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Get Lost! Using Self-Service Technology to Strengthen PTO Processes

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Despite the seductive lure of paid time off, studies show that 55 percent of Americans did not use their earned vacation days in 2015. In addition, 80 percent of workers say that they likely would take more time off if they had their manager’s full support. While bosses do play a part in encouraging employees to take time off, the role of technology is no less significant. The right employee self-service (ESS) tool can streamline and simplify your PTO processes, which ultimately yields greater productivity.

The Importance of Taking PTO

There are multiple benefits to taking paid time off, but employees still need some convincing. They may think, “No one else can do my work.” Or, “I’ll be swamped with work after returning from vacation.” However, studies show that:

    • Employees who use all of their vacation days stand a 6.5 percent greater chance of getting a promotion or raise than those who left 11 to 15 days unused.
    • Well-planned vacations lead to a more positive, engaged brains and more happiness and energy at work, resulting in higher productivity.

Effects of Self-Service on Employee Engagement

The above-stated reasons employees don’t take PTO are based on typical scenarios. What’s not so immediately obvious is the processes of requesting and issuing PTO, and their impact on employee engagement.

Before the advent of newer HR technology, employees generally had to check with their manager or HR department for their available time off. Managers had to dig deep to see PTO histories. Employees with negative PTO balances were taking and getting paid for time off they hadn’t earned. The system was in dire need of improvement.

Now, by leveraging self-service technology, organizations can increase autonomy, employee responsibility and employees’ input into time-off decision-making, all of which drive employee engagement.

Impact of ESS on PTO Processes

Searching for insurance information and requesting PTO are, respectively, the top time-saving uses of ESS, according to a 2015 survey by Software Advice. A good ESS system saves time by providing employees with answers to time-off questions and allowing managers to respond efficiently to PTO requests. The ESS portal is essentially a “storefront” or “one-stop shop” that delivers accurate results and eliminates frustration.

Employees can:

    • see their assigned PTO accruals
    • view recorded time taken and available balance
    • easily submit and track the status of time-off requests
    • access company PTO policies

Employee self-service vastly reduces the burden of paperwork, while increasing the ability to control and approve PTO processes. In the end, the simplicity and pro-engagement nature of an ESS can make employees more confident in requesting time off.


Chad Raymond

by Chad Raymond


Author Bio: With over 19 years of experience in employee engagement, benefits administration and government compliance, Chad has unparalleled knowledge in the fields of leadership and human resources. Chad has worked in several different capacities with Paycom including leading our product development team and HCM initiatives as well as the former director of Paycom’s service department. Chad’s vision and execution helped empower executives and their teams to reach their full potential, ultimately leading to his role as Paycom’s vice president of HR.

Pre-Board

5 Ways to Pre-Board Hires and Improve Employee Experience

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5 Ways to Pre-Board New Hires and Improve the Employee Experience

In today’s world of instant gratification, today’s workforce expects a good experience fast and are willing to walk if their expectations aren’t met. According to the Harvard Business Review, almost 33 percent of new hires start searching for a different job within the first six months of employment. Tackling that ambivalence early is crucial. One tangible way to ensure your employees feel engaged is through pre-boarding – preparing employees for their first day. There are several reasons employers should care about their new employee’s initial interactions with the organization. Aside from retention, pre-boarding builds confidence and gives new hires a good impression of their workplace.

Pre-boarding isn’t just a feel-good buzz word, either. It’s a win-win for employees and employers. This is especially true when it comes to the universal desire for day-one productivity. The C-suite values new hires who can become contributors faster and millennial employees crave the opportunity to do just that.

So, how do you incorporate pre-boarding into your new hire process? Below are five simple ways to get you started.

1. Hello there

Information is a necessity. Starting a new job is nerve-wracking, which is why a friendly, informational new-hire email is the perfect way to calm jittery nerves and set the stage for success. Not sure what to include? Let new hires know where to park, remind them of the dress code, and (if applicable) inform them about your HR technology and how to log-in. Whatever you decide to include, make sure it’s clear, concise and friendly.

