How Automation Supports Humanity at Work

We’ve long used technology to simplify our personal lives, such as for getting directions and checking weather forecasts, to name a few. Now, more consumer-grade tech than ever can simplify the work we do, too. But tools like self-service software and automated payroll processing aren’t a substitute for people—they complement people.

In the last few years, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation. At the same time, increased economic uncertainty spurred stress and concern, leading some to resist new workplace technology.

But great tech helps us achieve more by making people better:

  • Collaborators
  • Communicators
  • Innovators

Above all, software that simplifies tasks helps HR foster an environment where employees want to work, grow, and thrive.

How the Right Tech Supports Positive Workplaces

Tech is an integral part of our lives. It has evolved the way we shop, play, learn, and engage with the world. Anyone who uses self-checkout or streams movies at home enjoys the convenience of automation.

Yet for many, the technology they’re given to use at work falls short of their expectations. In fact, 67% of employees said they’d take a pay cut for workplace tech that’s twice as good as what they’re currently using, according to a nationwide OnePoll survey commissioned by Paycom. There’s no reason workplace tech can’t be as intuitive and easy to use as consumer-grade software.

The right tech has the power to reframe and repair our relationship with work. Employee-guided payroll, for example, automatically leads workers to find and fix errors beforepayday. This gives employees peace of mind, an opportunity to better plan their financial future, and a reason to stay with their company long term.

Automation also eliminates redundant and time-consuming manual data entry. Rather than losing hours to unnecessary administrative tasks, employees are freed to focus on the parts of work that give them purpose, like problem-solving and helping others. That may be why 64% of U.S. workers said HR tech has a positive impact on their job satisfaction, per a Morning Consult survey commissioned by Paycom.

When businesses automate with self-service tech, it doesn’t devalue employees’ work—it helps them find more value in it. The right tech opens the door to:

  • Upskilling and reskilling
  • Strategic planning
  • Completing long-term goals
  • Greater confidence and agency
  • Stronger compliance

With this new lease on their work lives, people take a giant step forward in their development and well-being.

How the Wrong Tech Harms Businesses

Not all HR software is built the same. That’s why HR tech investments must be informed by employees’ needs. If it can’t help them, they won’t use it.

In a Pollfish survey commissioned by Paycom, 88% of C-suite executives nationwide said the tech they purchased is underused by employees. And if workers reject these tools, HR has to make up for the loss.

For a process like benefits, an HR professional would have to manually record employees’ selections, then painstakingly enroll them without making a mistake. Just one error could require significant time to fix and even trigger a compliance issue.

On average, HR pros said employees miss deadlines for important tasks more than three times a month due to a tech mishap, according to another OnePoll survey commissioned by Paycom.

When tech works against employees—such as by overloading them with too many logins and passwords—it leads to a painful, frustrating experience. Even software with seemingly limitless functionality fails if it’s not simple for any employee to use.

And no employee should be expected to use tech they’re not prepared for. If it’s truly the right choice, it should be clear and intuitive. However, employees still expect some guidance. That’s why it’s crucial to demonstrate the value of HR tech, even before employees start using it.

How to Find the Right HR Tech

HR tech that automates processes empowers employees of any business. An overwhelming 82% of HR professionals agreed self-service software positively impacts engagement, according to research commissioned by Paycom.

But again, HR tech is only right when it places employees first. It’s key to ensure the software you consider is truly convenient—such as a single software with just one login and password. This makes it easy for employees to access everything they need, such as payroll, benefits, training, and more.

As you consider the best HR tech for your people, look for a provider that:

  • Prioritizes ease of use
  • Helps prepare you for audits and other compliance hurdles
  • Positively impacts culture and engagement
  • Supports your brand, hiring strategy, and employees’ careers
  • Proves its reliability, security, and value through industry standards
  • Is as committed to your success as you are

As technology evolves, so does our potential. HR software doesn’t detract from who we are but expands the possibilities of who we can be.

Jennifer Kraszewski is VP of HR at Paycom.

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