My HR Tech


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Since the new year is quickly upon us, and you’re probably thinking about all things goal setting – I thought it might be a good time to let you know about some of the applications and tools I love, and that you may find helpful in managing your team.

Now, keep in mind that some of these applications may have a bit of overlap with one another – but we use the best tool for that particular functionality vs. automatically going with a one and done approach.  But you need to figure out what works best for you and your budget.  OK – here goes…

First up is BambooHR.  This is really our foundational tech piece.  It’s what’s called an HRIS (Human Resources Information System); and it’s designed to be a sort of one stop shop platform for employee information.  The benefit for you is that all the employee data is in one place, you can run reports (for instance you can see what your turnover rate is, or report on the demographics of your team), and basically pull or view any employee information you want.  You can have a paperless new hire process, get eMail reminders of incomplete tasks or documents, track certifications and training and all sorts of other items.  One of the biggest benefits for both you and your team is that it’s also a stellar time off request, approval and tracking application.

The system automatically accrues time, it can also do future calculations – so, if I want to go on vacation in 6 months, the application will tell me how much vacation time I’ll have available by then.  And the whole request and approval process is online.

Of course there are loads of other features – check out the link in the show notes for more details.

“... the cost of employee benefits and perk programs – those should definitely get factored in.  After all, you’re paying for them – at least part of them.  So, I’m a big fan of total compensation statements, and I think you should give them to employees every year.

Next up is Asana.  Now you may know that Asana is a great project management system, but it can also be adapted to track progress on goals and objectives.  And of course, assigning tasks, follow up reminders, communicating on projects – Asana does a great job at all that heavy lifting.

Now to be fair, Asana isn’t the only good project management application out there.  There’s Trello, ClickUp, and even Smartsheet, Bitrix24 and ZoHo.  All of these applications either have a free tier or trial, so take a look and see what works for you.

Next on the list is Smartsheet.  SmartSheet is basically an online excel program on steroids. Once you create a sheet, you can put automated reminders on it, you can configure forms for other people to complete and it will populate the sheet, you can use it to route things for approval, you can use it to track projects in a calendar view, Gantt view for Card view, as well as the basic grid view.  In fact, I originally had my podcast production process organized in SmartSheet as a Card View project.  You can put in comments and notes, attach documents, it integrates with loads of applications.  I know, this sounds like a SmartSheet commercial – it’s just that we’ve found so many uses that allow us to just get things done faster and easier.

Onward to Box.  No, not Drop Box – Box.  We use for document storage –  I know people use DropBox a lot, but I’m much happier with the robust governance and compliance features on Box, because we need all that in addition to top level security.  Of course it has all the document collaboration features you would expect, plus eSignature capabilities.  But again, for me it’s all about the security features.

So, one of your employees just told you that she’s pregnant.  Feeling overwhelmed, with no idea where to start?  After all, HR just got dumped on your plate.  It’s not your zone of genius, and you don’t want it to be.

Managing California Leave is your answer.  It’s an easy to understand course, that explains what the various leave programs are – without the HR gobbledy gook.  And it gives you a clear step by step guide that walks you through the process of putting someone on leave

Yep, you get all the forms, notices and documents too.  Everything you need to do it right and do it fast.  After all, you don’t have all day – you have other things to do!

Use the link to get an Insider’s sneak peek  And don’t worry – you’ve got this.  And we’ve got you.

For benefits management we use the EASE platform.  It not only makes open enrollment a breeze, but all the information on all the plans are right there, available 24/7 for the employee to view – including what they are paying out of each paycheck for coverage for them and their family.  And, because it holds benefit plan costs, as well as salary information, it’s a great tool for generating Total Compensation Statements.

That’s actually a pro tip – when you’re discussing compensation, don’t relegate yourself to simply talking about salary.  After all, an employer spends a lot more on employees than their base salaries.

There’s the cost of employee benefits and perk programs – those should definitely get factored in.  After all, you’re paying for them – at least part of them.  So, I’m a big fan of total compensation statements, and I think you should give them to employees every year.  That way, everyone is keeping the full cost of compensation top of mind.

One note on EASE – it’s only available to benefits brokers and agents.  So you’ll have to go through your broker to get access.  But it’s the big kahuna in the benefits information industry, so the vast majority of brokers use EASE.

And last, but certainly not least – if you’re looking for applications to help with employee engagement – well, there a ton of them out there.  But I would suggest you take a look at Bonusly or Officevibe.  Bonusly focuses on recognition and rewards.  Officevibe has a bit more focus on feedback and relationship building.  So depending on what you feel you need most, right now, one may be a better fit than the other.

Now, I know this isn’t an exhaustive list – but at least it can get you headed in the direction.


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