2. Get social!

You already know how crucial a social media presence is for businesses, which is why you likely have incorporated a robust strategy that supports not only business goals, but also highlights your engaging corporate culture. Well, it’s time to show it off to a socially conscious workforce! Included in the welcome email should be your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages, and encourage new employees to explore and engage with their preferred social channels. It may seem like a small gesture, but facilitating a space where new hires have the ability to discover your values, culture and people is actually quite big.

3. A video is worth a thousand words

So you’re pretty proud of your hip office and energized employees? Put them in front of a camera! Videos that highlight your office, people and culture are fantastic ways for new hires to feel welcomed and inspired. Videos also give employees an inside look at the office layout and an understanding of how people interact with each other. Not sure a video will work? Think again. Since one-third of online activity is spent watching videos, it’s actually the perfect way to pre-board a YouTube-loving workforce.

4. A little swag

Everyone loves a good swag bag. If your company is big enough to send a few company-branded products, do it. You’ll be amazed at how far a logo-laden mug or package of pens will go to make new hires feel like a part of the team. Don’t have branded items? A hand-written note from their future manager on company letterhead also will help new hires feel part of something bigger. Go one step further and include a restaurant gift card and a note to take a moment to celebrate their new position with family, your treat.

5. Surveys and Training through LMS

Employees also want a clear picture of expectations and an understanding of how to carry out responsibilities. Training is important to today’s workforce, and no matter the hire’s age, he or she wants to feel informed and prepared.

With an online self-service portal, new hires can begin on-demand training through a learning management system as part of pre-boarding. Courses could include company welcome and meet-the-team videos, the employee handbook and further information about their specific roles. Training done before day one helps new hires acclimate to their jobs quicker and feel accomplished early.

All the time and effort put into your Informative emails, social media efforts, welcome videos, branded coffee mugs, and that first day of on-boarding adds up in both expenses and employee time. Be sure to measure your company’s efforts by surveying new hires 30 days after their start date with a survey tool. By consistently asking “How did we do?” you’ll soon be able to evaluate and improve on your pre- and day of on-boarding process.

Different companies quantify employee experience differently; however, every company can benefit from new employees who feel welcomed and ready to get down to business. And there’s no time like now, to start elevating your employees’ experiences.

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

Chad Raymond

by Chad Raymond


Author Bio: With over 19 years of experience in employee engagement, benefits administration and government compliance, Chad has unparalleled knowledge in the fields of leadership and human resources. Chad has worked in several different capacities with Paycom including leading our product development team and HCM initiatives as well as the former director of Paycom’s service department. Chad’s vision and execution helped empower executives and their teams to reach their full potential, ultimately leading to his role as Paycom’s vice president of HR.

Meaningful Work

Employees Stay for Meaningful Work

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Employees Stay for Meaningful Work

Finding meaningful work is one of life’s greatest challenges. Some people spend their whole life trying to identify their purpose, yet never figure it out. Millennials, who will continue to make up a growing percentage of our workforce, are especially driven by their pursuit of personal development and purpose.

Most savvy employers know the importance of providing meaningful work in order to retain great employees, but it can be challenging to figure out what their employees find meaningful when it comes to job fulfillment.

Defining Meaningful Work

Employees define job fulfillment in various ways. Here’s some basic tips they want their employers to know:

  1. I want my job to make sense to me.

    I’m sure you know why you’re asking me to do it, but I also want to understand. Once it makes sense to me, and I have a clear understanding of how to do it, and the tools I need to do it, I will do a better job and feel more fulfilled.

  1. There must be a point to the work I’m asked to do.

    I should be able to see how each task I perform builds into an important aspect of our organization’s purpose.

  1. I’d like the work I do to contribute to a greater good.

    I want to see how my work helps others in a meaningful way, whether it be aiding a co-worker with a problem, helping to keep the environment safe, contributing to the organization’s overall growth, or some other motivator. A great example of this in action is Tom’s Shoes. Their mission is to contribute to the greater good by providing a new pair of shoes for children in need. I want to see what impact I’m making with the work I do.

  1. I want to look forward to going to work each day.

    A positive, comfortable environment where my co-workers and I are engaged and valued makes me want to come back every day.

  1. I want to develop professionally.

    I aspire to reach the next goal in life and I can only do that if I have training opportunities. Help me develop professionally by offering corporate training, mentorships, leadership programs and one-on-one meetings.

