Just a couple years ago, the lack of computing and cloud technology meant that almost every HR related task involved some sort of paperwork. From employee applications, to training programs, claim management, payroll, and everything in between, HR workers were often bogged down in managing and organizing paperwork that was subsequently close to impossible to keep organized and useful.
Today, the emergence of cloud computing technology has allowed the human resource world to enjoy the benefits that come with digitalization. The frenzied activity of everyday tasks such as payroll and record keeping can now be handed over to automation technology which subsequently frees up time for HR workers to dedicate more of their energy to employee engagement. Programs which seek to engage, creatively train, and motivate employees allow the HR department to move beyond a mere administrative role and help move their company further towards their long-term goals for success.
Below, we look at four of the most important ways in which cloud computing and other HR Technologies are changing the role and responsibility of human resource departments.
The Price of Going Paperless
The main benefit of using cloud computing technology for basic HR administrative tasks is that technology alleviates the stress of having to keep up with thousands of documents. Even for a well-organized HR department, finding an important report urgently needed by a C-Level executive can obviously cause stress. Furthermore, in 2014, U.S. companies and organizations spent an average of $80 per employee on paper. For a mid-sized company with 100 employees, the expected savings of around $8,000 per year by going paperless might almost pay for the initial upfront investment of switching to cloud-based HR technology.
Furthermore, the publisher Multi Briefs finds that anywhere between 50 to 70 percent of office space is devoted to filing and storing documentation, much of which could easily be placed on the cloud or avoided entirely with automation technology. This would consequently free up space to create a more employee-friendly work environment. Because unhappy employee cost US businesses anywhere between 450 and 550 billion dollars in lost productivity each year, an office space that includes a fun employee break room, an exercise room, or spaces for group collaboration can help employees escape the dreaded cubicle and be inspired to increase their productivity.
Automating Time and Attendance
Making sure that you are paying your employees for the amount of time that they work is obviously an important administrative task that has been handed to HR departments. Time sheets, punch-in clocks, and other traditional technologies have been used for decades to try and follow and monitor the amount of time a given employee is working. However, recent studies have shown that time theft or time sheet fraud might be costing businesses upwards of $400 billion each year in lost productivity. Furthermore, the American Society of Employers finds that 20% of every dollar earned by a U.S. company is lost to employee time theft.
Strategies such as buddy punching, extended lunch breaks, and finishing early are all common forms of timesheet fraud. While an extra 15 minutes might not seem like much, those minutes add up over the course of a year. Automated time and attendance software can help to keep your employees honest while simultaneously reducing the administrative burden placed on HR workers.
The best automated time and attendance software provide innovative features to maximize business profits. They can help business automate time and attendance, absence management, and scheduling. Furthermore, this software can be designed with several clock in/clock out options, including biometric fingerprint scanners, GPS tracking, and other technological solutions to help avoid timesheet fraud.
Furthermore, automated time and attendance software can also be coupled with cloud computing scheduling solutions. These technological solutions will help to filter available employees by availability, preferences, and hours. This will help managers avoid the common error of overloading some employees while leaving others pleading for more hours. High quality scheduling software combined with time and attendance software will also make sure that employees have adequate break time and are not tempted to commit timesheet fraud.
Certainly, there are times when a business needs their employees to put in overtime hours in order to get extra work done. However, companies spend billions of dollars each year paying overtime to people who simply try to add a couple of hours to their work week through clocking in early or late. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York City has upwards of 74,000 employees and their overtime expenses reached a stunning $1.3 billion last year, which was a 16 percent increase over 2017.
While some overtime was necessary, the excessive costs reflect a business culture where senior worker benefit most from the extra overtime income. Cloud computing technology can also be used to create overtime alerts wherein alerts are sent to managers when a certain employee is within a certain amount of hours away from working weekly overtime. This can help to reduce unnecessary payroll costs and also identify workers who are cheating the system.
Remote Worker Management
According to an article by Business Insider, “almost 25 percent of the American work force could work from home, but only 11 percent do. And of that 11 percent, nine percent only do it one or two days a week rather than full time.” Obviously, hiring remote workers, or creating business protocols to allow workers to occasionally work from home, can help businesses save money, expand the geographical scope of their employees, and open access to the best global employee talent.
The challenge, of course, is finding ways to manage those remote workers who do not show up at the office on a daily basis. Fortunately, time and attendance software and time tracking tools can also be designed for remote workers. With this administrative task taken care of, HR workers can dedicate needed time to engage with their remote employees through video-based coaching and other reliable tools which will create a deeper sense of company culture despite the distance.
Cloud computing technologies have the ability to radically transform the way in which HR departments function. Through going paperless, automating time and attendance, creating overtime alerts, and efficiently managing remote workers, cloud computing can help HR departments save money, create the conditions for a happier and better trained workforce, and improve business productivity and profits.