HR technology: Empowering HR and employees

The workforce is undergoing a major–and some may say long-overdue–revolution. The past two years have been a lesson in using technology to find new ways to adapt and get the work done. Even as many employees return to the office, the role of technology has taken on new significance.

And the HR department is not immune. Even prior to the pandemic, the HR tech market was rife with new tools and services to help HR professionals take control of an increasingly complex working environment. Convincing the C-suite to invest in these new resources, however, has been a bit of a stumbling block.

Related: HR tech investments: Some successes, still concerns

Jon Evans, chief operating officer at Paycom Software, recently shared some thoughts on how technology has become so vital to the HR function.

Why are business leaders investing more than ever before in HR tech — especially HR tech apps?

Over the past two years, HR technology has been instrumental in the digital transformation of the workplace. The right HR tech broadens the scope of the department—allowing the HR staff to serve as true strategic partners by freeing them from tedious tasks, while empowering employees with 24/7 access to easy-to-use software—and streamlines tasks for employees to focus on the business’s growth.

HR technology: Empowering HR and employees

The future of HR is streamlining processes and getting HR out of the middle of entering and rekeying data. Business leaders can see higher returns in productivity, engagement, retention, profits and overall tech ROI. There’s no replacement for the genuinely human part of “human resources,” but HR tech is undeniably valuable for departments, shifting their focus from manual, redundant work to their staff and strategies for improving culture.

HR tech should put the employee in the driver’s seat of their experience. In a survey of more than 900 U.S. employees, commissioned by Paycom and conducted online by The Harris Poll in August 2021, 73% said they have experienced at least some issue with their paycheck throughout their career. Technology empowers the employee to do their own payroll and has been proven to reduce liability and inaccuracies, result in less payroll and funding fees for corrections, catch errors prior to submission, and provide increased visibility into the payroll process.

What are the benefits of new HR tech innovations to employees? And to HR departments?

Businesses competing in today’s job market have to embrace the digital reality around them. Employees have become accustomed to easy access as consumers—depositing checks, ordering dinner and buying groceries in minutes through mobile apps. Tech that offers detailed insight into employee pay, onboarding with minimal distractions, an on-the-go LMS, and access to company policies without long email chains has transformed the way HR departments attract, onboard and retain top talent.

The employee experience is crucial for productivity, engagement and reducing turnover. A recent OnePoll survey commissioned by Paycom found that 77% of employees get frustrated with outdated technology in the workplace. With this in mind, 67% said they would be willing to take a pay cut to have software and technology that is twice as good as what they are currently using.

Tech provides advantages that can drive engagement, lower compliance risk and boost precision independently, but united, they represent an unparalleled step into the future of HR and payroll. Innovative and automated payroll processes, like those offered by Paycom, empower the employee to manage their own timecards, expenses, PTO, benefits and payroll. Only Paycom removes HR from these tedious tasks, shifting their focus from manual, redundant work to their staff and strategies for improving culture.

Are employer and employee concerns about data privacy while using HR apps valid? How are these apps ensuring private information stays under lock and key?

Companies need to be smart about the software they invest in and make sure privacy is top of mind for the vendors they are using. Paycom in particular upholds in-depth and industry-proven standards and technologies to protect and defend customer data and its privacy in our environment.

Every company’s approach to privacy is different, and vendors that outsource critical functions increase vulnerability at the customer’s expense. HR no longer advocates for storing sensitive employee information in file cabinets or transferring data through email; organizations should seek a single software with proven, in-depth security measures and certifications that attest to meeting industry standards for privacy and security.

In the future, how might traditional HR departments continue to tap into HR apps and tech while still allowing for the human aspect of their job functions?

HR departments will continue relying heavily on HR tech. As both employers and employees become more acquainted with the ease of use that HR tech allows, employees will be less reliant on physical HR departments to answer administrative questions or manual processes, opening up space for broader companywide discussions about how they can improve internal functions, like the company’s internship program; diversity, inclusion and belonging initiatives; or charitable goals for the year. Through the power of employee-driven payroll, employers will see improvements in many areas of the business.

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