HRIS implementation: 4 challenges and solutions to software adoption

The HR department is the backbone of any growing organization. Traditionally known for administrative, office, and talent management tasks, Covid-19 uncovered the true adaptability of HR teams. HR professionals became strategists, facilitators, and empaths all at once, taking the lead to guide managers and employees at a distance. And all while finding immediate solutions to maintain, if not raise, the levels of engagement from each team in the organization.

Work from home, new working procedures, recruitment, and even remote onboarding are here to stay, making the right HR solutions essential to centralize employee information. Simply put, scaling companies require HR digital transformation to track the conditions of their most valuable resource – employees. 

But with all new technologies come new challenges. While HR digital transformation is essential to becoming a workplace of the future, new technology requires company-wide change management.

In this article, we’ll dive into 4 recurring challenges of HRIS implementation. Let’s start with the software.

What is a HRIS system?

As the role of HR departments continues to evolve, so does the demand for HR systems. 3 common HR solutions help automate daily tasks in your business: 

  1. HRIS: HRIS allows you to handle employee-related data with accuracy by tracking talent acquisition, recruitment, evolving employee data, and assuring compliance with policies and procedures. HRIS implementation is recommended for companies with a minimum of 25 employees.
  2. HCM: A Human capital management system – much like HRIS – makes it easier to conduct HR functions and strategic practices, including recruitment, payroll management, training, and performance management.
  3. HRMS: A Human resource management system is a suite of applications bringing together HRIS and HCM functionalities.

 Whichever you choose, overcoming the challenges of software adoption is essential to the success of your HRIS implementation. But why? Unlike other software in your organization, every person in the organization uses HRIS.

Software implementation is not a solution

Software only becomes a business solution once users can reach digital adoption – a state achieved through training and active practice. Today, your HRIS needs to be functional and accessible to everyone, wherever they are. But not all users are the same, with varying levels of digital skill, geographic location, and autonomy. 

At Lemon Learning, we offer comprehensive support on HRIS software, including SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone, Workday, and Sage on our digital adoption platform integration. Let’s take a closer look at the 4 challenges to HRIS implementation and software adoption. 

4 challenges and solutions to HRIS software adoption

Identify the challenges of software adoption to anticipate, prevent, and mitigate user issues in your organization.

1. Employee change management

So you’re investing in a new HRIS solution. Aside from the technical challenges you’re going to encounter, the first change needs to be human. Without an agile and adaptable workforce accustomed to a culture of change, the slightest adjustments could negatively impact your business operations. So what steps should be taken? HRIS implementation projects should follow the core principles of change management using an employee-centric approach.

  • Consistent communication: Involve your employees from day one, using their feedback to identify existing requirements and issues to improve their use of the HRIS.
  • Management and leadership advocacy: Implementing a new tool requires both the support and advocacy of leadership to drive the project among teams.
  • Develop a culture of change: Facilitate change through your company values and corporate culture to ensure everyone understands the concrete benefits.
  • Implement customizable training: Train your workforce on a digital adoption platform for personalized and customized training workflows.

Shifting implementation planning to employees can boost the probability of success by 12%. Successful organizations empower employees to experiment with solutions and new ideas, but also set guardrails to prevent actions from derailing the change.

(Source: Gartner, 2020)

2. HRIS training for managers and employee

Every member of your organization will use the HRIS, which means different user profiles, uses, and frequency of use. It means the HRIS needs to benefit everyone in the organization, helping employees, managers, and HR collaborate seamlessly for better efficiency.  


Managers need time to manage. Process standardization can save managers hours, if not days each year, validating their team’s requests. Want to check time and attendance? Conduct performance management? Follow employee training in the LMS? HRIS training means managers possess the knowledge to streamline processes and conduct admin on several people at once, in the same place, leaving them more time to focus on operational tasks.


Employee self-service or ESS allows users to handle their affairs with ease and autonomy. Doctor’s appointment? Vacation? Expenses? No need for fiddly paper slips and unanswered emails to validate their requests. ESS helps simplify once time-consuming and costly processes, reduces data entry errors, and increases efficiency, making HRIS training indispensable.


HR departments always require an overview of organizational health and employee performance. A company-wide HRIS deployment for 1000+ employees without change management and training could potentially lead to:

  • Resistance to change
  • Data entry errors
  • Increased support requests 
  • Tool abandonment

 Implementing HRIS without sufficient training can ultimately impact HR, managers, Learning and Development, Finance, and the employees themselves. Consider training and change management, non-negotiable steps in driving an implementation project.

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: conduct training directly inside your HRIS

Cornerstone, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday? Cloud-based, SaaS, or self-hosted? Whatever HRIS software or format you choose, the Lemon Learning digital adoption platform can help train your users. 

With Lemon Learning, you can accompany users throughout the learning process. The digital adoption platform allows you to: 

  • Train your users directly from their HRIS with a library of interactive guides accessible on-demand.
  • Create a sustainable user experience thanks to step-by-step support on the HRIS. 
  • Communicate directly from the HRIS using push notifications and tooltips (alerts, news, and HRIS updates).

3. Deploy a self-service portal

Employee engagement within the HRIS is a critical challenge, from a data perspective but also in terms of their empowerment and autonomy. But it’s just a tool? Less reliance on the HR department saves time for all parties involved, centralizing data for a clear and up-to-date overview of payroll, absence, benefits, procedures, policies, and more. Employee engagement with the HRIS means better alignment with business values, corporate goals, and overall understanding of the structure of the organization. 

In one study, 66% of the reasons why employees quit were problems related to engagement, culture, well-being, and work-life balance.

Source: (Onboarding Statistics, B2B Reviews)

Deploying a self-service portal within your HRIS empowers employees to take charge of their profiles regularly. In a growing medium to large organization, these seemingly simple HR processes are the foundation of quality human capital management. In a study of 587 HRIS projects, 16% of businesses implemented HRIS to support growth.

4. Interactive training for infrequent users

One of the major challenges to successful HRIS implementation is the frequency of use. Although the HRIS is used by everyone across the organization, employees and even managers don’t necessarily require its functions (e.g., absence request, vacation, payslips, etc.) day-to-day. Infrequent use means users can spend more time getting up to speed with the tool, each time they use it. But it could also be more detrimental. Infrequent use of a tool can lead to:

  • Data entry errors
  • Increased support requests
  • Time wasted mitigating errors

Whether it’s HRIS, ERP, CRM, business software, or an in-house application, interactive training with a digital adoption integration is indispensable to all implementation projects. 

If you’d like to follow a real-life example of HRIS implementation, onboarding, and software adoption, take a look at our DPD case study. Alternatively, if you have any questions, get in touch!

Tags: HRIS

Sarah C

Sarah oversees all things inbound marketing, exploring the many business uses and topics surrounding digital adoption. Her previous experiences include B2C and product marketing in the social listening space, uncovering emerging industry trends.