In client-facing service industries like hospitality, delivering great customer experiences to the company’s end customer is the ultimate goal of every employee—and companies succeed or fail based on how well they deliver. Similarly, HR professionals across industries must recognize they, too, are in the customer service business and have tremendous power to deliver great employee experiences, which can significantly influence the overall success of the company.
By applying service principles and deeply held hospitality industry values, human resources can build operational excellence, Improve company reputation and increase employee loyalty, ultimately boosting its strategic value in the organization. This sets up a positive chain reaction where employees are compelled to deliver excellent experiences to the end customer, in turn building their loyalty and driving company success.
Below are four key principles that we at The Royal Champagne—our hotel and spa that opened in Champillon, France, in 2018—have used to build an environment where employees love to work, are met with great opportunities for growth and want to stay, achieve and serve their guests. This approach also earned The Royal Champagne several “Great Place to Work” awards. These practices hold power across all industries and help companies deliver excellent employee experiences:
Paying employees a higher wage may mean less profit for a company in the short term but having a long view and investing in employees at a higher level can generate a culture of greater employee satisfaction, dedication and loyalty. Not only do competitive salaries attract strong talent, but these all-stars want to stay with the company and invest themselves in making the company a success, which often translates into savings over the longer term and less turnover. Employees at The Royal Champagne, for example, are generally given generous benefits and salaries nearly 15% higher than regional competitors. This allows the hotel to attract top talent from major international metropolitan areas and motivates them to deliver excellent service that drives the business forward.
When you recruit employees who already adhere to the company’s values, what is most important already comes naturally to them. For example, providing great customer experiences is a value that is hard to teach, but is expected in luxury hospitality. While surface skills may positively stand out on a resume, when recruiting, companies can put themselves ahead of the game by selecting staff who already have excellent attitudes and an entrepreneurial mindset—skills that are harder to teach.
See also: 10 predictions about work and leadership this year
Company cultures should include support for passion projects, continuous innovation and entrepreneurialism. Supporting creative ideas and risk-taking allows employees to stretch themselves and go beyond what is expected in their normal day-to-day roles, giving them the opportunity to find greater fulfillment in their jobs.
In our company, these entrepreneurial values are driven from the top, from our CEO Denise Dupre’, who is always listening for employees’ passion projects and encouraging them to push the envelope of our offerings—and then stands behind them as they try new things.
For instance, one of our company’s female pastry chefs led a local philanthropy project, providing pastries every day during Breast Cancer Awareness month to breast cancer victims. She was given full support and use of company resources to move this forward. In addition, one of the company’s vineyard managers was granted support and resources to experiment with aging wine under the sea and in specialized gold and titanium barrels. This resulted in award-winning vintages.
Giving employees the latitude to try new things they are passionate about and empowering them to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors can deliver surprising positive outcomes and a better experience for everyone.
Since COVID, flexibility at work is commonplace. Continuing to meet employees where they are, especially after the pandemic, is crucial; yet, some employers fail to recognize just how much this contributes to employee satisfaction, morale and loyalty, ultimately reducing company costs for recruiting and new hire training. But this is more than just a remote work issue.
Accommodating employees’ personal circumstances must be a company rule. When employers give enough flexibility to make employees’ work life the best fit, they are more satisfied, provide better service, become more accountable for company innovation and work more productively.
Related: How Amazon Web Services is ‘doubling down’ to create a meaningful EX
For example, taking personal needs into account has prevented us from losing female employees who were experiencing major difficulties with their family during the pandemic. We learned about their personal circumstances and applied changes to our collaboration efforts and re-envisioned how they could do their jobs.
Not only did we retain their talent, but they are more productive than ever, and know the company cares about them—and all its employees—authentically.
These service principles that we know so well in the hospitality industry separate companies who win “Great Place to Work” awards from those who do not—and can help companies retain great performers for the long term. By delivering personalized service and adapting to each employee’s needs, HR can meet them exactly where they are and lay the foundations for an exceptional employee experience—which affects the whole company’s success.
