You collect quite a bit of information from your employees. Most employers do. While HR has always collected employee information, it may seem you collect more information than ever before. Expanding needs regarding benefits administration and more may mean you need more information from your workers. Expanded technological capabilities can also help you collect information more quickly and easily.
Think about all the different systems you use to collect various types of employee information. If your payroll administration is separate from information about benefits, your employee information may be broken up across several different programs or databases. This, in turn, can cause problems when it comes to tracking employee information efficiently and effectively. It’s why ensuring employee information is in one central location is so important.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of tracking employee information in one place is the ability to update once. Your HR team can log in to one central location, make the updates, and know it’s been updated across different programs.
If your employee information is scattered across several different programs or systems, you may find that you need to manually update each location. Each individual program should be hooked into the central database to avoid this issue.
Updating information multiple times is time-consuming and inefficient. It can also lead to errors, such as a mistake in the entry or a missed update. When information is stored in one central location, errors can be reduced and forgotten updates are much rarer. Each program will be using the most up-to-date information.
When all your employee information is being tracked in a central location, it becomes easier to share information among programs. This can make it simpler to complete tasks such as payroll, scheduling, or even benefits administration.
Take, for example, a system where payroll is entirely separate from benefits administration. Vacation time and sick days may accrue for each employee based on the hours they work. As they put more hours in, they may accrue more vacation and more sick leave.
If payroll is entirely separate from the system managing these benefits, manual updates are needed to ensure the information in the benefits management system reflects in the payroll system and vice versa. Your HR team members will spend additional time moving information from one system to the other.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the systems could talk to each other and update automatically? They can, provided you put your employee information in one central location.
Faster, More Efficient Access
The other advantage of centralizing your employee information is the speed of access. If employee information is fragmented and spread across several different programs, systems, and files, then it will take longer to pull together the employee’s profile.
Putting information into one centralized location means it’s readily accessible any time you need it.
The Argument Against Centralizing
Many people have warned of the dangers of centralizing employee information. The most prominent concern is the security of such data. Since employee information is located in one place, people who mean to do harm only need to get into the centralized location to get all employee information.
Some people suggest they should decentralize their employee information to keep it safe. There are other things you can do to keep employee information safe, including encrypting it, requiring passwords, and more.
Given the advantages centralization provides and the measures you can take to keep your employee data safe, there’s no reason you shouldn’t keep employee information in one safe, secure place.