Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Top 5 Reasons You Need HR Technology

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The post below is a guest blog from Rachel Richards who serves as Enrollment Services and Voluntary Benefits Solutions Team Lead for CAI’s employee benefits partner Hill, Chesson & Woody.

Until recently, HR Technology was reserved for employers with more than 100 employees and true Human Capital Management was for +1,000 employers.  The landscape of HR technology is swiftly changing, especially with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Having benefits, payroll, and time keeping is more important now than ever, and easily accessible for employers all the way down to 50 employees.  New HR technology companies are popping up on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis.

See the top 5 reasons to have HR technology:

1. ACA Tracking & Reporting

Companies with over 50 full time equivalent employees (FTE) will need to be able track variable hour employees to determine eligibility.  Employers will also need to illustrate whether benefit eligible employees were offered employer-sponsored health care coverage and whether that coverage meets minimum essential coverage (MEC) standards.  Employers will need to capture this information and report on the IRS Forms 1094 and 1095.  In addition, specific enrollment information is required on the 1095-C form which can be handled easily by a benefit administration system.

2. Streamline Processes Through Integration

Whether you put in a “single source solution” where the same HR technology vendor provides you with payroll, benefits, and other HR technology modules or you find the best in class for each type of technology, information should flow from one area to another seamlessly.  This can be done through integration – integration with payroll, integration with your benefit carriers, and integration with your time keeping system.  It’s important to have one core system of record that is feeding all other systems, typically this is either payroll or core HR.

3. Electronic Onboarding

Removing paper from the onboarding process will bring efficiency to your entire HR department.  Imagine once an offer of employment is accepted, a link with your entire onboarding process is delivered to the new employee before they even start their first day of work. This feature is available in MOST benefit administration systems, however, the way these systems capture and store this information can vary greatly.  Be sure to ask questions, request demonstrations, and have a solid understanding of the onboarding capabilities before executing any agreements.

4. Simplify Administration

Whether you have 3 or 1,000 employees, a benefit administration along with other HR technology modules will eliminate paperwork and multiple points of entry.  In addition, having the ability to run reports to gather and share information about your workforce allows HR to provide information to the executive level team easily.

5. Notifications and Electronic Disclosures

There are many notices required under ERISA, ACA, and other regulatory agencies.  As an employer, you are required to notify your employees and keep a confirmation on hand with a time and date stamp of the notification.  A benefit administration system can allow you to notify your employees electronically and can even capture and store acknowledgements of receipt.

For more information on how HR Technology can streamline your benefit administration, contact HCW’s Enrollment Services and Voluntary Benefit Solutions team.

Use Multiple Channels of Communication to Recognize Employees

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares some new strategies to reach and recognize your employees.

A recent survey conducted by the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute illustrates the importance of using multiple channels for recognizing employees for their accomplishments and contributions.

Over 19,000 workers in 26 countries participated in the survey, which produced the following key observations:

  • 76% of employees who receive recognition are engaged in their jobs, whereas only
  • 28% are engaged in their jobs who do not receive recognition
  • 51% of employees without recognition indicated they intended to leave, whereas only
  • 25% who receive recognition were intending to leave their employer

Obviously, recognition of employees is an excellent productivity and retention strategy.  However, many organizations continue to rely solely on written and verbal recognition methods.  According to the survey, 58% of employers use emails for employee recognition.  This may not be the best way to reach today’s Millennial workforce.

The workforce of today includes many members of Generation-Y, who have grown up with the notion of instantaneous information access in almost every aspect of life- including work.  Their expectation is to work with an organization that embraces the technology available to them and utilizes that technology to communicate wherever possible.

While there is no substitute for a face-to-face, verbal “thank you” to an employee, there are a number of channels for recognition which can be used in order to get the recognition to the employee faster, especially as our workforce continues to become more widespread geographically.

The use of Smartphones, online recognition applications and peer-to-peer videos are excellent ways to provide more timely recognition and reinforce employee engagement.  These methods allow for social recognition as well among fellow employees and peer work communities.  Feedback, such as congratulations from other team members, can be almost immediate and multiplies the overall effectiveness of the recognition.

In order to engage, retain and improve the productivity of our workforce, recognition strategies have to evolve to effectively communicate with the changing workforce of today.  There are numerous communication channels available today which take advantage of social, mobile and other technologies utilized by Generation-Y and, in many cases, Generation -X.  Using multiple channels of communication can offer interactive, frequent and immediate communication.

What recognition channels are you using to recognize your workers?  Are you using enough channels?  Are you using the right channels?

