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2014 SHRM Recap: Finding the Right Vendor is Tough

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If you weren’t at #SHRM14 this past weekend, then you missed out. A torrent of thought-provoking insights on leadership, developing a smarter workforce, advancing technologies and other HR initiatives were buzzing on the conference floors and Twitter as well. With all of the excitement surrounding these new HR strategies and offerings comes a number of questions and concerns. If you found yourself overwhelmed by the amount of information you received at SHRM and you’re not sure how to navigate through it all, hopefully this post will help you to iron a few things out, specifically when it comes to switching providers.

As the industry changes and evolves, HR professionals are looking for the right solution to meet all their needs, from welcoming new hires to managing turnover and everything in-between. Human capital management should be more than timesheets and employee reviews. The wrong solution could cost you in data security, top performing employees and penalties. With these seven tips you should be able to make a confident buying decision that will help you to drive organizational performance.

Tip 1: Look for the total package in one application

Find a solution that has it all without adding it all. Let me explain. Human capital management technology should cover every aspect of the employee life cycle including Talent Acquisition, Time and Labor Management, Payroll, HR Management, Talent Management and Benefits Administration. However, packaging is everything. A single-source solution and a single-application solution are not the same thing. Typically a vendor who offers a single-source solution provides a product set that has multiple programs that require integration; whereas with a single-application solution your workflow is seamless. Users only have to enter in data one time which updates throughout the platform in real-time.

Tip 2:  Search for attributes that will have a positive impact on your business

HR software should be a one for all, including supervisors, IT, employees and executive, not just your HR staff. The best human capital technology will impact all positively and improve efficiency, produce insightful analytics, empower employees and reduce exposure. To determine if and how the proposed software can have a positive impact on your business, ask the following questions:

  • How does it improve efficiency?
  • What are the reporting capabilities for producing insightful analytics?
  • What tools are available to empower supervisors and employees to self-manage certain transactions?
  • What processes does the system offer to reduce exposure to compliance violations?

Tip 3: Do your due diligence

Before handing your sensitive records over to a complete stranger do your research. Look into their financials and long history of profitability. How are they funded: are they privately held, publicly traded or venture capital-funded? What’s their geological footprint? Are their quality management processes ISO 9001-certified? The more financially stable the vendor is and the more control they have over their product, the more dependable they will be.

Tip 4: Ask for security assurance

With advances to technology, more and more businesses are making the move to the cloud. While the cloud offers more security and a more efficient alternative to hosting internal software, internet breaches still occur, so don’t assume your data will be protected. We recommend you review the following with your IT department:

  • Is the vendor ISO 27001-certified?
  • How long has the vendor been providing its software in the cloud?
  • Request documentation on the security of its technology infrastructure.
  • What are its data storage and handling procedures?
  • What is its business continuity plan?
  • What are its information-sharing and staff training procedures?
  • Are there data protection features within its online software, e.g., multilevel log-ins, audit trails, and custom user access?

Tip 5: Set your standards for support

Your new HR technology provider should be your partner, offering direct communication and immediate support. Don’t get trapped in an automated phone system while you’re trying to solve issues on your own. Be sure you partner with the best fit, a provider dedicated to customer service. Set you standards for support early and don’t settle for less.

Tip 6: Search for a vendor committed to improvement

In our tech savvy world, new implementations and software updates are a regular occurrence. Make sure your next vendor is dedicated to constant improvement with the agility to withstand the changing needs of the industry. Keep these few questions in mind:

  • When was your last software update?
  • How many software updates were released in the past year?
  • How quickly are you able to implement sudden compliance-driven updates?
  • Do all customers operate in the same software version?
  • Do you take development requests from customers?

Tip 7: Find out up what happens if you need to change or cancel your agreement

Even the best-laid plans can change. Make sure you find out up-front what the off-boarding process is like just to cover all your bases. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Do I have to sign a contract for any specific time period?
  • If I grow rapidly, or am faced with a large layoff, will I have to change or upgrade my software?
  • Could I face penalties for cancelling the contract?
  • Who owns the data, including any candidate databases?
  • What is the process for obtaining my data when a contract is cancelled?
  • Do you provide off-boarding support when a contract is cancelled?

Selecting your HR technology vendor can be overwhelming, but a critical component to taking your organization to the next level. Hopefully these tips help you #SHRM14 attendees narrow down your options and help navigate you through the mounds of information to pair you with the right vendor.

If you are still searching for the right vendor click on this link to download the full whitepaper: Top 7 Tips to Consider When Switching HR and Payroll Companies


bonny.blackmon

by Bonny Blackmon


Author Bio: As Paycom’s recruitment marketing strategist, Bonny Blackmon writes about such topics as human capital management, company culture, talent acquisition and career advice. Her brand-awareness efforts at Paycom have included launching Paycom Careers’ blog and social media channels, and producing several recruiting videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside of work, Bonny enjoys reading, fishing and spending time with family.

