Managing employees efficiently can be one of the greatest challenges small businesses face. Small-business owners who assume human resource management responsibilities often find that laborious HR administration robs them of valuable time needed to focus on their core business. The challenge is further complicated if the business is divided between multiple locations. In this scenario, attempting to manage HR data and communications can quickly become inefficient and expensive to maintain.
Small businesses are increasingly turning to online HR systems as the solution. A comprehensive, Web-based HR system provides a single resource for managing labor, sharing information, and facilitating your compliance with certain employment laws and regulations. Typically, an online HR system includes several key capabilities that may enable business owners to better manage HR. These include:
- Greater sharing of data – A centralized database makes it easier to share organizational directories, automated notifications and reminders, employee profiles, forms, and procedures. Employee information such as attendance records, emergency contacts, and benefits are also easily accessible.
- Streamlined onboarding processes – An automated new-hire workflow encompasses everything from profile updates to unique, cross-organizational workflows.
- Simplified benefits administration – Online HR systems allow business owners to view and track benefit plan profiles, enrollments, and employee and employer costs.
- Increased time management options – Sophisticated time and attendance functionality — including the use of badges, biometric readings, keypads, Web entry, and smartphones — can help reduce the number of lost-time instances and boost employee productivity. Most systems can be smoothly integrated with an existing payroll service.
- Improved employee training and performance management – Online HR systems offer employee development tools, including customized online performance review forms and the ability to schedule and track events. Employees have the opportunity to review and rate their own performance as well as the performance of co-workers.
- Expanded reporting capabilities – For many small-business owners, HR paperwork, such as census reporting, EEO-1 reports, and OSHA 300 and 301 forms, is among their most tedious responsibilities. With an online HR system, data files and output reports, like total compensation summaries, are built with standard reporting tools — potentially reducing the time needed to complete paperwork. Many systems also offer the ability to create reports tailored to the company’s unique needs.
Equipping your managers with a Web-based HR management platform can free up time previously spent on completing paperwork and routine administrative tasks, potentially improving the efficiency of your business by allowing for more time to focus on revenue-generating activities.