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Ventana Research defines a human resources management system (HRMS) as the set of applications and associated processes that store and manage the employee information used by an organization’s human resources department. New technologies make it possible for the HRMS to perform better and be easier to use by HR professionals and members of the workforce. The range of evolving technologies impacting the development of the HRMS includeVR_HRMS_BenchmarkResearch business analytics, big data, cloud computing, mobile technology, business collaboration, social media and wearable computing. These advances enable organizations to streamline the processes that the HRMS supports and more efficiently take advantage of competencies that already exist in the workforce. The changes are so substantive for organizations and their HR departments that we have undertaken new research called Next-Generation Human Resources Management Systems.

As well as becoming more efficient in their HR processes, employers want to ensure that their employees can interact easily with HR managers and feel satisfied with these relations. This is facilitated by using new methods such as collaboration through mobile devices. In addition companies today have to manage greater amounts of information than ever before related to benefits and policies and be able to provide specific, relevant information directly to employees at any time. Employers also have to comply with a range of employment rules and required benefits such as the Affordable Care Act for healthcare in the United States. In this context of information overload the HRMS should be able to use big data technologies to become a strategic tool that helps both HR and employees have complete and relevant information about employment.

The basic use of the HRMS is to hold essential information about an organization’s employees. Until recently HRMSs were stand-alone systems that maintained seldom-changing information and were used by only a few people in the HR department. The HRMS, and indeed the HR function in general, was seen as dedicated to keeping records, providing input for payroll, overseeing related compliance processes and managing benefits including healthcare, time off and others not related to compensation. Employees and managers had limited access to self-service capabilities, not to mention ready availability of it on a variety of devices.

This perception has begun to change in recent years. Other types of applications, such as talent management and workforce management, have been introduced into human resources processes, and HRMSs often must share information with them. Such systems potentially expand the kinds of information available to managers and those who work for them. In addition, innovative technologies including richer analytics have expanded the ways this wealth of information can be used and the array of roles – line-of-business managers, executives and even individual employees – that can benefit from using it. Business analytics can highlight the types and quality of talent a company possesses – and needs. Ubiquitous access to HR information through smartphones and tablets improves the reach and speed with which employees and managers access information and promotes sharing, communication and understanding. Embedded social collaboration tools connect employees more effectively and impact metrics such as employee engagement and time to productivity.

Thus the HRMS can play a strategic role in human capital management. HR professionals now can have applications and tools that support a range of workforce processes and also help the rest of the organization with their employment and business needs. A modern HRMS also can help engage and retain talent through advanced and more efficient HR practices. This new market research will explore both the evolution of human resources management systems and the roles of new technologies that being added to them. It will evaluate how organizations are integrating their HRMSs with new technologies and their impact on improving HR processes and increasing the value of HR to the organization.

Such changes in HRMSs and other human capital management systems are facilitating an evolution of HR processes. Key focus points of this research will be to examine the changing role of the HRMS in organizations, how new technologies such as business collaboration are being integrated into the HRMS and related applications HR personnel use, how VentanaResearchBenchmark_PayrollManagementthe applications are accessed through mobile devices and finally the perceived value these new technologies add to core HR applications such as the HRMS. The research will detail the specific ways in which the HRMS is evolving from a system that stores basic employee information to one that integrates benefits and payroll along with integration to talent management and workforce management information and applications to provide more useful information for HR and business leaders. Our latest benchmark research on payroll management already shows that more than half (53%) of organizations see employee self-service as important for accessing an individual’s payroll information. The new research will track as well the changing needs of HR for information related to benefits and pay and to compliance with regulations and policies.

The goal of this Next-Generation Human Resources Management benchmark research is to examine how organizations are evolving in using an HRMS and determine the drivers for and benefits of adapting a new technological approach. It will build upon recent benchmark research findings that show that talent management and workforce management systems are critical for organizations as adapt to a new generation of technologies for their workers and employees. This research also will seek to understand how the next-generation technologies listed above are changing the way organizations operate in human capital management processes and to identify the best practices used by innovative companies. It will examine whether and how organizations are choosing to embrace these new technologies in their HR functions. It also will assess how adopting an advanced approach to using an HRMS impacts an organization’s  people, processes, information and technology requirements as well as its productivity.

Come engage in our research and in return receive best practices and insights that can help your organization. Participate.

