You want your employees to be highly engaged, so they can give their best at work and help the organization grow. To position your employees for success and help them perform to their potential, you’ll need to provide an excellent employee experience filled with positive encounters with coworkers, managers, and the broader organization.
The employee management policies and programs you establish will help you recruit, pay, and develop your workforce successfully, so you can deliver an optimal employee experience from hire to retire. Use this guide to learn strategies and tactics for improving employee management along each stage of the employee lifecycle journey.
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What Is Employee Management?
Just about everything you do for your employees is part of your overall employee management program. But what is employee management, exactly?
Employee management comprises all the policies, services, and activities that help your workforce perform at optimal levels and, in turn, help the organization achieve its goals.
Because employee management is a broad topic, it’s easier to understand when you group its many components into the following categories:
- Talent acquisition: The activities you undertake to attract and onboard candidates
- Performance management: Processes and systems that encourage employees to do great work, such as performance reviews, feedback, and rewards
- Engagement and retention: Programs that drive employee commitment to their roles and the organization, for example, benefits, training, and development
Employee management is one of the most pressing issues facing business leaders today. In fact, according to a recent survey by The Conference Board, CEOs ranked attracting and retaining top talent as their number one internal concern. By streamlining employee management in your organization, you can attract and retain talent more efficiently and also improve your HR ROI.
The State of Employee Management Today
Your workplace is always evolving, and as a result, you need to keep track of changes and trends impacting your ability to attract, hire, and keep your best employees. Your approach to employee management impacts how well you build a workforce that is skilled and ready to meet today’s challenges.
Joint research by the Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group identified some of the top trends impacting employee management today. They include:
- Advances in technology: New digital tools are rapidly automating key tasks and providing data for improved decision-making.
- Demand for new skills: Employees need to acquire new skills to be effective in the age of digital transformation.
- Changing employee expectations: Employees seek meaning, empowerment, and new ways of interacting at work.
- Changing work models: Remote work and contingency workers are in greater demand.
Given the impact of these trends in the workplace, you need to be highly efficient in how you manage the workforce. Achieving balance is critical to your success. You need to support employees throughout their entire experience with your organization, but you must do it without getting bogged down in manual tasks and paper processes.
As a busy HR leader, you have a lot on your plate. To accomplish your goals and keep pace with the trends affecting the workplace today, you’ll need a solid employee management strategy and the right tools to help you make improvements along the way. With effective employee management, you can be more productive and take the following actions:
- Build a strong pipeline of talent for open positions.
- Provide new hires with the onboarding they need to be successful.
- Identify training and other development to help employees grow and improve their performance.
- Implement the pay and recognition programs that will improve employee engagement.
Top Employee Management Challenges Facing HR Leaders
Managing your workforce requires the ability to think strategically about long-term needs while managing the day-to-day. For example, once you have attracted new talent and made a hire, you’ll need a robust onboarding program to help new employees start their new roles successfully. Similarly, you want employees to receive the training and development they need today, so they can advance and achieve their career goals in the future.
An annual XpertHR survey found the number one challenge for HR executives is recruiting and hiring talent. However, as you know, attracting and hiring employees is not the only employee management challenge, and hiring just the beginning. Over the course of employees’ time with your organization, you support their growth and development with a range of services and programs in areas such as compensation, benefits, training, and performance management.
As you work to meet the short- and long-term needs of employees in your organization, you’ll need to tackle challenges in the following areas:
- Full employee lifecycle support: Provide employees with a seamless HR experience, keeping them engaged from the moment of hire through the end of their time with your organization.
- HR compliance: Understand and meet the legal requirements for activities such as payroll, benefits, time off, and leaves.
- Talent acquisition and planning: Deliver the necessary talent to help your organization meet its goals.
- Data-driven decision-making: Track HR metrics to help you understand and improve the ROI of your employee management activities.
Once you have identified the top employee management challenges facing your organization, you can start developing a strategy for improving the employee experience. With the right tools and resources, you can begin to do more for your employees without stretching yourself too thin.
How to Offer a Positive Employee Experience
In a KPMG study, 85 percent of senior HR leaders said that employee experience and engagement was the most valuable HR capability. To create an employee experience that supports high levels of engagement, you’ll want to ensure a seamless flow of HR services and programs. By offering value at each stage of the employee lifecycle, you can help employees feel supported, empowered, and valued.
A positive employee experience requires thorough communication and a clear path for employees to get the information and support they need. Your employee management program won’t be effective if it’s confusing, conflicts with employment law, or gives employees the runaround when they try to get useful information. As you begin to identify ways to improve your employee management activities, be sure to weave the following components into your activities:
- Clear communication: Develop comprehensive policies and make sure employees understand the HR resources and support available to them.
- Integration capability: Use an integrated HR solution to keep all of your employee management activities in one place, so you can say goodbye to inefficient, disconnected HR systems.
- Employee self-service: Let employees access their employment information and get answers to questions about pay and other benefits.
- Compliance: Keep all employee management activities in compliance with state and federal laws.
- Flexibility: Use cloud-based self-service tools that enable employees to connect with their manager, peers, and the organization from any location.
How Streamlining Employee Management Can Protect Your Bottom Line
Managing a productive HR function requires an eye for efficiency, so you can do more for employees while also saving time and money. However, it can be challenging to manage overlapping processes for hiring, payroll, benefits, and employee development. And, if you’re using multiple systems to manage those activities, you’re likely not as efficient as you could be.
Research shows that using separate systems to manage your workforce consumes considerable time and money. An EY study found that many companies overspend on activities related to manual processes and duplicating HR data from system to system.
When you use effective tools for attracting and managing talent, you can spend more time supporting the workforce and less on manual tasks. As a result, you become more productive and get a better return on your investment of time and money.
