Global HR SoftwareOperating in the global marketplace has become more common with the advent of cloud computing and better communication technology. Global business isn’t just for Fortune 500 companies anymore. Smaller organizations can operate internationally as well, but doing so will require strategic planning to create the necessary infrastructure. One way to make that process easier is to choose HR software that has been built to accommodate global operations.

Operating on a Global Scale Brings Unique HR Challenges

Hiring and doing business in another country requires extensive preparation across the board, and HR is no exception. Managing an international workforce means understanding the laws, regulations, and employment terms unique to each region. Some of the challenges you will face include:

  • Payroll—Your HR system must be conversant in alternate forms of currency, address constructions, social insurance numbers, and tax requirements.
  • Benefits—Insurance, maternity/paternity leave, paid time off, and pension requirements vary from country to country based on the statutory legislation of each location. What constitutes an attractive benefit package in one country may not meet minimum requirements in another.
  • Compensation—Compensation isn’t just a matter of translating your standard offerings into the local currency. You’ll also need to understand the local wage market to avoid offering either extremely low or extremely high compensation for that market.
  • Safety regulations—Worker safety is often heavily regulated, but specific requirements will differ from region to region.
  • Recruiting—Recruiting approaches will differ based on location, and will be affected by local internet access, language, and available advertising media. You’ll also need a way to track applicants across multiple languages, interview each candidate either locally or remotely, and comply with local notice period requirements.

Choosing the Right Software Can Prepare the Way for Global Success

As you prepare to launch an international location for your business, HR software that has been designed to incorporate global data will smooth the way for efficient implementation. For example, Kronos offers multinational workforce management solutions that include country-specific guidelines for meeting the local requirements of each country. These solutions are designed to address the challenges above, and may include:

  • Global assessments to ensure compliance with regional legislative, union, and other requirements
  • Global deployment teams to standardize deployment across different countries
  • Single source management of all the data for your international workforce
  • Built-in language and currency flexibility
  • Payroll options
  • Global network of system integrators to ensure a successful launch

If there’s one constant in business, it’s change. As technology makes our world smaller, companies will need to meet international demand head-on. Internationally compliant HR software makes it possible to address the challenges of doing business across the globe while also lowering your total cost of software ownership with integrated solutions.

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Which software is right for you?Over the past decade, the demand for integrated HR solutions has spurred HR software companies to develop new ways to address the problems that crop up when integrating modules from multiple vendors. One of the trends we’re seeing is a push for better, faster, more cost effective integration, whether that’s through a best of breed solution or a single database system.

As both the economy and the talent landscape shift over time, many companies need solutions that will provide better value at lower cost. The question they must ask with regard to their software is: Are we getting the best value for our investment?

Best of Breed

Best of breed software gives companies the best available solution for every module, often providing deeper functionality and greater flexibility for individual elements without locking users into a single vendor for every need. In addition, they often utilize more evolved technology and easier implementation for individual components. Three of the most commonly cited drawbacks associated with best of breed software include cost of integration, data integrity, and vendor management. Let’s take a look at each one:

  • Cost of integration—Because it incorporates multiple vendors and implementation processes, best of breed software usually comes with a high cost of integration. Cloud software has made it possible to lower those costs, however, and as the technology matures providers are optimistic that more affordable solutions will become available.
  • Data integrity—Data integrity isn’t just an integration issue. Integrity problems can happen for many reasons including faulty data collection or data entry, weak algorithms, and lack of standardized processes. Integration does play a role, however, as data must be standardized across multiple modules and vendors. Reputable SaaS providers work hard to eliminate integration problems among their extensive partner lists, making integrity breaches as a result of faulty integration rare.
  • Vendor management—When you work with multiple vendors, you will have more relationships to manage, which requires a greater investment of time and resources. That investment can be worth it, however, when it leads to better quality of service and more efficient software.

