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New HR Spark Episodes: Hitting the Road, Honoring Payroll Professionals

Ultimate Software’s new video series, HR Spark, welcomes a bevy of industry experts for in-depth conversations on some of today’s hottest HCM topics and tomorrow’s most promising innovations. The underlying goal? To ignite ideas for your people and your business. In case you missed it: First, the series talked hearing the “Voice of the Employee” and using advanced survey solutions to better understand how people truly feel about work. The next episode covered fostering an employee-centric “Workplace Culture” and the importance of putting people first. Going Remote Fittingly, the third episode of HR Spark hits the road to explore “Working on the Go” and the rising number of remote employees comprising today’s workforce. Reporting seaside from beautiful West Palm Beach, HR Spark host Matt Mullan sits down with Ryan Bergstrom, vice president of product management at Ultimate, and Ben Eubanks, principal analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, who joins the show via Skype. The discussion hits on a variety of tools and technologies available to help remote workers remain productive, even if they’re hundreds of miles from the office. Ryan provides key insight into how advances like Ultimate’s new UltiPro® mobile app are helping companies deliver the same, engaging workplace experience employees expect when they’re working from home or in the field. “When you’re on the go, and being able to work in the app now, it gives you a wholly different world of just ease of use,” explains Ryan. “The systems are much simpler to use. You can take and do what seems like maybe a really complex task and you can go into a more mobile experience and do it in a really simple way, and get your job done.” Building on Ryan’s point, analyst Ben reminded viewers that, sometimes, people just want to be able complete routine tasks, such as updating their contact information or viewing pay history, without having to lean on HR. This is especially crucial for employees who are away from the office—and today’s HCM tech is giving them the power to do so, while further freeing HR to focus on more strategic initiatives. “Being able to make those changes remotely means one less hassle for HR, and a little less trouble for [employees], too,” says Ben. “That concept of viewing your paycheck, it seems like an easy enough thing … but, in reality, that paycheck’s different every single week,” adds Ryan. “And that generates a lot of questions [from employees]: ‘Why is this earning different? Why is this deduction different?’ … Being able to access that [pay] information on the go really adds a lot of efficiency.” Prioritizing Payroll Whether you manage a remote workforce or a traditional office, running payroll is perhaps the most important component of your business. To that end, the fourth episode of HR Spark focuses on payroll. More specifically, it celebrates National Payroll Week and honors the hardworking professionals who help ensure all employees get paid accurately and on time, every time. Joining Matt for an oceanfront chat this time were Andie Heffernan, manager of business analysis at Ultimate; Kate Bischoff, employment attorney and consultant at tHRive Law & Consulting LLC; and Justine Belt, payroll manager at RMH Franchise Corporation, the second-largest franchisee of Applebee’s restaurants in the United States. In a one-on-one interview to kick off the episode, Andie and Matt point out some of the biggest challenges facing HR’s “unsung heroes” in payroll: from computing complex calculations to remaining compliant at the local, state, federal, and provincial levels. “Most employees take for granted the amount of effort required to get payroll correct,” says Andie, though “technology has simplified the processes that feed into payroll, making it seamless to pay employees more accurately.” But, getting payroll right isn’t just about ensuring employees get paid. When payroll goes wrong, there can be major legal ramifications for an organization—as discussed among the episode’s expert panel. “There are so many [potential issues],” adds employment attorney Kate. “Imagine what the U.S. Department of Labor is going to say about failure to pay overtime and minimum wage? … When there is a payroll issue, that not only starts some litigation and agency action, but then it also can ripple into some of the big compliance areas.” Fortunately, for Justine and her colleagues at RMH Franchise Corporation, powerful payroll software has provided much relief for administrators and peace of mind for employees by simplifying processes and enabling role-based access to essential pay information. “RMH grows very rapidly, and, in the past, our providers could not keep up with us,” explains the payroll manager. “Switching to Ultimate, we no longer have those worries. We know we’re compliant with all our state and local payroll taxes. And to give our employees a self-service payroll module, where they can go in and see their paychecks and their W-2s—that was the deciding factor for us.” There’s plenty more to learn in the latest episodes of HR Spark. Check them out today, and stay tuned for the recap of our October and November episodes.