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An Open Letter to HR

An Open Letter to HR

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Dear HR,

We know you are juggling the challenges of managing benefits, payroll, hiring and onboarding. The struggle is real, right? We understand these tasks are crucial to the success of the organization, but we need information.

When do we need it? Typically, at 4:50 p.m. on a Friday, when all you want to do is to get out the door and scream, “TGIF!”

We get it: We can be needy. Whether it’s last-minute requests for pay stubs for income verification because we’re buying our first home, or needing our sick time because the school just called and little Joey is the latest victim of the classroom funk.

In true fashion, you help us because it’s what you do.

We know you can handle the workload, but the truth is you shouldn’t have to answer every menial question that comes across your desk or lands in your inbox.

What if there was a different way? What if employees took these burdens off HR’s plate?

Do any of these common questions sound familiar?

  • “Can I get a copy of my W-2?”
  • “How many vacation days do I have left?”
  • “And when do I have to take them by?”
  • “What steps do I need take in order to level up in the company?”
  • “Do my benefits cover this procedure?”
  • “Hey, how much would adding a dependent cost me? Ballpark’s fine.”

Honestly, we don’t want to have to ask you these questions, but you hold the answers. How many hours would you estimate you spend answering these questions a month? A week? A year?

The right HR technology could take these simple requests off your plate. If only we had such technology, we could:

  • access pay rates, schedule earnings, deductions and pay vouchers at any time;
  • submit W-4s, I-9s and direct-deposit forms securely;
  • change contact information and have it automatically update throughout the system;
  • punch web time clocks or input hours into an online time sheet;
  • submit and approve time sheets;
  • monitor paid-time-off accruals and submit time-off requests;
  • enroll in benefits with decision-making tools like a sample paycheck with new deduction amounts; and
  • access, complete and sign performance reviews.

And you? You would have more time to be strategic, to drink your coffee before it gets cold and even to take a vacation! (We assume you get those, too, right?)

HR Technology Optimized for Mobile Access

Look, we’ve transitioned to an on-demand and mobile society. Millennials are no longer the only ones with expectations of immediate access to their data, information and content. People now can manage everything, from their retirement accounts and hair appointments to banking, all while watching television, all from their mobile devices. As organizations continue to gear up for a mobile workforce, on-demand and self-service solutions are setting a new standard. HR departments like yours are under immense pressure to ensure employees have access to their own information.

We don’t want you to carry that burden alone, so we’re here with a suggestion: Leverage new HR technology that will enable us to carry out self-service functions. Such a solution would empower us to review our benefits, submit time-off requests and access the documentation we need to make informed decisions. More importantly, we’ll get the information we need, when we need it, from wherever we may be, without constantly pulling your focus from strategic programs with endless menial tasks and inquiries.

Trust us to handle our own information; we are willing to take on that responsibility, freeing up your time to strategize the next big thing. Or to simply enjoy that cup of coffee. Cream or sugar?

With gratitude,

– Your Employees

For more information about employee self-service, download this free Infographic: Engage and Empower Your Employees. Or to learn more about how Paycom’s HR technology can help your business grow, contact us today.


Williams Espino

by Williams Espino


Author Bio: Williams Espino has worked in HR Technology across multiple industries for almost 20 years. His career has included director level positions in the hospitality, education, and oil and gas industries and he now serves as the director of product management at Paycom.

Self-Service Software

How to Promote Engagement and Efficiency with Employee Self-Service Software

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How to Promote Engagement and Efficiency with Employee Self-Service Software

Employee self-service software often is adopted as a way to improve efficiency within an organization, especially as it pertains to the responsibilities of your HR department. While that’s a common and effective use, organizations also can use robust self-service software as a way to improve employee engagement and productivity.

A recent white paper by Paycom and HR.com illustrates survey results from over 700 HR professionals (representing companies with anywhere from 50 to 20,000 employees) on how they use employee self-service software, and where there is room for improvement. You can download the entire white paper, or keep reading to find out what self-service software means for your efficiency and engagement.

Gains in Efficiency

Employees who use self-service software can alleviate some tedious tasks, freeing up your HR department to do more strategic and mission-critical work (rather than keying in information, often multiple times). Duplicating employee data (especially by hand) is an ineffective use of time, and can introduce errors.

Employee-entered data actually can improve the accuracy of the information you have on file for your workforce. Over 80% of HR professionals surveyed agree that employee accountability for data leads to a higher likelihood of accuracy for that data. In turn, that improved accuracy can help reduce compliance risk.

Gains in Employee Engagement

According to our research, what employees want most out of their self-service software is ease of use, by a large margin of 47%. Single sign on functionality (the ability to use one login for their employee self-service software and for other platforms) was the next most important.

