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TECH+ 2021: Executive Summary

Paycor hosted TECH+, our annual national partner conference on Feb 1st and 2nd and this year, the event was virtual. As always, TECH+ brought together benefits brokers, financial advisors and HR consultants for two days of learning, insights and strategies designed to improve business development and client retention. View the sessions on-demand, here.

Here are 11 key takeaways:

#1: Transparency, Technology and Data Analytics are Transforming Employee Benefits

Benefits teams are in the spotlight now that American business is undergoing a “revolution in caring.” Business leaders are focused on making improvements:

  • 61% focused on improving health and well being
  • 55% focused on improving employee satisfaction and engagement
  • 49% focused on increasing employee productivity (which was previously #1)

Leaders know data is important, but they don’t always know what to do with it. The solution is to get trustworthy data from their analytics solutions.

What’s the advantage of data analytics?

  • Brokers evolve from brokering products to an advisory role.
  • Existing clients get new opportunities and increased value.
  • Addresses the root issue of rising healthcare costs vs. reshuffling expenses.
  • Changes the conversation from shifting costs to controlling costs…
  • …and from one-size-fits-all to personalized insurance.

With the right technology, you can watch the data unfold and then talk to your clients about pivoting to make sure their plans meet the needs of their members (ex. Generational cohort analysis).

The top 3 predictions for data analytics?

  1. Rise of data-driven decisions: Today it’s a competitive advantage for advisors; tomorrow it will become the standard.
  2. Rise of APIs that will enable program impact monitoring at scale and reduce wasted data management effort.
  3. Rise of mediators that will maximize data-driven results while respecting privacy and owner’s rights and restrictions.

#2: Your Clients Can Build an HR Team on a Budget

The role of HR is evolving to be more flexible and align with organizational objectives. Successful HR teams invest in 3 key areas: talent management, benefits and HR operations. As a broker, you are in a unique position to help your clients build the case for investment in additional headcount or an HCM technology solution.

  1. Talent Management
    Your client’s HR team can analyze key metrics within talent management to improve processes. However, to identify and fix problems, you need quality data. An effective HR team also needs to prioritize standards for onboarding. The secret weapon is recruiting technology. By limiting manual tasks, an organization can instead promote training, culture and connection.
  2. Benefits and Labor Costs
    Benefits are often a key differentiator for candidates. To compete, HR teams should evaluate benefits costs, participation and satisfaction. HR technology can help your clients automate manual tasks and provide decision support for benefits and benchmark options. Additionally, HR and Finance teams can leverage data to examine the impact of key labor expenses including overtime costs.
  3. HR Operations
    HR Ops keep a pulse on key metrics like net promoter score and retention and turnover rates and then they share what they’ve learned. That way, HR teams can replicate proven methods for retention. A key to retention is training. Ninety-one percent of employees are thinking about both career development and training when they’re deciding to stay at a job or jump ship. Paycor can help your client’s HR team implement feedback, learning management and career development, all proven ways to reduce turnover.

#3: Unique Trends in Manufacturing Deserve Special Attention

Manufacturing is in an interesting spot: there’s a lot of growth and demand, but leaders face challenges in talent management, workforce management, employee experience and benefit administration.

Value-add sales for manufacturing is all about showing how HCM technology can provide a return on investment. Here’s how:

Become an industry expert

  • Demonstrate expertise: Be a thought leader in the space and educate clients.
  • Know the unique challenges: Earn the right to have a conversation and drive demand.
  • Join state and national organizations: Build community and participate.

Prioritize prospects in your ideal customer profile

  • Build a communication plan for those key accounts.
  • Focus your message to how your solutions map to those unique pain points.
  • Share content from the COI, but tailor the message.

Add value to clients, prospects, partners at every step

  • Every partner, client, and prospect can learn something from you.
  • Provide solutions for HR challenges by applying your HCM knowledge.
  • Know where your product and service are strong and where you may have a competitive advantage.

#4: Leslie Odom, Jr. Can Sing

TECH+ attendees were treated to a conversation with Tony Award-winning actor, Leslie Odom, Jr. He talked about quarantining with his family, learning to play chess and cooking his favorite Asian cuisine. Best of all, he sang a few songs from the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton. Here are just a few highlights from the one-hour conversation:

“Why was Hamilton such a phenomenon? I think because it was a well-made thing. And anything well-made is good. Sometimes in our need for speed, we can forget quality.”

“Some decisions you make to prove who you are to yourself. We have ideas of who we are. But it’s the private moments of integrity. Take the risk—I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror.”

