Monday, November 20, 2017

Human Resources Skills You Will Need For The Future

The role of human resources personnel is expanding beyond its traditional focus faster than ever before. To understand the human resources skills you will need for the future you must understand HR’s traditional focus.

Human Resources Skills You Will Need For The Future

Traditional Focus on Human Resources

In the past HR personnel handled more of the transactional administrative duties; today most of these are performed by computers and technology. Administrative skills are still listed in job descriptions as skills employers desire in an HR professional. However, employers currently place a greater importance on commercial awareness, diplomacy, and relationship building.

In the past, human resources were more focused on technical elements such as hiring and firing. Today the role is seen more as a strategic partner in business with significant influence over the growth of the company. They must also have the ability to support and understand relations between colleagues and different departments.

The Future of Human Resources

Technology is continuing to automate so many different aspects of our daily lives, especially in the workplace. In the future, one critical human resources skill will be data collection and analysis. They must master collecting relevant employee data and employing it in the workplace. To create better employee training, find more suitable applicants, retaining employees, and gaining better management insights.

Also as computers progress, it will be increasingly more important for HR personnel to stay tech-savvy and up to date with the latest technology. Thankfully most modern systems are designed explicitly for more user-friendly.

One significant advantage of these software programs is the ease of use and capabilities. ACAWise which offers all-inclusive full-service ACA generation and e-filing. Now instead of worrying about your ACA compliance, you can focus on your team and what is truly important.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How to Solve Multiple Holiday Request for the Same Date

Probably the most challenging aspects of holiday management at least for HR professionals are employees wanting the same day off. However, this situation can be prevented by having a clear holiday request policy. Learn how to solve multiple holiday request for the same date.

How to Solve Multiple Holiday Request for the Same Date

Holiday Request Policy

To not offend your employees you must be consistent and approach the situation with fairness with a policy and process for communicating requests. Additionally, this method and system must be well known and understood by your staff before the holiday season. However, even with all of this preparation, your managers must be brave enough to turn down holiday requests when the date requested disrupts daily business functionality.

With tax time just around the corner, it is important to monitor your employee's’ working hours despite the holiday season. Use ACAWise to track hours, project penalty estimations, forecasts insights, employee state and easily generate ACA reports.

Negotiate Peace

Even with clear holiday policies and the confidence to refuse unreasonable requests you are not out of the woods yet. You will find employees up in arms against each other in personal disputes especially as the days get closer to Christmas.

To help encourage camaraderie among your employees, you will want to spend some time working on employee relations and company culture. Team building exercises are a great way to help employees understand each other, especially those who are very different from themselves.

While you are working to negotiate peace between your employee it is important to remain compliant with federal ACA regulations. ACAWise uses state-of-the-art flexible data capture to interpret your ACA information. Find your employee's eligibility and affordability quickly and save yourself time and money.

Keep Everyone in the Loop

Avoid holiday disputes by keeping everyone involved and in the loop. Confusion and misinformation can happen when requests were declined unfairly, or manager disagrees on the approval of another manager. One way to avoid this kind of disputes is by assigning a holiday approver that is first submitted to a manager the department before receiving final approval.

Tread carefully, because this suggestion can turn ugly rather quickly. If holiday requests are not passed along and immediately addressed they can be missed place or worst causing miserable employers.

It is a Wonderful Time of the Year

Just being honest this time of year can be a significant thorn in an HR professional's side. However, when you prepare in advance and keep everyone informed it can be made a little more comfortable. Try using these helpful tips and suggestions to avoid disruption within your workforce.

ACAWise is your one-stop destination for keeping up with hours in order to determine your employee's eligibility for benefits. It is important to not lose focus during the holiday season because year-end reporting is right around the corner. Please comment, like, and share this informative blog with those who understand the pain of HR holiday management.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

How to Handle Employee Holiday Requests in Style

Human resources tries to manage holiday requests

Let’s be honest managing holiday requests can be a thorn in HR’s side. However, with a little preparation, you will be rewarded with happier employees and fewer disruptions to your team. Learn how to handle employee holiday requests in style before it is too late.

How to Handle Employee Holiday Requests in Style

Communicating Annual Leave

One of the most common problems with annual leave is finding out how many days your employees are entitled to. This luckily is easy enough. If an employee is salary or works full time, they are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid leave.

However, this is not the biggest issue with annual leave. HR will find in many cases that their employees feel their annual leave is unfair.

Some of these reasons may include:

Tips and Advice for HR Entitlements:

1. Attractive Holiday Plans
Company-wise your entitlement plans need to be attractive to your employees. For a bare minimum the company must comply with laws and regulations but by offering extras will go a long way with the happiness of your employees. Consider offering public or bank holidays as extras instead of including them with employee entitlements.

2. Fair Treatment of All
Another way to avoid disgruntled employees is to award entitlement fairly. Everyone should be treated the same, and there should be no favoritism involved when it comes to annual leave. Granting additional benefits to a select group of employees will only lead to disruptions within your team.

Consider increasing entitlement across the board as an alternative that will encourage loyalty among your employees.

