Aldar Properties is a real estate company that operates in the UAE. The company has its headquarters in Abu Dhabi and concentrates on developing real estate properties for sale, lease and rent to a large market. The UAE is a place with an ever increasing demand for real estate considering that the population is on the rise due to the economic boom that the country is experiencing, particularly in the urban areas. Also, purchasing power parity per capita is going up thus people are now able to afford luxury apartments and penthouses. Aldar has thus capitalized on this niche to make a name for itself and be the market leader in the real estate business within Abu Dhabi and the larger UAE market. With regard to human resources, the company has numerous departments that range from developers and contractors to sales and marketing agents. For leasing and renting arrangements, the company also uses property management staff to keep the buildings in the best condition. Basically, this company not only deals with property development but also sales and, in some instances, management (Alder, 2014). This means that the organization has several departments that must be coordinated if the operations are to be seamless and effective.
Human Resource Information Systems refers to the systems that connect Human Resource Management to Information Technology. These systems are basically those that are used to merge information databases that are used in human resource management including recruitment, training, compensation, performance appraisal and scheduling among other things. HRIS integrates information related to the human capital of the organization with regard to employees` skills and competencies, roles and responsibilities, efforts and outcomes, as well as their attendance and compensation within the organization. Considering that Human Resource Management is a discipline that is focused on administrative functions, it is relevant to use HRIS a program that is concentrated on merging of all the required information to make the administrative function easier and more accurate.
HRIS at Aldar Properties
At Aldar, the HRIS model is mainly used to manage the administrative functions with regard to decision support and compensation as well as performance appraisal, training, promotion and recruitment. The company is relatively large and very complex in its operations. As a result, the company`s various departments must be coordinated for the purpose of efficiency as well as functionality. The company currently employs the HRIS model for such functions as payroll, performance appraisal, scheduling, training, recruitment, talent management and performance records.
Previously, the company simply used the basic ERP systems to coordinate information between its various departments. The employee database was also on simple excel worksheets and the organization barely used automated databases. The input was manual and it took a lot of time to obtain information. But this changed as the company grew and technology kept on advancing. Presently, with more than five departments that include property development, property management, sales and marketing, accounting and customer service, the organization needs more than manual employee registers. The employee database has to be accessible for compensation, scheduling, training, talent management and performance appraisal as well as performance records. The company thus currently has a comprehensive database comprising employee information, their skills and competencies along with their departments and job descriptions. Each employee is thus compensated based on his/her performance and, in this case, it is all about the amount of work done.
In future, the company is likely to embrace HRIS for its knowledge management and decision support as opposed to sticking to the administrative functions of compensation and performance appraisal. To do this, the Employee Self Service system would be the best alternative for a growing company in a large market. Rather than burdening the management with details regarding employee data, this system will allow the employees to find out for themselves whatever they need to, and thus easing the work load while saving the organization from information errors (Dessler, Griffiths & Lloyd-Walker, 2004).
These are the major services incorporated in Aldar’s HRIS model at present.
Payroll services involve synchronization of employee attendance with tax details, salary advances, benefits and performance with regard to any commissions earned or bonuses deserved. To accomplish this, the input is all about attendance and performance records. This then undergoes a series of mathematical calculations to determine what deductions and additions must be made and eventually how much an individual employee has to be paid.
Performance appraisal comes out as a result of the performance records with regard to the amount of efforts that the employees are putting in to the company with relevance to the organizational performance (Dwivide, 2007). Scheduling as a service of the HRIS involves coordination of the deadlines between many departments with regard to the work that is in progress and when it should be finished. This function is especially more active between the teams of developers and sales personnel as they need to work together to meet consumers` needs and expectations.
At Aldar due to the use of the HRIS model the management is able to determine the training requirements based on the employees’ skills and competencies as well as the performance records and appraisals. In regard to recruitment, the company uses the HRIS to decide the set of skills and competencies that the employees lack. In this way, the organization ends up with the right people for the right job at all times.
