Toolkits: A guide to developing toolkits that work

Kudzai Derera / Posted On: 1 February 2021 / Updated On: 20 May 2022 / HR & Technology / 405

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Toolkits: A guide to developing toolkits that work


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What is a toolkit?

To build and manage applications and databases, a single utility program, a series of software routines or a fully integrated set of software utilities are used. This single utility program with a series of software routines is called a toolkit. Toolkits are available to build almost everything. They may help to transform theory into reality, generally addressing one problem or one audience. A toolkit is a software programmed to perform a particular function to solve a problem. It is an instrument for innovation/technology management.

 

Why are toolkits important?

As stated earlier on, toolkits help to transform theory into reality by generally addressing one problem or one audience. The following are some of the reasons why they are important:

  • They improve the current day-to-day running of an organisation or group in measurable terms.
  • Cost-saving as customers almost always require toolkits that deliver cost benefits.
  • Improved productivity, speed and accuracy.
  • Information can be retrieved quickly with greater confidence in its accuracy.
  • Ability to offer customers new services.
  • New customers and products can be identified by analysing the old information.
  • Enhanced functionality might allow managers to quickly identify business trends which would be a competitive advantage.
  •  Improve the performance of the organisation.

What should be included in a toolkit?

There are several standards of sound practice relating to toolkits. For example, a strategy toolkit should, for instance, be focused on an object model. The toolkits should be made to meet the organization's current situation and needs, and the toolkits should satisfy views at all levels of the organisation. These are the main concepts for the implementation process of a successful toolkit and how to deploy it:

 

 

1. The toolkit should be human-centric

A toolkit for innovation/technology management and its implementation should provide the ability for individuals to engage with each other. Also, the method should adjust to variations in perception and take important cultural, sociological, and psychological factors into account. Put simply, it should be seen as a feature of the tool development exercise that different managers can view issues in different ways.

 

2. Aim for workshop-based models

Regardless of its goal, the production of a toolkit should be participative. The workshop format in this sense is an optimal means of establishing adequate interaction. Workshops are therefore a natural environment for the sharing of information and are therefore useful for the creation of relations between participants. Finally, since it increases the degree of engagement and encourages key stakeholders to come together in substantive ways, the workshop format is recommended.

 

3. Neutral facilitation is important

The development and implementation of toolkits require adequate facilitation. They might be threaded on the disputed terrain as participants interact; hence, neutrality is the key to constructive communication between them. A successful facilitator can not only help participants participate, but also become accustomed to the devices they use. Also, he or she will assist in designing the dialogue, reflecting, interviewing and summarizing on behalf of the participants. However, facilitators must take the facilitation outside the reach of any isolated project or work if creativity is to be an ongoing conversation.

 

4. It should be lightly processed

The fourth concept is that the toolkits should be applied in a lightweight manner in their production workshops. That is, as a consequence of the toolkits, they should provide information about how the overall change process will be carried out in the company. Such improvements can be divided into short-, medium-, and long-term behaviour in an ideal situation, much like this article from and about the New York Times as it prepares for digital disruption. "Lightweight" also means diverging and then converging, just as in innovation workshops, as instruments are debated.

 

5. Modularity

These toolkits should be designed in a modular manner, zooming in on the toolkits themselves. More specifically, small sets of core toolkits should be included in toolkits that can then be mixed and matched as needed. This idea is important because modularity increases the number of configurations that are possible and thus provides versatility. Some sample toolkits contain 100% Open,  Trello, Adobe Kickbox software and other third-party integrations, but generally, each company can have its personalised versions for internal use.

 

6. Scalability

Since (open) innovation can come in several ways, which are increasingly popular outside-in, inside-out, and coupled processes, and can involve several stakeholders, resources should be able to be used inside and outside the organization at various levels. A stakeholder capacity map built for internal purposes, for example, should also be able to accommodate input from the stakeholders themselves in time. Fujitsu's Activ8 program, built to promote client co-creation, is a perfect example of a versatile, scalable method.

 

7. Visuals

Last but not least, both for their implementation and for the output they help produce, toolkits and toolkits should have a visual type. Examples include diagrams of causal loops, cognitive charts, decision graphs, rich images, meaning trees, etc. (Gijs van Wulfen is a master of visuals). Essentially, a good visual format would allow participants to quickly share information and thus contribute to easy implementation (how the tools will be acted upon). A large and messy challenge or scenario may also be turned into an analysable, and thus solvable, problem through visualization.

