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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.

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.

May the 4th

Disturbance in Your Workforce? May the 4th Be With You

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A short time ago in an employee suggestion box not far, far away, this note from a disengaged employee was discovered.

Dear Management,

Being a real trooper, I’ve faithfully served this empire for many parsecs. But lately, morale here is in the trash compactor. I’m close to “storming” out of here! Here’s why:

  • We don’t feel valued. It’s challenging to work for someone who acts like a dictator. (The black cape? A bit much.)
  • We want a comfortable working environment. These uniforms don’t exactly help. (I have to plan bathroom breaks 30 minutes in advance.)
  • We want to contribute, but we’re afraid the boss will choke us from across the room if he doesn’t like what we say. A little two-way constructive feedback could make a death star-sized difference. 
  • I find our lack of training disturbing. With the literal universe at our fingertips, why do we not have an online learning management system?

A disengaged staff is a real phantom menace. Don’t let this happen; awaken your workforce today with our “What Employees Want” toolkit to help you keep the force in your workforce as strong as possible.

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

Rod Lott

by Rod Lott


Author Bio: As Paycom’s Creative Services Manager, Rod Lott brings more than two decades of experience in marketing, advertising, branding and journalism. A published author and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he has worked with such brands as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sonic Drive-In and OU.

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.

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