Daniel Dean, Senior Product Marketing Manager at BambooHR, encourages companies to know their needs and understand the value offered by a best of breed solution. “What we’re seeing is that customers want a solution that not only integrates data across modules, but also delivers the highest performance. And, while the cost of integration is still a very real barrier in terms of adopting a best of breed approach, the goal should always be to help customers find the best solution.” said Dean.

The advent of cloud computing has made it easier than ever for best of breed providers to meet that goal by delivering a high-value software solution while also managing costs.

Single-Source ERP

Single-source ERP solutions emerged as companies increasingly demanded integrated software at lower cost. ERP systems facilitate information flow across modules with the goal of increasing efficiency, decreasing costs, and maintaining integrity across HR functions. They also provide efficient employee management using a centralized solution and consistent user interface. However, they aren’t without drawbacks:

  • Loss of flexibility—Single-source solutions don’t give users the flexibility to choose a vendor that specializes in their specific needs. If the ERP is weak in one area, companies may still have to purchase an add-on module to access deeper functions that the ERP can’t provide. However, ERP providers work hard to ensure that their solutions do meet pressing client needs while still offering the ability to customize according to company culture and processes.
  • The Suck Threshold—In business terms, the “suck threshold” is the point at which a solution loses value or quality because it’s trying to do too much. As the scope of offerings increases, quality may decrease. The good news, however, is that reputable ERP providers emphasize both depth of functionality and broad scope. Their goal is to give clients a unified solution that will perform consistently.
  • Technology constrictions—When you invest in an ERP, you automatically limit your technology options. If your business approach is technology agnostic, you may be dissatisfied with a single technology source. However, if you are less concerned about seeking out the latest technology and place greater value on a solution that integrates and flows seamlessly, an ERP system may be the best option.

One example of a comprehensive ERP solution is Ultimate Software’s UltiPro. UltiPro seeks to offer broad HCM functionality at low cost. By offering payroll, recruiting, benefits administration, time management, onboarding, and more all in one place, UltiPro can provide a consistent user experience and global system of record, making it easy to track all of the numerous elements of employee management.

Which Option is Right for You?

As you consider which software to purchase for your business, you’ll need to take a long, hard look at the your company needs and values. Ask specific questions about usability issues, functionality needs, and business processes to define the specific requirements you’re looking for in a software solution. When you have your requirements list in hand, the software selection tool at CompareHRIS.com will help you compare and contrast available software systems that match your requirements.

Best of breed and ERP systems each have unique benefits to offer. Your decision will ultimately depend on where your pain points are and which system best addresses those needs.

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Harness the Power of Social Media On the Job

by CompareHRIS on July 5, 2016

employee social media useSocial media has become one of the dominating factors of this decade. According to studies conducted by Pew Research Center, 65% of all American adults interact on at least one social platform. Among those between the ages of 18 and 29, that number jumps to 90%.

We live in a social world and we don’t set that habit aside when we clock in for work. Nearly half of workers believe that social tools increase their productivity on the job.

But do they really?

Employees use social media for many reasons, including taking a mental break from work, networking with those outside their organization, consulting experts about job-related tasks, finding information they need to perform their jobs, and getting to know co-workers.

Employee social media habitsSource: Pew Research Social Media and the Workplace 2016

All of these scenarios can help workers do their jobs better, but the challenge is keeping employees engaged in their work and preventing the mental drift that can easily occur as you scroll mindlessly through a feed. Some HR software providers are seeking to address this problem by integrating social solutions into their software suite.

Social Media Goes to Work

Social engagement can take many different forms, and companies will have to consider carefully which platforms work best in the culture of their company. One solution is to provide an internal message board similar to Facebook where colleagues can interact with one another.

Here’s an example of this type of platform from Criterion HCM:

Employee social interaction platform
In this example, the social aspect appears in the employee self-service portal. Employees can check calendars, documents, action items, reports, and messages all in one place. Companies can set up unique communities and add members based on position or responsibilities, enabling close collaboration for projects, sales teams, individual locations, management teams, call centers, and other groups within the organization. One key benefit of this solution is that employees can interact with one another informally without being sucked into Facebook.