Why does this matter? User-friendly self-service software with a single login can improve employee engagement (more on why that matters below) and also can increase the likelihood that they will complete the forms, training or information that your leadership or your HR department has requested.

What This Means for Your Bottom Line

Increasing efficiency with employee self-service software can help you increase your profit margin by saving time and lowering material costs. Improving employee engagement by selecting a user-friendly self-service software can have significant returns on your investment as well.

Employee engagement can help you reduce turnover, safety incidents and absenteeism. According to a recent Gallup survey, teams that score in the top quartile of engagement exhibit 21% higher productivity and 22% higher profitability that compared to teams in the bottom quartile.

In addition to improving the work environment and production, high employee engagement can help you save on the substantial cost of replacing key personnel. Bloomberg’s Bureau of National Affairs estimates that employee turnover costs U.S. businesses $11 billion per year, and highly educated and experienced employees tend to be the most expensive to replace.

If you’re considering adopting employee self-service software (or adding on to your current platform), be sure to take your employee experience into account, as well as the gains in efficiency that could be made. Choosing to prioritize the elements that matter most to your staff can help you increase employee engagement, boost productivity and maintain an efficient workflow.

Read more about the untapped benefits of employee self-service software in our white paper, The Role of Self-Service Software: Get the Most Out of a Crucial Technology.

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Posted in Blog, Document Management, Employee Engagement, Featured, HR Management, Learning Management, Talent Management, What Employees Want

Lauren Rogers

by Lauren Rogers


Author Bio: As a communications specialist at Paycom, Lauren Rogers keeps employees abreast of company news and events, and provides insight to industry leaders regarding issues affecting human capital management. With experience in marketing and communications, Lauren has written blogs and other materials for a variety of businesses and nonprofits. Outside the office, she enjoys gardening, testing new recipes and sipping something caffeinated with her nose in a book.

Employee Self-Service Software

Missing out on Key Functions of Your Employee Self-Service Software?

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Missing out on Key Functions of Your Employee Self-Service Software?

If you’re like most company leaders, you’re probably making use of employee self-service software to a certain extent. In fact, in a joint study by Paycom and HR.com, 88.5 percent of companies surveyed used self-service tools. And about 87 percent of these organizations considered self-service software to be the most efficient way to provide employees with payroll and HR information.

You can discover more of the results of this survey in our whitepaper, The Role of Self-Service Software: Get the Most out of a Crucial Technology.

However, we also found that a large number of the organizations surveyed aren’t getting as much out of their self-service software as they potentially could. They are leaving functionality on the table and missing out on the opportunity to streamline their training, ensure that forms are efficiently completed and securely stored, and improve the accuracy of information entered by their employees.

Streamlined Employee Training

Companies that use their employee self-service software as a platform for training are able to reach a large number of employees with one streamlined training effort, rather than scheduling several training meetings to accommodate staff schedules, wasting time and losing productivity.

Incorporating training videos and slideshows into existing employee self-service software allows your employees to complete trainings when their schedules allow.

In our research, companies are using self-service technology to serve many functions (some of the most common include accessing payroll information and enrolling in benefits). Unfortunately, only 39 percent of companies we surveyed that are already utilizing self-service software are taking advantage of employee training opportunities through that software. Most organizations are missing out on this opportunity.

Secure, Efficiently Completed Forms

The forms that your employees are already filling out can be integrated with an existing self-service software to make it easier for them to complete and ensure that you can store the forms securely and efficiently. We found that this is another area where many organizations have room for improvement.

Of the organizations we surveyed that used self-service software, HR entered 50 percent or less of employee information in only 40 percent of those organizations. In 29 percent of surveyed companies with self-service software, HR was still entering 90 percent or more employee data.

Having a way for your employees to fill out performance reviews, feedback surveys and other forms within employee self-service software allows them to complete the forms on their own time, allowing your HR department to focus on more mission-critical projects. It can also cut down on paper storage and allow anyone who needs access to the completed forms to find them in one secure location online.

Accurate Employee Information

One surprising finding from our study was that while 87 percent of respondents said that employee self-service software was helpful, HR still enters in over 50 percent of employee data for 60 percent of surveyed companies using self-service software. The most common barrier that kept organizations from having a majority of information entered by their employees (instead of their HR department) was a concern over the accuracy of employee-entered data.

That’s a valid concern, but from our research, employee-entered data has the opportunity to improve information accuracy. Over 80 percent of organizations we surveyed determined that employee-entered data helps hold employees accountable for the accuracy of the data—and 51 percent agreed that employee accountability for that accuracy reduces compliance risk.

In addition to a reduced compliance risk, having employees enter their own information can free up your HR department to do more strategic work. In fact, improving your company’s usage of employee self-service software can help your HR department save up to 10 hours per week!

