Five Tips for SMBs to Improve HR Efficiency
While HR can be complex, companies in industries with flexible workforces—such as skilled trades, wholesale, manufacturing, franchises and more—can face challenges that come from the seemingly endless cycle of hiring and managing part-time, full-time, seasonal, salaried and non-salaried workers. Many of these business owners and managers may find themselves spending more hours than they would like on discretionary activities.
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Here are five tips for small and medium size businesses (SMBs) that want to spend less time managing their HR and instead focus that time and energy on creating a productive workforce and, ultimately, powering business success.
1. Harness the power of your data to inform workforce decisions
For business owners, managers and HR administrators, Workforce Analytics offers customizable, powerful and scalable reporting with ease of use and efficiency. Users can drill down into critical information to plan for future staffing needs and predict their employee tenure based on attrition trends. Integrated with TriNet HR platform, Workforce Analytics delivers to SMBs rich data extracted from a single system, providing in-depth analysis needed for accurate reporting and forecasting in order to make informed business decisions.
2. Track work hours more efficiently
In industries with constantly changing work shifts and high employee turnover, keeping track of worker hours can seem like a full-time job of its own. Unfortunately, this issue is exacerbated when business owners are handling employee time and payroll via spreadsheets, manually completed time cards and paper forms. For companies that are pushing paper, the administrative burden of time-tracking may impede business success. Doing HR the old-fashioned way is not only a time-suck but it can affect accuracy, resulting in costly mistakes.
A time and attendance system that records time electronically each day can help make tracking employee hours a simple, automated process. The ideal HR technology solution for industries with fluctuating workforces is one that effectively and seamlessly integrates time and attendance data into their payroll system. It also helps owners to manage employee schedules and provides dashboards that give visibility into key metrics and reporting to help them understand their expenses. This product should be user-friendly so that employees can navigate it on their own, allowing business owners the freedom to focus on other areas of running their business.
3. Empower employees to handle many of their own HR needs
Many employers find themselves spending time entering and maintaining employee HR information, answering employees’ burning HR questions and handling paperwork that employees otherwise could take care of themselves. This time spent on HR can be magnified for companies that experience seasonality in business.
For instance, with an online self-service platform and mobile app, TriNet’s industry-tailored HR solution allows employees of small and medium size businesses to manage and update their personal HR information. Online benefits enrollment and support give employees control over their options.
The TriNet Mobile app helps SMBs streamline HR processes, improve their employee engagement and offer real-time access to HR information. It also includes easy access to HR functions, such as submitting time-off requests and accessing a detailed view of payroll data. Additionally, their employees can access a company directory and communicate directly with their teams through the app.
4. Find an HR provider that knows your industry
When it comes to business success, your people matter most. Most small business owners have their employees’ best interests at heart, but good intentions aren’t always enough when it comes to compliance. Businesses, especially those that operate in multiple states and have a flexible workforce, often find themselves struggling to navigate complex labor laws, employment practices and other ever-changing HR regulations. Companies that choose to navigate complex HR issues alone may find themselves in hot water, putting their business at potential risk of falling out of compliance with employer-related rules and regulations.
An HR team with industry-specialized HR experts can help bridge the gap between an employer’s good intentions and the HR needs of their employees. An effective HR solution provides guidance on HR best practices, comprehensive workers’ compensation coverage and claims management.
5. Find one vendor to cover your HR needs
Sometimes, even when a business owner gets to the point they realize they need help managing their payroll, benefits and other HR concerns, they struggle to decide what type of help works best for them and where to find it.
Consider the example of TriNet customer HST Materials, Inc. Before finding TriNet, they had one vendor who ran their payroll, another who managed their employee benefits, one for their cash balance plan and an HR attorney to help answer their employees’ HR-related questions. According to HST’s owner, Kathryn Miller, it would require a minimum of one full-time person to handle benefits, payroll, hiring, onboarding and answering questions for her staff.
According to Kathy, “hiring one or two HR administrators full-time would mean fewer machine operators or other skilled employees on the floor—and less revenue coming in the door.”
Industry-tailored HR solutions can help businesses avoid wasting time and resources that can come with one-size-fits all products or by enrolling employees into different systems to manage each of their benefits. HR services providers, including Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), differ in their offerings but the following features are ones companies with flexible workforces may want to consider when deciding which route to go with their HR:
• At-a-glance snapshots into your most relevant HR data through workforce analytics.
• Industry-specific solutions that understand your HR needs.
• Robust time and attendance capabilities for scheduling and tracking hours.
• Online payroll platform that integrates with a variety of Time and Labor Management and Point of Sale (POS) applications.
• An online self-service platform that is streamlined and secure, with convenient mobile access.
• Expert compliance and risk mitigation services that helps protect your business with HR guidance, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) coverage, claims management and online support.
• A workers’ compensation program that includes A+ rated carrier coverage, workplace safety training courses, workplace safety assessments and claims management to help protect your business.
• Access to enterprise-level employee benefit plans and assistance complying with the Affordable Care Act, COBRA, disability regulations and other state filings.
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