There was a time, not so long ago, when punch clocks were the most efficient way of managing employee time. That’s not reality for most workplaces anymore.
Like most Millennials, I’ve never punched a clock. But I have filled out and handed in my fair share of timesheets. They were these crude charts made in Microsoft Word, with rows for each day of the week and columns for our hours. We did the math ourselves, which was always an adventure in a newsroom full of reporters and photogs working odd hours (but never more than 40). We’d print the sheets, sign them in black pen, get a John Hancock from our boss, and then place them into the hands of our Editor in Chief on Friday afternoon.
Thankfully, technology has made this type of timesheet an endangered species. There’s a wealth of software helping HR streamline processes like scheduling, payroll and compensation management in ways that are more befitting for today’s less rigid work environments. It’s almost hard to imagine a new employee manually tallying and logging hours on pages of paper and ink. (Sadly, we could say something similar for the newspapers where I began my career as cub reporter a decade ago, but I digress.)
Payroll is hardly the only HR function that’s enjoyed a digital disruption. From applicant tracking and onboarding to training and succession planning, a steady stream of software products have equipped HR professionals with exciting new tools of the trade.
So what’s the next category of disruptive HR tech that should command your attention in 2018? Wellbeing and work-life integration. And here’s why.The answer shouldn’t be all that surprising. In fact, noted HR analyst Josh Bersin predicted an explosion of disruptive wellness apps for 2017 … and doubled down on his prediction for 2018.
“I probably don’t need to mention that HR technology, content, and tools for wellbeing may likely be the next ‘big thing’ in business,” Bersin wrote in his “HR Technology in 2018: Ten Disruptions Ahead” report. “Not only do we need tools to improve productivity and reduce cognitive overload, but we also need ‘nudges’ and data to help us exercise, stay mindful, and learn how to sleep and eat better.”
It’s becoming ever clearer that helping employees manage job stress and mitigate work-life conflict is smart business. Al Zink, our head of HR at Care.com, will often say organizations happy to spend on performance management software must also invest in performer management technologies. The ROI on investments in wellbeing and work-life technologies is realized through reductions in healthcare costs, employee stress and burnout, and improved engagement, retention and productivity.
- Job stress costs American businesses an estimated $300 billion annually. That price tag includes absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, medical and insurance costs, among other factors. Work stress causes an estimated 10 percent of all strokes.
- Our aging population is driving unprecedented need for senior care. Today, about 40 million adults provide informal care for an aging or disabled relative – and most of them are doing so while working full- or part-time. Caregiving-related productivity losses from distraction, absenteeism and turnover are already costing businesses an estimated $38 billion annually.
- Health plan premiums are increasing, again. Considering mental health services and cardiovascular disease are among the biggest sources of claims for many companies, investments in wellbeing and work-life benefits that employees will actually use could help mitigate health care cost increases passed on to employees.
So smart business is to be proactive with wellness and work-life initiatives. Digital- and app-based programs, with high take-up rates and low administrative burden, should be an especially appealing option this year, considering the smattering of other key issues—like government policy uncertainty, harassment and talent acquisition—presenting challenges for HR throughout the 2018.
With that in mind, here are five quick reasons Care@Workmakes sense for your organization.
- Our full-service suite of family care benefits is built upon foundation of world’s largest digital marketplace of nannies, babysitters, tutors, housecleaners, senior care providers and more.
- Our consumer technology is architected to address needs of modern families in ways that today’s consumers expect. This technology allows for flexible, scalable benefits that work for any budget and organization.
- Care@Work’s second-to-none senior care benefits are backed by a team of master’s level social workers who can provide individualized support for employees in need.
- App-enabled backup care benefits for children and adults are proven to significantly reduce absenteeism. Employees who use backup care are, on average, able to work at least five additional days per year.
- Being accessible 24/7 from any device, Care@Work’s technology-based solutions allow for benefits equality across an entire workforce, regardless of location.
A final consideration in favor of investing your HR technology dollars in work-life solutions: Family care benefits enhance other organizational goals and policies, like family-friendliness and improving gender diversity. According to research from Gallup and the ILO, the challenge of balancing work and family is the single biggest factor inhibiting women’s labor force participation around the globe.
How will you take care of your workforce in 2018? Let us know in the comments below.