Category: Blogs

29 Mar 2017

A Historical Moment – Five Generations in the Workplace

We’re giving today’s collective workforce a new label: 5Gen. Why? Because there are five generations making a living in today’s business world. Think about it: five generations all in a single workforce. That means roots run deep, values differ, and technology can either be a bridge or a barrier.

Here is the breakdown of 20th and 21st century employees, who are all working together:

  • 1996-present: iGen, aka Generation Z
  • 1977-1995: Millennials, aka Generation Y
  • 1965-1976: Generation X
  • 1946-1964: Baby Boomers
  • 1945 and earlier: Traditionalists

The reason for this historic era is simple: people are living longer and more active lives. The Traditionalists and Baby Boomers do not have the financial security to retire, nor do they want to retire. In many cases the Baby Boomers are supporting the Millennials. Younger generations are more transitional, as they remain in their positions for shorter periods of time. Meanwhile, others, though fewer, aim for a “gold watch” career with a single employer. The reality is a multi-mindset, multigenerational workforce like never before. The challenge for HR is how to manage and support this five-generation workforce.

Getting Their Attention
How will you attract the new workforce? Job descriptions need to make an instant impression to move the reader from scanner to reader, yet be brief, because attention spans are short. Communicating is a challenge because each generation has its own preferences and expectations. Texting a Traditionalist might not be an option, while phoning an iGen might prove fruitless because they don’t check their cell voicemail. Managing communication with each target audience is a challenge. Technology works for all those born after 1964, however, the Boomers and Traditionalists are waiting for a personal phone call, or invitation to meet face-to-face. They have embraced technology, but they respond to more open communication and are more of a “we” vs. “me” generation. The Gen X, Y and Z candidates make up the “me” generations, and are extremely self-centric. They have global perspective and technology-driven tools, so they expect you to reach them easily: just email, text, Facetime, Skype or instant chat them.

Keeping Their Attention
How will you retain this multi-faceted workforce? Each group’s work ethic, values, and needs are completely different. Compensation and benefits are unique to each generation. Boomers and Traditionalists are concerned about affordable health plan options, while iGens, Millennials and Gen Xers want more time off and opportunities to enhance and expand their skills. Retaining top talent requires targeted benefits, development and advancement.

Avoiding the Gap
Mentoring and continuous learning are critical to the successful management of the multigenerational workforce. The right Human Capital Management (HCM) software can help HR directors bridge the generation gap to successfully recruit candidates, cultivate team building, implement effective leadership programs, and increase employee efficiency. HCM is the gateway to unifying and optimizing your talent, regardless of how many and which generations you’re engaging. You might need to provide more intense training for Traditionalists and Baby Boomers. You might be able to connect the generations by having Gen X, Y and Z employees mentor non-technology-driven employees. With HCM software, you will have the flexibility to meet the needs of all generations and the ability to evolve and grow with future generations as well.

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07 Feb 2017

Why Everyone Needs an Integrated Payroll Solution

Having a payroll software solution that is integrated with other types of HR management software can be highly beneficial to most companies, even across a range of industries. Having a patchwork of different software solutions can create confusion, cause payroll errors, and result in headaches and sometimes compliance issues.

An HR payroll solution that is integrated with other core HR functionality can help to eliminate these problems, increasing the overall efficiency of the company and saving managers’ and HR professionals’ valuable time for more lucrative endeavors.

Cost Savings for Unifying

Automating all processes instead of retaining manual systems for some functions can save companies money on rental space, paper supplies, and labor dollars. When software used for automating processes is bundled into a comprehensive solution, providers generally offer discounts.

Receiving software service for multiple processes from multiple vendors means maintaining several contracts and recurring monthly fees, which often add up to higher expenditures than a single unified solution.

Increase Efficiency to Boost Revenues

Changing employee information, job descriptions, and other HR data can be inconvenient when there are multiple software systems used. The process often requires the re-keying of data and may require contacting several vendors to pinpoint and correct errors, which can take employees’ time away from tasks that produce revenue.