Yaom | Istock | Getty Images
Employee engagement, especially among millennials and Gen Z, is at the lowest point it's been in the last decade, according to a accurate poll from Gallup, and companies need to find the HR solutions to re-energize them, or face lower retention, productivity, and profitability.
Two of the main contributors to lower employee engagement are the lack of opportunities to learn and grow, and the lack of feeling cared about at work, according to Jim Harter, chief scientist of workplace management and wellbeing at Gallup.
Harter said career development and upskilling can help re-energize workers. But what does that look like for a workforce with diverse voices, various post-Covid working environments, and even different multigenerational priorities at work?
Some solutions to lagging engagement can be amplifying employees' voices, supporting their career growth and evolving internal HR practices to be digital-first, said Mike Morini, chief executive officer of WorkForce Software, a management software company offering digital HR capabilities and workforce analytics.
"Typically, companies spend less than 1% of their technology budget for their deskless workers," Morini said. "They aren't investing in finding ways to engage with their employees, how to collaborate with them, or how to make sure they're well aware."
Whether it's finding a accurate pay stub, seeing a weekly schedule, or looking to see what type of benefits your company offers you, workers want all these HR resources readily accessible on their phones, Morini said.
Morini shared a story of his colleague's teenage daughter who had the choice of working at a grocery store or at a trendy retail store. Morini said she chose the grocery store solely based on the grocery store offering everything she needed — scheduling, pay stubs, shift changes — on an app, while the retail store did not.
"If you're not modernizing and providing employees with digital tools, so they can get visibility into HR resources, you're losing talent," Morini said. "Companies now need to step up and make investments in that technology, so they can better communicate and collaborate with their employees in an experience on their phone."
Digital-first offerings can also give employees better visibility into how companies are driving strategies and business practices, Morini said, especially in a world where everyone is working from different places.
The digital transformation of HR is a two-way street, Morini said. Not only will employees feel more engaged and cared about, but companies can get insightful data about their employees for managers and HR professionals to take appropriate action to alleviate HR issues.
Morini said offering employees more visibility into scheduling and compliance used to be added benefits, but now with digital tools, they've become strategic priorities for both employees and companies.
"With compliance being an issue across the board, companies are figuring out: Do employees have the flexibility they want? Are they getting the communication they want so they feel valued?" Morini said. "Making sure managers are informed with this type of data gives them the opportunity to take good action to better engage their employees."
Harter said 70% of the variance in engagement can be explained by the quality of managing, so upskilling managers is key.
Managers becoming better coaches involves teaching them science-based insights about how to Improve employee engagement, how to leverage their strengths and the strengths of their team members, and aiming their coaching at performance management, Harter added.
The majority of workers, especially among Gen Z, want to not only feel valued but also want opportunities for upward mobility and continued learning at their companies.
"Learning is one of the key elements at the cornerstone of a healthy relationship between an employer and employee," said Dimitris Tsingos, co-founder and president of Epignosis, a learning management platform.
It used to be that employees did their work and received compensation, but Tsingos said that's not enough for employees today. He said forward-thinking companies also invest in their employees' personal development on all levels.
With a plethora of digital HR tools available, Tsingos and Morini agree that companies need to give employees access to continued learning and career training.
"If workers are already switching shifts on an app, let's say they try to switch a shift with a coworker and they're not trained enough, we can highlight that if you had this certification or training, you would be eligible to do this shift," Morini said. "This can also energize workers by saying 'Oh, by the way, the pay there is 15% more' or 'Oh, by the way, you can take this training online, right here on your phone.'"
This provides employees with the tools to continue learning and gives them the opportunity to be go-getters, Morini said, and it paves the path for how they can move forward.
"You'll see the right level of engagement when employees see your empathy towards their work-life balance and you're showing them a path to career growth if they take these steps," Morini said. "You'll then have an informed, energized employee base."
Founder of GajiGesa, one of Southeast Asia's biggest earned wage access companies.