When you streamline your employee management activities, you can take the following actions:
- Automate processes for payroll, benefits, scheduling, and time and attendance.
- Reduce your reliance on paper.
- Spend less time tracking down information for employees that they can access themselves through a self-service function.
- Understand and control your spending on payroll, training, and benefits.
- Make data-driven decisions that help you avoid waste and inefficiency.
How to Improve Employee Management Within Key HR Functions
Employee management spans across many disciplines of HR, but managing each of its parts with separate and distinct systems will only make you less efficient. Instead, you can benefit from HR technology that helps you manage all areas of employee management from one, easy-to-use platform.
Comprehensive human capital management (HCM) software is an all-in-one tool to help you manage your entire workforce at all stages of the employee lifecycle journey. It helps you manage your day-to-day activities for payroll and benefits administration, while also providing reporting tools and dashboards for long-range workforce planning and employee development initiatives.
Here are some of the specific things you can do with technology designed to help you more efficiently manage your workforce:
You can post open positions, build a talent pipeline, and track your candidates through each stage of the hiring process. Use metrics such as time to hire and cost per hire to help you identify the most effective candidate sourcing and selection methods. You can also improve the productivity of your recruitment process with the added benefit of applicant self-service and personalized candidate email templates.
Use cloud-based tools to connect new hires in any location with the people and resources they need to get started in a new role. As you orient new hires to your culture, you can also automate your new hire paperwork and meet all applicable compliance requirements for payroll and work authorization verifications.
Conduct performance reviews and create a performance record for employees containing their ratings, productivity reports, and performance improvement plans. You can also provide managers with access and reports to help them have well-informed performance discussions with the employees on their team.
Health and Safety
Maintain a strong employee safety record with compliant workers’ compensation and OSHA reporting. You can also create and share a thorough return-to-work plan, so employees understand how your organization is supporting their health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Time and Attendance
Take the confusion out of time and attendance planning, and provide employees with self-service for time and attendance. You can also avoid discrepancies and errors by managing employee paid and unpaid leaves alongside your payroll activities. Automate employee hours and overtime eligibility tracking, so you can stay in compliance with changes to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules.
Ensure accurate employee salary, commissions, and bonuses. With employee self-service, you can give employees access to their pay stubs, tax forms, and other payroll records. By integrating payroll reporting with HR data, you can create a 360-degree view of your workforce.
Replace paper and spreadsheets with automated benefits management, covering activities such as new hire benefits elections and annual open enrollment. Track your benefits programs and costs, and give employees 24/7 access to the following benefits information:
- Plan documents
- Benefit coverage levels
- Payroll deductions
- Contacts for benefits questions
Understand your training investment by tracking metrics such as the number of training days and training cost per employee. Help employees advance and reach their career goals by creating training and development plans for each, and track their skill development over time. Use consolidated employee reports to connect employees with mentors who can support their development.
Tracking metrics such as overall turnover, early turnover, and turnover by manager will help you identify issues affecting retention in your organization. You can also conduct employee engagement surveys to understand the activities that help you retain good people.
Give departing employees a positive and stress-free experience. Automated offboarding allows you to generate accurate final pay statements and COBRA benefits notifications. You can also store exit interview notes and run reports to help you identify turnover trends.
Conclusion: Manage Your Workforce with Greater Efficiency and Improve Your HR ROI
Effectively managing your workforce is a juggling act. It requires you to keep several HR processes running at once. At the same time that you are recruiting and hiring, you are also creating programs to engage and retain your existing employees.
Thankfully, modern technology can help you achieve efficiency in all the areas of employee management, while also helping you exceed expectations for a great employee experience.
When you streamline your employee management activities, you get more done and provide better support to employees as they move through their lifecycle journey. All-in-one workforce management software can help you address the challenges of employee management, provide a better employee experience, and become a more productive HR leader. To learn more about how Fuse Workforce Management software can help you simplify employee management, schedule a free consultation.
Streamlining Employee Management FAQs
What is streamlining in business?
Streamlining in business means making an organizational process shorter or more efficient. One common way to streamline a business is by automating manual or paper-based processes with technology. For example, using technology to simplify HR processes such as hiring, payroll, and benefits management can streamline the employee management process and boost efficiency.
Why are streamline services important?
Services that streamline processes in your organization are important because they save time and money and boost employee productivity. Without streamlined processes, your organization can encounter more errors, waste, and inefficiencies.
Why do managers need to streamline their business?
Managers are not only responsible for managing people, but also processes. To ensure smooth business operations, managers must identify areas to streamline processes and make them less cumbersome and time-consuming for all involved. Streamlining processes can also help managers improve employee engagement.
Efficient processes allow employees to complete routine tasks more quickly and spend more time on high-value activities that keep them engaged and challenged.
How does streamlining help business?
Streamlining processes means creating a more organized and efficient path to completion. When employees can complete a process faster, they have more time to spend on other activities, ultimately saving time and money. For example, to streamline payroll functions, businesses can use an automated system to create repeatable functions and run payroll without conducting manual calculations and data entry. As a result, payroll is more accurate and takes less time to complete each pay period.
What are the major challenges HR managers are currently facing?
HR managers face a range of challenges across the entire employee lifecycle management spectrum. From finding the right talent for open positions to improving accuracy in payroll and reporting, building efficiency in HR processes is not an easy task. Some of the additional challenges facing HR managers include:
- Maintaining compliance with labor laws.
- Competing for talent and offering a seamless candidate experience.
- Using HR analytics to support data-driven decision-making about the workforce.
Thankfully, streamlining employee management activities can address these challenges by offering HR managers the tools and techniques needed to manage employees from hire to retire.