Talent management implies matching the right people to the right jobs with regard to their abilities. This ensures that the right set of skills and competencies are always used where they are most needed.
HR Activities Supported by the HRIS
The HR activities supported by the HRIS include management of compensation and benefits, recruitment and training, employee services and community initiatives among other things. These activities are the services offered by the system and they are connected to the company’s HR activities in more ways than just one.
The company followed a few steps to make the HRIS relevant and effective in the administrative functions. First, the company consulted with the stakeholders to ensure that they were all on the same page with regard to the need to implement the HRIS. This was carried out through a series of meetings and workshops during which the management sought to explain the benefits of such systems to the rest of the stakeholders including employees, suppliers and investors.
The company also had a research carried out into its business processes to determine the HRIS model that would suit it best. This required a separate study of all the departments before the commonalities could be established and built upon. Once the suitable model was established, it became easier to create a relevant HRIS rather than copy and paste one.
The organization then had to ensure that the goals and objectives of each department are aligned. To do this, the management ensured that the employees within each department were at the same level in terms of their skills and competencies in relation to the job. This would ensure that new recruits were brought in to the organization with a unified performance appraisal and record system. This process required a lot of training on the part of the employees as the organization sought to create a knowledge pool and enhance organizational learning.
Once the ground was set, the company had to restructure most of the business processes to ensure coordination and relevance throughout the operations. This was then followed by the installation of the created HRIS model and eventually a test drive before the organization finally adopted the model.
Staff Reaction to the Implementation of the HRIS
The employees of the company are its stakeholders and thus they were informed about the HRIS implementation at a staff meeting. They were taken through the process of implementing a HRIS and what it would mean to them as the employees. As expected, there was a lot of resistance especially given the fact the need for labor would be reduced especially in the administrative department. The employees were worried about losing their jobs and thus they adapted a negative attitude towards the whole HRIS concept.
To deal with this, the company organized a series of workshops that would enlighten the employees on the vision of the company and why the HRIS was not only relevant but also pivotal to the organization’s growth and development. The workshops helped the employees understand the company’s vision. Their resistance was normal considering that it was caused by fears and uncertainty with regard to job security. But upon understanding that it is a necessary sacrifice for the future of the organization, the employees became more willing to comply.
Staff Training During the Implementation Period and Since
During the implementation process, the staff members were trained on how to use the system especially with regard to the ESS. To ensure that they got the most out of the program, the employees weren’t only taken through how to use the systems but also why the system was important to them. The training was carried out on-the-job and it proved effective in that even the slow learners learnt how to operate it. Since then, the HRIS has been a part of the induction training and mentorship for new recruits within the organization to ensure a seamless knowledge-sharing procedure.
Benefits and Pitfalls Experienced by the HR Department with the HRIS
Among the benefits experienced by the HR Department with regard to the HRIS is accuracy in reporting the employees` details. The department is thus able to access the accurate data and give the employees the right compensation and benefit packages based on their attendance and performance (Dessler, Griffiths & Lloyd-Walker, 2004). The department is also able to assess the employees’ skills and place them in the right departments to maximize their impact on the organizational performance. This would otherwise be challenging given that the details could as well be inaccurate. The HRIS keeps the employee details in order thus making it easy to scrutinize and strategize on the employees` positioning and capabilities.
With regard to performance appraisal, the management is able to compare and contrast the performance of all the employees within the organization thus implying that the compensation is seen as fair for all (Totty, 2001). The only pitfall experienced herein is employee resistance. While the department was looking forward to the implementation, other employees were resisting the idea. This time was hard for the company and specifically the HR department until the employees were convinced of the benefits and decided to support the process. Without the support of the stakeholders, a HRIS may not be able to benefit an organization in any significant way.
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Aldar Properties noted the need to change from the manual system in its HR into the IT model of HRIS where everything is done through a comprehensive database that comprises all the necessary information. The process took a lot of time to design and implement, but in the end it was and still is very beneficial to the operations of the business.