3 Tech Tools No HR Department Should Be Without

Does your HR department feel sabotaged by recurring, day-to-day issues that, while not difficult, are time consuming and necessary? Are these tasks keeping your team from focusing on the overarching goals of your organization?

With the right integrated tech tools, your HR department can turn a significant piece of the repetitive work into an automated, symbiotic process. In turn, your department can run at a new level of efficiency and align other work with your organizational goals.

Let’s take a look at three key technology systems that, when working in unison, can help you go from feeling like an office manager to finally feeling like the HR director.

1. Payroll software

Still running payroll on the manual system your business started with? Moving to an automated payroll system is a crucial first step.

Payroll software can streamline the payday process and reduce the time necessary to enter information that is repetitive across all payrolls. In addition, by processing all “like data” and providing exception reports, this software can help you easily catch and correct errors or missing information before you run payroll.

An automated system would also allow the person processing your payroll to enter exceptions for the given payroll cycle (e.g., W-4 changes, pay raises, etc.) while maintaining the integrity of the overall payroll process. And for changes that will be standard going forward, such as a pay raise or new 401(k) deduction, there is no need to enter this again.

If your HR department is responsible for running payroll, an automated payroll system can free significant amounts of administrative time for the person who has been doing it manually.

If you have a separate payroll department, you may have little to do with the processing side. However, when employees receive checks with errors on them, they likely go to your HR team for it to be resolved. The fewer the errors, the less time you spend on time-consuming paycheck questions.

In addition, the onus for ensuring proper pay rests with your department since HR is tasked with Department of Labor (DOL) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance.

2. Performance management software

Your employees enjoy feedback – good and bad, as long as it’s constructive and leads to growth.

Manually tracking whether employees receive formal performance feedback can be cumbersome and leaves open significant cause for error.

Managers often don’t complete performance reviews on time, or at all. Employees, who feel they have contributed, but receive no feedback, may lose their motivation, which may cause them to look for a new job elsewhere.

As a business leader, you’re expected to provide an environment free from discrimination. One way to show that there’s no discrimination – either intentional or unintentional – in the performance review process is to ensure everyone on your staff receives formal feedback on the same cycle.

Claims of preference are more likely to pass legal test when the review process is not automated and its administration is left to the memories and actions of managers across an organization.

With performance management software, you can manage the review process in an organized way, keeping managers accountable to the set schedule and employees fulfilled with a regular, standardized means of feedback.

3. Time and attendance software

Absenteeism can be one of your organization’s greatest costs. When employees are absent from work, either planned or unplanned, it costs you money. If the absence is planned, such as vacation or leave, it can reduce the impact. However, the unplanned absences, such as sick days, unforeseen extended leaves, late arrivals and early departures are harder to manage.

By automating your time and attendance tracking, you can more easily plan around foreseeable absences. When they occur, you can turn to a system that houses this information and perform proactive workforce planning.

When dealing with unforeseen absences, you have a reliable system that can notify managers and payroll personnel when someone’s working time does not reflect the expected amount. You can also generate exception reports that show when a regular, 40-hour/week worker has only worked 32 hours and, thus, needs to account for the other eight as vacation, sick or some other code.

On the flip side, with an automated time system you can enforce overtime controls. Managers have the ability to see who is putting in hours, whether staff is clocking in/out as expected, and can address those issues with documentation that will support a conversation, should they need to discuss any concerns with employees.

The value of integration

All three of these systems – payroll, performance management, and time and attendance – can and should complement each other to maximize their benefits.

Look for a time and attendance system that sends data directly to your payroll system. This creates administrative relief in that timesheets don’t have to be entered by hand by either managers or payroll staff.

The payroll system can then pull worked hours and unworked hours – either compensated or not – from the time and attendance system. Exception reports are easy to generate, and managers can review the data based on information they know is accurate, enabling them to address discrepancies before payroll is run.

Finally, as formal performance feedback occurs, centralized data can be a valuable asset. The time and attendance system can confirm the presence of an employee, either within expectation or as a development opportunity. Managers can see when an employee invests significant time into a special project. Most payroll systems house historic data in the form of piece rate, commission, bonuses and other special pay types. These can be easily accessed and compared to employee expectations, bringing about tangible evidence of the performance rating provided by the company and making it easier to apply raises based on these ratings.

A key takeaway

So what are your company goals this year? With these three tech tools in place and integrated, your HR department can spend more time on what that goal means to your team: increased recruiting? Developing employees? Implementing workforces in new geographic areas? At that point, it’s up to you.

Learn more about how choosing the right HR technology for your company will allow you to have it all: HR efficiency and business growth. Download our free e-book, HR technology: How to choose the best platform for your business.

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