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How to Improve Operational Efficiency: Doing More with Less

women on laptop helping her business operate efficiently

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses may be looking for ways to operate with limited resources. In fact, one-third of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) in a recent Paychex survey1 say they plan on using more technology to increase company efficiency.

When you look at the amount of time allocated to doing HR and payroll tasks manually, the case for operational efficiency is clear: In its 2020 Pulse of HR report, Paychex found that HR leaders say tasks they still do manually use a full four weeks per year or more of their time.

Streamlining your operations using digital tools can free up you and your team so that you can focus on rebuilding, taking care of customers, and growing your business. What’s more: using technology not only helps to improve productivity, but can help your team complete tasks safely, without requiring in-person or face-to-face interactions.

Using Technology to Boost Efficiency

Consider using technology to help streamline the following tasks and improve business efficiency:


Paying staff accurately, on time, and in compliance with federal, state, and local tax requirements is a foundational business need; the same applies to calculating, depositing, and filing payroll tax information. However, every hour you spend on payroll is one less hour for you to promote and market your business, serve customers, and drive revenue and growth. Using an online payroll service makes running payroll simple and can help you save time, reduce costs, gain peace of mind, and improve employee satisfaction. In fact, business leaders in the Paychex survey who process payroll manually say, specifically, that they often worry about complying with regulations, the amount of time it takes to complete payroll, and making mistakes.1

Time and Attendance Tracking

Given the recent circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have been forced to adapt their time and attendance procedures to include a higher number of remote workers. Accurate tracking of team schedules and hours worked contributes to bottom-line savings. Time-and-attendance-tracking technology lets you gather hours through time clocks, mobile devices, and biometric technology. These options mean your team can submit hours worked from wherever they happen to be, which improves accuracy. More precise tracking and easy access to this information also helps your business monitor hours worked to identify roles that are approaching the potential for overtime. Some solutions also let employees view their schedules in advance, and allow them to communicate with co-workers to make shift changes, which frees up managers from completing this task.

Financial Administration

Paying and getting paid are at the heart of business success. But, these important tasks use up precious time, too. Using technology to gain the quickest possible access to customer payments frees up time and improves cash flow. The tools you use can also make it easier for customers to pay you. Online payments, e-check processing, and POS systems are some of the ways you can streamline payments processing. When it comes to paying your employees, you can speed up payments to during these challenging times by using tools such as direct deposit, ACH payment processing and eChecks, Real Time Payments®, and other tools.


The experience a new hire has during onboarding can have a lasting impact on their success in their role. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you have a good onboarding experience that makes people feel welcome, collects important documentation and information, and conveys essential messages. There are ways to streamline onboarding to help ensure that it’s comprehensive, consistent from one hire to the next, and a positive experience for employees. Onboarding software can help hiring managers verify that they’ve collected completed Forms I-9 and W-4, state withholding forms, voluntary self-identification documentation, an employee’s direct deposit authorization, and other key information. It can also provide confirmation that an employee has received a copy of the employee handbook, and makes it easy for employees to enroll in, view, and modify health insurance plans or make retirement plan selections.

Benefits Administration

Managing benefits through a single, integrated human capital management (HCM) system makes it easier for you to administer benefits, and for your employees to access them. Since close to 20% of time is spent doing benefits administration manually,2 streamlining this work can save significant time. HCM solutions provide online, paperless access to documents and forms, enabling enrollment, changes, and updates in real time — accessed securely from any device or location. Having an online benefits management tool also helps with accuracy; provides peace of mind that you’re meeting requirements and deadlines; and gives you control over benefits and costs.

Case Management

It’s never been more important to have a system for managing employee questions and concerns; with many employees now working remotely, having a means for them to confidentially and easily communicate HR questions, issues, or incidents is key. Case management technology allows employers to accurately and efficiently capture notes, document progress, and involve key stakeholders in matters (such as OSHA, if necessary), so that workers feel engaged, supported, and productive. This technology also provides a channel for important communications on these matters, making it easier to field and process them. Case management systems can also allow you to track and review trends to help inform policies and business decisions

Learn more about these time-saving technologies and how they can help improve your business operations.

1 300 U.S. owners of businesses with 2 to 500 employees. Wave 1 was fielded April 17-20; Wave 2, April 24-27; Wave 3, May 1-4; Wave 4, May 15-17; Wave 5, June 12-15. Each survey has a +/-5.66% margin of error.

2 The 2020 Paychex Pulse of HR Survey was conducted via an online survey April 22-June 10, 2020 among 575 HR decision-makers at U.S. companies with 50 to 500 employees. It is the fourth in an annual series of benchmark surveys investigating HR leaders’ challenges, priorities, and use of technology.

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* Este contenido es solo para fines educativos, no tiene por objeto proporcionar asesoría jurídica específica y no debe utilizarse en sustitución de la asesoría jurídica de un abogado u otro profesional calificado. Es posible que la información no refleje los cambios más recientes en la legislación, la cual podrá modificarse sin previo aviso y no se garantiza que esté completa, correcta o actualizada.

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