The Human Resource Information System: Strategy to Seek and Sustain Buy-In


Human resource information system (HRIS) is a system used to collect, process, store, and share employee’s data within an organization. The software provides a centralized repository of master data for workers needed by the human management unit to make critical decisions (Fırat et al., 2019). It encompasses basic human resource management functionalities within a firm. It facilitates effective recruitment, learning and development, performance monitoring and management, and understanding specific challenges that employees face within an organization. As Pomffyova (2018) puts it, HRIS automates the work of human resource managers and makes them more efficient at what they do. The challenge is that when an organization is planning to introduce such a system, it is possible that a section of the employees may reject it for fear that they will be under intense scrutiny. In this paper, the focus is to develop a strategy to seek and sustain buy-in and support for an HRIS system within an organization that will help eliminate possible resistance.

Strategy to Seek Buy-In and Support for an HRIS System

When planning to introduce an HRIS system in an organization, the first step that the HR department should take is to find a way of seeking buy-in for the system. Mundhra and Bose (2020) explains that one of the best ways of seeking buy-in and support for a new system is to explain how it will benefit that targeted group. In this case, the HR department will need to explain how HRIS will benefit employees. It must eliminate their fears and any negative perception that they might have towards the system. Figure 1 below shows employee portal in a HRIS system. It helps in highlighting benefits of the system to the employees.

Employee System of an HRIS System
Employee System of an HRIS System (Fırat et al., 2019, p. 45).

As shown in the figure, this system helps in managing employee benefits. Both the management and individual workers will be aware of the benefits that a given worker is entitled to within a given period. It also helps in monitoring the demographic of workers with the aim of eliminating any gender-based or race related discrimination at work. The system helps employees to have a track of time attendance at work (Pomffyova, 2018). In case one makes an application, the system can be used to track the progress that has been made. Unlike the traditional method of monitoring and evaluating employee performance, HRIS makes it possible for employees to be actively involved in such tasks. They will be part of the process of performance management system. Using the system, employees can also enhance communication among themselves. Improved reporting channels brought about by the system also enhances its effectiveness.

Outlining these benefits will help the organization to seek buy-in and support for the HRIS system. It will make employees to believe that when introduced, the new system will make their work easier. They will not only have an easy way of coordinating their activities amongst themselves but also have an enhanced reporting system. It will also support the open-door policy where employees can easily communicate with their superiors.

Strategy to Sustain Buy-In and Support for an HRIS System

Sustaining buy-in and support for an HRIS system may be more challenging than seeking for the same. At this stage, employees expect to experience benefits of the system as had been promised. They need to see how the system has made their work simpler and communication easier than it was before its introduction. At this stage, some of the features of the system that may be undesirable to employees, such as enhanced capacity for HR to monitor and evaluate performance of individual employees, might also be clear. They will have the capacity to weigh merits and demerits of the system based on their experience.

One of the ways of sustaining the support for HRIS system is to ensure that every promise made when introducing it is kept. The system should allow employees to communicate with ease among themselves and with their superiors. It should allow them to track and claim for benefits entitled to them. It should also help in eradicating gender or race-based bias when assigning tasks or promoting workers. Most importantly, the management should constantly remind workers of the benefits that the system has brought about (Pomffyova, 2018). A regular comparison of the past and present should be made so that workers will value the new system. The HR should know that the perception that workers have towards the system will influence their support for it. As such, the goal should be to shape their perception and opinion towards the system.

It is possible that challenges may arise when the system has been introduced. A section of workers may realize that there is an increased scrutiny of what they are doing at work. Others may feel that the system only focuses on enhancing employees’ productivity as opposed to making their work easier at the firm. Such challenges and negative perceptions should be addressed as soon as they arise (Fırat et al., 2019). The HR department should conduct regular survey among workers to determine their views, perception, and challenges that they face when using HRIS. The department should then respond effectively to any issue identified.

Managing Resistance

Managing change is always one of the biggest challenges that the HR department has to address. Many people tend to resist change primarily because of the fear of the unknown (Fırat et al., 2019). Some may feel that the new system threatens their position in the firm while others may believe that their work will be more complex. When the change involves an introduction of a new technology, some workers may feel threatened, especially the elderly workers who feel that they cannot cope up with emerging technologies. The firm will need a strategy that can enable it introduce HRIS without facing any major resistance during the process of or after its introduction. Kurt Lewin’s model of change can help in achieving the goal of managing employee resistance. Figure 2 below shows the model’s 3 stages of introducing change.

Kurt Lewin’s Change Model
Figure 2. Kurt Lewin’s Change Model (Macfarlane et al., 2019, p. 56).

As shown in the figure above, stage 1 involves a process Lewin calls unfreezing. Before the system is introduced, the management is expected to explain to the employees what it is all about. It must explain the challenge of the current system that makes it necessary to introduce a new one. It must also explain how the new system will work and benefits that all stakeholders, including employees will get upon its successful introduction (Idemudia, 2019). The stage is meant to address all the concerns and fears that workers have towards the system. It adequately prepares them to work under the new system. Adequate preparation not only equips these workers with the needed skills but also enables them to appreciate the need for the change.

The second stage involves the actual introduction of the change, which in this case, involves the introduction of HRIS system. At this stage, the focus is to align skills of workers with the new requirements introduced by the system. It may require some form of training to ensure that employees’ skills are enhanced to match the new expectations. Some challenges may arise at the implementation stage, which the management should be ready to address. The last stage in this change model is to refreeze. It involves creating a new culture based on the new system and ensuring that everyone is comfortable. Further training may be necessary at this stage to help challenges that may arise when using the new system.


Human resource information system is an effective tool that enables HR managers to monitor and manage employee data effectively. It automates the process of recruitment, training, promotion, compensation, and general coordination of employees. When introducing it in an organization, it is critical to have a strategy that will seek and sustain buy-in and support for the system. The success of the HRIS system significantly depends on the support that it gets from employees. As shown in the discussion above, there are different ways of achieving such a goal. The primary strategy is to outline benefits that employees will enjoy when the system is introduced. To sustain the support, the management needs to ensure that employees enjoy the promised benefits. Using Kurt Lewin’s change model can help eliminate or significantly minimize resistance to change.


Fırat, D., Yılmaz, O., & Smilkova, D. (2019). Business & management practices. IJOPEC.

Idemudia, E. C. (2019). Handbook of research on social and organizational dynamics in the digital era. IGI Global.

Macfarlane, B., & Abou, Z. C. (2019). The Palgrave handbook of global health data methods for policy and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Mundhra, B. D., & Bose, R. (2020). Managing business in the civil construction sector through information communication technologies. IGI Global.

Pomffyova, M. (2018). Management of information systems. INTECHOPEN.

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