Microsoft has announced its 2021 release wave 1 detailing all the new features and enhancements we can expect to see rolled out across Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform over the next few months. In release wave 1 there are some welcome improvements for Dynamics 365 Human Resources. The updates continue to build in the areas of leave and absence, benefits, extensibility and the users’ self-service experience.

As part of previous release waves, Microsoft made huge strides when it overhauled the Benefits Management functionality transforming it from a “just-for-HR” module for benefits tracking (where employees could do no more than see what benefit’s they had) into an all-singing, all-dancing benefits portal where employees can manage their own information, make their own selections from a range of options and specify their own levels of coverage.

Looking forward, with the new functionality described in release wave 1, Dynamics 365 Human Resources will benefit from a range of key improvements.

1.    More flexibility

As part of the changes outlined in release wave 1, the system will have more flexibility to capture specific data that is relevant to your organisation, and then build even more detailed rules around eligibility based on that data.

The current benefit eligibility capabilities within Dynamics 365 Human Resources are already very powerful and far-reaching. However, introducing support for custom fields allows the system to support the customer’s policies and business processes.

2.    Automatic notifications

With the new updates, users will be able to configure automatic email notifications to send updates to employees at key times. For example, an email can be sent to let them know when it is time to choose their required level of coverage.

Through employees knowing they will be notified at key times, or when information is required from them, will reduce the number of, often repetitive, queries your Human Resources team needs to answer, giving them more time to get on with value-add activities.

3.    Total benefits statements

Total benefits statements will be introduced as part of release wave 1. This will give employees a better view of exactly what cover they have and what it is costing them.

As well putting better information in the hands of your employees and improving the self-service experience, this will again reduce the number of queries your Human Resources team has to answer on a day-to-day basis.

4.    Extended API

As part of release wave 1, an extended API will build on the previous out-of-the-box integration for the Ceridian Dayforce payroll system. This will allow organisations to build their own custom integrations with practically any payroll provider!

This update will dispense with the monthly manual process of laboriously checking and collating payroll details and manually sending them through to your payroll provider. Instead, each month a complete set of error-free data will automatically be sent through to your payroll provider without any of your users having to do anything.

What does Dynamics 365 Human Resources release wave 1 mean for your organisation?

The Benefits Management capabilities in Dynamics 365 Human Resources is significantly growing in sophistication and its ability to be able to accommodate different business requirements. More information and choice are being put in the hands of the employee, thereby improving their experience. In the process of doing this, more time-consuming, manual work is being taken off your Human Resources team. This better way of working increases efficiency and reduces the risk of manual error.

Through its latest set of planned enhancements, Microsoft demonstrates its continued focus on continually improving the user’s self-service experience. It demonstrates Microsoft’s understanding that every company is unique and therefore for Dynamics 365 Human Resources system to be best-of-breed they must continue to grow the different ways that the system can be configured, tailored, extended and integrated. By taking this approach, they cater for any business requirement succinctly and elegantly.

If your organisation requires assistance navigating the rollout of Microsoft’s 2021 release wave 1 for Dynamics 365 Human Resources, please get in touch for a free 30-minute consultation with our team. To find out more about Dynamics 365 Human Resources, download our guide – end to end HR management from Microsoft.