Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time and attendance strategies - Part 1

How important is this data?...Very Much! We looked at derivative studies and used four key performance criteria to distinguish the Best-in-Class from Industry Average and Laggard organizations. The four metrics reflect an organization's ability to reduce payroll errors, minimize inaccuracies, and improve business outcomes

1. Payroll Mistakes: In addition to the time and cost associated with redoing a pay check, there is a risk associated with the increased burden on HR and reduced employee satisfaction. Over the past two years the burden on HR, as has the case been with duties in most other job descriptions, has increased substantially. HR Automation and HRMS is slowly becoming the norm for wmployee management. Adding more manual workflows to the process due to payroll errors will impact HR’s productivity and its strategic impact to the business. Moreover, payroll errors also impact employee productivity and satisfaction as they work to address them with HR / payroll staff. Therefore, it is critical that time and attendance data is accurate in order to ensure employees are paid what they deserve and also ensure that there is no instance of payroll overpayment. This metrics is defined by the average percentage of pay checks that require redo every period.

2.  Timesheet accuracy: This is defined by the per cent of time sheets that require modification on behalf of the manager or HR. When it comes to efficiency and the burden on the operational manager, modifying timesheets after creation to account for errors, addressing proven violations such as time theft or buddy-punching (not to mention consequent actions or reprimands), and working with HR on other related tasks, can be very time consuming. Accuracy is critical to maximize a payroll manager's time for, and attention to, the core competencies of the business. It also improves HR’s ability to focus on more strategic elements.

3. Paid time off accrual calculation and compliance: These two metrics are essential to the Best-in-Class definition. The third top-ranked factor driving investments in workforce management efforts is compliance. Since leave management, especially as it relates to paid time off / earned time off accruals and other regulation mandates (such as FMLA in the US), affects compliance, We decided to include these two indicators in its definition of the three maturity classes. Paid-time off accuracy is measured by the error rate in accruals, and compliance is measured by improvement in audit score over the previous period in which it was measured.

Other Metrics: Cost and Engagement
When used effectively with business performance data, time and attendance data can be used strategically to make better decisions that impact labour costs and payroll processing. It empowers the payroll manager with many advantages. Though not used to determine Best-in-Class performance, overtime cost analysis showed that capturing accurate time and attendance data does improve deployment decisions. Organizations that achieved top performance indicated that 6% of incurred overtime costs were unplanned versus 8% for all others. Another metric that respondents reported on was the change in manual transactions handled by HR as it related to time and attendances inquiries or cases. Best-in-Class organizations reported a 6% drop in this metric versus 1% for all others.  
The last metric worth mentioning that correlates to timekeeping and leave management is engagement. Follow-up conversations with several organizations showed that they were faced with employee reports of unfair preferential treatment among managers in awarding certain employees with overtime hours, certain shifts, or time off. And as a result, employee engagement has suffered. We found that Best-in-Class organizations on average reported 70% engagement versus 39% for their counterparts. In fact, 83% of Best-in-Class companies in our study directly attribute positive changes in revenue to improved engagement. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

HR Automation - Overview

HR automation is the transformation of the whole HR database to an electronic database interface. The HR department is one of the departments in most organizations that have the largest amount of paperwork and documentation. With such a load of documentation to be done, a lot of system errors can be incurred in terms of employee profiles, pension plans and account information. HR automation is the best course of action to take to create a high performance and easy access HR system for your organization.

