By James Tehrani and Olivia Kotowski
As 2023 begins, let’s take a moment to revisit the last 10 seconds of last year.
It’s just a fraction of a minute, of course, but those 10 ticks offer what feels like an eternity for reflection and anticipation of what comes next as we count down the 10 … 9 … 8 … with family, friends or even Ryan Seacrest.
Time is top of mind not only on New Year’s Eve but also throughout the year whether we’re running late for our 10 o’clock meeting, trying to keep up with payroll or waiting for the big game to start. But we usually don’t sweat the seconds. Unless we’re running a 100-meter dash, attempting to cook a poached egg that would make Gordon Ramsay blush or being asked to name five songs in 30 seconds as part of a radio contest, we often don’t pay much attention to the seconds tick, tick, ticking away even though those microunits of time add up quickly.
People have literally been counting the seconds for at least 3,500 years; that’s about 110 billion seconds by the way, but who’s counting? And making every second count is a nice idea, but it’s not one we, as humans, can realistically subscribe to. People just aren’t built that way. That’s why humans have been turning to software and technology for generations to help us do our jobs better and more efficiently.
PrismHR understands the importance of time when it comes to HR functions from benefits administration to talent management and everything in between. Whether you’re an HR outsourcer or a staffing company, at PrismHR the innovation you need starts with faster speeds.
Not counting the Great Depression, we experienced record unemployment during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the premium amounts companies must now spend on talent (recruiting and retention), supplies and other costs from inflation have begun to wreak havoc on many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Some of these businesses are just trying to survive in these times of economic uncertainty as many don’t have the money or time to deal with these overhead expenses and problems.
On top of all that, just one successful cyberattack could cause even more disruption—or worse!
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That’s why PrismHR believes that innovation and security tools should be as readily available to that small mom-and-pop shop selling fresh-baked goods as they are to a Fortune 100 company selling high-tech consumer products online and in big-box stores. Through pooled resources and efficiencies in HR-related areas, smaller businesses can compete and thrive even in tough times.
As Scott Cormier, PrismHR’s vice president of product management, explains, “part of our efficiency strategy is putting the power of changes and updates back into the SMBs’ hands.”
This means, he says, they don’t have to wait for a change to be made.
“For the service provider, if they can take a task that they normally do and have the SMB manager do it instead, that takes one thing off their list of things they need to support,” Cormier adds.
In other words, it’s efficient and magnificent!
Time and Time Again
Without a doubt, innovation and advancements, whether implicit or tangential, almost always involve time and convenience.
Innovation, of course, can come in many forms both small and large. It can be as obvious as the powerful electronic device that fits nicely in your front pocket or that grain of sand hidden in an hourglass, i.e., innovation related to cutting seconds from a process. Still, when the times “they are a-changin’” through innovation, those updates whether flashy or clandestine are designed to empower efficiency and present true value.
By the way, to be most effective, innovation must be powered by engaged employees focused on growth. Coming out of a pandemic where workforce and customer expectations have changed on a variety of fronts, this is especially important.
A strong performance management strategy, like continuous feedback, for example, is necessary to foster growth, innovation and employee engagement. Focusing on performance management is time and resources well spent. Performance management encourages retention, growth, efficiency and engagement. These are key factors in helping to build—and maintain—a successful organization.
For instance, employee engagement is one of the most important components of workplace efficiency, and one of the best ways to foster that engagement is through performance management. With effective performance management strategies, employees become more proficient and efficient, which benefits the company and the company’s SMB customers as well.
And while it’s hard to position anything as “good” coming out of the pandemic, one global survey taken early in the COVID-19 era did find that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation by six years around the world. That’s because previous tech inhibitors—such as lack of strategy, getting executive approval, reluctance to replace legacy software and lack of time—began to break down by necessity, especially as more companies were forced to turn to a remote or hybrid work strategy to maintain productivity.
At PrismHR, inhibitors and roadblocks, such as the aforementioned, are viewed as opportunities for growth, enhancement and innovation.
Just like Dr. Hannah Ritchie, head of research at Our World in Data and senior researcher at the University of Oxford, recently wrote in her Big Think essay, “Optimism is seeing problems as challenges that are solvable; it’s having the confidence that there are things that we can do to make a difference.”
It’s that optimistic attitude that drives PrismHR’s focus as the future of work continues to evolve. It all starts with being mindful and proactive about improving the time it takes PrismHR’s customers and their SMB clients to manage tasks. That’s why PrismHR’s goal since Day One has always been to bring in the best talent and accelerate innovation to help make day-to-day tasks easier and, well, less time-consuming.
We Know Every Second Counts
Take payroll processing for example. Having to toggle between two different screens can take two seconds on average. That might not seem like a big deal, but if you have to do that 5,000 or even 10,000 times a day—that’s more than 160 minutes and 330 minutes, respectively, and, for perspective, the men’s and women’s winners of the 2022 New York Marathon ran 26.2 miles in about 129 minutes and 143 minutes—you can see how that can become a huge timesuck.
PrismHR believes that every day spent trying to give even a couple of seconds back to customers is time well spent because we know that time adds up quickly.
The process that HR outsourcers use needs to be efficient, and those users need to be empowered to handle more and more HR-related tasks as quickly and as effortlessly as possible as the company grows. That goes for everything from benefit administration to payroll to onboarding to performance management and on and on.
Additionally, “Every time we improve these processes, we’re also taking a huge load off the systems,” says Adam Van Beek, PrismHR’s chief innovation officer for engineering. “By lightening that load up and reducing the time,” it improves efficiency for everyone.
PrismHR has three different categories of users, Van Beek adds: employees (they generally use the system to check pay stubs and such); managers (they might use the system for onboarding and other audit-related information); and HR outsourcers (the Professional Employer Organizations [PEOs] and Administrative Services Organizations [ASOs] that provide HR-related services to SMBs).
For these power users, every second does indeed matter.
“We’ve done a lot in the past year,” Van Beek says, “to add more monitoring and collecting data to understand what the users are doing. And we continue to look for ways to make the users more and more efficient. For example, we found that 10,000 times every day a user is sitting at one screen, and it takes them two seconds to go from one screen to another screen, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but that adds up to 20,000 times in a day. So we want to simplify the process to make things easier for them—and every second we can save them makes a huge difference.”
Collecting data, of course, is part of any organization’s digital transformation strategy. The more data you have, and the more analytics you are able to analyze, the more insights you can get.
“When we look at scalability,” Van Beek says, “we’re looking at, as the data grows, more employees, more data, more historical data, we want our customers to be able to process and navigate at the same pace and the same rate” with more insight-related capabilities in play.
2023 promises scores of exciting enhancements and innovations for our customers.
As always, we are listening. If you have ideas or suggestions, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager (CSM) or contact us through the website. There’s no better time than the present!