If you’re struggling with these questions and are searching for ways to help your business evolve its recognition process, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Telecommuting – How Will It Impact Your Company From an HR Standpoint?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Early morning wake-up calls, clocking in, clocking out and office cubicles have been the norm for working Americans, but as technology continues to grow, so do the number of Americans who no longer make the morning commute. Recently even President Obama expressed his support for telecommuting programs.  Although the idea of working from home may sound like an employee’s dream, it’s vital to fully assess the pros and cons before incorporating such a program into your company policy.

Since a comfortable, flexible working environment is recognized by potential employees as one of the most important aspects of job choice, telecommuting applied appropriately can be used advantageously by Human Resources professionals. By providing the option to telecommute, companies offer employees a career that fits their lifestyles and can stand out among the competition.

How can your company achieve the best of both worlds and allow employees a flexible schedule with the option to work from home, while still producing the same results as if they were operating in-house? Consider the following, and make sure the benefits are equal for both your employees and your company.

Employee availability – Consider parents who start with an early morning and shut down their computers when their children return home from school. Guidelines allowing such flexibility need to be clear – the hours of availability should be concrete and unchanging  for reasons of dependability and accountability.

Virtual communication –Company meetings can still run cohesively without constant face-to-face communication through the comparable use of video conferencing, Skype and other advanced technology.

Distractions – While the office is used for the sole purpose of accomplishing company work,  those working in an environment used for sleeping, eating and relaxation must have a higher level of discipline. Character evaluation is imperative before considering telecommuting. Employees who are trustworthy, time-oriented, focused and who work without constant monitoring prove to be strong candidates.

Maintaining office relationships – Creative, original and innovative ideas are often developed through  collaboration, so the last thing any company wants is for its employees to operate as noncommunicative islands. With staff not interacting on a day-to-day basis, it’s critical to coordinate events, gatherings or lunches, to maintain a team mentality.

Maintaining company security – When employees have the opportunity to access company content from home, you must  provide additional IT protection to staff computers and servers to assure private information is monitored and inaccessible to outsiders.

With the proper protection, procedures and policies in place, many companies see a significant drop in overhead expenses and increased employee satisfaction from incorporating telecommuting. As with any change, it’s important to recognize that telecommuting can only be as successful as the individuals who execute the process. If your company chooses to establish a telecommuting program, plan efficiently, monitor productivity and avoid miscommunication issues.

For additional information, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo source: richardmasoner

Seven HR No-Nos to Avoid

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

If you have an HR department or are in the process of starting one, there are certain steps that must be in place for it – and by extension your organization – to succeed. Here are seven actions that if not taken can have serious negative consequences for your HR efforts and thus prompt problems in your office.

1.     Keep confidential information confidential. Once an employee or manager learns that something private they have told the HR department has been leaked, the department’s effectiveness has been compromised. The department will be viewed as untrustworthy thereafter by the staff unless major adjustments occur.

2.     Document everything. Everything from the initial interview with a candidate to the termination of an employee should be listed and kept on file, especially in order to prove allegations of employee performance problems, violation and complaints in court if needed.

3.     Create an employee handbook and update it as frequently as needed. With everyone having the same rules and knowing what they are, employees believe they are being treated fairly from the start. However, these rules need to be adjusted as major changes occur in the workplace (e.g., the usage of social media) in order for the handbook to be effective.

4.     Use technology wisely. Employees should feel they are able to talk to HR professionals in person about concerns, rather than have to communicate via e-mails. Technology should not be used as a barrier between HR and employees.

5.     Remember that you are dealing with people and take that into consideration when handling conflicts. If you follow the book and take disciplinary action against anyone for any infraction, you have a workplace that will be bogged down with inactivity. When HR professionals first notice something inappropriately done or said by employees, they should discuss with them why their activities were wrong and why they should not repeat it first. That often can solve the situation without resulting in wasted time and effort.

6.     Keep up to date on the federal and state HR laws. Some employees are sticklers about knowing the latest exemptions available and will want to use them (or in some cases exploit them) to their advantage. A good HR professional will already recognize what is being discussed and be able to address such concerns.

7.     Know the organization’s industry and its basics about protocols and current issues of concern. Any HR professional who is uninformed of the latest trends and rulings in the firm’s industry will leave employees feeling that person is similarly uncaring toward their needs. This can leave them discouraged with the company’s HR setup to the point of seeking employment elsewhere.

For more details on basic HR errors and how to prevent them, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo Source: Kumar Appaiah