One of the major benefits of HR automation is the amount of organization you get from compiling data. You could find yourself with a backlog of employee data that has not been properly filed or listed over the years when you don’t have a digital HR system. Digital HR systems are good for compiling and categorizing HR data in an organized electronic filing system that is more functional and organized than a manual HR processing system. Upgrading new employee information is even easier when you have easy access to a cluster of similar info.
HR automation enables easy access to record through one interface. This HR document management system enables an easier way to access large loads of information through the press of a button. Technology has extended to us easier and more organized ways of accessing information fast, with HR automation; you don’t have to go through piles of paperwork to find information. The document access is also secured for different user access levels. This is through identification systems that indicate the different employee and employer levels such as passwords and employee numbers.
HR automation offers content management solutions such as scanning and indexing of files for electronic storage. This is much better than the manuals filing systems since keeping track of filed information is easier and it takes less business hours that could have been spent on other levels of employee productivity. The scanning compresses large amounts of paperwork and therefore eliminates the cost of filing cabinets and offsite storage of large bundles of paper work. Condensing paperwork is also one of the most important elements of the digital HR. HR automation also allows for back storage of documents in various levels that don’t take large amounts of space.
Misfiled documents and missing data is a HR system nightmare that could cost an organization millions of money. The HR automation guarantees reduced chances of misfiled documents since the categorization of data is based on an organized system and digital HR systems can also locate errors in filing information with the right kind of enabled features. 
HR automation has facilitated a better and organized HR system of operations that requires less employee labor and takes a lot less time in processing, organizing and recovery of data. The Digital HR system is what gives your business a competitive edge in current technological advanced business fields. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Minerva Time Office Implementation for one of the largest manufacturers of tyres in the world challenged by management of their shift cycles

The client was looking for a complete time office solution for their plant in the upcoming industrial belt of Chennai. They were facing stiff challenges in managing their shifts and rosters. Here is how Minerva Human Resource Management Systems from TenXLabs came to be their best choice.

Client Overview

The client is an OEM supplier to some of the most established commercial automotive manufacturers like Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Eicher from its Chennai plant. The relatively new Chennai unit has already produced 3 million passenger car tyres, a testament to the dynamics of the workforce in the facility. However, during the start of the operations, there was a pressing need to set up an effective time office system. The facility had a workforce of 3000 employees and required an effective Human Resource Management System (HRMS).


The human resource management was handled by a team of three before our HRMS solution was implemented. The sole function of 2 members in the HR team was to collect data for processing attendance reporting and payroll for the entire staff. The labour work force did not have access to the in-house HR system because the data was scattered over spreadsheets and custom reports. All biometric reports needed manual follow ups to take stock of regularization errors and missing attendance details. With a workforce of 3000 employees, the HR division was looking for a customized HR Automation that could handle the full spectrum of HR functions.
Pain Areas
  • Shift Creation and Management – There were three shifts to be managed. Two of the shifts were round the clock shifts that covered production on the floor. The third one was for the administrative staff.
  • Roster Creation – Roster creation was a weekly manual effort that required hours of planning and involved dedicated time to be put in by the entire HR Team.
  • Regularization issues – Problems pertaining to regularization like 'tailgating' etc. were manually tracked. This meant that the HR team had to look up month end raw biometric data and find missing inputs and cross check with the employees in person.

·         Leave attendance management and payroll manager – With a labour force of 3000 employees, the plant needed a robust and customizable HRMS platform that could reduce the turnaround time for processing attendance data and deriving payroll information for a given month within just a few hours.


A customized version of Minerva human resource management system hrms and PayGenie was implemented and launched within 14 days. TenXLabs provided a frugally engineered yet powerful software solution which could:
  • Ensure that regularization was not a cumbersome process. For example, if there were missing biometric attendance data seen by the system, an alert was created and passed on to HR the same day. It allowed the team to cut down on collating information at the end of the month.
  • Payroll processing was handled through a customized version of PayGenie. All data was designed to go through the system cutting down on manual data collection.
  • The payroll engine had customizable rules that allowed the team to tweak. 

    Where there were instances of system side support, TenXLabs was available for assistance. However, such requests have been observed to be on the lower side.
  • Minerva HRMS suite cost approximately 4 to 5% of what they would have spent for an enterprise resource planning system – with extended benefits and flexibility.
  • 90% of online entry and data related tasks were reduced. Data is not aggregated monthly but daily – giving instant insights.
  • Data is not collected manually. One person for the team can now take care of the plant's entire HR function with just the help of the Minerva HRMS suite.
  • Now the labor force can also access the system through HR Automation function. 
    Developing a World Class Integrated HRMS is our Mission We take deep interest to assist your company's most important assets – human assets. HR automation is a critical process for boosting productivity within the organization. HRMS tools give management the ability to recruit right talent, improve employee morale and retain talent among other benefits. A system that automates these, if implemented correctly, will pay for itself and save the company much pain.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

TenXLabs' PayGenie Software Implementation for a dynamic Wealth Management Company with an ever-so complex HR environment