Social Incentives Make Work Engaging

In addition to social interaction platforms like Criterion’s, some companies also want to add a competitive flavor to employee engagement. Software solutions may incorporate goals, badges, and leaderboards that can be implemented on an individual basis or encourage competition among teams. For deeper interaction, comprehensive gamification platforms can integrate job performance with interaction while capitalizing on employees’ natural competitive spirit.

Demand for social interaction platforms at work is rising, a trend we noticed in our interaction with software vendors at SHRM 2016. The knee-jerk reaction of banning social media during work hours may not be effective for younger workers, especially those in high-demand fields where talent competition is fierce. As social media continues to shape our culture, we see many software vendors rising to the challenge with forward-thinking solutions designed to capitalize on the shift toward collaboration and interaction.

It’s a trend that isn’t going away. How will your business respond?

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mentorship program

Companies leading the way when it comes to building engaging workplaces typically do three things better than others: they offer employee development, they build a culture of open communication, and they make use of employee data. Encouraging employee development has to do with providing access to training and making employees feel like they have space to grow; open communication relates to the way senior figures interact with their staff; and employee data has to do with the provision of HR software.

There may not be a way to solve all of these engagement issues with a single company initiative, but a mentoring program certainly comes close.

Why Are Mentoring Programs Uncommon?

Corporate mentoring is rare – according to a recent survey, just one in every three employees around the world has been part of a mentoring program, despite 83 percent of those surveyed saying they would benefit.

But whilst the majority may agree mentoring is generally a good thing, in practice, setting up a successful mentoring program is not so easy.

Just take the senior employee’s viewpoint: becoming a mentor can seem like a huge chore, which, if it’s pitched like a corporate scheme, may seem to offer them little personal benefit. What if, instead, it was presented as a voluntary opportunity for personal development? This change in tone makes the case for becoming a mentor much stronger, but few organisations are able to successfully communicate its value in this way.

Here are some tips to ensure your mentoring program is practical, uses the right HR tools, and actually improves employee engagement and performance.

Building an Effective Mentoring Program with HR Software

There are three things that define a good mentoring programme: effective matching, effective goal setting, and ongoing peer feedback.

Mentor matching

Matching protégés to managers is the first big hurdle. Protégés will too often want mentors with the most impressive titles, rather than the person who might be best suited to help them in their career path. Whilst intuition plays a part in the matching process, using data for automated matching often proves to be far more successful. Algorithmic approaches to matching range from basic filtering to robust, machine-learning processes, based on people analytics. And beyond matching, good mentoring software can gather information, dynamically survey, track outcomes, and learn to improve future matching.

Goal setting

Protégés may have a few vague ideas about where they see themselves in the future, but they need clear goals and expectations if they want to avoid mentoring sessions becoming nothing more than a talking exercise. HR software and data can come in useful here. For example, talking points could be raised based on common issues people face at similar points in their careers. This clearly will rely on an extensive pool of aggregated learning and development figures (something that vendors like Everwise are able to provide).

Peer feedback

During the mentorship program, protégés shouldn’t only be in touch with their assigned mentor, but should seek council from others, like program managers and colleagues. A good way to encourage this is via 360 feedback surveys – a type of anonymised peer feedback that can provide guidance, and also advance their goal definition. It’s good for employees to get feedback on their progress and to feel like the program is leading them in the right direction.

Conclusion

Mentoring programs, when setup with the right people and software, can offer an all-round solution to the three cases of employee disengagement outlined in the introduction. Mentors are the guides that facilitate career developments, they are the senior figures that can break down perceived barriers to communication, and they leverage data to make all of this happen successfully. It’s about time more organisations got on board!

