Clunky HR tech costing businesses 26 hours per employee

Poorly designed HR tools are damaging productivity and frustrating employees, according to new research.

Nearly half (45%) of UK workers find themselves frustrated by the HR tools required in their job, with 46% saying they lose up to 30 minutes a week navigating the programs, according to a survey by employee experience platform Applaud.

This amounts to up to 26 hours per employee, or just over three working days; a significant margin of wasted time when applied across the whole business, the research said.

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Part of the wasted time came from the fact that many employees are forced to use a multitude of different platforms for their HR admin.

Four in 10 (41%) UK workers had to juggle between five and nine different HR programs at the same time.

Ivan Harding, Applaud’s CEO and co-founder, told HR magazine employers can not afford to frustrate their workers with poor employee experience.

He said: “Many employees are still moving around the UK job market, with the cost of living crisis causing even more churn.

“Employers, therefore, are having to create an experience at work that is much more like what they would provide a consumer, to keep their workforce engaged within the business. 

“If employees struggle to get access to everything their employer offers, such as workplace benefits, or spend hours irritated trying to complete basic HR tasks, they may look for a different company that has invested more in this part of the employee experience.”

Legacy HR systems are no longer fit for purpose, according to Ronni Zehavi, CEO and co-founder of HR tech platform HiBob.

"Today's workforces expect modern technology at every touch point," he told HR magazine.

"The best HR tech tools drive the most change, while requiring the least investment of time and energy by employees and the HR team.

"For that reason, the growing trend in HR tech is to provide employees with consumer-grade platforms that are easy to use and engaging."

Companies considering a new tool should look both at the needs of the business and of its employees, he added.

He said: "Finding the right fit is not a one-size-fits-all process. Consider the demographic of your business, any tool must be flexible and customisable to each employee to ensure personalised, accessible experiences at scale."

Making the correct choice is vital, according to Simon Moyle, CEO of wellbeing and employee benefits provider Vivup, as poorly designed tools will simply be ignored.

He told HR magazine: “HR tech has to have a simple and clean user experience; ordering needs to be as slick as it is with Amazon and communication easy to engage with.”

Moyle recommended that HR leaders talk to peers in other companies to find out how products compare to the sales pitch.

He said: “If an HR company is unwilling or unable to give you access to a few clients to talk to or a real-life version of their tech, then be sceptical. 

“There should be nothing to lose and everything to gain by being open and honest, letting you play with the tech in your own time and speak with those who use it.”