Dynamics Matters Podcast Ep 80: When you need Microsoft Dynamics 365 HR

With special guest Sytse Korts, Dynamics 365 HR Consultant, HSO

✔ HR on Excel spreadsheets vs HR on HR systems

✔ When you need to move to a 'grown-up' HR system

✔ Who is responsible for delivering a successful HR system

Transcript

Welcome to episode 80 of the HSO Dynamics matters podcast.

Your regular sonic dive into the world of Microsoft technology related matters and much more besides.

I’m your host, Michael Lonnon.

As we’ve often found out in these podcasts, you and the people working alongside you are key to your organisations success. And as with any asset, you need to manage and organise it. This is where HR systems come in.

I sat down for a natter with HSO’s resident HR systems expert, Sytse Korts, to find what a good HR system looks like and when you might need it.

So, grab a brew, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Michael Lonnon
So, we're here to talk about HR, and as you're the resident HSO HR expert, I want to understand from you a couple of things. Now, let’s go for general one first, why is having a HR system important for any organisation?

Sytse Korts
In a business of any scale, one of the most powerful things you have is data - consider it the new oil, or the new gold. Data is very important and can be a great tool, but it can also be very dangerous. We know privacy laws like GDPR, we know how hard it can be to keep track of your data. What any company big or small would need when it comes to HR is a good system of record, you need a place to store your data, you need a place to keep it up to date and you need to do that with as little hassle as possible. Now, you can do that with a spreadsheet but that just doesn't cut it anymore, especially when you look at cybersecurity, when you have the chance for data leaks and that's why you need a good secure system. One that makes your life easier and one that gives your HR team time back every day to not get bogged down by administrative tasks, but to empower them to do whatever it is to maintain the workforce and again, with the added value that they as HR professionals bring and that's the big strength in my mind Dynamics 365 for human resources.

Michael Lonnon
In your opinion, why is having a system of record so important from an HR perspective?

Sytse Korts
Because ultimately, in HR, your bread and butter, is sensitive data, and that needs to be stored somewhere safe, it needs to be stored in the correct way, and something like a Excel or an antiquated Cisco system does not cut it. It's potentially the most valuable information you can have in your business. It's your employee’s personal information. The last thing anyone wants is for that to leak. It's a duty any company has towards employees.

Michael Lonnon
What should a good HR system include, in your opinion, from what you've seen, in all your experience? What is the trait of a good HR system?

Sytse Korts
It needs to be easy to use, easy to maintain, absolutely cannot get in your way it needs to let you do what you need to do. It needs to let you get on with your job. It needs to take work out of your hands not just out of the hands of your HR team, but out of the hands of your employees as well. It needs to be easy for your employees to go in to keep their personal details up to date. They need to be able to go in and quickly and easily and request their leave and view their compensation. Ideally, it also empowers your employees, it needs to give them the tools to make the right decisions. When you look at Dynamics 365 for human resources, things like the absence calendar, it gives employees the opportunity to see, okay, which of my team members are off for a given week. If you can see that quite a few of your team members are all that helps inform a decision to not request leave for that week. Alternatively, when you see a week where everyone's in the office, then you know if you request leave, now, your manager is likely to approve it, and the team will have enough hands to carry on. That's the added value you would see, and it's something that Dynamics 365 for Human Resources presents very, very well.

Michael Lonnon
So, it creates visibility. It is looking at the data and delivering or creating the level of insight that gives you the visibility to make different decisions, not just at an organisational level, but on an individual level. So, as you say, it's empowering people. Now, you've mentioned a couple of times Microsoft Dynamics 365. It's a large robust system, but when might you need to scale up to something like Dynamics 365, when does that fit your profile as an organisation?

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Sytse Korts
Really, the moment you look at your HR team, and you see they are becoming overloaded with administrative tasks they shouldn't be doing when they should be doing actual HR processes, because that's where their added value is. The moment you see that happening, that's the time to consider a system like this. Alternatively, if you see that some data, you're keeping in terms of your employees is getting out of date, or it's not handled properly, at that point, you really need to consider making that switch and scaling up.

Michael Lonnon
We talked earlier about the value of Dynamics 365 in working with other systems. Now, people tend to think of systems like HR, like finance, like a project management, separate individual systems, but what is the value if you are able to bring these together?

Sytse Korts
It's like having an individual versus a team, individual can do plenty on their own but it's true power is only brought out when you're working in team. The same thing goes for a system like HR and the other products in the Dynamics 365 group. Once you get them together, you get that synergy. Now Dynamics 365 for HR sits within finance and operations, which means your employees, all that information they're leaving absence can pull through to other parts of the systems. In that way, having data available makes it easier to make informed decisions, because all of a sudden, in other parts of the system, you see, okay, employees are off than then this is our headcount, these are the number of resources we have. So, while a HR system on its own is incredibly powerful, and mostly vital for our business nowadays, bringing onboard other Dynamics 365 products makes it that much better.

Michael Lonnon
Here's a general question for you then in terms of implementing HR systems, which you've got a lot of experience in, how can you get it right? How do you put your HR system and get it deployed well?

Sytse Korts
I tend to tell this to sales prospects, I meet and see, and usually the sales guys look at me rather angrily, but with HR as with any other system, to be honest, you get out what you put in, if you give it the time and attention it deserves, then it will serve you very, very well. A system like HR cannot be an afterthought, no part of your stack can be an afterthought. I often say to HR departments that if you take the time, you give it the attention, you give me everything you want to need out of the system, we can tailor it to your exact needs, because ultimately it needs to serve you but to do that, we need your time as well.

Michael Lonnon
Who leads the deployment of a successful HR system, is it IT, is it IT with HR, is it HR, is it HR with IT? Who is the best at defining what the right system looks like?

Sytse Korts
It absolutely is a combination of both. From a functional perspective, HR will always leave your HR manager your HR partners in the system, they need to tell you ok, this is how we like the system, this is how we envision our processes to take place within the system, but from a technical perspective, you want IT involved, you want the IT department to come in and say ok this is how we envision it, this is how we can support the HR team, because ultimately, a HR team and a IT team are two very separate things. They both have their own skills and within a system like dynamics you want to make use of both of them.

Summary
The moment you see your HR team becoming overloaded with administrative tasks when they should be delivering value, that’s the time to consider your HR system options.

And if you do reach this point, have the users determine the functionality the system needs, but work hand-in-hand with the IT team who will deliver it. This will ensure the HR system you gain, and the new processes you define, deliver value from day one.

Thanks for listening, until next time, take care of yourselves.

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