Employee engagement in HR shapes performance and payroll tech

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Employee engagement is taking new forms, from alternative payment options to community volunteer opportunities. Technology plays a key role in staying ahead of these changes.

Widening the scope and increasing the impact of employee engagement in HR programs to encourage worker participation and job satisfaction is a puzzle not so easily pieced together.

During her 20-plus years in HR, Sheryl Simmons has dealt with worker engagement initiatives through benefits and other perks, but employee engagement’s changing landscape still throws surprises at her. “I was amazed how important pet insurance was to millennials,” said Simmons, chief human resources officer (CHRO) at Maestro Health, a Chicago-based health and wellness vendor. The company has more than 300 employees and does, in fact, offer pet insurance, among other modern enticements that include an employee arcade.

Simmons and other speakers and attendees at September’s HR Technology Conference noted that HR professionals are dealing with issues well beyond a time when employees were satisfied with just a steady paycheck and decent benefits. Salary and benefits are still important, of course, but workers today also place importance on a combination of flexible schedules, work-life balance, frequent performance feedback, corporate culture and a company’s position on social issues.

HR software vendors are working to stay ahead of these trends. Technology in HR has shifted its emphasis from automating administrative tasks for workers and HR managers to improving workforce productivity, independent analyst Josh Bersin said at the conference.

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Employee engagement in HR shapes performance and payroll tech
Employee engagement is taking new forms, from alternative payment options to community volunteer opportunities. Technology plays a key role in staying ahead of these changes.

Scott Wallask
Editorial Director

Widening the scope and increasing the impact of employee engagement in HR programs to encourage worker participation and job satisfaction is a puzzle not so easily pieced together.

During her 20-plus years in HR, Sheryl Simmons has dealt with worker engagement initiatives through benefits and other perks, but employee engagement’s changing landscape still throws surprises at her. “I was amazed how important pet insurance was to millennials,” said Simmons, chief human resources officer (CHRO) at Maestro Health, a Chicago-based health and wellness vendor. The company has more than 300 employees and does, in fact, offer pet insurance, among other modern enticements that include an employee arcade.

Simmons and other speakers and attendees at September’s HR Technology Conference noted that HR professionals are dealing with issues well beyond a time when employees were satisfied with just a steady paycheck and decent benefits. Salary and benefits are still important, of course, but workers today also place importance on a combination of flexible schedules, work-life balance, frequent performance feedback, corporate culture and a company’s position on social issues.

HR software vendors are working to stay ahead of these trends. Technology in HR has shifted its emphasis from automating administrative tasks for workers and HR managers to improving workforce productivity, independent analyst Josh Bersin said at the conference.

Performance management a key ingredient
Bersin emphasized his point by citing performance management software. Initially, companies used these types of tools to weed out poorly performing employees. Now, 80% of HR professionals say performance management needs to improve the performance of workers and boost their motivation, explained Bersin, who plans to release a far-reaching HR tech study next year.

Employee retention — not termination — is the primary goal. That reality, however, can conflict with current HR software offerings. “A lot of the vendors built tools … that were centered on the last generation of management,” Bersin said.

His comments are supported by the findings of the 21st annual Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey, released at the HR conference by Sierra-Cedar Inc., a tech consulting and managed services firm based in Alpharetta, Ga.

“Large global companies … have abandoned traditional [performance management] models and replaced annual ratings and merit increases with continuous feedback and immediate rewards,” the 130-page survey reported. “Traditional applications have aggressively focused on rolling out updated or brand-new modules, aligning with new [performance management efforts]. Emerging platforms to this space are focusing on engagement, rewards and survey technology to challenge long-term players.”

Source: https://searchhrsoftware.techtarget.com/feature/Employee-engagement-in-HR-shapes-performance-and-payroll-tech

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