3. Increase Understanding
This point can not be stressed enough. Make sure your holiday pay and entitlement program is clearly understood by all of your employees and easily accessed. The worst thing you can do is appear to be hiding something.

The holiday season can be hectic for everyone especially those in human resources, but when you prepare you can keep your employees focused and productive. Try using this helpful tips and suggestions to help avoid any disruptions within your workforce. Please comment, like, and share this informative blog for those who understand the pains of HR holiday management.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Your October ACA Update

Stay ACA compliant with ACAwise
Despite recent attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it remains intact. Currently, you are still required to e-file by the March 31st deadline, so it’s a great time to go ahead and prepare to file now.

However, as tax season approaches new changes to the regulations could take place any day, so please keep checking back for ACA updates. For example, the IRS recently announced that they will reject e-filed tax returns to fail to mention ACA information. Also, paper filed forms that neglect to mention ACA info will be delayed.

To have your return accepted on time taxpayers will have to disclose whether they had coverage, an exemption, or if they will make a shared responsibility payment. The shared responsibility payment is actually the penalty for not offering health coverage as an ALE (Applicable Large Employer) or for not offering health coverage that meets the minimum ACA requirements.

In order to meet the minimum requirements, your health plan must be designed to pay at least 60% of the total cost of medical services for a standard population. It must also offer benefits that include substantial coverage for physician and inpatient hospital services.

E-Filing With ACAwise

We understand that ACA reporting is relatively new and can be confusing, but that’s why we’re here to make it easy. Stick with us, because we are the market leading, IRS authorized full-service ACA e-file provider.

By full-service we mean that we do all of the complicated tasks for you and even offer year-round support. Our built-in analysis and reporting helps you determine eligibility and affordability to ensure that your ACA data is compliant all year.
ACAwise offers year-round ACA support
We will also automatically generate code and reports based on your year-round ACA compliance tracking to make sure that your ACA e-filing process is quick and simple. With ACAwise, you can bulk upload information for all of your employees at once and use our print center to have us print and mail copies of your forms to any of your recipients.

Best of all, our amazing, US-based support team is here to help. We will answer all of your questions, and even give you a full demo to show you exactly everything ACAwise can do. Give us a call Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.954.8420. You can also reach us via live chat and take advantage of our 24/7 email support at
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Big Data's Powerful Applications in HR

Big data, along with its three key features of volume, velocity, and variety, is considered the foundation of modern analytical systems. As of 2013, 91% of America’s top executives have been planning big data initiatives. And finance and marketing industries have already acknowledged (and leveraged) the power of machine learning algorithms to identify profitable stocks and customize catering to clients.

As far as HR purposes go, Google (a data-driven company) has developed a model that can predict promotions with 90% accuracy. Other managers, however, have not been able to use the big data/HR equation because people aren’t ready to hand over control to the computer.

So just how is big data affecting HR and how will it in the future? Let’s explore that!

Big Data for HR
If HR teams were to use a statistical model based on big data, that would mean “replacing presumptions with validation, hunches with data, and intuition with success ratio.” Talent scouts often face a significant challenge when structuring large quantities of different data that needs to be evaluated against a unitary scorecard. Big data offers a solution to that by employing methods specially designed for variety.

Potential Benefits
Taking it a few steps further, big data could provide some serious benefits in the HR sector. These benefits include
  • Decreasing the cost of bad hires
    • -Big data can help cut down on bad hires.
    • -Wrongfully chosen employees can cost much more than just their salary and benefits:
      • -Recruitment costs
      • -Training expenditures
      • -Productivity loss
      • -Negative client reviews
    • -A primary challenge of HR analytics is using big data to predict a match between candidate skills and personal beliefs against company needs and values.
  • Increasing retention rates
    • -Big data algorithms nominate individuals by studying employees’ online activity, profile updates, employment history, job performance, and payroll data
    • -Employees that are red-flagged by the algorithm could be given a raise, a more challenging role, or more training in order to prevent resignations
    • -Companies that already do this, including Xerox, Walmart, and Credit Suisse, have seen retention increase as much as 20% with these algorithms.
  • Performance prediction
    • -When you’re hiring, big data HR analytics models can help you find the best candidate profiles based on the job’s requirements and existing top performers.
    • -They do this by using existing records of successful candidates to create high performer profiles which you can use as to create a targeted head-hunting tool to send personalized messages to the right talent.
    • -Predictions are necessary to evaluate future job openings, promotions, and even layoffs, and aligning models to your business strategy can help you use big data to save time and money on recruitment.
  • Improving benefits packages
    • -Using big data similar to insurance companies, employers can gather health related data of their staff and candidates to create more attractive and useful packages.
    • -Keep in mind that you should be transparent about collecting such data, stating your final goals, to avoid legal issues related to discrimination practices.

Legal and Ethical Issues
Although there aren’t any legal statements against using big data for HR analyses and evaluations, ethical concerns are still a factor to consider. Privacy is an important concern and many people are afraid that the numbers could work against them and even encourage discrimination.

