The marketplace can't stop talking about the power of mobile technology. By 2014, Gartner forecasts, there will be more than 70 billion mobile application or "app" downloads — every year. 

Mobile HR technology: Improving engagement, productivity and decision-making

Voice-Jun2012-dayforce-wfm-mobile (1).jpgThe marketplace can't stop talking about the power of mobile technology. By 2014, Gartner forecasts, there will be more than 70 billion mobile application or "app" downloads — every year.

When you compare mobile apps to the traditional on-premise enterprise software still widely used for HR activities, it's no surprise that 72 percent of business decision-makers say deploying mobile apps to their workforce increases productivity, according to Outsystems.

Why? According to Larry Dunivan, senior vice president of product management and technology for Ceridian U.S., HR mobile apps improve employee engagement. "Today's workforce demands flexibility," Dunivan said. "Mobile apps give your workforce control over their lives within boundaries that meet the company's critical requirements."

Employees once flustered by bureaucratic tasks can accomplish wonders in a few taps of their fingers. Managers routinely plagued by scheduling and time-off requests can approve or deny dozens in a matter of minutes. HR professionals on vacation during payroll processing can even submit payroll poolside.

More efficient, convenient workforce processes

With the latest mobile workforce management (WFM) technology, the days of pen, paper and spreadsheets are history. Many back-office management tasks are not far behind.

"We want to give access to the managers who are on the front line so they can actually monitor activity from anywhere they are," said Thas Thambapillai, corporate controller for Nor-Sham Hotels, a Ceridian Dayforce WFM customer.

Managers at companies with innovative Web-based WFM systems can review attendance, access employee contact information, review and approve time-off requests, and even validate employee time entry using geo-coordinates — without being tethered to a computer.

Likewise, employees can experience a much more convenient process for clocking in and out, requesting time-off, and reviewing schedules, paid time off balances and tasks. If the app has a messaging center with SMS and call functionality, they'll also be more responsive to manager requests and inquiries even off the clock.

As a result, employers can boost service levels, employee satisfaction and productivity by keeping their workforce engaged in serving the customer rather than dealing with administrative frustrations.

Some key factors to consider when comparing WFM vendors and their mobile technologies:

  • "It has to be Web-based," according to Thambapillai. Web-based solutions with data hosted in the cloud will yield fast, secure and fully featured mobile applications. Managers and employees will receive the same real-time, automated functionality they enjoy on their PC.
  • The interface must be intuitive. Often upper-level managers don't want to invest the time to re-learn an application, but rather seek an interface that's very intuitive, as easy as "point-and-click." Easy-to-use features eliminate system training, reduce time spent on WFM tasks and work seamlessly with mobile device touch screens.
Anywhere, anytime payroll processing

Managers and employees aren't the only ones who can enjoy the convenience of such mobile applications. Human resources professionals can take advantage of apps for tasks such as payroll processing to ensure a paid and satisfied workforce from anywhere.

"Payroll apps are very beneficial for smaller companies with few or no HR/payroll professionals," said Sandra Sutton, director of product strategy for Ceridian Canada, which recently released the first mobile payroll app in Canada. "When the person who processes payroll needs to travel or take a day off without backup, the mobile app enables quick and compliant payroll submission from anywhere," Sutton said.

Is your company adopting mobile HR technologies? Tell us about it in the comments below.

For more information:

  • View Ceridian's Dayforce WFM mobile app
  • Read a health care conversation about emerging CDHC trends