In the past couple of years, HR functions across the world have been tested like never before. Leaders have faced disruptions from abrupt shifts to remote work, economic volatility, the Great Resignation and geo-political events. These factors, along with rapid digitization, have made traditional, office-based HR less significant. And with shifting employee expectations, HR has also struggled with recruitment and retention across industries. However, technology has also led to the automation of repetitive, time-consuming tasks so that HR can play a more strategic role in an organization.
As cofounder of a platform for financial well-being at work that provides benefits for over 300 companies, I’d like to discuss some HR trends I believe we can expect in 2023.
Post Covid-19 pandemic, technology has completely changed how we collaborate and communicate. The flexibility offered by remote and hybrid workplaces has created a blended workforce across geographies and time zones, and I find it unlikely that organizations will go back to the pre-pandemic norms. So, I believe a key challenge for HR functions will be to effectively manage hybrid work models, foster collaboration and provide the best possible employee experience for a diverse workforce.
Over the next few years, I see AI integration in HR remaining a sweeping trend. In fact, research by IBM shows that globally, 35% of companies have reported using AI in business, and an additional 42% are exploring it. AI and cloud-based solutions will assist organizations in adapting and becoming more agile.
The upward trend in AI integration will help HR teams analyze, predict and diagnose so that they can make informed decisions based on data. Using AI, HR will be able to build smarter, personalized schedules that will empower employees—especially frontline and hourly workers—to have better work-life balance. By intelligently automating processes like recruitment, AI will help in removing biases from the hiring process and cut down time spent going through data. Repetitive, mundane tasks performed through AI will enable HR teams to invest more time in tasks like mentoring and delivering the kind of experience that employees want.
The last two years have made it clear that employees want choice and flexibility in the workplace. No single benefit stack will fit everyone when it comes to benefits and compensation. Reward programs must take into account and be informed by an employee’s choice. Here are some benefits that will trend in 2023.
• As external touch points, frontline and blue-collar workers impact an organization’s ability to attract new customers and talent. But low earnings combined with unpredictable expenses make them the most vulnerable group financially. Increasing their productivity and longevity within the system can have a direct impact on an organization’s financial health. Offering them benefits like insurance, retirement plans and performance bonuses is the first step. A more targeted program like earned wage access (EWA) can increase employee well-being and give them greater control over their earnings. EWA gives them access to their accrued wages before the end of the pay cycle. By ensuring consistent cash flow in the face of unforeseen expenses, EWA can reduce employees’ dependence on predatory loan sharks, financial stress and uncertainty. By making workers financially resilient, programs like EWA can increase financial inclusion and open up untapped pools of talent for the organization.
• As hybrid work becomes the norm, HR functions must also consider changes in policies and processes to support remote work. Companies should facilitate regular online get-togethers and give employees the freedom and flexibility to manage themselves rather than judging performance on time spent at desks. In more material terms, companies can also support setting up home offices (think ergonomic office furniture, internet and power bill reimbursements and access to a co-working space) by giving remote employees a work-from-home stipend.
• Investing in the mental health and wellness of employees can reduce the overall cost and boost employee morale. Providing counseling or therapy for issues like stress, anxiety and burnout will increase productivity and employee loyalty.
By making workers financially resilient, programs can increase financial inclusion and open up untapped pools of talent for the organization.
I find that employee engagement is key to the success of a business. An engaged employee brings with them passion and commitment, which positively impacts productivity and overall stakeholder value. But to engage today’s workforce, businesses need to deliver the uber-tech, consumer-forward comfort that they have come to expect in their personal lives.
Traditional desktop-led learning management systems have to make way for gamified and personalized modes of learning. I believe managers will need to be authentic, empathetic and adaptive. And annual performance reviews will have to be replaced by coaching, mentoring and 360-degree feedback. AI-powered chatbots that can ensure always-on, personalized conversations with employees will take on processes like onboarding and grievance redressal. Data from these conversations can then be analyzed and leveraged to address specific needs and concerns.
To achieve this, HR will need to deliver a seamless and intuitive experience led by technology. They will have to create an environment where employees believe that the organization cares for them beyond realizing business results.
