Employment Hero

3 Reasons Why HR Software Implementations Fail (And How To Avoid Them)

It wasn’t too long ago that HR software used to be the domain of large businesses with thousands of employees. Software licensing fees and maintenance were prohibitive to all but the largest corporations.

But now, HR is one of the top five markets for corporate SaaS adoption. It’s easy to see why – cloud-based HR software gives small business owners the opportunity to implement cutting edge technology at a fraction of its previous cost, and with little in the way of upfront investment.

In terms of ROI, businesses typically save hours of manual HR administration and processing each month which frees up staff to turn to more strategic priorities.

As a case in point, specialist staffing agency Stedmans’ told us they were saving between 80-100 hours a month, by transforming their back office processes with Employment Hero. Saving 80-100 hours a month can give you significant competitive advantage. Just think about how you can better deploy those staff and man hours!

However, because the HR function touches so many stakeholders across the business, the solution needs to be implemented well for it to work. Here are the 5 most common HR implementation mistakes (and how to avoid them).

5 common HR implementation mistakes (and how to avoid them)

1. Not being prepared

HR touches so many areas of the business – but many organisations still underestimate the impact that HR process changes have on the entire organisation.

By the time you realise that you forgot to consider the needs of finance in your HR software implementation, it’s already too late. Hence, it’s essential to get everyone on the same page before rolling anything out company-wide. To do this we suggest you:

  • Explain why HR needs this system;
  • Explain how it would benefit each employee and department;
  • Welcoming suggestions from employees and departments; and,
  • Managing expectations with detailed project plans and timelines.

We also suggest that you appoint an internal champion to lead the project. Choosing someone who will benefit most from the implementation to be a dedicated, motivated resource is a smart option.

2. Not managing resistance to change

Encountering resistance comes with the territory of change. For most people change is scary, particularly in the work environment.

Employees who have been handling HR, rosters, and payroll tasks in a particular way (let’s say with pen and paper or spreadsheets), grow accustomed to doing things that way. Consequently, it’s not uncommon to receive feedback like, “don’t fix what isn’t broken.” It’s important that the impact of the change (including how it benefits employees) is communicated clearly.

As more and more companies improve their work efficiencies by upgrading their systems and automating HR and payroll tasks, it will be harder to compete with them if you’ve still got your resources tied up with a stack of paperwork and manual processes instead of revenue-generating activities.

While new processes and systems can put a strain on your workforce, you can ease the transition by ensuring that:

  • You choose a solution that is intuitive and easy-to-use;
  • Everyone is aware of the benefits of using the new system;
  • You provide enough training to raise confidence levels; and,
  • All managers are made aware of the change and are equipped to respond to any queries that may arise from their teams 

3. Not training staff effectively

One of the biggest reasons that HR software implementation fails is the lack of knowledge around using the new system. This can result in the team reverting back to their former ways.

This is why it’s your job to deliver the most comprehensive training that you can to empower your employees to adopt the new system quickly and efficiently.

You can start by setting up workshops that employees can book into if they want to learn more about using the system.. It has to be relevant to how they will be using the system for it to be effective.

Here are some ideas:

  • A general training session for employees on topics like ‘how to request annual leave’;
  • A general training session for managers on ‘how to approve leave requests’, ‘how to conduct performance reviews’, and ‘how to manage rostering’; and,
  • Training sessions for each department that will use the system, where you personalise the training content to their needs.

It’s important to provide written instructions with your training materials so your employees can refer to it after the training session when needed.

Free E-Book

If you feel like you’re ready to implement HR software, download our free eBook, The HR Manager’s Ultimate Guide to Choosing HR Software. It’s a step-by-step guide on documenting your requirements, shortlisting your systems and ultimately choosing the perfect HR software for you and your business.


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