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HR Software Highlights from SHRM16

by CompareHRIS on June 29, 2016

SHRM2016I’m thrilled that I had the opportunity to attend SHRM 2016 in Washington, D.C. last week. As the largest HR conference in the world, SHRM 2016 hosted thousands of participants and more than 600 exhibitors showcasing products across numerous categories including HRIS, testing, compensation and benefits, health and safety, HR consulting, and many more.

Descending the escalator onto the exhibition floor at my first SHRM conference, I felt like a worker bee entering a busy hive of HR awesomeness. In addition to networking and learning about the many different products on the market, the conference made it possible to meet several of our vendors face to face and learn more about the unique features of their software.

Here are some of the top software trends I gleaned from the Exposition Hall:

1. Performance Management

I spoke with Daniel Dean from BambooHR, a software solution designed for small to medium businesses, about what he sees as the primary challenge companies experience with performance management software. He told me that one of the keys to better performance management is optimizing the components to be more engaging and less subjective.

For example, rather than asking an employee to rate their satisfaction with their job, a survey question might ask how likely they are to remain in their current position. Shorter surveys conducted more frequently tend to yield better responses than lengthy surveys conducted at widely spaced intervals.

Takeaway: Performance management and employee engagement must work hand-in-hand.

2. Cloud Vs. Hosted Vs. On-Premise

Cloud HRIS is the wave of the future, and many vendors don’t offer on-premise options anymore. However, there are still industries and businesses that want an on-premise solution or a less public hosting option than cloud provides. Special thanks to Jeanne Eberly and Jeff  Brady from PDS who spoke with me about the various options and outlined circumstances in which each might be beneficial.

Takeaway: Cloud is awesome, but it’s not right for everyone.

3. ACA Compliance

 When you shop for HR software, make sure it has ACA compliance tools built into the functionality. Most solutions do, but some deliver better results than others. Some offer compliance and reporting as part of the package, while others may charge an additional fee. Software should monitor the size of your organization based on number of full-time employees (FTEs) and calculate the number of FTEs. It should also be able to meet new reporting requirements, capture benefit and eligibility information, generate 1095 forms, and transmit data at year-end.

At Criterion’s booth, Steve Kuhn walked me through the capabilities of their software and demonstrated how these functionalities integrate across modules for a seamless user experience.

Takeaway: ACA reporting is a must-have for today’s HRIS systems.

4. Social Interaction

Our culture’s social media addiction has created employees who crave interaction with others at work. Studies show that worker productivity and morale increase when employees are allowed to engage with social media, but many companies don’t want to provide open access to Facebook and Twitter on the job.

The solution for many is an internal social network that gives employees a mental break while still keeping them connected to their jobs as they interact about current projects. UltiPro, for example, offers a collaborative social network that facilitates cross-functional interaction to keep employees engaged and also captures performance management info.

Takeaway: Social platforms provide opportunities for employees to engage within the context of company culture.

These are just a few of the trends I heard about from the many vendors at SHRM 2016. What were your top takeaways from the Exposition Hall?

 

About the Author: Susan McClure is our new resident content marketer at compareHRIS.com. She will be writing about the search, selection, and implementation of HR technology, as well as HR outsourcing and general employment issues. When she isn’t writing, you might find her researching online marketing trends, browsing shelves at the library, or digging in the garden with her family and fur kids. 

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Counting OvertimeThe clock is ticking. The long-awaited Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime ruling for white-collar workers has been released, and it goes into effect on December 1, 2016. That gives employers just six months to review and update their policies, create a strategy, and consider software updates for FLSA compliance.

Key Provisions of the Rule

While the changes in the ruling weren’t as drastic as some feared they would be, there are still significant increases to salary minimums as well as regular updates that will alter the requirements over time. Key provisions include:

  • Effective date: December 1, 2016
  • Increased minimum salary to qualify for exemption. Employees must make $913/week or $47,476/year, which is equivalent to the 40th percentile of full-time workers in the lowest-wage region of the country.
  • Updates every three years to maintain current percentiles.
  • Highly compensated worker total annual compensation requirement of $134,004, or 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers across the nation.
  • Amendment to salary basis test which allows employers to include bonuses and monetary incentives as up to 10% of a worker’s salary.