Of course, stereotyping and unfair treatment of an individual outlier based on the general performance of a group is not acceptable in the business sector and is an unsolved problem that could result from using big data with HR. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that algorithms do not have intuition and are unable to assess undocumented progress, which is where HR representatives come in.

Just make sure to keep everything as transparent as possible and continue to work within employer/employee laws and guidelines when utilizing big data for HR purposes.

So what do you think? Will you begin using big data to improve your HR department and the reliability and productivity of your employees? Do you use it already? We’d love to hear all about it - just leave us a comment below!

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Why Cloud-Based HR is Set to Make Rapid Gains

Folks, we’re experiencing a trend shift in the way Human Resources are handled. The cross from traditional on-premise HR software to cloud-based alternatives is happening in droves and the Information Services Group (ISG) has the market research to confirm it.

The Switch to Cloud-Based
ISG’s study is based on data collected from over 200 “senior leaders” in the HR management, business operations, and IT fields. Each respondent represented a large company with at least 1000 employees. Because companies of this size tend to play a role in industry trends, researchers were able to gain insight of where the market is headed, especially in terms of new technologies and other wide-reaching changes.

What they found was that HR automation services are the big ticket items on the agenda.

Crunching the Numbers
According to their study, ISG learned that 12% of their participants represent companies that handle HR activities exclusively in the cloud. An additional 10% rely on a combination of on- and off- premise software. Based on information provided about the participants’ technology roadmaps and growth projection, ISG believes this will double to 44% of firms using at least one cloud-based system in 2018 and should reach 54% by 2020.

And we could even see a bigger growth given that the tally increases to more than 75% of organizations when we include those that use internally-developed HR systems hosted on cloud infrastructure and other off-premise deployment models. In other words: cloud-based is on the fast track to becoming the norm for HR departments.

Why Cloud-Based Works Better
During the study, representatives provided answers for what they hope to achieve by switching to the cloud, which provided some insight into the increase in its use. 41% of respondents listed cutting costs among their top priority when switching to cloud-based. 30% of respondents utilize cloud-based as a way to make HR staff less dependent on the IT department and to provide a better experience for employees overall. And just over 25% of respondents cited “access to ongoing innovation” as a benefit of cloud-based programs.

To read ISG’s full report, click here. And to learn more about ACAwise, a cloud-based program that helps you with everything health care benefits- and Affordable Care Act compliance-related, sign up for a free demo here!

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

The 3 Best Practices in HR Analytics

Strategic use of the statistics you gather from Human Resources (HR) analytics can make a powerful difference in the success of your business. That’s why forward-thinking businesses have embraced data analysis in the interest of business performance and, ipso facto, higher profit margins.

So what are the three most important practices you should be doing with your HR analytics? We’ll tell ya!

Gathering Data
Believe it or not, companies used to not collect all that much in-depth data on their employees and hardly any on their consumers. If they did collect employee data, it tended to focus on the past - the employee’s history with the company, number of days absent, compliance and retention.

Today, companies collect much more data and not just on their current employees. Data is regularly analyzed on brand image, potential recruits, customer reach and retention, demographics, and hiring patterns. The more data you gather, the more you’re able to interpret. For example, one report found only 30% of the US workforce is actively engaged at work. That’s a pretty low percentage all things considered, right? Not exactly: if you factor in an internal data analysis that revealed 82% of the time candidates are placed in the wrong position, that low percentage of engaged workers makes more sense. And if we get proactive with this information, business owners and HR personnel can work to ensure the right people are in the optimal positions.

Knowing Your Consumers and Your Team
Unilever VP of HR for UK & Ireland Placid Jover said it best:
“It’s key to realize that today we compete based on insight. It doesn’t matter whether it’s soup and soap, fizzy drink or cars, success is based on knowing your consumers, users or shoppers and their habits, and then being able to quickly mobilize your organization to embrace and action the insight.”
There really is no substitute for having a thorough grasp of your employees and your consumers. For the employee side, when you have a team you can rely on to intuitively spring into action, you’re far less likely to lose out to your competition or find yourself and your company at the center of a public relations or legal debacle.

As far as your consumers go, if you can predict what they want before they do, you put yourself on the cutting edge in providing them with the solution they need.

Building a Better Business Strategy
Using HR analytics and data analysis when approaching your business plan can lead to new and innovative approaches to your strategy. In the case of sportswear giant, Adidas, analysis of HR analytics caused an increase in employee engagement levels and revamped how management, communication, and other departments work together. Three driving core pillars - data, metrics, and the employee experience - were able to provide them with insight into “employee behavior, skill-sets, and talent.” Combining a business strategy with a people strategy helped work toward the betterment of the company as a whole.

One way you can gain more insight into your HR analytics is with ACAwise! While our main focus is Affordable Care Act compliance, the employee information you enter to complete ACA e-filing can offer key insights into the healthcare plans you offer as well as employee needs, attendance, and enrollment. Schedule a free demo today to learn more about the analytics reports you can generate through ACAwise as well as how it benefits HR professionals as a whole!

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