Learn how other companies of all sizes are making use of their employee self-service software and what can be gained from these and other underutilized capabilities in our whitepaper, The Role of Self-Service Software: Get the Most out of a Crucial Technology.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Blog, Document Management, Featured, HR Management, Learning Management, Payroll

Lauren Rogers

by Lauren Rogers


Author Bio: As a communications specialist at Paycom, Lauren Rogers keeps employees abreast of company news and events, and provides insight to industry leaders regarding issues affecting human capital management. With experience in marketing and communications, Lauren has written blogs and other materials for a variety of businesses and nonprofits. Outside the office, she enjoys gardening, testing new recipes and sipping something caffeinated with her nose in a book.

Changing Drug Screening Policies

4 Insights About Evolving Drug Screening Policies

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4 Insights About Evolving Drug Screening Policies

During the November 2016 election, eight of the nine states with marijuana-related decisions on the ballot voted to legalize the drug for medical and/or recreational purposes. This trend has gained traction across the country; today, more than half the nation has state laws in place that allow marijuana for medicinal use.

Marijuana legalization has created tension between state laws, federal law and organizational best practices nationwide, causing employers from numerous industries to revisit their current drug-screening policies to ensure they are best serving their people and the company. To learn more about how organizations could handle this shift in state policy, Paycom invited Sheehan Phinney attorney Jim Reidy to the HR Break Room podcast.

Listen to expert and attorney Jim Reidy from Sheehan Phinney discuss current and future drug laws on the HR Break Room podcast episode, “A New Leaf on Drug Policy Screening Policies: Time for a Change?”

Specific plans of action may be difficult to determine, but Reidy provided valuable insight and four major takeaways about quickly changing drug screening-policies.

1. Ask the Big Questions Now

Employers should consider asking a few key, ever-evolving questions about their current drug-screening policies right now.

Reidy suggests asking:

  • What do your drug and alcohol policies actually say?
  • Are you even asking about medications in the workplace? If so, why?
  • Are you asking about the current use of illicit or illegal drugs?
  • For nationwide companies, how do you draft policy in states where marijuana is either medically or recreationally legal? Do you default to federal law or try to accommodate employees and prospective candidates in those positions?

Hard answers may not exist on how to accommodate every employer and employee concern, but asking these questions now will help prepare you for issues that could arise as state laws continue to evolve. If marijuana legislation begins to affect your state, you will be more familiar with the possible pressure points that may influence your policies.

 2. Know Risks and Current State Laws

During the HR Break Room podcast, Reidy cited risk management as one of the most important aspects of changing state laws.

“HR professionals generally work in risk management, and one issue with risk management is safety and productivity, “Reidy said. “Twenty-six states now have medical marijuana approved, and eight states and the District of Columbia have recreational marijuana approved, and those numbers will likely increase in the next year or two. Employers are concerned about what impact it’s going to have on everything from attendance to mental acuity, productivity and largely safety.”

Take time to educate yourself on exactly what your state laws require before choosing a strategy. The better you understand your state’s legislation, the easier it will be to determine how it may impact your organization.

3. Communicating with Managers and Supervisors

According to Reidy, one of the most important things HR can do to prepare for changes is to learn about employee concerns by communicating and working closely with your managers.

“Assuming that they’ve tailored their policy appropriately to their workplace, to their locations, to their standards, their mission and the like, then I would spend a fair amount of time on training my supervisors and managers on the new policy,” he said. “Managers, I like to say, are your eyes and ears, but they’re also your Achilles’ heel. Be very careful with your managers … once managers have been trained, have them share policy changes and train them effectively to ensure they know what it means.”

Once your organization has created these clear channels of communication between HR, managers and employees, it will be easier to create a strategy for implementing a new policy if changes occur on a state or federal level.

4. No Universal Answer

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from our talk with Reidy was that there is no universal answer for all organizations, which is why employers must learn what works best for their business.

Reidy said it best, “employers, know your workplace, know your locations and know the state law that might apply. Be aware that the state law is certainly going to be different than the federal law, and have a realistic approach to screening and testing, and being consistent about your enforcement of your policy going forward.”

Learn more by subscribing to HR Break Room and listen to our podcast, A New Leaf in Drug Screening Policies: Is it Time for a Change?

 

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Blog, Compliance, Employment Law, Featured

caleb.masters

by Caleb Masters


Author Bio: Caleb is the host of The HR Break Room and a Webinar and Podcast Producer at Paycom. With more than 5 years of experience as a published online writer and content producer, Caleb has produced dozens of podcasts and videos for multiple industries both local and online. Caleb continues to assist organizations creatively communicate their ideas and messages through researched talks, blog posts and new media. Outside of work, Caleb enjoys running, discussing movies and trying new local restaurants.

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