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INSIGHTS & INTUITION: Which HR innovation or technology of the past few years has made the most difference for your organization?

Over the past few years, the Human Resources department at Basin Electric Power Cooperative has created procedures and software to move from hard-copy personnel, benefits and payroll files toward the electronic storage of employee files.   

By categorizing each employee file, we control who can and cannot see the documents, improve record retention, create instant availability and reduce the need for storage space.

This allows for better organization and easier accessibility of important documents.

This initiative fits with our goals of employee focus, continuous improvement and a forward look.  Cooperatives are about people, recognizing that growth comes when we find solutions as a team.

Paige Fleck

Executive Administrative Assistant

Basin Electric Power Cooperative

Beulah, N.D.


At Northern State University, we implemented an online workflow system that allows electronic signatures on myriad HR documents, including paperwork for new hires, student labor authorizations and travel authorizations.

This system has reduced the time needed to complete those documents by days.

Authorized signatures can even be obtained via a smartphone. It also makes it easier to locate a document while it’s in the workflow process – using a click of the mouse rather than walking from office to office trying to find a printed document.

Susan Bostian

Associate Vice President of Finance and Administration / Director of Human Resources

Northern State University

Aberdeen, S.D.


The greatest technology change we have made recently is implementing a complete human resources information system (HRIS).

Our HRIS has improved our efficiency and productivity by streamlining our payroll processing tasks and benefits administration.

Over time, we have added additional modules such as the performance management and recruitment modules. The recruitment module has simplified the process of collecting and tracking applications.

Another module we have added is the document storage system. We now scan and upload all employee documents to our HRIS system, eliminating paper personnel files.

Our HRIS system also helps us remain compliant with laws such as the Affordable Care Act.

Lindsay Mack

Vice President/Human Resources Director

Cornerstone Bank

Fargo, N.D.