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HCM solutions – Adding the Human Touch

HCM solutions are a great tool for driving efficiencies and helping organizations streamline process. However, in our rush to adopt technology to help with recruiting, onboarding, benefit open enrollment, performance management, payroll and other functions, the human touch has been increasingly absent.

HR technology is an important tool for HR & Payroll management, but it cannot replace the human element that is so important in developing company culture, fostering happy and engaged employees or building your company brand among candidates.

Here are some thoughts on how you can add the human touch alongside your HCM solutions.

HCM solutions: Recruiting/Applicant Tracking

It is vital that you get back to applicants, and avoid the “black hole syndrome”. You can set up auto responses with ATS systems, but think of the impact that a personal email would have on a job candidate who will not be moving forward. It really does not take much time – and the positive vibe generated about your company and brand is well worth it. Think about the damage a negative Glassdoor review might do.

Also, take a look at some of the resumes that do not “match” your keywords. Sometimes a candidate from another industry may be screened out, but there can be hidden gems that offer the company additional and new perspective. Don’t forget about hiring veterans either!

HCM solutions: Onboarding

It’s great how HCM solutions can provide checklists and move documents around to obtain approvals for new hires. But don’t forget to welcome that new hire onboard. How about:

  • Decorating the workspace
  • Meeting them at the front door
  • Providing an outline for their first week
  • Providing a who to call list
  • Assigning a mentor for any questions/help
  • Taking them out to lunch
  • Giving them a tour of the facility
  • Introducing them to others in the department

All of these low cost ideas serve to start the new hire off with a positive experience, and can actually increase the likelihood that they will stay longer be better engaged.

HCM solutions: Benefits

Many employees fail to take advantage of some great benefits that the company offers due to lack of education. A Section 132 transportation benefit plan, for example, which allows the employee to pay for public transportation passes or parking pre-tax, could save them a large amount of money. Helping them understand this benefit, and its tax implications, helps the employee and creates better engagement as a side benefit to the employer.

HCM solutions: Benefits Open enrollment

Automating the Open Enrollment process with an HCM solution has one of the largest ROI’s for an organization. Your workforce probably has some technology savvy users, but some may be frustrated or struggling. Rather than firing off an email to employees who have not yet completed their enrollment, try calling them and offer to walk them through the process. That is sure to put them at ease if they are having trouble with the technology.

Prior to the enrollment period, it’s also beneficial to have meetings to discuss the upcoming plan options, rather than simply providing documents for employees to look over. You should also provide a separate way for employees to ask more personal questions, rather than force them to ask a question within a large group.

HCM solutions: Performance Management

Most companies use the performance capabilities of an HCM solution as part of their annual review process. However, it is important to make time to sit down with the employee to fully discuss the review, link business goals to company success, discuss personal goals, next job, education/training, etc. – often much more than can be captured with an automated form.

Best practice says that the annual review should not hold any surprises if the manager has been providing consistent feedback throughout the year. In this case, the review of the employee’s performance sheet is but one of many discussion points.

Don’t rush these discussions simply because you have to get so many done in a short time frame. This is a time to get to know the employee, how they perceive the company and their job.

HCM solutions: Payroll

While payroll is primarily a transaction oriented process, there are still some elements that could use a human element. Timecards are one example. Employees do make mistakes, whether it’s forgetting to punch in or out, attribute their time to a specific project, or forgetting to tell someone about a vacation day. Take the high road and work with these employees to fix errors prior to payroll processing.

Also, spend a few minutes to do a tutorial of the self-service capabilities to employees. This can save hours for both the employee and HR/Payroll department in the long run. Many employees fail to access or utilize their electronic pay stubs and W-2’s, review vacation balances and see other information that is readily accessible – they just need to know how to find it!

Pay day is also a great time to send out company communications. Whether it’s a physical notice stapled to a check stub, or a message that pops up when the employee logs in to view their electronic stub, incorporate HR and other aspects of the employee life cycle to provide a human touch. This might include recognizing an employee for exceptional performance, promoting a company event, birth announcements, new customers, or a wellness benefit.

HCM solutions: Employee Handbook

Most complaints and lawsuits arise because a policy is too vague or that a rule is not applied consistently and fairly. Start by looking over your policies on a more regular basis (i.e. Quarterly rather than annually).

Are you keeping up with the times? Have new work behaviors changed? Are you missing any policies? Your attention at this level, and the proper communication of policies, will go a long way in bring clarity to employee questions, driving desired behavior and positively impacting employee satisfaction.

Make sure you cover these new trends in your employee handbook:

  • BYOD – Bring Your Own Device
  • Telecommuting policy
  • Inclement weather policy
  • Social media usage & privacy
  • Anti-bullying & sexual harassment policy
  • Procedures for calling in sick
  • FMLA policy & procedure
  • Sick time (i.e. MA sick time law)
  • Same sex marriage and benefit policy
  • Employee wellness and support programs

HCM Solutions: Summary

In the end, your success rests in how you treat your employees and how happy and engaged they are. Adding some human elements to the automated HCM solutions we’ve come to rely on will help balance out the impersonal touch of technology with the underlying message that “we care about you”.