The pandemic has shown that HR is as relevant to business success as a typical core function like sales or production. And like with any other core function, HR too must adopt technology that drives automation and innovation. They must shift from archaic systems and use data and analytics to support self-directed teams and build a progressive workplace for the future.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?
As partner/principal in EY’s People Advisory Services Practice, Shari Yocum works with clients across industries, and around the globe, on transformation, change management and M&A projects. Years ago, it used to be the case that organizations would undertake one major transformation initiative at a time—now, she’s seeing clients tackling two, three and even more projects at one time.
Digital advancements, pandemic-driven shifts, economic trends—all are playing a role, she says.
“The speed at which transformation is happening today … it’s something we’ve never seen before,” says Yocum, who will deliver a keynote address at the upcoming HR Technology Virtual Conference, Feb. 28-March 2. “And HR plays a massive, pivotal role in all of this.”
Unfortunately, while the demand for people-focused transformation has never been greater, business leaders’ aptitude for setting the wheels in motion isn’t as strong; Yocum says many are approaching HR transformation “all backwards.” What are they doing wrong?
Yocum says she’s seeing some take a narrow, and siloed, view of transformation.
“To make true transformation happen for HR, to really change, it’s better to look at aligning the project to the business—understanding what the whole impact is, not funneling things up in a silo,” she says.
For instance, one of the most common transformation initiatives Yocum encounters involves employers that want to create a more digital HR function. Too often, that means those leading the project delegate certain “digital” tasks to talent acquisition, total rewards, etc. Instead, the work needs to start by looking at how HR digitization will touch employees, managers, leaders—and how it ties to the overarching business strategy. From there, you can figure out what that means for each segment of the function.
“You should go overall strategy down, instead of function up,” she says.
And don’t lose sight of the impact of any major change project on company culture. Yocum again points to the digitization of HR: Such a shift may mean leaders need a more hands-on, less high-touch approach, or that employees need to adjust to searching out benefits or payroll information on their own digitally, as opposed to picking up the phone and calling HR.
“That’s a huge cultural change for employees, so leaders need to get out there and help make those changes,” she says.
This is particularly relevant in the current environment, in which many organizations, particularly in the tech industry, are looking to layoffs to weather economic uncertainty.
Yocum says the cultural impact can be softened if employers take a three-pronged approach: Make cuts fast, provide a good rationale for them and don’t stop caring for your employees, even as they exit the company.
“If leaders can be very clear, and articulate why they need to do this, employees will understand it,” she says. “People want to know the why so they can make sure it feels fair. Openness changes the way people accept change.”
So does how the employer treats employees it’s laying off; for instance, offering departing employees help with finding new jobs or giving them time to look before they’re off the payroll can reinforce to employees being retained that the headcount reduction was an unfortunate byproduct of a changing business strategy.
“All it takes is for an organization to treat people well when they’re leaving for other employees to say, ‘I feel good about this organization; they do care,’ ” Yocum says. “It hits that psychological safety element—and it helps take care of your culture.”
Learn more about this Topic during Yocum’s keynote, “Mastering the Employee Experience During Corporate Changes,” on March 1 at HR Tech Virtual. Click here to register.
The features available in each HR software package vary, but here are some standard ones that most providers offer.
Tools used to recruit, onboard and offboard employees are commonly found in most HR software. These features include job posting and syndication, configurable job applications, interview and assessment functionality, background check integration, offer letter templates, new-hire packets, onboarding checklists, e-signature capabilities, workflow automation, document storage, employee profiles, and training tracking.
While some systems include these features internally, most offer a combination of internal features and integrations with third-party platforms, such as applicant tracking systems and background check services.
Most HR software either comes with a built-in payroll option, or it integrates with top-rated payroll software from a third-party service. Built-in payroll modules typically include the ability to accurately calculate employee paychecks, handle multiple pay rates and schedules, administer garnishments, pay employees via direct deposit and pay cards, and provide online pay stubs. A newer feature offered by some software solutions is on-demand pay, which allows employees to access a portion of their wages on the day they earn them.
