The Best Small Business HR Tech for Digital Employee Experience

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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, CloserIQ, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Why Should You Care About the Digital Employee Experience At Your Company?

The digital employee experience is the quality of the employee’s experience with their work tech. Indeed, it may be the most important element of the employee experience–especially for those that need technology to do most (or all) their job functions. That includes every remote worker that relies on an internet connection and business software.

Let’s look at the reasons you can’t ignore your digital DEX.

Happy Employees Don’t Quit

When digital tools make employees’ jobs easier instead of harder, you improve employee satisfaction.

One of the financial benefits of a happy workforce is lower employee turnover. This is due to several factors.

  1. It saves money on hiring, training, and severance
  2. When a position is unfilled, you may spend money on overtime for the workers that pick up the slack
  3. You lose productivity during the absence and training of the new hire
  4. Short-staffing due to high turnover and unfilled positions threatens customer service which can drive customers away
  5. High employee churn lowers the morale of the entire staff

Certainly, poor morale always affects productivity and profitability.

A Great Digital Employee Experience Drives Business Growth

In addition to staying with the company, happy employees contribute more. New employees make more mistakes and experienced workers are more likely to be highly productive. One veteran employee accomplishes disproportionately more than newer team members.

Digital transformation not only improves productivity, it also unleashes creative thinking and innovation. Companies that dominate their industries have been using best practices to improve DEX for a while now. Smaller companies should pay attention if they want to compete for talent in a market that has changed dramatically.

“Right now, HR and IT are arguably the two departments most important to a company’s survival. Executives want to ensure remote workers have the right technology and support at home to do the job, that their sensitive HR data is kept safe in home working environments, and that they’re keeping remote workers engaged and productive.” Joel Martin, director of advisory services for Software Reviews, in “Employers Still Buying HR Tech, but User Adoption a Challenge,” SHRM.

A Winning DEX Brings Good Karma

Take off your spreadsheet hat for a moment and put financial outcomes aside. Business owners can create a positive DEX for purely virtuous reasons. Building a community and culture that people want to be a part of is a noble pursuit. Your employees spend a lot of time at work. And work is probably never far from their minds in their off hours. Certainly, employers can influence a lot of lives, starting with your employees and spreading to their families and communities.

The Digital Employee Experience Should be at the Heart of HR

Is a great digital experience one of your initiatives? The most important thing you can do is implement a unified, user-friendly HR system. An HRMS incorporates everything ad hoc systems used to do. Of course, it does it a lot better. When you automate routine processes, people can accomplish more. This builds confidence. When business software works as well as the apps employees use to manage their lives, it transforms the way they engage with your company.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

A small businesses isn’t a mini-me of an enterprise company. Operating a small business is vastly different. Employees fill multiple roles. Margins are generally a lot smaller. Keeping consistent cash flow is an ever-present challenge. In fact, millions of small business owners are wondering how they will make payroll next month, let alone keep the lights on.

Because small businesses have unique challenges, they need HR tech intentionally designed for their needs. Not simply a small version of tech designed for large companies.

Small Business HR Tech Must-Haves

  1. Affordability
  2. Swift time-to-value
  3. Ease of use and quick, hassle-free roll out
  4. High adoption rate
  5. Scalability
  6. Seamless payroll integration

Let’s discuss these requirements in more detail.

Affordability

Small businesses don’t have the financial reserves of enterprise companies for systems with high upfront and ongoing costs. As such, they need immediate ROI on their HR software spend. Subscription-based HR software is the only way to go.

Swift Time to Value

With thin margins and little wiggle room, new software should make a significant difference in less than 30 days. We call this the ’30-days or less justification.’

Ease of Use and Hassle-Free Roll Out

We all expect software to be easy to use. That said, HR tech has a reputation of user-unfriendliness. Small business owners researching systems shouldn’t assume a product is going to work as well as the project management and collaboration tools they are already using.

Why is this especially important for small businesses? First off, HR teams in small companies are often responsible for training employees on new software and aren’t generally as tech-savvy as dedicated training specialists in large companies. For many organizations, it’s going to be the owner or a top-level manager trying to get it figured out.

In addition, small businesses generally don’t have implementation departments and are more likely to have downsized IT teams due economic conditions. Certainly, small business IT is overwhelmed supporting the tech and data security needs of remote workforces. Indeed, they don’t have time to train employees on complicated software.