Transform Company Leaders Into Engagement Ambassadors

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High employee engagement is linked to higher profits, greater productivity, lower turnover rates and a slew of other positive business outcomes. For years, HR leaders have worked to establish positive protocols and cultivate constructive environments to meet the shifting needs of a changing workforce. However, new research suggests engagement responsibilities should expand from the HR department to include the C-suite.

Why diversify?

Company leaders have a huge impact on employee engagement levels. According to the 2018 Global Leadership Forecast by Development Dimensions International (DDI), “leaders continue to wield the greatest single impact on workplace engagement.” When companies work from the top down to ignite innovation and excitement in employees, everybody wins.

A 2017 Harvard Business Review article praises managers who are able to deliver profits while creating a positive work culture: “Having the ability to simultaneously drive for results and practice excellent people skills is a powerful combination that has a dramatic impact on a leader’s effectiveness.”

Below are a few high-level priorities HR can focus on to invest in their leaders so employee engagement levels may rise companywide.

Anatomy of a leader

It turns out that a good chunk of company leaders understands the importance of engagement and purpose. DDI’s study found 71% of leaders viewed their role as “a custodian of the organization’s purpose.” Also, nearly 75% of those surveyed said they supported critical activities that aligned with the company’s goals.

Although many individuals hold upper-management titles, HR leaders need to identify dynamic leaders who are not only results-driven, but also value employee engagement. A few qualities to look for include:

  • positive communicators who compel vision and set clear, strategic directions with their written and verbal communications
  • achievement-oriented individuals who create a healthy sense of urgency, trust their teams, hold people accountable and set high standards
  • relationship-minded people who build relationships slowly and systematically while keeping old relationships healthy
  • coachable individuals who can both deliver and receive critical feedback with grace

Tools for success

Once HR identifies dynamic leaders whom they can utilize as ambassadors of engagement, they can equip them with the right tools to succeed. A few tangible ways to do this include:

  • making certain leaders are exposed to realistic challenges in order to prepare them for future ups and downs
  • clearly communicating business goals, as well as the case for employee engagement in internal communications
  • having periodic, positive callouts when leaders succeed in inspiring their teams
  • setting up mentoring programs where budding leaders have built-in accountability partners and can learn coaching techniques from the best
  • selecting senior-level managers as engagement catalysts to help build a positive culture, since change starts at the top

Employee engagement isn’t just for HR. Workers who consistently see upper management communicating strategically, supporting their teams and valuing each employee’s contribution, have a successful blueprint worth following. When HR and company leaders team up with both the bottom line and an engaged workforce in mind, victory is theirs for the taking.

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Jennifer Kraszewski

by Jennifer Kraszewski


Author Bio: Jennifer Kraszewski, Paycom’s Director of Human Resources, has more than 20 years of HR leadership experience, driving transformative, business-focused human capital strategies in high-growth industries to achieve efficiencies, compliance and employee engagement. Kraszewski holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and an MBA from Oklahoma City University, and is SPHR- and SHRM-SCP-certified.

HR Manager SHRM18

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of SHRM18, From One HR Manager to Another

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From Sunday, June 17, to Wednesday, June 20, the largest gathering of HR professionals in the world will unite in Chicago for the Society for Human Resource Management’s Annual Conference & Exposition, aka SHRM18. From one HR manager to another, here are my key tips to getting the most from this year’s conference … and having a little fun as well!

1. Download the conference app.

Repeat: Download the conference app. This is the absolute best source of information because it helps you plan your sessions. In addition to keeping you organized, the app includes PowerPoints and notes from each session, even the ones you missed!

2. Do not miss the general session speakers.

There is a great lineup – did someone say Sheryl Sandberg and Jeb Bush? – and these sessions are always amazing. Personally, I can’t wait to hear Adam Grant’s session. If you aren’t up to speed on Grant, an organizational psychologist, check him out on YouTube and I’ll just plan on seeing you Tuesday at his session, “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.”

3. Do not miss these sessions, either.

As an HR manager, I am a steward of my organization’s culture, which is why I cannot miss Steve Browne’s Tuesday session on “Cultures That ROCK! Five Proven Ways to Develop and Sustain a Phenomenal Workplace.” I always enjoy the legislative updates and Sunday afternoon’s “Tsunami or Wave: The Washington Outlook for HR Public Policy,” from SHRM’s own Michael P. Aitken, is going to add so much value to my conference experience and compliance knowledge base.

4. Enjoy Chicago.

Deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs and hot beef sandwiches are just the start of your Chicago experience, as architecture tours, Willis Tower, Hancock Tower, Navy Pier Park and Millennium Park await. In addition to growing your career at the conference, you’ve got to take a few moments and enjoy, in my opinion, one of America’s historical treasures, and the home of the Cubs and Michael Jordan.

