A Fresh Software Face: Managing the workforce with next-generation HR software

iStock / Blankaboskov
iStock / Blankaboskov
Published On
Jan 15, 2021

Many companies now offer software to manage funds, equipment and more on construction projects. But perhaps one of the greatest uses of software is managing people.

Software to manage employees

Human resource (HR) management and administration has always been a challenge for construction firms.

HR responsibilities—including benefits and payroll management, training, certifications and the many other HR requirements—may now be handled and streamlined with software.

Viewpoint HR Management by Viewpoint, Portland, Ore., for example, has integrated applications for managing HR in a construction environment. New Delhi-based Vista’s applications provide HR professionals and employees with various functionalities. For example, it enables web-based onboarding that expedites new employee integration. This includes enrolling in benefits and choosing from payroll options such as direct deposit, the number of tax deductions and other functions. Its self-service features also enable employees to manage their own human resource benefits, options and choices, reducing the burden on HR managers. Often, self-serve capabilities are available to workers in the field and on the job site with a phone app.

The software can also be used for talent acquisition or recruiting with a job-posting feature. Plus, it can be integrated with software such as learning management systems, accountability of training, tracking training and other certifications.

Software for worker health

Arcoro, Calabasas, Calif., is another provider of HR management software that serves the construction industry. During the pandemic, its time and attendance tracking app have helped screen workers for COVID-19 with a simple survey when they sign in for work. This entails an optional mobile health form, which asks employees whether they are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, and if they have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been told to self-isolate by a doctor. The questions appear after workers enter their PIN and before they clock in to begin work.

Focus on worker productivity

HR is now becoming an element of organizational strategy. By engaging employees, it helps organizations align with their goals. Portuguese construction group Mota-Engil SGPS, which operates in 28 countries, adopted software by SAP SuccessFactors, San Francisco.

Long before the worldwide pandemic struck, the company used the software application to replace disparate, on-premises HR systems with a single, cloud-based standard, providing employees easy online access to their profiles and encouraging them to set performance goals that align to business strategy.

After Mota-Engil SGPS implemented this system, about 90% of employees engaged well with the software and became comfortable with it. This strategic initiative helped meld each employee with the company’s overall goals, boosting worker productivity and aligning it with organizational goals.

After the pandemic

While there’s been much emphasis on HR management during the pandemic, what about when it ends?

Potentially, HR managers will face a workforce with a mix of remote and on-site workers that will be more dispersed and accustomed to remote work and often isolation. The flexibility that the pandemic has forced may be a boon to future talent development.

The total strength of the workforce after the pandemic poses uncertainty related to employee needs, organizational goals, policies and organizational culture. That’s what a joint survey conducted by Oxford Economics, Oxford, England; the Society for Human Resource Management, Alexandria, Va.; and SAP SuccessFactors found when they surveyed HR leaders in 10 countries.

About 78% of U.S. respondents and 63% of non-U.S. respondents said they expect flexible work policies to be a talent differentiator. More than half of U.S. respondents and 38% of non-U.S. respondents said that establishing a culture that supports remote employees will be one of the top three challenges when the pandemic subsides.

The report found that despite employee readiness to learn new skills, few HR leaders plan to invest in learning programs for reskilling and upskilling over the next 12 months. In the United States, only about 22% plan to invest in such programs.

About the Author

Jim Romeo

Freelance Writer

Jim Romeo is a freelance writer based in Chesapeake, Va. He focuses on business and technology topics. Find him at www.JimRomeo.net.

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