If you are in the business industry, most likely, you are using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for everyday tasks. Using spreadsheets has pros and cons but has proven vital in most HR operations and business transactions.
This article will discuss the benefits of using spreadsheets for human resource management. This article will also discuss an alternative for spreadsheets in managing HR processes, the use of HR software.
Benefits of Excel Spreadsheets for HR Processes
Many business processes rely on Excel spreadsheets for the daily monitoring of HR processes. Spreadsheets are very common and the majority of the HR team is familiar with the software, which is already a considerable advantage.
Below are the common benefits of using spreadsheets for Human Resource management:
Functional Spreadsheet Formulas
Excel spreadsheets are best for basic data entry. It also has several built-in formulas and functionalities useful for HR processes. Some of these formulas are used for computing employee salaries and filtering data, specifically employee information (name, employment status, length of service, etc.)
The HR team needs advanced Excel skills to utilize more functions in the Excel spreadsheet and maximize its use. Such data functions include SUMIF, VLOOKUP, DATEDIF, TODAY, COUNTIF, and the use of pivot tables.
There must be no gaps in the column and row cells when formatting tables. You can access the Format as Table tab from the Home tab. The table form will appear, where you get to check the table range values and customize them.
Using Pivot Tables
A pivot table is a very useful function in Excel. It offers the users summary reports, which can be generated from a database, an existing spreadsheet table, or an external data file.
With pivot tables, you can easily manipulate data by combining, slicing, or dicing them. You can access the Pivot table tab from the Insert tab.
Several HR departments find the use of spreadsheets inexpensive in managing employee information. Excel spreadsheets are helpful for small and start-up businesses because getting HR software can be an added expense.
Instead of getting HR software, you can reduce expenses by getting HR spreadsheet templates that are professionally made and highly customizable. This HR template bundle can help you identify, manage, and monitor employee information, salaries, bonuses, and more.
Most businesses prefer to use Excel because of familiarity. If migrating to a software system can be a far option, they hope it remains that way. Shifting from spreadsheet to software can be a small step for large businesses, but it is a huge leap for small ones.
Microsoft Office is easily accessible and constantly updated, improving users’ performance each time. Free tutorials and training are also accessible online, which helps small businesses save costs from hiring instructors to teach their employees advanced Excel skills.
Why do Many HR managers still prefer Excel spreadsheets?
As an HR manager, several HR procedures must be accomplished daily in the department. Spreadsheets have been the go-to tool for many HR managers to help them with their daily HR tasks.
Here are some of the reasons why HR managers still use spreadsheets.
Easy to Manipulate, Analyze Data, and Update Employee Data
HR managers want a tool their staff can easily use with little supervision. A spreadsheet is an excellent tool that can do just that. It can store employees’ data and manipulate and analyze data.
It Can Easily Be Integrated Into the Workflow
Spreadsheets can be integrated into the workflow with the use of appropriate tools. You can share the file with your team members when the spreadsheet is up and running. Your spreadsheet can be integrated with Google Sheets, a cloud-based software that monitors real-time changes or updates.
Not Relying on External Suppliers
Microsoft constantly updates and improves its programs. You can expect Excel spreadsheets to be better each time. You can expect fewer program errors when you use Excel compared to getting external suppliers to create custom software for you. You will need to call the supplier each time you experience problems with the program, which can be a hassle.
Minimal Training Required
The best thing about Excel spreadsheets that HR managers like is that the program requires minimal training. Often, HR staff is already equipped with the necessary skill to use a spreadsheet. This means everyone in the department gets to work immediately and does not need to attend a time-consuming training program.
HR Software: Alternative to Spreadsheet
Spreadsheets have proven to be very useful in different aspects. But, if you are considering shifting to HR software, the list below shows some benefits of migrating to HR software.
Data security is given importance in HR software. Most HR software are GDPR compliant. All data encoded in the software are protected through authentication and encryption, unlike spreadsheets that are easily shared with others, which can cause a data breach.
HR departments handle a variety of records that are vital and confidential. Most of these files are stored in filing cabinets, and sorting through these files is time-consuming. With the help of software, you can quickly get the employee information you need with a few clicks.
Streamlining workflow through HR software helps solve human error issues and improves efficiency in the department.
Software grows with your company. It can adapt to the department’s demands, such as additional reporting, appraisals, recruitment, etc. You can customize the software that you need to suit your business needs. You can even consider cloud-based HR software for more valuable features and functionalities.
Productivity will improve with the help of HR software. It can automate repetitive tasks such as tracking leave requests, tracking employment status, and compiling reports, saving much time.
Less Prone to Human Error
Human error means more than incorrect or incomplete data entry. Human error can also be about forgetting to file employee records, addressing employment concerns, or monitoring bonuses, salaries, and leaves because of other commitments that must be addressed within the department.
Human error can cost businesses so much. That is why companies are doing their best to reduce it, if not eliminate, human error within their organization.
Excel Spreadsheets vs. HR Software
Many large companies are migrating to HR software to manage their HR data and processes. However, there are still several businesses that still prefer to use spreadsheets above all else.
Spreadsheets are considered a-must have in most offices despite their limitations. The question as to which is better, software or spreadsheet, the answer is, it all depends on your specific needs. Each HR team is different from one another; hence, different needs would have different work requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Microsoft Excel important for HR?
Excel spreadsheets are an important HR tool because they can manage employee information as well as manage basic functions like computations of payroll, leaves, salaries, bonuses, etc. Excel offers advanced functions that can make your HR processes flow efficiently.
What are the advantages of using Excel spreadsheets for organizing and sharing data?
Spreadsheets are accessible, and almost everyone knows how to use a spreadsheet. It is a simple program that can gather and organize data. Data can also be filtered according to your preference. A spreadsheet can conveniently be shared with members of the HR department.
For small and start-up businesses, a spreadsheet is a great tool for HR processes. There are several benefits of using spreadsheets. It is a low-cost option for organizing employee information. Also, HR templates are easily accessible, which can help make your work more efficient.
Spreadsheets have their share of pros and cons. If you are considering shifting to HR software, the decision is up to you.