HR software can handle all payroll tax responsibilities, like calculating and withholding federal, state and local payroll taxes, as well as providing things like electronic 1099 and W-2 preparation and delivery. Most HR software can integrate with top accounting software.
Many HR software options include time and attendance features so that employers can accurately track when employees are on and off the clock. Most systems are cloud-based, which allows for browser-based clocking in and out, while many also offer iOS and Android mobile apps for punching on the go. Another useful feature for off-site workers is geolocation tracking, which tracks where an employee is located while clocked in. Most HR software allows for automatic and manual time tracking, as well as shift scheduling, swapping and dropping.
HR software can help manage paid time off requests and accruals, and it can offer certain automation and alert features to help you maintain legal compliance with things like break policies and overtime laws. Employee time tracking data is automatically synced into payroll solutions to streamline payroll processing and increase pay accuracy.
HR software can help you administer employee benefits like medical, dental and vision insurance; employee retirement accounts; life insurance; accident and illness policies; short- and long-term disability insurance; HSAs and FSAs; auto and home policies; commuter benefits; workers’ compensation; pet insurance; and miscellaneous coverages. Most will integrate with popular benefit carriers to get you competitive benefits and rates.
In addition to providing you access to employee benefits, most HR software providers will help you educate and enroll your employees on how to get the most out of their benefits. Features like easy plan configuration and ongoing participant education can help simplify the benefits process.
Standard HR software allows you to track and manage employee performance. This can include tools for goal setting and monitoring, succession planning, and performance evaluations. They can also include personalized dashboards and learning management systems with training courses so you can easily provide mandatory training (e.g., sexual harassment) or professional development training.
FYI: Ongoing employee learning and professional development can help with employee recruitment, retention, skill level, and expertise.
HR software helps you maintain audit-ready records and compliance with labor and employment laws such as the ACA and COBRA. Custom workflows and automation features also help to maintain legal compliance, as they reduce the likelihood of human error by ensuring that certain required measures are being followed every time. HR software companies typically offer customer support via phone, email, and chat; however, the best companies also offer a dedicated support representative who can provide HR guidance along the way.
Most HR software provides helpful reporting and analytics. You may, depending on the type of reports you want, have to sign up for a more advanced software plan, but basic plans typically provide data on your team, payroll, taxes and more. HR reporting can be a valuable tool for tracking workforce trends and increasing efficiency across your entire workforce.
Employees can use the software to access a self-service dashboard to manage their benefits, request time off and complete performance evaluations. Since most systems are cloud-based and offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, employees can access the software wherever they have an internet connection.
Mass shootings in public places have become an unfortunate reality in American life. Schools and universities, places of worship, grocery stores: Almost no public gathering place has gone unscathed, including the workplace.
While the HR department may not have fortunetelling abilities, there are strategies leaders in the space can implement to better predict and maybe even forestall a workplace tragedy, Tom Miller, CEO of ClearForce, told HR Dive.
ClearForce is a people risk technology business designed to address multiple facets of safety and security in the workplace, from cybersecurity threats and property damage to harassment and suicide risk. The platform is meant to allow organizations to intervene quickly if workers cite red flags from colleagues or the software detects troubling information, like a threatening social media post.
Organizations become vulnerable in part because “they tend not to be proactive,” Miller said. “They’re reacting to problems that have advanced pretty significantly, rather than trying to pick up on earlier indicators [when] they’ve got more options and a better chance to course correct.”
If a workplace has an HR department, it has likely also encouraged those with complaints to bring them to HR. Unfortunately, many employees’ negative past experiences with HR — or tales of bad experiences from friends, family or just the broader culture — mean workers are hesitant to approach the department with concerns.
According to a 2020 survey from Zenefits, 35% of workers who avoided HR said it was because they didn’t trust the department to help, while 31% said they feared retaliation. A Workhuman survey from around the same time found that those who have been sexually harassed at work are even more likely to avoid HR. Fewer than half had reported their harassment and among those that had, 30% said their claims weren’t investigated.
