Technology is transforming our world, there’s no doubt about that. But one of the biggest areas of change is in the world of Human Relations.
New technology is changing the way business is done and the way employees conduct their business. As such, HR departments and teams are having to make adjustments of their own, and it can be quite the challenge to do so.
Tracking time and attendance, compiling time sheets, managing authorized access to not just software and files but also areas of a building – these are all things that become difficult for HR teams to handle as the workforce becomes more global.
The trend today is to go away from paper, from manual tracking, and toward digital means whenever necessary. As such, HR departments are doing their best to follow suit through the use of employee management automation tools.
What this type of technology does is enable HR teams to more effectively and efficiently manage their workforce in a streamlined way. It doesn’t matter where HR teams and employees are located nowadays, as these automation tools are Cloud-based.
Here are some of the top employee management automation tools for 2019.
1. Tracking Expenses and Reimbursements
The old way of conducting employee expenses was forcing all employees to submit paper receipts (or paper copies of receipts) along with an expense report. The HR department and/or accounting department would then wade through the large stack of paperwork they received to cut a paper check – or add the reimbursement to an employee’s direct deposit.
Advancing technology made submission of these receipts through email easier, but that didn’t really solve the paper problem. Now, though, there are software programs available that allow employees to submit receipts for reimbursement from their phone with a few clicks.
The employee would just need to log into their account in the company’s program, and then either scan or snap a picture of the receipt. It would then automatically be submitted the appropriate department electronically for reimbursement.
2. Managing Access to Buildings
The old way of granting access to buildings, or specific areas of buildings, was to provide the appropriate employees physical keys. As technology advanced, physical keys turned into scannable key cards or key fobs. This was great, as the HR department could turn on or off access for employees when people joined or left the company, or were promoted and needed new access.
That practice still required buying key cards and/or key fobs, programming them on the back-end and then replacing them if they were damaged or broken.
Today, though, employee management automation programs allow HR teams to manage employee groups and access through simple smartphone or biometric scanning. Access can be granted on a back-end version of the software by the HR team, and then employees can use their smartphone to gain access to the areas they need. This is much easier, as there are hardly any employees who don’t carry their smartphone with them at all times.
You can even take this one step further by implementing biometric scanning. This would use an employee’s fingerprint or facial recognition to grant people access.
3. Managing Employee Time
The old way of managing employee time was to have each employee physically punch a card every time they entered or exited the workplace. These punch cards would then be turned into the HR department at the end of the pay period, and they’d have to wade through them to create payroll.
That practice then developed into employees manually tracking time by hand on a written timesheet. Some companies eventually morphed that into digital timesheets, but they still had to be compiled manually by the employee and verified manually by HR.
Today’s employee management automation software allows employees to clock in and out of work using their smartphone. Employees can either log into their account and click to clock in and out of work, or they can use biometric scanning technology to do the same.
The best part about this automation for HR departments is that all the time will be collected together, and it can be integrated with payroll management systems as well. This can dramatically reduce human error mistakes while at the same time cutting down on the time it takes HR team members to complete the arduous task.
4. Tracking Employee Productivity
The old way of tracking employee productivity was for managers to walk from desk to desk to see what each of their employees was doing. Employees were required to submit proof of their work by hand, which would be checked by supervisors and/or managers.
As technology developed, this aspect of doing business did as well. Call centers installed phone systems that could track metrics such as the average time each representative spent on a call. Law offices set up file sharing systems on a shared network drive.
But each of those examples, and many others, didn’t truly allow supervisors to manage their employee productivity in an efficient way, and certainly not in real-time.
Today, there are a plethora of automation tools that make it extremely simple for managers of all kinds in all industries to track their employee productivity. There are cloud-based file sharing programs that allow multiple people to collaborate on the same document, tracking the changes each makes as they’re made.
There are communication tools that double as project management software, allowing managers to assign projects or tasks to certain employees or teams, and then allowing those employees or teams to update their progress as they go.
These are just of the top employee management automation tools that every company should consider in 2019. There are a variety of others on the market, and many that are geared toward specific industries.
Even if you run a small- to mid-sized company that has only one or a few locations, employee management automation tools can go a long way in improving your employees’ productivity, and easing the burden on your HR team.