Implementing the FLSA Rule Without Alienating Workers

 The DOL promotes the new FLSA ruling as a protection for workers, but in some cases, it will give workers less flexibility and prompt employees to make undesirable changes to employee status. In order to maintain employee morale and positive company culture elements such as work-from-home arrangements or flex time, employers should carefully consider both how they will implement the rule and how they communicate new policies to employees.

1. Consider Your Options

The rule does not stipulate how employers must meet its requirements. Options include:

  • Raise an employee’s salary to reach exempt status
  • Pay overtime above a salary based on current base rate
  • Realign workload so that employees do not need to work more than 40 hours per week
  • Include commissions, bonuses, and incentive payments for up to 10% of the salary requirement
  • Supplement workforce during busy seasons with part-time or temporary workers
  • Consider how future salary minimum updates will affect your ability to compensate employees. For example, if you plan for an increase of $1,000, but the update increases the minimum by $1,200, will you still be able to keep all employees on the payroll?

2. Consider Employee Morale

Will employees view the changes as a demotion? How will changes affect your other employees? Here are a few potential pitfalls that could cause unrest among employees:

  • Offering raises to those below the minimum in order to bring them to exempt status, but not offering raises to those above the cutoff
  • Increasing the workload for some employees while decreasing it for others
  • Changing an employee’s status from exempt to non-exempt, which could be viewed as a demotion
  • Decrease work-from-home options or flexible working hours. These hours are significantly more difficult to track, but could open you up to legal claims if not tracked and reported correctly.

It’s not all bad news, however. Workers who spend more than 40 hours in the office but don’t receive adequate compensation for that extra time will experience positive changes, either by receiving better compensation or by not working those extra hours for minimal pay. That could translate into better engagement, increased loyalty, and higher productivity.

3. Communication is Key

Anytime a new policy comes down the pipeline, it must be preceded by clear, frequent communication. In this case, it’s especially important to communicate to employees that the changes result from a new law, and that they are not based on individual performance.

Updating Your Software Can Help

The new ruling will require scrupulous tracking of employee hours, especially when employees work outside the office. Look for a software system that has remote clock-in capabilities or mobile solutions. Some systems can log time automatically, detect idle time and breaks, and link attendance information directly to the payroll system. In addition, careful time tracking and reporting will ensure that FLSA requirements are met.

If you need new software to comply with FLSA standards, our HRIS Comparison Tool helps you compare options based on your business needs.

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Will the FLSA Overtime Rule Undermine Non-Profits?

by CompareHRIS on June 21, 2016

FLSA impact on nonprofitsThe publication of the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule on May 18th has stirred up a flurry of questions for businesses seeking to understand what the changes mean and how they must be implemented. The rule changes the minimum salary level for white-collar workers who receive an overtime exemption and implements automatic adjustments to that minimum every three years. The drastic increases coupled with a failure to adjust for regional differences have created monumental concerns for many organizations, including non-profits.

How Does the Rule Apply to Non-Profit Organizations?

Non-profits are not covered by the overtime rule for charitable activities that are provided as a free service. Any activities that involve commercial transactions for the purpose of making a profit (such as a gift shop, thrift store, or food service) and which exceed an annual threshold of $500,000 will qualify the organization for enterprise coverage. Individual coverage applies to employees who engage in interstate commerce (making out-of-state phone calls, purchasing from an out-of-state supplier).

What Financial Impact Could the New Rule Have? 

While non-profits have always been subject to these guidelines, the new overtime rule creates a much greater financial burden by doubling the minimum salary level for employees to qualify for exempt status and by implementing automatic increases every three years. Many non-profits tend to offer lower salaries while also seeking to provide high quality services. Their ability to continue offering the same kinds of services will be impacted as their costs rise.