Miller said he supports anonymous reporting, which can encourage more feedback. It can, however, create a situation in which one party potentially needs to defend itself without knowing where accusations are coming from — an opportunity that may be ripe for exploitation by bad actors. In a typical HR investigation, both parties are usually interviewed and asked to provide any corroborating evidence.
Companies can manage this one-sided aspect through an especially detailed series of questions that the reporting employee fills out, Miller said. That way, “even if you’ve got an anonymous report submitted, you’re capturing as much of the information as you possibly can to verify whether it’s valid or not,” he explained.
Getting employees to report worrying behavior quickly is a big piece of the puzzle. Those who escalate to gun violence often demonstrate behavioral problems in the days or months leading up to an attack.
A man who opened fire and killed 12 in a Virginia Beach municipal building in 2019 had begun acting strangely and getting into physical “scuffles” with co-workers in the days leading up to the attack, The New York Times reported; and just down the road, a late 2022 shooting at a Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart was preceded by reports of disturbing behavior from the gunman, an employee at the store. After the shooting, three workers filed lawsuits, saying they had warned Walmart about the suspect and that the location had failed to safeguard employees.
But there are other ways to capture red flags beyond relying on co-worker reports, Miller said. Employers can use a system that collects information about employees’ out-of-work interactions with law enforcement, for example. While many companies conduct a background check at the beginning of an employee’s tenure, this ends most employers’ collection of such data.
Employers also can have a system monitor for financial strain that can affect employees’ well-being, such as experiencing a home foreclosure. Unmanaged financial stress can be a big indicator that leads employees down a path to gun violence, Miller said. In the case of the accurate shooting at a mushroom farm in Half Moon Bay, the shooter told law enforcement he was enraged by a $100 bill he was expected to pay to repair a forklift, which he felt was not his responsibility. Subsequent reporting revealed squalid conditions for many of the farmworkers. Strikingly, the same farm endured a different gun attack from a worker just months before the January shooting.
Social media platforms can also surface warning signs, Miller said. In the past few years, shooters have occasionally announced their plans, posted manifestos or posted threats in the weeks or days leading up to an attack.
Miller said the social media space can be especially tricky for organizations, as employers typically don’t want to sift through thousands of employees’ posts each week, which can be time-consuming and feel invasive. “They’re trying to find that balance, right?” he said. “Like, they don’t want an after report where they’ve had a workplace shooting, and the obvious thing is, ‘It took me five minutes to Google and find this public threat against this individual. Why didn’t you know that?’”
ClearForce, for example, uses data analytics to scan employees’ social media for key phrases that would raise a red flag. Even then, he said, someone — typically an employee in the organization’s legal department — would need to evaluate further for context.
With so much data being analyzed, Miller knows privacy may be a major concern for both workers and employers. Transparency is paramount in maintaining worker trust in such an environment, he said. “Be clear on the policies and the programs that are in place,” he said. “And then make sure you’ve got employee consent as part of it so that they’re all signed up.”
Employers adopting monitoring should introduce it as part of a worker’s onboarding process — or when an employee is deciding whether to accept an offer — and continue to remind them of its availability and use and which data it collects.
It may also help to let employees know that the system is streamlined, limited and only provides what employers may need to know — rather than a data collection free-for-all. “We have no customers where, you know, they’re interested in some super broad capture of information or where they’re trying to be intrusive,” Miller said. “Everybody wants to limit it down to just what’s the most relevant, high-risk information that [they] need to know because [they’re] worried about workplace violence or … cybersecurity or … the mental health and wellness of our employee base.”
Employers should also emphasize the purpose of the program, he said: keeping the workplace safe and providing employees support in times of struggle. “Then it becomes a shared objective within the organization as opposed to an us-versus-them scenario with, let’s say, management and the employee base,” Miller said.
Assuming the HR department does get word of a concern, how should it proceed?
