HR & BusinessLearning & DevelopmentTalent Management

One system to rule them all: HCM versus the point solutions

Choosing the right tools in every organization is as important as recruitment itself: even the best employees will not be able to fully develop their capabilities if they do not receive adequate support and necessary facilities. However, many companies are faced with a dilemma: is it better to focus on an integrated all-in-one system or choose individual programs and applications?

It turns out that in practice a very often chosen solution is … no solution at all. Tools are chosen on the spot, when there is an urgent need to use them, and the lack of a holistic approach is noticeable, especially in small and medium-sized companies. The result of this action is the dispersion of information, communication chaos and the loss of many working hours, which must be spent on subsequent employee training and implementation of new solutions. So what should be taken into consideration before making a decision?

#1. Undisturbed work

It is every CEO’s dream that the company works like a well-oiled mechanism, everything is done neatly and on time, everyone knows what to do and does it without hesitation, and employees are motivated, satisfied and do not waste time spent in the office. Sounds like a fairy tale and most often, unfortunately, it is as real as a fairy tale. Even in the most efficiently operating companies, there are mistakes, misunderstandings and downfalls. The most important issue, however, is whether the team is able to react quickly and minimize losses. In such situations, the advantage of the all-in-one solution over the point solution can be seen in full glory, especially in the case of large companies employing thousands of people.

In everyday life, minor mistakes caused by poor process optimization are marginalized and treated by many companies as unimportant or at least not urgent. However, when a serious crisis occurs (like the current state of an epidemic or a sudden departure of a key employee triggering destabilization), it brutally exposes the failure of the solutions used. This is when it is obvious that a lack of information flow between independent tools translates into poor analytics and inability to draw full conclusions from the mistakes made. Since none of the applications gives a full picture of the situation, creating an old report becomes time and work-consuming, because it requires the confrontation of data from various sources. It may seem as a minor problem, but it is worth considering the possible consequences. In the worst-case scenario, it turns out that due to a simple oversight (such as saving or transferring information in the wrong tool), an important task gets done incorrectly, is incompletely or is not completed at all.

Extensive process management options available on integrated platforms ensure that such risk is minimized. They not only help you to plan activities within one project but also to control their status and manage internal processes. From a manager’s perspective, it is primarily a time saver as checking the status of projects is limited to controlling one tool and therefore enables dynamic optimization.

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#2. A satisfied employee is a better employee

The current situation on the labour market makes it harder to find a good employee in many industries than good employment. The recruitment process does not always bring the employer satisfying results and a competent manager or specialist is really valuable and every effort should be made to keep him or her in the company as long as possible. Therefore, many companies, compete with each other in promises of bonuses, development and opportunities that will open to the candidate at the time of signing the contract. It should be remembered, however, that for an employee no fruit Thursdays or gym passes can substitute the sense of time well spent. Even the best payout (although of course, it is extremely important) will not compensate for the stress and frustration you feel every day – and these are very often results of poor communication within the company, the lack of appropriate tools or their misuse.

Advantages of all-in-one solutions are already evident during the onboarding process: systematized processes are implemented almost automatically, and a new employee at the start receives a full set of information and guidelines that he or she will need at work. Even if the employee doesn’t know the tool itself, he only has one system to learn gradually. As they get more involved in their responsibilities, they learn it better and use advanced options more efficiently.

At the same time, an employee who is forced to work with several independent tools at once, gets lost in the jungle of communication paths and processes at the very beginning. Heor she must not only acquire the ability to use numerous applications but above all, remember which ones are used to manage specific elements of the project. If he makes a mistake and uses the wrong messenger or places the files in the wrong place, he can make the task more difficult or even impossible. What could to be quickly noticed and repaired in a team of a few or a dozen people can cause an avalanche effect in a company employing several thousand employees.

 The key to understanding the advantage of the all-in-one tool (especially for large teams) is the awareness that even if the tasks assigned to employees are complicated, the work organization system should facilitate these processes, not to complicate them even more. If project management takes more time than the actual project implementation (caused by the need to switch between tools and compile data in different formats), and employees have a greater problem with handling numerous tools, the time has come to change habits.

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#3. An all-in-one system expense is an investment 

For small and medium-sized companies employing up to several dozen people, buying an all-in-one system seems like a big expense. Breaking down the fees into many small, gradually introduced tools, seems to strain the company budget less. However, in practice, it usually turns out to be equally or even more costly, especially when the number of applications necessary for work increases as the enterprise grows. The natural solution then seems to be switching to an all-in-one system, but this raises another problem related to the necessity of a sudden training of the entire team, transfer of all data and implementation of new procedures. The consequence is stagnation at work, and consequently – losses. For this reason, many companies resist change and realize too late that the larger the team and the more complex projects and the more difficult it is to make such a transition on a day to day basis. It is worth thinking about your company in the perspective of not the next few months, but years.

Of course, it is difficult at the very beginning to predict how many employees will join the company in the future. However, before making any binding decision, it is worth thinking over carefully – preferably after consulting with other industry specialists – which tools:

  1. are necessary to perform basic duties;
  2. guarantee (when used properly) improvement of communication and optimization of processes;
  3. are optional and can add value to employees (such as modules for motivation or for the acquisition of additional skills).

At this stage, it may already turn out that expenses for tools a) and b) are comparable to the cost of maintaining the all-in-one platform. Although there are no ideal tools for everyone, and you may always need to use an external specialized application, the best systems – such as HCM – allow you to integrate these programs with the main platform.

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