5. Schedule your sessions, but be ready to improvise.

You are going to run into someone you know and miss the session you had scheduled. You’re going to get caught up in the expo hall and lose track of time. That’s OK, because you have to balance overscheduling with going with the flow.

6. Last, but not least, have fun!

We take over the city. More than 20,000 HR professionals come together for this conference and although it’s the exact opposite of how our profession can, at times, be portrayed in the movies, we know how to have a good time. Enjoy the after-hours events. Make it to the Pentatonix concert! Network with people you’ve never met. Collect swag from the expo hall and don’t forget to come by the Paycom booth (No. 250!) and visit me, as well as enter to win $5,000 toward a vacation anywhere in the U.S.!

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Chanse Moucka

by Chanse Moucka


Author Bio: Chanse joined Paycom in early 2016 focusing on Paycom’s internal HR compliance function. In addition to Paycom’s internal compliance function, Chanse also leads Paycom’s HR Business Partner team. Chanse has been in the Human Resources field for 13 years and is experienced in many aspects of HR, extensively in employee relations and compliance. Chanse holds a degree in Business Administration from Saint Gregory’s University and also holds his PHR from the Human Resources Certification Institute and a designation as a Society for Human Resource Management certified professional.

Mentorship Program

Why Your Business Needs a Mentorship Program

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It’s no secret that great leaders consistently place a high value on mentoring others. Mentors help budding leaders gain important insights, give them much-needed honest feedback and serve as a blueprint for success to their mentees. Sometimes these mutually beneficial relationships between more experienced, upper-management individuals and younger employees happen organically; other times, they may spring up by chance, through existing networks or even between supervisors and employees who just click together.

I can personally attest to the value of mentorship – in my career, spanning over 20 years, I’ve had many informal mentors. I was lucky to have great leaders who took a special interest in me and my development. Even though these relationships were not part of a formal mentorship program, they were transformative for me.

And if informal mentorship is beneficial, you can bet that formal mentorship adds value to the individuals and organizations participating. After all, formal mentoring programs can help avoid the risk of unconscious bias, and provide the structure needed to maintain the mentoring relationship even when both parties are busy. Here are a few reasons why I think they’re well worth considering.

Fruitful feedback

 You don’t have to take my word for it – compelling research from Development Dimensions International illustrates some of the key benefits of a formal mentorship program. Its 2018 Global Leadership Forecast represents the responses of more than 25,000 business leaders and 2,500 HR professionals in a range of industries. According to this study, businesses that implemented a formal mentorship program saw:

  • a 20% lower turnover rate
  • a more holistic understanding of the business from all employees
  • deeper connections and higher-quality networking opportunities
  • 46% higher quality leaders
  • an increased likelihood of wisdom remaining in-house
  • 23% more critical roles could be filled immediately
  • a silo breakdown between functional groups

A robust mentorship program is one way businesses can ensure that top talent stays, develops and thrives in-house while providing meaningful opportunities for senior execs to witness their tangible impact.

Millennials and mentorship

 The Pew Research Center recently noted that millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. They’re not just the largest chunk of the workforce; your high-performing millennials also will be either the future leaders of your organization – or someone else’s. And one theme keeps cropping up in conversations about what millennials value: mentorship.

In fact, a 2016 Deloitte study found that millennials who planned to stay with employers for more than five years were more than twice as likely to have a mentor (68%) than not (32%). And 20-somethings aren’t the only ones who value credible feedback and wisdom – workers of all ages understand the benefits. When well-executed, mentorship programs engage your millennial employees and elevate the entire workforce.

Success stories

 Some of the world’s most financially successful organizations have a formal mentorship program, including such Fortune 500 companies as GE, Intel and AT&T.

In GE’s “leader in residence” program, top executives rotate responsibilities. During their residence time, they spend a week mentoring, teaching and coaching managers and employees. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Raghu Krishnamoorthy, GE’s vice president of executive development and chief learning officer, said, “By giving leaders access to deeper levels across the organization, and, in turn, providing participants access to senior leadership, we have created greater cohesiveness throughout the company.”

AT&T leaders mentor their workforce in topic-based groups called “leadership circles.” Within these circles, members communicate both online and face-to-face. The program allows for a single mentor to take on a few mentees at a time, but in a group setting, two or more leaders can collaborate and mentor several mentees together. The groups are self-organized, free-flowing and champion tenets such as teamwork and trust. This program suits the telecom giant’s workforce needs, and AT&T saw an increase in the quality of peer-to-peer mentoring as a result.

No matter the size or scope of your business, formal mentorship programs offer valuable insight and opportunities for both the mentor and mentee. If a rising tide lifts all boats, mentorship initiatives that make space for honest feedback and meaningful connections can ensure everyone floats a little higher.

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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.

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