A fresh look at an old idea

The concept of “digitizing” business information and processes has been around for decades. The term even has a certain ‘90s ring to it. But with the impact of the coronavirus on businesses the last number of months, new meaning and urgency has been brought to “git-r-done,” to use another ‘90s reference.

The coronavirus is forcing businesses to ask fundamental questions about their business operations. How do we interact with our customers? How do we deliver our service or product? How do we manage cash flow when revenues are nearly impossible to predict? How do we communicate with and manage our staff? Successful businesses are the ones that are able to find ways to adapt to the massive wrench that COVID-19 has thrown into the engine of their business model.

At PayNorthwest, we help our business clients with their human capital management (HCM) activities – all the activities from recruitment to retirement. Many of those activities involve two things that the pandemic has made risky – the exchange of an object (usually paper) and the physical presence of a person in a physical location at a particular time. The good news is that clients now have tools, such as PayNorthwest’s cloud HCM system, to digitize almost all activities in the employment process, removing the need to exchange paper or for either party (the employee and the employer’s representative) to be in any particular physical location at any particular time for a purely administrative reason.

Let’s get specific. Here are key employment activities that we see our clients successfully “digitizing” using our cloud-based payroll and HR system:

  1. Recruitment – the application process and all application resources become fully online and accessible, including applicant self-service capabilities
  2. On-boarding – On-boarding tasks and welcome packets with accompanying on-boarding documents with e-signature capabilities are available and managed through the cloud-based system
  3. Benefits enrollment – offering of choices, comparison tools and selection process are all handled on the system, available on any device
  4. Scheduling – Schedules are created and posted, along with shift-swapping capabilities, are handled entirely online and accessible via any device
  5. Workday check-in – everything from touch-free GPS- and IP address-aware clock-in to daily health status questionnaires and attestation by the employee
  6. Time-off requests and approvals – no more post-it notes or face-to-face requests of supervisors and checking of paper schedules. Requests are made online with full visibility to schedules by requestor and supervisor
  7. Payroll and employee payment – electronic timesheets to a full array of electronic paycheck options, even for unbanked employees. No paper timesheets or paper checks necessary
  8. Performance evaluations – online, customizable performance evaluation with workflows, allowing businesses to conduct productive evaluations without the need to sit face-to-face
  9. Benefit carrier data exchange – typically very paper intensive, particularly for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, but when organizations use our system to connect benefit and payroll data to insurers, the process can be almost fully automated, removing the need for paper or manual intervention

The benefits of digitizing employee-related processes goes beyond adapting to the imperative of the coronavirus. Tremendous operational efficiencies are gained, even in a more normal business environment. In addition, all employee-related data now resides in one single database (at least in our system it is!), giving HR, payroll and business managers easy, comprehensive access to critical business information from anywhere, at any time.

This can seem like a lot, and for some, more of a dream than an obtainable goal. We rarely see a new client try to accomplish all of this in one fell swoop. Usually it is a journey of steps gained as our client employer has bandwidth and time. Now, with the urgency of the current situation, that journey is getting sped up. It’s time to “Git-r-done.” Let us help you.

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