Tina Sharby, Chief Human Resources Officer at Easter Seals NH, Inc., spoke to Congress about the implications of the new overtime rule. Sharby discussed the potential negative impact of the new guidelines on non-profits in particular, including:

  • Inability to absorb additional costs
  • Negative impact on services
  • Limited opportunities for employees to demonstrate leadership and community involvement by working large events
  • Reduction in flexible work schedules
  • Less funding for community needs as money is directed toward mandatory pay increases
  • Blow to employee morale

Many non-profits can’t pass on wage increases to consumers because Medicare or Medicaid funds the services they offer. Instead, services and care to individuals who need them most will be reduced in order to manage the increased costs to the organization. Benefits such as flexible work hours and opportunities to work large events will be curtailed as employees track hours on a weekly basis. Sharby urged Congress to reconsider the provisions of the rule in order to make it feasible for non-profits and small businesses.

What’s the Solution?

The Society for Human Resources (SHRM), a strong advocate for revising the rule to protect small businesses and non-profits, recognizes the need for increases to the minimum salary. The problem, they argue, is that the increases are too large and too soon. Instead, SHRM recommends that the DOL perform an economic analysis of the rule and its impact on businesses across the spectrum. In addition, they recommend removing the automatic update provision and modifying the minimum salary increase to institute a more gradual change that considers regional cost of living differences.

If the rule stands as written, it will go into effect on December 1, 2016.

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What HRIS means to employee engagement

by CompareHRIS on May 24, 2016

employee emgagementProductive workplace engagement depends on relationship-building. Engagement comes from your relationship with the work, the co-workers, the culture, and the management. As long as management focuses on command and control hierarchies, it fails to build the employee engagement that translates into quality productivity. That’s something you should build into any business growth strategy, and perhaps your HRIS can help.

Origin of management hierarchy

Management organizes somewhat naturally as any organization takes shape. Some cream will always rise to the top. Unfortunately, enterprises have looked to now archaic structures in military tradition.

Government bureaucracies, organized religions, educational institutions, and other organizations – for-profit and non-profit – tend to move towards top-down hierarchies. Even where collaboration and team-building are organizational values, the teams still largely work in vertical structures. Undoing this mindset is likely impossible – especially in developing economies and businesses.

Continuation of the problem

Organizations appoint managers after they have proven themselves in high performance metrics on the job. Too often, they are promoted without formal training in leadership, even where they may be trained in additional content, such as Human Resources, information technology, agency compliance, and risk management.

Pointedly, they have not been trained in developing people relationships with the intent of securing their best performance. New managers focus, instead, on “leading by example” and remaining “one of the guys.” They would do better to focus on investing the same effort in their subordinates that they put into customer satisfaction.

Solution in engagement

When a business values employee engagement, it must begin with understanding the central role of workers and creating management metrics that include accountability for people development and engagement. This, in turn, requires the organization’s leadership to define “engagement” and map paths to its achievement.

This starts with designing routes to building and sustaining manager-employee relationships. Management leadership must:

  • create a culture and environment that is open and enabling.
  • enable horizontal and vertical communication without threat.
  • require avenues of guidance, mentoring, input, and feedback.
  • demonstrably recognize and reward the feedback with shared awareness of its integration in outcomes and revision of operational processes.
  • employ technology that attracts and involves users with elements of gamification.

Management doors must remain open – literally and metaphorically – if individual managers expect to lead and develop engagement. In fact, corporate futures depend on the ability of their managers to recognize and engage talent in building future interests. This involves a shift away from executive control of the system and management hands on its buttons to the creation of systems that invite and encourage individual worker participation and self-improvement.