“There is no need for courage if fear isn’t present. The only chance to develop that virtue of courage is when there’s a little bit of fear in it.”

#5: Transform Your Clients’ Experience to Earn their Business

It’s important to choose a partner that doesn’t compete with you. At Paycor, we’re here to provide you with resources that help retain your existing clients and attract new ones. How? Through the four pillars of Industry, Expertise, Service and Loyalty.

Consumers want to engage with brands that are setting new standards in meeting their expectations.

At Paycor, we invest in resources that help you connect with new clients and retain your existing relationships. Paycor’s loyalty program, Inside Track, gives you access to tools and services that align with your business development strategy and will help you grow.

Your clients receive a unique, personalized implementation experience that separates Paycor from other providers. And our Partner Care program is set up to make sure you have everything you need to meet and exceed your clients’ expectations.

#6: HR and Benefits Trends Will Continue to Evolve in 2021 and Beyond

2020 made a big impact on HR, from the disruptions of COVID to breaking new ground in diversity, equity and inclusion.

What lessons did we learn?

  • Employees can adapt
  • Working from home can be more productive
  • Employee communication is essential
  • Emergency plan/policies are now ready for everything
  • Employees want to talk about diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Organizations really are responsible for the safety, wellness and mental health of their employees

What’s on the HR horizon in 2021?

1. New Focus on Employee Health

  • Mental well-being needs to be a priority.
  • The value of your infection control policies.

2. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Initiatives

  • Continue the conversation. Your workforce deserves your commitment
  • Leadership is essential

3. The Need for HR Skills (critical thinking)

  • Not reacting emotionally to issues, but thinking through all aspects (not just legal and compliance) of issues (PR, morale, etc.)

4. The New Candidate

  • Everything has changed! How we interview, what skills we’re looking for, why do they want to work for us, new focus on the internal candidate

5. Training

  • Leaders (how to lead remote workers, onboard new employees, diversity equity and inclusion
  • Employees (technology in a remote world, diversity equity and inclusion, available mental health resources)

6. New Laws & Decisions

  • Keep an eye on political shifts so HR can be prepared.
  • New policies can have a huge impact (minimum wage, immigration, etc.)
  • Do a compensation review and have a strategic talent plan

#7: To Build the Case for HR and Benefits Technology, Talk ROI

Sixty-six percent of CFOs said their HR departments have an average or worse than average impact on the bottom line of their business. This is evidence that there’s a significant opportunity for brokers to help HR professionals and benefits professionals show the C-suite the value of their efforts.

Getting to ROI can be simplified by assigning value to every HR action in every pillar of HR excellence: recruiting, benefits, labor costs, people management, compliance and employee experience. Leverage years of metrics from more than 5,000 organizations and published industry benchmarks against your client’s actual costs with the Paycor ROI tool. You can:

  • Monetize HR functions and show the savings benefit of HCM technology.
  • Insert and compare the labor costs for manual tasks.
  • Measure the total for frequent practices using your client’s costs.

Use Paycor’s ROI tool to create meaningful metrics and enable your clients to tell HR success stories using the language that CFOs speak.

#8: 2021 Will Be the Year of Financial Inclusion

The financial industry is going through dramatic changes, including a renewed focus on leveling the playing field. The following are just some of the questions financial institutions are asking about how best to reach out to traditionally underrepresented groups.

  1. How do traditionally underrepresented investors feel about retirement and the financial industry?Employees across the board see bias in the system. Seventy-two percent say retirement savings planning is not created equal for everyone. Seventy percent say retirement planning is a luxury that is not afforded to all types of Americans.
  2. Are these investors prepared for retirement?Not only are there perceived inequalities across demographics, but there are also realized inequalities. Some employee segments (Black, Hispanic) lag behind their White counterparts in retirement savings. Women lag men across all segments.

    We’ve known these disparities exist – and we still haven’t been successful at solving the problem.

    Neurodiverse employees face more barriers across the board than those who are neurotypical. Common barriers (for both, but more so for neurodiverse) for not saving for retirement:

    • I need to make ends meet
    • I am paying back debt and/or student loans
    • I am saving for a major purchase
    • I have medical expenses
    • I have childcare expenses
    • I’m expecting social security to cover my retirement
    • I don’t know a lot about saving for retirement
    • It’s too late to save for retirement
  3. Where do investors of different backgrounds turn for financial advice?More than half of respondents say they don’t think they’ll be taken seriously by a financial services company. (White men is the exception)
    • 52% all respondents
    • 64% Asian men
    • 63% First-generation Americans
    • 60% Multicultural households

    As a result, many employees are turning to other sources for advice:

    • 44% my family
    • 36% online information I find myself
    • 25% my friends
    • 44% my employer
    • 15% my colleagues

    For some, they’ve never had retirement…an “American retirement” is a foreign concept to first-generation Americans.

