Your Employee Experience Needs

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In Human Resources, we constantly seek new, innovative ways to engage and understand our employees. Traditional Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) have long served as the backbone of everyday HR operations. But, they often lack employee-centric, easy-to-use features specifically designed to help build a vibrant company culture. And culture drives success: WorkTango’s recent research revealed that companies who prioritize employee experience see a 3x average return on their EX software investments. 

This is where Employee Experience (EX) software comes into play. Just like Human Resource Information Systems are crucial to business operations, EX software should also be viewed as non-negotiable when it comes to creating a positive employee experience. In this article, we’ll explore why companies who already invest in an HRIS should also consider adding a dedicated employee Recognition & Rewards platform, or Employee Surveys platform.

Limitations of HRIS Platforms

An HRIS is primarily designed to handle administrative tasks such as payroll, benefits management, compliance, and record-keeping. While they efficiently manage these essential functions, HRIS platforms do not actively contribute to enhancing the employee experience or building a positive culture.

A significant limitation is their lack of advanced people analytics and survey capabilities, which are crucial for understanding employee sentiment, measuring engagement, and identifying areas for improvement. Additionally, HRIS platforms often lack employee recognition functionality. Regularly recognizing employees is essential for maintaining high employee morale and motivation.

Our customers tell us that an HRIS isn’t sufficient to meet their needs. Let’s explore what we’ve heard:

Here are 7 reasons why customers tell us their HRIS alone does not meet their needs for employee recognition

  1. Limited recognition functionality.
    While some HRIS platforms may offer basic recognition features, they often lack the robust functionality and customization options found in dedicated recognition software.
  2. Limited rewards choice.
    While rewards are not required alongside recognition, many companies choose to offer employees points or other expressions of appreciation for doing great work as a supplement to core compensation. While a traditional approach may be to offer employees a watch or a jacket at key milestones, a “one-size-fits-all” rewards approach is no longer recommended. Employees value being able to choose from options and select a reward that is meaningful to them. HRIS platforms do not often include rewards marketplaces or points-based programs that enable extensive employee choices, as this is not their core business function. However, dedicated Recognition & Rewards platforms typically have thousands (or millions) of options on offer for employees.
  3. User experience.
    HRIS platforms are often designed with HR professionals in mind, rather than employee end users. This can result in a clunky user experience that doesn’t effectively engage non-HR teams. If employees are expected to log into a platform and provide recognition on a frequent basis, the platform must be simple, easy-to-use, and intuitive.
  4. Customization and personalization.
    Recognition is most effective when it’s tailored to the organization. Dedicated recognition platforms offer greater flexibility for customization (such as options to personalize terminology and branding), which in turn enables a more meaningful experience.
  5. Integration challenges.
    Integrating recognition functionality into an existing HRIS system can be complex. Dedicated recognition platforms are designed to integrate easily with other HR and communication systems, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, to provide a more streamlined experience for administrators and users alike. Most HRIS platforms are not able to display recognitions within Slack or Teams, and therefore cannot ensure that recognitions appear within the daily flow of work.
  6. Visibility and impact.
    Using a separate recognition platform allows organizations to celebrate achievements more prominently, fostering a company-wide culture of appreciation. If recognition is buried within an HRIS platform, it may not receive the visibility it deserves, which then diminishes its impact.
  7. Advisory expertise.
    When it comes to employee recognition, best-in-breed companies have much deeper expertise around best practices and specific recommendations than general HRIS providers do.

HRIS platforms are essential to modern HR functions, but they were never designed to drive employee recognition and engagement. By investing in a dedicated recognition & rewards platform in addition to an HRIS, organizations gain the ability to create more meaningful, personalized, and impactful recognition experiences for all employees.

But what about employee surveys?

Here are 6 reasons why customers tell us their HRIS alone fails to meet their holistic employee survey needs

  1. Limited survey functionality.
    While some HRIS platforms may offer basic survey features, they often lack the advanced functionality and customization options found in dedicated survey platforms, such as:

    1. Robust dashboards
    2. Advanced data access permissioning
    3. Automatic action plans
  2. Limited survey types.
    HRIS platforms may only support basic survey types, such as employee satisfaction surveys. Dedicated survey platforms, on the other hand, offer a wider range of survey types, including pulse surveys or custom surveys tailored to specific needs. For example, WorkTango offers methodologies and templates for most survey types, including Onboarding surveys, DE&I surveys, Wellness surveys, Pulse Surveys, Annual Engagement Surveys, and more.
  3. Confidentiality.
    The perception of confidentiality is diminished when an employee has to log into an HRIS platform before taking a “confidential survey.” Fears about employers being able to link responses to a particular employee contribute to poor response rates and less authentic feedback. In contrast, a third-party survey provider separate from the organization’s HRIS platform is more likely to be perceived as a neutral party. Responses are likely to be more candid and authentic.
  4. Customization and personalization.
    Surveys are most effective when they are tailored to the unique needs and goals of an organization. Dedicated survey platforms offer greater flexibility for customization, allowing organizations to create surveys that align with their unique culture, values, and goals. Even if an HRIS offers basic survey functionality, often the surveys are not customizable.
  5. Data analysis and reporting.
    Dedicated survey platforms typically provide robust tools for data analysis and reporting. This allows organizations to gain meaningful insights from survey results. HRIS platforms may not offer the same level of analytics capabilities as a dedicated survey platform would, making it difficult to extract actionable insights from survey data. For example, WorkTango offers a myriad of reports, dashboards, and even downloadable PowerPoint presentations as part of its reporting capabilities to ensure leaders and HR team members are able to easily interpret survey findings and take prompt action.
  6. Advisory expertise.
    When it comes to employee surveys, best-in-breed specialized survey companies have far more expertise around best practices, question methodology, and specific recommendations than general HRIS providers do.

In summary, although HRIS platforms are extremely valuable, they are not ideally suited for conducting surveys. By investing in a dedicated survey platform in addition to an HRIS, organizations can create more engaging, customizable, and actionable survey experiences for their employees.

Your HRIS + WorkTango

WorkTango is at the forefront of addressing the limitations of traditional HRIS platforms by offering an Employee Experience (EX) platform that enhances employee engagement and satisfaction. The WorkTango platform helps leaders and organizations improve employee engagement, increase retention, and boost performance while reducing costs with Employee Surveys and Recognition & Rewards software.

Moreover, WorkTango seamlessly integrates with more than 60 traditional HRIS platforms, including ADP Workforce Now (U.S. only), Paycom, and Workday. These integrations ensure that organizations can leverage the administrative capabilities of their HRIS while benefiting from the advanced recognition and engagement tools provided by WorkTango.

Want to learn more about how your HRIS and WorkTango could work together? Book a demo with us.