Engagement and Retention

A growing body of evidence concludes that workers who find their work meaningful are happy and committed, and happy, committed employees do better work, remain interested and will be more likely to stay and move their career forward.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Engagement, Featured, Leadership, Talent Management, What Employees Want


Author Bio: Oden-Hall is an award-winning public relations, communications and marketing professional with over 20 years experience driving corporate strategy for Fortune 500 companies. Her Oklahoma roots and passion coupled with her global experience and creative flair have helped her drive numerous successful strategic initiatives. She joined the Paycom team as Chief Marketing Officer in April of 2012.

Different Generations

Workplace Communication Across Different Generations

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Workplace Communication Across Different Generations

Managers face many difficult challenges in the workplace, but one obstacle that often is overlooked is the need to communicate with up to four different generations in a single office setting. From the 18-year-old intern to the 72-year-old seasoned professional, human resources professionals need to find a balance between them and a method of expression that reaches them both – along with every age in between.

The Four Generations

Thanks to healthier living and later retirement, organizations potentially can be staffed with individuals from every life stage. Each generation has their own needs and each is capable of bringing unique assets to the workforce.

According to the Pew Research Center, the generations consist of:

  1. Born from 1980 to 2000: Generation Y or millennials
  2. Born from 1965 to 1980: Generation X
  3. Born from 1946 to 1964: baby boomers
  4. Born from 1945 and before: traditionalists or the silent generation

This mix of ages adds diversity, but can also create a few challenges, especially as it relates to communication. When done right, communicating with employees across generations can be an advantage of the workforce.

Use Different Communication Tools

When traditionalists and baby boomers were entering the workforce, computers didn’t exist. Millennials, however, have never known life without a smartphone, which makes a world of knowledge available at their fingertips. When sending company-wide information, consider utilizing different communication tools to ensure each generation feels comfortable and fully grasps the meaning and significance of the material.

In Person: Arrange for meetings or one-on-one discussions for important information, particularly when involving traditionalists, who may lean towards such formalities as the norm.

Phone Call: Baby boomers prefer phone calls for important information. Traditionalists, who may have been introduced to the rotary phone in their childhood, utilize landlines for much of their day-to-day communication. Both generations may or may not feel comfortable using a smartphone.

Email: Gen Xers prefer email correspondence, while baby boomers and millennials are all accepting of its use in business. Traditionalists should be capable of using email, but typically prefer more personal methods of communication.

Text: Millennials were born in an era when texting was common, and they find its use easy and often preferred.

Social Media: Millennials consider social media a part of their life, often without differentiating between what’s personal and what’s professional. LinkedIn is typically considered the most office-friendly social media option, while Facebook – with its game invites – is often forbidden at work.

Office communication programs: Programs such as Skype for Business, Slack, Ryver or Bitrix24 are excellent alternatives to public social media options. These sites allow co-workers to discuss projects as well as lunch.

Learning management system (LMS): Communicating through an LMS allows users to gain knowledge while staying up-to-date on corporate training requirements. LMS courses can come in the form of video, podcasts or PowerPoint presentations. Millennials are particularly accepting of continuous learning and on-demand instruction options via desktop computer or mobile device.

Recognize Differences

Remember that these are merely generalizations and managers, supervisors and HR leaders should never assume anything about their employees. A traditionalist may use his iPhone for all correspondence while a millennial may prefer the feel of keys beneath her fingers. Research on human diversity reveals that making assumptions about employees based on age – or any other characteristic – should be avoided. As leaders in the workplace, human resources professionals should practice breaking down stereotypes, not encouraging them.

Acknowledging the distinct mannerisms among the generations can result in new ideas and a chance for everyone to learn and grow. Hiring for diversity is essential; now take advantage of those inherent differences among your employees.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Engagement, Featured, Leadership, Talent Management


Author Bio: A writer, speaker and young business leader, Jason has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom. A featured writer on human capital management technology, leadership and the Affordable Care Act, Jason launched Paycom’s blog and social media channels, helping empower organizations around the nation. Jason is attuned to the needs of businesses and recently helped develop a tool to aid organizations in their pursuit to comply with the ACA; one of the largest changes in healthcare the country has seen. While working in athletics for ESPN and FoxSports, Jason learned the importance of hard work and branding. In his free time he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and exploring new areas to strengthen his business acumen.

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