How HRIS supports flat and flexible organizations

How HRIS supports flat and flexible organizations

Eline Jacobs Eline Jacobs - - Insights

In the midst of the war for talent, numerous organizations are flattening out their structures. Getting rid of hierarchy is a logical and often necessary step to answer the changing demands of the future of work, where transparency and autonomy are key. But while these changes bring advantages, they also pose challenges for HR departments.

HR information systems (HRIS) offer much-needed support – provided they are configured to fit the organization’s needs. Below, we share some tips to do so. 

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Changing structure, changing HRIS

Organizational changes inevitably induce changes in policies, people and technologies. So, when businesses take initiatives to foster collaboration, work within flexible networks and create boss-free organizations, HR departments must follow. Luckily, as the role of human resources increases in complexity, HR information systems evolve to fit those needs.

Today, HR departments can build on next-generation HRIS – like SAP SuccessFactors – to close the gaps between technology, people and business. Those information systems help companies grasp the complexity of current workforce challenges and provide valuable information to finance, facilities and even legal departments. In this way, they help flexible and flat organizations – and all other kinds of structures, really – survive and thrive. 

Fit your HRIS to your organization’s needs

How you use your HRIS heavily depends on how you envision your organizational structure and how strictly or flexibly you aim to track employees, data and analytics. That said, there are a number of things you can do to tailor your HRIS to your vision and organization. Configure your HRIS wisely, because the better the fit, the better the system will support your HR team. 

  • Pick an organizational structure in your HRIS
    HR information systems usually offer various organizational structure options, some of which you can further configure to match your business even closer. SAP SuccessFactors, for example, is extremely flexible on this point. The standard configuration of the Employee Central suite is composed of several objects (legal entity, business unit, division, department, location and cost center), which can be removed or repurposed to create the exact structure you need. 
  • Decide whether you want to use position management
    Position management reduces the amount of work needed to keep your organization running. It means you don’t have to re-enter job and position specifics every time you hire someone: simply plug his or her name and information into the position, and you’re good to go. In this way, position management enables transparent reporting, smooth organizational structure maintenance and security administration. However, it also adds extra administrative work when employees combine roles or shift positions. So, for some businesses, using position management is maybe not the best idea. 
  • Think in terms of ‘roles’ instead of ‘job titles’ 
    In the past, you probably spent a lot of time describing every kind of job profile in the organization. But as employees are increasingly defined by their roles instead of a – narrower – job title, this approach becomes outdated. Thinking in terms of ‘roles’ may make more sense for your organization, as it allows employees to take on different assignments and take ownership of their careers. 
  • Track multiple roles
    Do employees in your firm combine several roles and functions? Not surprising: this shift is obvious in many businesses. If this is the case for your organization, you might find yourself challenged in managing those roles. SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central helps you to track costing, time and attendance, development and other activities for multiple, temporary or permanent roles. Additionally, it allows you to track the start and end dates of temporary roles. 

Ready to future-proof your HR? Discover Accelerators for SuccessFactors

Tags:    Roadmap  -  Digital innovation  -  SAP HCM  -  Strategy
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