When payroll solutions are integrated with all HR systems, changes update throughout all systems automatically, so efficiency is increased throughout the company.

Better Manages HR Data throughout Employee Life Cycle

Keeping all employee information accurate and consistent throughout an employee’s life cycle can be tough when there are different systems used for onboarding, payroll, scheduling, benefits, and retirement information. Using a system that singlehandedly updates all core HR data prevents errors that may occur as the employee’s information changes or moves through different phases.

Simplified Scheduling and Staffing

An integrated payroll software solution helps managers to view all relevant information when working on schedules. Unified solutions help managers to see where staffing levels are inconsistent with productivity needs, which employees are qualified to cover shifts, and how overtime may factor into scheduling needs.

Instead of having to move through multiple interfaces to obtain relevant information, managers can simply configure the system to provide notifications based on given rules and can then schedule accordingly.

Compliance Risks Greatly Reduced

Laws pertaining to healthcare and other employment issues are changing frequently and companies must provide reporting to ensure compliance with new or modified laws. Failure to provide accurate reporting or to complete steps necessary to comply with laws can warrant stiff penalties.

An integrated HR payroll solution can help companies to stay on top of compliance requirements by providing notifications regarding changes and creating needed reports at the push of a button.

Better Internal Data Security

Multiple login usernames and passwords can be difficult to remember and use, so managers and employees are much more likely to use generic passwords and other “shortcuts” to save time. This opens up the system to data breach risks that can compromise sensitive employee information.

Maintaining an integrated HR solution allows users to access the system with a single sign-on, making it easier to preserve security and identify who has access to what information.

Using an integrated payroll software solution is not only easier, it may save time and money while improving security and even scheduling capabilities. More streamlined solutions are where HR is headed, so consider these benefits when reviewing options for HR process improvements.

About the Author

Dave Rietsema is the Founder & CEO of He has a background in human resources and regularly publishes HR technology articles.

15 Dec 2016

‘Tis the Season! Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

The holiday season has officially begun, and along with it, comes the stress. It is a known fact that holiday stress invades the workplace and productivity declines. Thoughts of travel plans, shopping and planning for social events preoccupy most people during the season. Balance and moderation are key words to remember. Who can resist all those special nonstop treats that little elves seem to drop off at your office? Keep in mind all the outside social events you will be attending and pace yourself. Here are a few tips to consider this holiday season.

Be flexible. Scheduling can become a nightmare during the holidays. Take a look at your work deadlines and plan your calendars accordingly, keeping in mind your co-workers have commitments as well. Plan ahead, yet have a healthy dose of understanding on hand to be ready for unexpected events that might come up during the season.

Be charitable. Many companies sponsor programs, such as Toys for Tots, or local charities, such as food pantries. These community efforts boost morale and employee engagement. The holidays are a great time to bring people together for a common cause.

Be mindful. Many people celebrate holidays differently than you do, or might not celebrate them at all. Celebrate your employees by learning more about their cultures and traditions.

Be thankful. Acknowledge others’ hard work. It is always important to thank those who offer a helping hand. Say thanks. Write a note. A simple thank-you goes a long way.

The most important thing to remember about the season is to enjoy it, be healthy and stay safe. Drink plenty of water, exercise, laugh and count your blessings. While you might be thankful the holidays only come once a year, consider hanging onto these tips for the whole year. Happy, merry everything!

24 Nov 2016


According to Wikipedia, “Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.” So what does this have to do with the workplace? Gamification has moved into the workplace in an immense way. Do any of you remember the “Got Milk” advertising campaign? There was much more to the campaign when a UK Ad agency developed the game “Get the Glass”. The goal was to get people to drink more milk. Millions of people joined the game. Today, Gamification is being used in the workplace in numerous ways. If you think about it, everyone is playing something on their phones. People are motivated to share, compete, interact and make new friends through various games. We all want to motivate our employees, and we know recognition, rewards, and competition is a great way to do this. Learning has indeed recognized gamification but awarding badges and competition. When we want employees to mindful of important deadlines such as Open Enrollment, we add gamification.