Your HRIS application can play a role in this shift. Most HRIS products have the flexibility to serve more than only data and administrative functions. For example, using color and visual interactivity, the system can appeal to the psychological interest in gaming. It also reaches distance workers, mobile platforms, and multi-site workers, tying them to a core experience. And, it can address individuals and report their specific records, thereby, personalizing their administrative user experience.

Installed as an administrative tool, HRIS can do even more.  Depending on your HRIS package, you can use it to inform, train, and interact with users. It can support HR’s drive to engage end-users and provide a vital piece of the solution to management/employee engagement needs.

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Is Gamification Just Another Technology Fad?

by CompareHRIS on May 20, 2016

gamificationGamification has been gaining traction as a motivational tool for several years now. Implementing game mechanics at work holds appeal not just for its motivational potential, but also because its basic concepts can be adapted to a wide variety of settings, from training classrooms to call centers.

Along with the surge in popularity, however, comes a natural skepticism on the part of many HR managers. Is gamification really all its cracked up to be? Maybe you’ve tried it and seen few results. Is it just another fad?

Does Gamification Work?

At its core, gamification is a study in human psychology. What makes people act the way they do and how can we promote more of the behavior we want (behavior that will benefit the business)? Platforms and programs that understand motivational strategy and can apply those ideas to individual use cases tend to see better results than those that try to create a one-program-fits-all approach.

For some, gamification seems like a lot of hype—just a fad that will fade away as quickly as it arrived on the scene. Some even argue that gamification makes people less serious about their work than they would be without it. But John Turner, founder of Design Thinking Consulting Group and creator of a gamification platform called Catalyst, disagrees.

“Gamification isn’t really anything new. It’s just in a new form now, with different platforms,” said Turner. “Games and game mechanics have a universal appeal. We are social creatures. There are social functions within the platform, and this is a way for [people] not only to care about their jobs and their performance a little bit more, but also to interact and engage with their coworkers in a more fun environment than they are usually accustomed to.”

Turner believes that humans have an inherent love of games that is driving the popularity of gamification. Even more than monetary rewards, it’s the ability to make work engaging, social, and fun that produce results.

But that doesn’t mean all gamification efforts are equally effective.

What’s the Secret Sauce?

Why do some gamification platforms enjoy wild success while others seem lackluster and trivial? There are several important factors that separate successful initiatives from those that fail. Here’s how to create your own secret sauce:

Buy a platform, not an app. If the program is too simplified, it becomes just another thing to check off the list rather than a serious motivational tool. A comprehensive platform should provide scalable solutions that can be modified based on the demographics and unique motivators of your workforce. It should also integrate seamlessly with your current HR software.

Understand your employees. Are they primarily millennials who grew up gaming or Baby Boomers who play Candy Crush on the weekends? Are you trying to encourage greater productivity or higher engagement? Just as you need to know your target audience in order to market to them successfully, you also need to know your employees in order to motivate them.

Have a plan. As with any initiative, it’s vital that you create a plan before jumping in with both feet. What do you want to achieve and how will you know if you’ve been successful? Narrow your goals down to specific behaviors. A broad goal such as “increase productivity” must be broken down into specific, identifiable actions in order to be measured.

Track, monitor, and improve. Utilize your technology platform to track behavior, monitor key metrics, and identify areas that can be improved. If your efforts aren’t working, metrics can show you where the breakdown is and how it can be fixed.

Start with a test group. Before you roll out the platform to your total workforce, start with a test group so you can determine what works and what doesn’t. Your test group will also act as ambassadors for the initiative, helping to create excitement among their coworkers.

Don’t expect miracles. Gamification can make workplaces more engaging, increase productivity, and create loyal brand ambassadors, but ultimately it isn’t the games that will achieve those results. It’s your company culture. Broken processes and a stifling work environment can’t be fixed by adding game mechanics. However, a positive culture that already seeks to nurture employees can see even greater results using a scalable gamification platform designed to bring out the best in participants.