  4. How can we in the financial industry help traditionally underrepresented groups prepare for retirement?76% of investors crave advice that is personalized, unbiased and simple to understand.

    56% want to hear financial advice from someone who looks like them.

    Digital tools may help ease representation issues. Underrepresented investors identified social media and text messages as ways they would like to receive guidance. Take a look at the tools you use because delivery type is important for inclusion.

    Top 5 ways respondents want to learn about retirement:

    1. Online tools I can use to fit my needs/situation
    2. Easy-to-read articles on websites
    3. Personalized information about my savings
    4. Classes I can view online to educate myself
    5. Visual information

#9: Unique Trends in Long-term Care Deserve Special Attention

Paycor is the only HCM company delivering technology and expertise for long-term healthcare. How do we solve the challenges unique to long-term healthcare?

  • Industry positioning: Where our solution is strongest
  • Education: We want to add value to our clients, share our resources
  • Expertise: Create a community of advocates, share knowledge

We create customized product solutions for long-term healthcare leaders to help solve their biggest challenges, including:

  • Recruiting and hiring skilled nurses
  • Scheduling coverage to meet client needs and meet ratingv
  • Automated time solution to track labor costs and job costing
  • Nursing engagement and retention
  • Reporting to meet PBJ requirements and employee insights
  • Best-in-class partnerships to meet industry specific challenges

Paycor has more than 6,200 healthcare customers, which means we pay more than 175,000 healthcare employees.

As a broker, you need to determine your industry strategy. Prioritize prospects in your ideal customer profile. Put a communication plan in place for those key accounts. We can help you with co-branded materials. Become an industry expert. Add value to clients, prospects, partners at every step.

#10: It’s Time to Adapt to the Remote Employee Lifecycle

Yes – remote work is here to stay!

Managers are finding there’s a lot of efficiencies: companies are seeing 15-40% increase in productivity, 10-15% reduction in turnover, 40% reduction in absenteeism and more than 20% in cost savings. To succeed, companies need to adopt strategies that are being evolved as we speak, including:

The search for talent (best practices):

  • Use digital tools to increase your talent pool.
  • Don’t stick to your local jurisdiction—look anywhere in the world.
  • Accelerate tech-enabled recruiting tools, like video interviewing, to get to know a candidate.
  • Automated résumé tools
  • Establish an onboarding platform that acts as a one-stop shop of all materials and communication.

Talent retention:

  • The typical office perks (commuting subsidies, celebration of milestones, gym memberships, support with childcare) need to evolve.
  • Explore paying for employee’s work-related utilities, like internet, a mobile phone allowance and equipment to help build remote workspaces.
  • Flexible schedules are helpful.
  • Hybrid models, allowing employees to go into the office if they choose.
  • Promote a healthy work/life balance. Stick to a routine.
  • Have managers check in, see how their employees are doing; don’t forget the human touch in a virtual environment.
  • Avoid off-hour messaging. No weekend emails, etc. (If this is a culture change for your company, it will have to start from the top.)

Maintain corporate culture:

  • Encourage leaders to set up different ways to communicate (set up office hours, more drop-in sessions at different times of the day).
  • Leaders really need to proactively tackle mental health. Making sure your employees know they’re supported.
  • Build social/virtual intimacy.
  • Utilize technology to empower employees to form their own communities.

#11: And Finally, It’s More Important than Ever to Foster Women in Leadership

There are now 4.5 million fewer women in the workforce than before COVID-19. That’s a daunting problem, but now’s the perfect opportunity to tackle this issue. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Focus on progress, not perfection.
  2. Make it a team effort. When men are deliberately engaged in gender inclusion programs, 96% of organizations see progress compared to only 30% of organizations where men are not engaged.
  3. Most organizations try to do way too many things. Instead, pick three things you can rally the organization around. For example:
    • Be a “best place to work” for parents.
    • Pick a “level” of job roles to focus on (ex: goal is to increase the number of female directors).
    • Prioritize celebration and connection.
  4. Make sure you address opportunities for all women
    • Promotion and pay equity are fundamentally different for women of color. And if you aren’t careful, your intentions may focus primarily on educated white women.
    • Anchor the pay to the job role and not someone’s past salary.
    • Share your data. Publishing the data makes you accountable.
  5. Be more flexible
    • Women are typically responsible for 2.5 times more caregiving responsibilities.
    • Women are more worried about being judged for having caregiving responsibilities.