According to a new survey, HR professionals have a strong voice in their companies and are using it to promote change and innovation.
A vast majority (88%) of HR leaders responding to the 2020 Paychex Pulse of HR Survey feel that they are a strategic partner within their organization. Particularly, they say they have a vital role in navigating new regulatory challenges compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. About 80% believe that workplace technology helps support them in this role, and 79% say tech tools enable their workforce to be more efficient and productive.
Among other findings.
- Budgets are up, so are tech investments. Over two-thirds (69%) of HR leaders say that their budgets will increase this year; and technology tops the list (50%) of their planned use for these additional funds.
- Manual data entry is so yesterday…for the most part. Manual rekeying of data is down 60% from last year, according to respondents. Time spent manually merging data to inform decision-making has dropped about 40% from 2019. However, some HR tasks continue to be done manually. These include administrative tasks (such as checking pay stubs and submitting direct deposit), keeping up with the latest federal, state, and local regulations, and managing employee performance.
- Analytics are hot. The vast majority (97%) of HR professionals say they rely on analytics, up from 90% in 2017. Of those using analytics, 88% report that data helps them make more informed decisions and 84% are benchmarking data against competitors.
When asked about the most significant challenges they are facing as a result of COVID=19, survey responded identified several:
- Keeping employees motivated and engaged (56%)
- Keeping employees informed (56%)
- Managing employee stress (51%)
- Managing the expense of employee pay and benefits (41%)
- Providing technology to keep employees productive (40%)
- Providing employee training (39%)
“HR professionals have been invaluable leaders in their organizations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst widespread confusion and fear at a personal and professional level, they have called on skills that they may never have expected to utilize in a situation that has no playbook,” says Alison Stevens, Paychex director of HR services. “Through strategic leadership, consistent employee communication, regulatory compliance, benefits administration, and more, HR leaders have and will continue to play a critical role in helping their organizations address evolving business needs due to the pandemic.”