 

Examples of Toolkits in the HR field

Few departments juggle as many duties as human resources or handle as much data. The software makes recruiting, payroll and performance appraisal activities more manageable and enables HR staff members to communicate better with the employees of the company. Here are six HR technology toolkits that can be applied for a healthier, better-organised workforce by companies of any scale:

 

1. Human Resource Management System (HRMS)

HRMS can also be called the Human Resource Information System (HRIS). The departments of human resources have a lot of data to input, store and monitor. With a robust human resource management system, the most common method of organizing this information is (HRMS). An HRMS may be the best friend of an HR official, whether it's a software solution or software as a service. Data, such as employee profiles, schedules, attendance records and more, is processed and organized. Usually, human resource information systems (HRIS) are more data-driven solutions that enable you to produce in-depth reports for audit purposes. Most HRMS systems, such as Paychex and Workday, serve as the central hub for HR and often have modules or integrations that allow payroll services, benefits management, and performance reviews to be accessed.

 

2. Performance solutions

Performance reviews and monitoring are not only an annual meeting between manager and employee but HR tracks and revisit the priorities and goals addressed in that meeting during the year. HR will provide managers with the means to evaluate the performance of their employee representatives during the year, saving notes and reviews to prepare both manager and employee for the appraisal to get the best out of a performance evaluation and better develop goals for individual employees. A flexible performance review module comes with several HRMS and payroll solutions, such as iPerform, ADP etc.

 

3. Recruiting software

Recruiting software streamlines the recruiting process, as the name suggests. You can post job advertisements, sort and approve applications, handle applicants and more, saving you the trouble of tracking everything yourself manually. In particular, small businesses should review the pricing and features for each approach being considered: several recruitment programs are targeted at larger organizations with significant candidate volumes. Depending on the recruiting requirements, small companies can be best served by a less-expensive product with fewer capabilities. Examples include The Human Capital Hub etc.

 

4. Payroll service

Processing payrolls is an arduous process. By investing in an online payroll service, make it easy on yourself (and your bookkeeper). This solution measures and records paychecks, deductions, compensated time off, etc. automatically. Some also allow you to register and for pay payroll taxes and report to the IRS about new hires.

 

5. Benefits management platform

A more comprehensive approach can help you handle all employee benefits, including paid time off, retirement plans, health insurance, employee compensation and other benefits, while other payroll services allow you to manage those benefits, such as vacation time. However, a provider for benefits management is not the same as a skilled employer organization (PEO) working under a co-employment agreement. The PEO serves as your workforce's legal employer, providing paychecks to workers and handling compensation and compliance for you.

 

6. Employee engagement tools

For several businesses, employee involvement is a high priority. You can monitor the culture of your company with today's tech tools, giving you better visibility into what your workers want. When you want to get a sense of the thoughts and opinions of employees and particular issues, such as what kind of food should be served at the next meeting or collecting the views of employees on a new company-wide policy, it is often better to use free programs like Google Forms or Survey Monkey. These tools allow you anonymously to compile honest feedback. Other engagement technology solutions include business intranet platforms such as Igloo, Podio, and OneWindow Workplace; corporate social networking apps such as Facebook's Yammer, WeVue, and Workplace; and various currently available tools for enterprise collaboration and video conferencing.

 

Although selecting the highest-rated or least-expensive solution can be appealing, it is crucial to do your homework and find the right instrument for the needs of your organization. Don't invest just for their own sake in such solutions, some simply are not worth the time of a company. Toolkits can help to transform theory into reality by generally addressing one problem or one audience.

 

Kudzai Derera is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.

LinkedIn: https://zw.linkedin.com/in/kudzaiderera        

Phone: +263 242 481946-48/481950

Email: kudzai@ipcconsultants.com      

Main Website: www.ipcconsultants.com

 

 

References

PCMAG. 2021. Definition of toolkit. [Online] Available at: toolkit> [Accessed 27 January 2021].

Collinsdictionary.com. 2021. Toolkit definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary. [Online] Available at: toolkit> [Accessed 27 January 2021].

Pop, O., 2021. 7 Guiding Principles for Innovation Toolkit Selection and Implementation. [Online] Blog.hypeinnovation.com. Available at: toolkit> [Accessed 27 January 2021].

Cs.uct.ac.za. 2021. The benefits of software systems. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27 January 2021].

Businessnewsdaily.com. 2021. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27 January 2021].

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