Maximizing your HCM value: Three essential best practices

April 16, 2024

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A Human Capital Management (HCM) system is a major investment for businesses in terms of time, effort and money. These systems offer a wide range of capabilities and are often marketed as a one-stop solution for streamlining complex operations.

HCMs can help businesses manage:

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    Business intelligence: data visualization, reporting, predictive analytics
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    Core HR processes: payroll, benefits administration, compliance, employee data management
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    HR service management: employee self-service, manager self-service, HR help desk, intranet, chatbots
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    Talent management: recruiting, onboarding, performance management, compensation, learning and development
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    Workforce management: time and attendance, planning and scheduling, leave management
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Unum and Colonial Life customers are more likely to report that HR management software has been effective in managing leaves compared to non-customers (36% vs. 16%).1
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Two-thirds of small organizations say they will rely more heavily on carrier-provided technology in five years. 2

Given the significant financial investment involved in procuring an HCM system, employers should take full advantage of all its bells and whistles. You can start by choosing a benefits carrier that provides deep human resource information system (HRIS) integration. Real-time data exchange between your HRIS and benefits paves the way for instant updates to both basic employee information as well as enrollment, evidence of insurability, billing and absence management. It also simplifies HR’s workload by reducing manual effort, error and time spent administering benefits and leave.

Ready to extract the most value out of your HCM platform? Follow these best practices to help set your business up for an easy transition and long-term success.

1. Focus on the core functions of your HCM, but be open to its broader uses.

Before adopting a new HCM platform, it's essential to have a strategy for its deployment. Determine the challenges you want the system to address and how it can work with or transform your existing processes. This strategic approach will help you focus your attention and maximize the value of your HCM.

Even if your strategy is not yet defined, it's never too late to create one that'll guide your decisions and actions going forward. Once you’ve established the primary uses for your HCM platform, consider its broader utility. While there may be standalone solutions that outperform certain features of your HCM, using the built-in features can save time, effort and money. Don't let the pursuit of perfection hinder the benefits of using an existing system.

Cloud-based HR software often offers add-ons and additional modules that can expand functionality. However, it's best to initially focus on the parts of your new HCM that can provide the most value. As you become familiar with the system, stay updated on software upgrades and technological advancements to ensure you’re leveraging all available enhancements.

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18% of respondents identified HR software or a tracking system as the most effective way to manage leave when asked an open-ended question.1

2. Keep things simple with integration.

While HCM systems aim to eliminate the need for standalone solutions and simplify HR management, achieving a true "all-in-one" solution is not always realistic, which makes integration that much more important.

Once you’ve committed to an HCM, it’s crucial to prioritize integration when exploring new vendors and standalone solutions. Seamless integration between systems, with real-time updates and automated data exchange, removes the need for manual data entry and time-consuming reconciliation. This integration not only streamlines complex processes but also provides HR teams with accurate information.

Talk to existing vendors and emphasize the importance of integration with your HCM. Over time, if possible, consider moving other aspects of your business — ones that cannot be managed via the HCM — to partners willing to provide easy communication between their product and your HCM.

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One in three employers have fully integrated leave and HR/HRIS data while 60% have achieved at least partial integration.1

3. Engage your employees around the new system.

For a new HCM system to succeed, employee engagement is paramount. Your employees are the ones who'll be using the system and making it work.

Encourage employees to use the HCM daily for tasks such as benefits enrollment, checking pay stubs and requesting time off. Consider running open enrollment through the HCM rather than a separate platform to make the experience seamless for employees.

In today's digital age, most employees are accustomed to using screens for various tasks. Make training on the new system easy and enjoyable, using micro-learning opportunities and bite-sized information that aligns with the preferences of modern day users. Making the HCM experience fun for employees to learn and easy to use will greatly increase the success of your HCM. It will also free up HR to focus more on people and less on paperwork.

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Four in five employers currently don’t have tech solutions like digital intake employer/employee portals, and among them, 87% are at least somewhat likely to seek out such solutions to enhance employee engagement and streamline HR processes.3


By following these best practices, you can maximize the value of your HCM platform and better streamline your operations. Visit our HRIS integration page to explore further.
1 Unum, Unum Insights Report, Leave and Absence Management, 2024.
2 LIMRA and EY, Harnessing Growth and Seizing Opportunity: 2023 Workforce Benefits Study, 2023.
3 Gallup, Workplace: The Future of the Office Has Arrived: It's Hybrid, 2023.