Having a standardized plan of action is important, Miller noted, to ensure organizational compliance and eliminate the potential for discrimination. Bringing in stakeholders like the legal department can help protect both employers and workers in dealing with a complaint.
A centralized, documented process for review of reports also can be key. “When people are submitting these incident reports, typically that’s going to go into HR and they’ll have one or multiple people that are assigned roles to be able to receive it,” Miller explained. “And then importantly, everything that comes in is timestamped, it’s logged, it has a retention process — it’s a workflow. So somebody may initially view it and decide that there needs to be more investigation or more action, and it’s moved to a new role, and a new person can look at it.”
One of the first things people ask in the wake of workplace tragedy is, “Who knew?” Miller said. “More times than not, companies just don’t have that information in hand,” he said. “Part of the important process that we’re supporting here is that … it’s all proactive, it’s all systemic. It’s all locked down and there’s a full audit trail.”
Different scenarios clearly call for different approaches. If an employee is undergoing financial stress, for example, the employer may opt to connect her to resources and benefits that can help — a financial counselor, for example. If a worker posts a violent threat or plans for violence online, on the other hand, the organization may need to spring into action to protect workers at the office or elsewhere from immediate danger.
Ideally, Miller said, organizations can identify and respond to warning signs long before behavior escalates into tragedy. Alarming behavior “is probably not a single thing,” he said. “It’s probably a pattern of activity that’s occurring over a period of time. But at some point, that pattern is going to rise to a level where the organization’s going to say, ‘Hey, there’s something going on here. And there’s concern and risk for the safety of people in the organization.’”
To determine which workforce management software is best for your business, we looked at an array of providers in the space and narrowed it down to the top 25. From there, we then analyzed these providers across five key categories for a total of 34 different metrics. With that, we scored and ranked each of the top 25 to find the best workforce management software.
Pricing is key for most small businesses, so we considered the pricing and overall affordability of each of the providers. This includes not only the pricing for paid plans, but the availability of free trials and free plans.
We considered a wide range of key features that businesses need out of a workforce management software. For example, we analyzed the availability of applicant tracking, benefits administration, payroll, time and attendance tracking, learning management tools, mobile apps, e-signature capabilities, alerts and reminders, org charts, task management, peer reviews, and more.
On top of the standard feature set for workforce management software, we also consider extra features and inclusions to provide a bigger picture in terms of which software is not only the best, but the best for certain use cases and industries. For example, this includes factors such as the availability of software integrations, engagement tools, tax tools, shift scheduling, PTO tracking, custom branding and live customer support.
To get a better understanding of how users feel about each of the providers, we looked at third-party ratings and user reviews. As part of this metric, we considered both the average rating for each provider, as well as the number of reviews each provider has.
In addition to the above categories, we also considered our own first–hand expertise when analyzing each of the top providers. This includes qualitative metrics such as ease of use, support quality, value for price, and popularity.
If the last two years have made anything clear, it's that without a functioning HR department, employees' needs tend to fall through the cracks.
The role of CHRO is now a top-tier executive role, yet still, one in four Fortune 100 companies have no people leader in the C-suite, according to a accurate report from software company BambooHR, and only 35% of startups have any kind of HR support at all. Apple, a major employer with nearly 164,000 employees, just announced the hiring of their first-ever chief people officer.
How are organizations functioning without these vital roles? It may be because CEOs don't understand just how pivotal they are to a company's success, while HR leaders may not have the acumen to get there in the first place, says Anita Grantham, head of HR at BambooHR.
Read more: Is your CHRO poised to become CEO? How the pandemic changed C-suite succession
"Very few CEOs know how to leverage the role strategically but also, most HR practitioners only know what to do tactically," Grantham says. "To get to the C-suite, HR people have to be judicious with spending and see themselves as accountable for the numbers on the balance sheet. If they aren't, they won't be relevant at the table where these financial conversations are happening without them. C-suite leaders have to be able to talk about how their role impacts the bottom line."
