January 13, 2020

An Overview of Cloud HCM Software and its Benefits

HCM Technology, Payroll Technology
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Once upon a time, an organization could buy HR and payroll software, install it physically on-premise and complete the subsequent required installation of updates as the product evolved.  Time passed and the Internet grew up, becoming more sophisticated with the advent of online commerce, user interface advancements and a multitude of entertainment and social media. Somewhere in all that growth and transformation, the Cloud was born.

The Cloud is not a tangible thing—rather, it’s a concept. It is countless virtual servers that are accessed over the Internet as opposed to on your computer or in a closet of your office building. This is quite handy because it means you can access your software, work in progress, games or data about your pay history straight from your laptop, tablet or smartphone—anywhere that has connectivity. When the Cloud was first introduced, it was a game-changer that allowed people to start working effectively from home, on a train, across the globe or at the beach. It gives you nearly infinite storage and access to programs you use most without cluttering up your hard drive or having to go to the store to buy the next upgrade for your Microsoft Office suite.

In the same way the Cloud has advanced the gaming and social media realm, it has facilitated tremendous advancement in Human Capital Management (HCM) capability. Organizations are finding that it is necessary to invest in either several different cloud-based HCM solutions that can be configured to work in relative harmony, or a total integrated HCM solution that handles everything from recruiting, onboarding, talent development and 24/7 self-service access of employee data; not to mention payroll, compliance and reporting as well. Cloud HCM software has become a must-have for companies who want to empower themselves and their employees to attain higher levels of productivity and return on investment.

Cloud HCM Software Frees Up Time

Before the invention of modern cloud HCM software, many HR and payroll professionals could only fantasize about what it would be like to reduce their load of transactional tasks in order to focus more on strategic goals, workflow analysis and talent development. While there is no magic wand to whisk away all tedious tasks, HCM professionals who have moved to cloud HCM software have experienced more freedom from paperwork as well as employee phone calls, emails and manual requests.  The self-service features of a cloud HCM system empower employees to access their own information in their own time, something that can increase their productivity as well as better serve people who work remotely, from different time zones, onsite with clients or odd-hour shifts. It is a human-centric improvement that boosts HR-employee transparency and accountability without adding work to the HR function.

Automating core HCM functions also frees up time and allows for shocking outcomes like payroll personnel being able to take vacations when they want to. Payroll, time and attendance, recruitment, onboarding, records management and performance reviews are examples of core HCM functions that can get an automation assist that takes pressure off the humans who have typically handled these tasks manually. This can provide bandwidth for those humans to deploy customized analytics dashboards and glean vital results, projections and information to help improve employee retention and engagement, career development and productivity. This can lead to the HR professional becoming more of a strategic business partner than a people and pay wrangler.

Cloud HCM Software Boosts Employee Engagement

Engaged employees remain longer with the company, work harder, exhibit loyalty and improve their skills more proactively. With a clear connection to improving the bottom line, it’s no wonder that improving employee engagement is high on the to-do list for most HCM professionals. Cloud HCM software, with its capacity for consumable learning and interactive communication content, is capable of engaging employees at any time of day from nearly any device or location. It enables employers to begin involving employees from before they are even hired, touting unique benefits, working conditions, reviews and ratings to entice desirable workers to apply or encourage friends to apply. Providing employees access to their own secure data and empowering them to change benefit selections or tax withholding levels themselves gives workers a better sense of control over their personal information and experience as a member of the team. Company messaging, celebratory milestones or simple reference materials can be made available or pushed directly to employee communication portals so that today’s workers have access to the employee handbook, tax regulations, employee learning reimbursement rules, the latest company softball team’s scores and so much more.

Cloud HCM Software Aids in Compliance

Federal, state and local payroll tax requirements, state wage regulations, the Affordable Care Act, the Family Medical Leave Act…compliance issues can be enough to make the typical human’s blood pressure rise. Complex and changing regulations are becoming harder and harder for individuals to track effectively across large and far-flung employee populations. Cloud HCM software is designed to be configurable, making them valuable for helping companies stay in compliance with rules and regulations (if set up correctly by people who know what they are doing). Otherwise, they can fail just as badly as an ill-informed, inexperienced human.

Choose the Right Cloud HCM Software with Wise Consulting

There are many different cloud HCM software products on the market today. Some work better for larger, more complicated organizations, and others are geared more toward mid-market to smaller companies. However, size does not always equal complexity. Because there are so many options with differing features and strengths, the savvy HR professional tasked with choosing an HCM system for their organization’s future will often opt to get help from a reputable, third-party consultant who has no vested interest in any one product. These capable, third-party consultants can help them analyze and evaluate the cloud HCM software options on the market. Prepared with a thoroughly researched document that makes the case for their product of choice, they can go into the purchase and implementation process secure in the knowledge that they chose the best system for the current and future needs and goals of their organization.

For expert assistance selecting a cloud HCM system, implementing the one you’ve chosen, or optimizing your current system, contact the team of Wise Consulting professionals to help you get it right the first time.