Regards,

Mark Smith

CEO & Chief Research Officer

As organizations look to improve the competency and VentanaResearch_NGLM_BenchmarkResearchskills of their workers, learning management system (LMS) technology can help improve their efforts. Our latest benchmark research innext-generation learning management systems finds a range of progress in this regard. Our Performance Index analysis places organizations almost evenly between the two lowest (51%) and the two highest (49%) of four levels of performance. The results differ by size of company as measured by number of employees. For example, only 8 percent of small companies reach the highest Innovative level of performance, compared to 26 percent of very large companies, the largest percentage of any size. Analyzed by industry, the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector performs best: Two out of three (65%) are at the top two levels. We attribute this in part to the finance industry’s focus on processes and its need to comply with regulations and teach employees how to do so.

We also analyze performance by four dimensions: People, Process, Information and Technology. In this research, participants perform best in the People (74% at the two highest levels) and Technology (53%) dimensions. Conversely, more than half rank at the two lowest levels for Process (55%) and Information (62%). vr_NGLearning_performance_06_dimensionsWe attribute this difference to the existence of people-centered learning programs and the core technology components for learning management.

Learning management systems have existed in various forms for many years, yet the research finds that a significant number of organizations participating in this research have not adopted this technology. Although nearly two in three (63%) have a training department responsible for learning management, only about half (53%) have a learning management system. Moreover, a formal approach to learning management correlates with size of company: The num­bers of those that have a training depart­ment rise at each size level, from 25 percent of small organizations to 100 percent of very large ones. There is a corresponding in­crease in the number that have learning management systems (small 28%, very large 92%). Because larger organizations have more employees, they likely wish to train them uniformly and more often have resources to devote to this function. Most organizations of all sizes said the primary purpose of the learning management system is employee development training (46%) or compliance-related learning (29%). The use of an LMS automate learning processes and be more efficient in their operations.

Also, learning management systems can contribute to the effectiveness of other employee-related systems including human resources management (HRMS) and talent management. Organizations can gain a more complete view of employees, their performance and what they learn by applying their learning management systems to worker activities. The research shows that most have not done such integration, but some have connected learning management to closely related HR business processes like employee development (35%), which the research shows is the primary purpose of their learning management programs for nearly half of organizations. Performance management (33%) and employee onboarding (27%) are the processes to which they have connected learning management next most often.

Integrating the learning management and performance review processes also makes sense in that the benefit of learning management most often cited (by 72%) is to create more effective workers. Three out of four (77%) of those connecting the two processes are sa­tis­fied or somewhat satisfied with how they link learning management and performance reviews. Looking ahead, the research finds double-digit percentages of organizations planning to connect learning management with other HR business processes in the next 12 months and similar percentages planning to do so within 24 months.

Effective learning management requires content to educate vr_NGLearning_05_socially_sourced_content_gains_importancethose who engage with the system. Yet one of the costliest aspects of a learning program is the acquisition and management of content. For years this has been handled by specialists using purpose-built tools. A new technology capable of alleviating some of this cost is the massive open online course (MOOC) model. The research shows that employees in 40 percent of organizations use MOOC technology as a source of content and courses; however, only 10 percent have MOOC linked to their learning management system, while the rest access it independently. Another emerging option is socially sourced content, which has the potential to reduce dramatically the cost of content development. Two in five (42%) organizations said that using this source is important or very important to their learning content management strategy; just one-fourth said it is not important. Currently most (46%) get no more than one-fourth vr_NGLearning_07_learning_investments_are_increasingof their content from social collaborative sources, but in the next 12 to 24 months 30 percent of organizations expect up to half of all learning content to come from such sources.

Learning management and employee training is a widespread corporate function, and the research finds that 70 percent of organizations have an annual budget for it. In nearly half (47%) of those the budget has increased in the past 12 months; in only 13 percent has it decreased. Thus the opportunity for further investment in learning management exists, as having a budget is the top-ranked consideration (placed first by 15%) for building a business case; among job functions, executives (23%) ranked budget as most important more often than others. Among those ranked first or second in importance, having a budget and ensuring executive sponsorship tied for the top consideration (28% each). These two factors should be considered in tandem.

Organizations building a business case can find key benefits in learning management systems; the most-often found in the vr_NGLearning_01_key_benefits_of_learning_managementresearch are creating more effective workers (by 72%), improving worker training (65%) and improving the efficiency and productivity of the workforce (54%). Engaging and retaining more of the workforce was cited by 44 percent overall, but more executives (60%) and management (vice presidents, 75%) chose this, reflecting their positions in the organization and value of this benefit.

Learning management systems have the potential to transform training organizations by increasing employees’ effectiveness in their jobs and preparing them to act according to their company’s policies and rules. Linking a learning management system to other human capital management processes and tools can bring a tighter connection between people and performance that can result in positive outcomes. Organizations seeking to prepare their workforces better for their roles should examine how the next generation of LMS can help them achieve this goal.

Regards,

Mark Smith

CEO and Chief Research Officer

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