The Millenniums were raised with rewards, praise, and everyone is a winner. Once referred to as Behavior Modification. If you do your chores for a week, you get a prize. When they enter the workforce, they are looking for the same thing. We tell our employees, “here are your goals”, and we reward them for their achievement. Now, we have the technology to help them manage their recognition and awards. Honestly, gamification stimulates creativity, collaboration and enhances decision making. By keeping employees engaged and encouraged, business transformations happen. Innovated thinking is cultivated and creativity results in new products and services. Companies can adapt to changing environments, marketplaces, if their employee is not motivated.

Every company has rewards; whether, they are for employee referrals, sales contests, or team initiatives. Companies have been rewarding employees for years. The difference is with Gamification, the employee self- reward. Employees have to achieve specific milestones, business goals and learn new skills. Using Gamification increases motivation and let’s call it what it is- having fun.

24 Sep 2016


Do you remember the last time you went to purchase an automobile? You knew what you were looking for: a reliable, dependable car. You wanted it to be functional, but look nice as well. For practical purposes, it should have cup holders, a navigation system, and maybe an excellent sound system. When you arrive at the dealers, they show you models that have apps, texting ability, iTunes, seat warmers, steering wheel warmers, auto starts. How about a self- parking capacity and a warning system when someone gets too close to you, or the reverse? Before you know it, you are walking out of the dealer with accessories you will most likely never use, and wondering. “How did that happen? What is even more important is that you purchased additional items you are likely never using. You were dazzled by the SHINY STUFF! At one time or another, everyone has done the same thing when making a big purchase, especially when buying software. We are all diligent about identifying the exact requirements we need. We include all parties to ensure we have captured everyone’s needs. After all, aren’t we looking to streamline processes, provide greater visibility, and ultimately reduce costs? Here are four easy steps to approaching the purchase of an HCM for your organization.

    1. Determine Your Business Needs. What is driving this decision? Do you need to replace your payroll system or the complete HR system? Are you 100% manual and need to automate? Are you growing and expanding into other locations? Do you have multiple systems that do not integrate with each other?
    2. Identify Your Company’s HR Needs. What functions are you not addressing today? How do you want your employees to interact with the system? Do you have other systems currently in use and will this HCM need to integrate with those systems?
    3. Establish A Budget. By determining the requirements, you will be able to identify which HCM market sector to include. Smaller and mid-size companies are often better off with a small or midsize HCM because they understand your needs and will help you avoid the “Shiny Stuff”. Make sure you are looking at all costs associated with various modules. When it comes to Payroll, don’t forget about the year-end costs.
    4. Security and Service. Security is critical to protecting company information. Are you looking for a Cloud-Based system? The system should meet the same standards that your governance requires. Do you require an SLA (Service Level Agreement)? Every HCM provider has one, and it should meet your requirements to proceed.

Doing your homework upfront will help you focus on what you need, and keep you away from the “Shiny Stuff”. One last item to add to your list is ROI. HCM Software is a large purchase, and you want to make sure you have established an ROI formula. Remember, everything has a number, and this included the ROI on software.

07 Apr 2016


It’s hard to believe the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010. It seems like it has been in existence much longer than that. Perhaps this is partially due to all the changes that take place, sometimes monthly. Just when you think you have mastered its nuances, another update comes along. There is no real way of simplifying reporting requirements as a whole. Additionally, for mid-sized companies (50 or more full-time or equivalent employees), there is no extra year of relief from reporting.

Here, we simplify the general requirements for employers who fall under the mid-sized company’s criteria, and some critical 2016 dates.

  • Applicable Large Employers (ALE) will complete the “C” reporting regardless of whether sponsoring or participating in a fully insured or self-funded plan.
  • Insurance carriers (with some exceptions) will complete the “B” reporting.
  • Forms 1095-B and 1095-C were due to employees by March 31, 2016.
  • Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C were required to be filed with the IRS if filing on paper by May 31, 2016.
  • Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C were required to be filed with the IRS if filing electronically by June 30, 2016.

For more information about all of the ACA Compliance Updates, please visit our ACA Alert page, where you can sign up to receive future ACA Alerts.