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Ray Seaver
CEO | zizzl

Like many things in life, you can get more out of your payroll, HR, and benefits technology by putting more in.  I’m not talking about more money.  But with a little extra attention, there are three no cost things you can do to squeeze more value out of your current solution.

  1. Read through “new release” documentation

Most vendors offer webinars after a release that provide a high-level overview of new features.  Often, however, a feature that will save you hours of work is buried in the detail of the documentation.  It may be as small as a new formula condition available for overtime calculations or time-off accruals that would replace a manual spreadsheet you’ve been maintaining and uploading every week before payroll.  Attending the webinars is a good practice but by carefully reading through new release documentation you will discover hidden gems that make your life easier.  The best-case scenario is that your vendor’s service representative is proactive in setting up one-on-one time with you after each release to introduce you to the new features.


  1. Frequently promote mobile device features

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 77% of American adults own a smartphone.   That number hovers around 90% for 18 to 49-year-olds.  Why so high?  Because it’s an easy way to access the internet, stay connected, transact personal business, and find information.  Over 93% of smartphone owners describe them as helpful.  It just makes sense then that your employer brand will get a positive boost if you make your people aware that they can use their phone to view their paycheck, request time-off, provide insurance details at the doctor’s office, or enroll in benefits.  As employees exercise their preference to find information and transact payroll, HR, and benefit business on their phone, HR and people manager productivity also gets a boost.  If the solution you are using does not offer or charges extra for mobile device features, it may be time to check the market for a more modern solution.


  1. Be an active participant in your user community 

You’re fortunate if your solution provider actively promotes, supports, and provides you with access to a user community.  Often you will find one or more “power users” in that community that know more than the service team members of the vendor.  Typically, they’ve been around a long time, have encountered most issues, know the best work arounds, and are more than willing to share their knowledge.  But don’t expect them to immediately embrace you.  There is a process.  Step one is to identify the power users.  This isn’t difficult.  Just ask other users and monitor the communication threads.  Step two is to engage the community.  Again, not a difficult task.  Ask questions, preferably some that have some meat on them.  Don’t expect others to look things up that you could simply look up yourself.  That just says you’re lazy.   Step three is to reciprocate with thoughtful answers supported by detail.  The power users watch who is sharing and adding value to the community.  They’ll be there for you if they perceive you as a “good community member”.  Step four is to attend the user conference of your vendor if they offer one.  Okay, this one might cost a little extra money but it’s worth it.  Typically, power users love to meet the new generation of good community members and build relationships in person.  Having invested in building that relationship might make the difference when you are in tough spot and need a quick answer.

A little extra attention will go a long way in helping your organization get more out of the investment you’re making in payroll, HR, and benefits technology.  Giving a little extra to release documentation, mobile device features, and the user community will pay big dividends.  On a zero dollar investment, it’s all reward without the risk.

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