Much of this disconnect has to do with the way the workplace still views HR roles as limited to payroll and compliance. While those responsibilities have multiplied exponentially during the pandemic, with employees expecting more support and guidance from their HR leaders in both work and life, the burden of the old mentality could be holding HR professionals back from climbing the corporate ladder — and employers from seeing them as capable of doing it.
"HR often still gets bogged down with tactical responsibilities," Grantham says. "We have to find ways to relieve HR of the paperwork and the administrative minutia so that they can do their best work, adding strategic value and building employee experiences."
As for the smaller companies who don't have an official HR department, the lack of a formal position doesn't necessarily mean that they haven't filled the role. Smaller organizations like startups are rebranding human resources: 39% refer to HR professionals with titles that touch on employee experience — such as chief people officer, head of human capital management, or chief of staff, BambooHR data found.
These title changes not only relegate some of the traditional HR responsibilities to managerial roles across departments, according to Grantham, but also appeal to more potential applicants as they search for jobs.
Read more: How to recruit and keep top talent in 2023
"The term 'HR' has become antiquated and is almost seen as a negative by some," she says. "Companies are making attempts to rebrand what people see this function focusing on. Ultimately the title that should stick is one that positions it as a role which improves employee experiences in ways that make a meaningful difference to its people and the bottom line of the company."
But while companies may think they're managing these roles in a new and creative way, the need to prioritize HR strategies will only grow with time. As a recession looms and employers continue to feel the effects of the Great Resignation, it's critical for companies to adequately manage recruitment, employee engagement, compensation and benefits administration, as well as labor law compliance.
"As a company scales, the needs for HR will differ," Grantham says. "With 50 employees or less, at a minimum, you'll need an HR software that automates workflows and helps relieve some of the pressure. But by the time you get to 120 employees, you should have a recruiting leader and at 500 or more, if you don't have HR professionals in leadership, the company will suffer."
usatoday.com cannot provide a good user experience to your browser. To use this site and continue to benefit from our journalism and site features, please upgrade to the latest version of Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari.
A accurate survey by Alexandria-based Society for Human Resource Management of executives and HR professionals finds that the mental health of employees is a top priority for employers.
The COVID-19 pandemic is no longer the top office concern, according to a accurate survey of executives and HR professionals by the Alexandria, Virginia-based Society for Human Resource Management.
“What was clearly the top priority from 2020 all the way down to 2022 has now taken a step back and is now the fourth most-common priority,” said Alex Alonso, chief knowledge officer at the Society for Human Resource Management. “They are talking about how they go about managing it, as opposed to something that is taking lives or having to focus on vaccine mandates.”
What has emerged as a top priority for employers this year, is the mental health of their employees. That is partly because SHRM says companies have more tools and resources available.
“Today we have everything from subscription services to coaches, to other avenues that allow us to even do automated or machine learning coaching when it comes to our own mental health,” Alonso said.
The survey found only 38% of HR professionals believe they had effectively supported employees with mental health challenges in 2022, and 72% say it as one of the greatest external challenges for organizations.
Going forward in 2023, strengthening mental health benefits or coverage is a priority for 51% of HR professionals, a 9% increase over 2022.
When it comes to in-person, in-office demands on employees, companies seem to be backing off a bit. Only 35% of HR managers agreed that bringing back more of the workforce to the office is a priority this year — down from 48% who said so last year — with many managers having seen the benefits of hybrid remote work schedules.
Fully remote and hybrid schedule workers tend to report being happier, but SHRM’s survey also found those workers are more likely than on-site employees to be looking for a new job — 30% versus 21%.
“They are less committed to the workplace because they aren’t in the workplace. So they are jumping for other opportunities to have better opportunities in their own lives,” Alonso said.
Remote and hybrid workers are also more likely than on-site employees to recommend their employer, but only 46% of all employees answered yes when asked if they would recommend their organization as a great place to work. The same share answered yes when asked if they trusted their employer to treat them fairly.
SHRM conducted the survey in November 2022, with almost 1,800 HR professionals and about 600 non-HR employees.
Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.
Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.
© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.