It’s about psychology, not just technology. Successful gamification efforts depend on understanding the psychology of your team. You can have the best gamification platform in the world, but if you don’t take the time to understand what motivates people and how to apply those motivational techniques to your specific employees, you won’t see the results you’re hoping for.
Gamification isn’t a wand to wave over your workplace and magically produce happy, engaged employees. It is a tool. Like all tools, its success or failure depends on developing the skills and knowledge to use it well.

If you are looking for HR software that can help you accomplish your business goals, the free comparison tool at compareHRIS.com will help you rank products based on your criteria.

For additional information on gamification you may want to check out the following articles:
5 Tips to Identify your HRIS Gamification Needs
The Game of Life – It’s Serious Business
What is Gamification?

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Get the skinnyHuman resources technology offers a broad range of solutions to businesses, from recruiting and tracking applicants to managing payroll and handling performance evaluations. Most HR functions require meticulous attention to detail, and that’s where a comprehensive software solution can significantly improve the efficiency of the office.

What is an HRIS System? 

Before we look closely at the capabilities of HR technology, let’s take a moment to differentiate the three closest relatives in the field, the HRIS solution, the HRMS solution and the HCM Solution.

  • HRIS—HRIS (human resources information system) software manages data about the people and processes of your company. It will typically include employee information storage, applicant tracking, reporting, training and development, compensation management, employee self-service, and other similar functions.
  • HCM—HCM (human capital management) systems manage all the elements of the HRIS, while adding deeper functions including talent management, analytics, performance management and evaluation, and global capabilities such as language translation and multiple currencies.
  • HRMS—HRMS (human resource management system) software includes all the functionality of the HRIS and some aspects of the HCM. The differentiating capabilities of HRMS systems are payroll and time/labor management.

 Within the HR technology industry, these terms remain somewhat fluid and different vendors may use them in slightly different ways. For example, HRIS systems may include payroll and HRMS may or may not include functions like scheduling and assessment. Still, it helps to understand the basic differentiations so that you know which questions to ask as you evaluate system capabilities.

Choosing Your HR Software Solution

Comprehensive HR solutions improve the efficiency of the HR department by automating many of the tasks that previously required paperwork and manual processing. Employee self-service capabilities also give employees instant access to documents and manuals and make it easy to request information or make changes to their benefits.

As you research, consider whether you will benefit most from a comprehensive solution or from purchasing individual modules to use in conjunction with your current system.

Common modules and functions of HR software include:

  • Payroll—Manage deductions and tax information; print and distribute checks
  • Time and Attendance—Keep track of hours worked, employee absences, vacation requests, and punctuality; feed data to payroll
  • Training—Track employee development, schedule presentations, keep track of certifications or badges earned by employees, manage enrollment and attendance requirements
  • Compliance—Collect and manage EEOC data, safety regulations, and reporting
  • Applicant Tracking System—Manage job postings, collect and search resumes, schedule interviews, coordinate recruiting efforts
  • Performance evaluation—Provide ongoing feedback, create opportunities for dialog, provide employee access to evaluations and goals, track behavioral assessments,
  • Benefits administration—Manage open enrollment, track eligibility, automate communication
  • Employee self-service—Update personal information, make changes to benefit options, request time off, manage direct deposit accounts
  • Employee Information—Store personnel records such as compensation history, previous jobs, performance reviews, education, and contact information
  • Metrics—Track turnover rates, productivity, employee satisfaction, retention, benefit costs per employee, absence rates, overtime expenses, training expenses and other key metrics
  • Onboarding—Generate and distribute offer letters, conduct background checks and screenings, verify employment eligibility, complete new hire forms, requisition workspace and IT logins, and improve new hire experience
  • Reporting—Manage data and generate reports across functions

Additional functionalities may be available from your vendor as well, either as individual modules or as part of a comprehensive solution. As you compare providers, our HRIS Comparison Tool will help you select software that offers the specific capabilities you need for your business.

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