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Drive Efficiency in your Business with Simple, Usable Technology



So you own your own business. Or you're a key member of the leadership team. Your days are busy. You're pulled in 100 different directions. Some are energizing and fun, like enhancing your product or service. Working with key employees on special projects. Or mentoring key members of your organization. I'm guessing these are the activities that get you excited for work every day.

Then we've got what I like to call the Must-Do's. Making sure your employees get paid. Meeting tax agency requirements. Updating employee changes. And the list goes on and on. Clearly, one of these is much more engaging than the other. Most leaders are constantly looking for opportunities to drive efficiency, both your own and that of your employees as a means to free yourself to focus on your true passion—growing your business.

Simple usable technology is a great way to do this.

I'm Tom Hammond, Senior Director of Product Management at Paychex, and I want to talk to you about how technology will help you drive efficiency, retain your best employees, and free you from the administrative headaches that prevent you from driving your business to new levels.

Over the last several years, we've seen trends emerge in the human capital management software. I define human capital management software or HCM software as applications used to manage your people. HCM software continues to evolve. Features and functions once reserved for the enterprise marketplace are now available for both the mid-market and the micro market. Whether you have a few employees or several thousand, HCM software is available to you.

So the first rule of thumb when researching HCM software is don't assume you're too small. Solutions exist to help you with everything from recruiting potential employees, customized and paperless onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, expense management, ongoing performance management, and compensation management to name just a few. I recommend that you focus on your biggest opportunity to drive efficiency and target your selection process around that component.

The most cost effective approach to automation is integrating HR functions into a single human capital management platform. Doing so will reduce manual entry and administrative work across the board, require only one vendor for training support in software upgrades, ensure all functions interact with one another, and present the entire suite of offerings in a similar user interface, significantly reducing your training costs.

Some providers will attempt to sell you on the benefits of integrating with several vendors. If your partner has a strong API strategy, you can make this work. Just be aware that service issues will be yours to manage. You will be responsible for working through data mismatches between systems and you'll likely need to engage resources from each vendor until the root of the issue is identified and rectified. Again, this is another potential drain of your time. Once you've identified the most impactful processes you'd like to improve through your HCM software, it's time to start thinking about the intangibles.

Intangibles are the extras that come along with the HCM software. Don't underestimate these. In many cases, this is where your investment will be returned to you when you need it most. Some key things to think about include service. Buying the right tool is important. Having access to a knowledgeable service team who can help you get the most from the tool is priceless. Make sure you understand the service options available to you. Is the partner available after normal business hours? Are they available 24 by 7? Are they available on holidays? Will you receive dedicated service or access to a call center?

Again, think about what's important to you and make sure you aren't being sold a software asset without a service component. There are many providers today that offer software or service. Only a select few offer software and service. Don't get caught on your busiest day without access to a great service organization as your partner.

Mobile first designs. Many HCM providers have created separate mobile applications to accompany their software. These applications are typically a scaled down version of the full application packaged for a mobile device. These require the user to learn multiple ways of interacting with the software—one for the mobile device and a second for the desktop or internet. Each time you interface with the mobile application, you'll need to re-acclimate yourself to the experience, further draining your time.

Look for a partner with a published mobile-first design approach.

Self-service capabilities. Some of the most effective ways to drive productivity in your organization is to provide your employees with self-service capabilities. Take a moment to think of the standard questions you field on a daily basis. Things like, what address do I have on file? How do I change it? How do I change my payroll withholding? How can I change my 401(k) deferral percentage?

These are just a small sampling of common employee questions. Make sure your HCM software offers self-service options with a mobile offering to minimize the number of questions that must be fielded daily. Analytics and reporting. Business leaders want immediate access to key transactional data and trends. Make sure your HCM software provides quick answers to your most relevant information. Like, what's the cash requirement for this week's payroll. Or who's approaching a service anniversary. Or what's the total overtime expense paid year to date. Don't settle for an application that requires several layers of digging to find this critical information.

I hope you found this information to be helpful as you begin your HCM evaluation process. Remember, this is an important decision that affects you and your employees. This is an investment in your future and one, that if done right, can pay significant dividends.

Margie Bassford has a master’s degree in strategic communication with a concentration in management. She has been working as an HR professional for eight years and is currently a Human Resources Consultant at Paychex, specializing in recruiting, training, and consulting. In her current role, every day is different. She enjoys taking on new challenges as they come up, consulting with clients on difficult employee situations, and sharing her knowledge and experience to help others.

This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.