High User Adoption

This requirement is related to the previous. Ease of use is more likely to result in high user adoption which is necessary for employee engagement and efficiency improvements. If a product is too complicated, or too far out of the regular routine, nobody will use it.

Scalable

“I don’t want to have to do this again, so let’s get it right now.” It’s not just because small businesses can’t buy new HR software every few years. It takes considerable effort and expense to change workforce software. Also, it takes mental energy to change behavior. Most people, as a rule, are reluctant to overhaul their workflows. Indeed, that’s why small businesses keep manual processes for decades. As an example, one of our small business clients used paper timesheets for 35 years before automating time and attendance!

A small business owner interviewed for this article pointed out, ‘The advantage needs to outweigh the pain, and I don’t want to have to endure this pain more than once if I don’t have to.’

Scalability is also necessary for small businesses fortunate enough to grow rapidly. HR tech should enable rather than hinder potential rapid growth.

Furthermore, many small businesses are seasonal and need systems that are elastic. No small business owner wants to pay for subscription-based software year-round if the business only has revenue for a few months.

Scalability also affects compliance. Small business compliance requirements change significantly during early growth relative to growth in a large, mature company. For example, when a company goes from 10 to 500 employees, compliance changes with each workforce milestone. In contrast, a large company that goes from 10k to 11k employees may have few, if any, compliance changes.

Onboarding

Nothing contributes to new hire engagement like a smooth onboarding experience. With a small business HR system like WorkforceHub, you can create an onboarding experience on par with the most innovative large employers. Self-managed online onboarding helps new hires absorb the material at their own pace. It’s a welcome change from the stress of being handed a pile of papers. Electronic signatures and completion verification allow administrative personnel to monitor unobtrusively. It also supports remote work, whether the new hire or admin team is offsite.

Payroll

Getting paid is a priority for everyone. Payroll hassles complicate life for your employees and reflect poorly on your company. With WorkforceHub, employees can access payroll information 24/7 from the mobile app. This includes pay stubs, W2 forms, direct deposit authorizations, 1099/1095 forms, and quarterly reports. WorkforceHub also integrate with the leading payroll systems. Integration reduces payroll errors which are potentially more damaging to a small business. Downsized small business HR teams don’t have time to manually enter data into the payroll system

Third-party Integrations

Yep, we work with that. WorkforceHub integrates with popular systems including BambooHR, Cyberpay, Evolution, MPay, and Apex. For more information, visit Swipeclock integrations.

Benefits Enrollment

If we didn’t have you at payroll, employee benefits enrollment may clinch the deal. Offering competitive benefits attracts employees to your company. Providing a hassle-free end-user experience keeps them there. Employees compare plans, enroll, and sign forms the only way that makes sense in 2021. Centralized management and e-signature streamlines everything for your HR team behind the scenes. Your employees have critical needs in their personal lives. Your benefits programs can help meet those pressing needs.

Employee Engagement

Intuitive engagement tools create great experiences. WorkforceHub includes a company directory, of course, but also a suggestion box and recognition wall. This is also where you create and administer your own engagement programs. Consider employee spotlights, Monday motivation, company-wide brainstorming, random acts of fun, wellness challenges, and event planning contests. Get those creative juices flowing!

Document Library

Import your knowledge base into WorkforceHub and tame all those HR documents. Employee handbooks, procedures, links to company resources and business partners. You can easily customize access for different departments, locations, and teams. Enjoy improved collaboration going forward.

Time and Attendance

Swipeclock pioneered employee timekeeping. In WorkforceHub, you’ll find online login, schedule enforcement, time-off requests, accruals, timecard management, breaks/meals, and punch tracking. Eliminate buddy punching and collect attendance data for better time and labor decisions. Plus, WorkforceHub has GPS tracking for mobile employees and the latest compliance tools. Employees, managers and administrators can use their laptop, desktop computer, hardware time clock or mobile device to manage time and attendance.

Scheduling

WorkforceHub Employee Scheduling contains everything a manager needs to create intricate team schedules in minutes:

  • Post your schedules a month in advance and reduce absenteeism
  • Drag and drop employees into shifts
  • Copy schedules forward to save time
  • Incorporate employee preferences and self-service shift trading
  • Use analytics to measure schedule effectiveness
  • Comply with predictive scheduling rules

Forward-Thinking Employers Choose WorkforceHub

WorkforceHUB is the unified HR system of choice for small and mid-sized businesses in healthcare, manufacturing, retail, construction, hospitality, and food and beverage. It’s a complete Human Resources solution that integrates seamlessly with your payroll system.

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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