They required a system that could manage a complex HR environment with a dynamic payroll scenario that required custom rules to process payroll. This was needed because they had both high attrition levels as well as aggressive hiring every month. As a result of continuous changes to payroll, payroll management was becoming a complex task for them. The firm had to have a human resource management information system in place in order to maintain its large amount of data transactions in an accurate manner.
TenXLabs PayGenie implementation was chosen for its scalability and ability to handle a complex rule based payroll management module.
Client Overview
The client's tryst with excellence in customer relations began in 1987. Today, they have emerged as one of the most respected Stock-Broking and Wealth Management Companies in India. With its unique retail-focused stock trading business model, this broking firm is committed to providing excellent value for money to all its clients. The Group is a member of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the two leading Commodity Exchanges in the country: NCDEX & MCX. They are also registered as a Depository Participant with CDSL.

Pain Areas
The custom requirements of this firm needed a bundled Payroll Module with Human Resource Management System (HRMS).
·                     The firm’s reports were manually processed for payroll. This led to payroll errors.
·                     Improper leave/attendance management led to persistent gaps in loss of pay instance tracking, and made leave processing and leave balance calculation for each payroll cycle difficult.
·                     Attrition and frequent change in staff data mandated by new hires and inter departmental human resource allocations was posing a challenge in maintaining the HR information system.
·                     Due to the lack of HR automation, the existing payroll software was not scalable to handle a large employee database (Estimated at around 10,000 employees and rapidly growing).
·                     Due to improper salary management system, full and final settlement for exits was a challenging process in terms of accuracy, cost and effort factors, and this demanded accurate payroll processing.
·                     The company was organized into multiple legal entities. The management information system was not up to date. Hence, there was no fluidic system at the given time that could amalgamate data across entities into a single front end.
·                     An estimate of one or two business days for getting the data in-line with the HRMS database and cost of errors.

TenXLabs' customized version of PayGenie took care of the firm's Payroll solution needs. PayGenie saw the need for a payroll manager who could manage and control the payroll errors and put in place a salary processing system.
·                     In terms of scalability, the implementation used state of the art SQL Express based processing standards, ideal for an organization with this transaction volume.
·                     Technical handshake was achieved within 10 days.
·                     The implementation of PayGenie integrated with the firm's existing HRMS seamlessly.
·                     The implementation included powerful customizations like the auto payroll calculator (deriving custom rules basis business inputs from the HR team), which improved payroll accuracy and brought down errors like payroll overpayment.
·                     As the salary payment software was put in place, the calculation of settlement numbers for the bulk employee exits were processed without any stress on the available resources.
·                     With the introduction of the HR software for payroll and with subsequent and extensive support, the firm was ensured of smooth transition into HR automation.


·                     With the custom reports payroll software in place, excel based data inputs were cut down to zero. The payroll software seamlessly worked with the HRMS.
·                     The pay management system, reduced the time required for auto calculation of the payroll by more than 50%.
·                     The salary processing system, auto calculated the bulk upload of salary and exit settlement and resolved the need for HR to review it manually.
·                     PayGenie implementation managed all legal entities through a single front end console.

TenXLabs provides user friendly, dependable, cost effective payroll software. Flexibility is the key, whether the requirement is a simple payroll software or a complete solution by integrating other systems in HR domain namely Employee Self Service, HRIS etc.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TenXLabs' Implementation of fully customized HRMS

TenXLabs' Implementation of fully customized HRMS for Industry Leading Paper Manufacturing Company

One of the biggest, integrated pulp and paper manufacturing companies in India needed a complete Human Resource Management System and Payroll Processing solution that would take care of all HR processes for all its employees. The company provides direct employment to over 4000 families. Moreover, the company provides livelihood to over 10,000 families through indirect job opportunities.
Client Overview
The company was formed with infusion of funds and high calibre management of a well-known industrial house of Calcutta, who have interests in textile manufacturing, tea plantation, wind energy and trading and investment business other than paper. The production capacity of their units put together is 1,74,000 tonnes p.a.

Pain Areas

    The company needed an end to end Human Resource Management Solution (HRMS) and a payroll engine that could handle complex payroll rules. Before TenXLabs was engaged for this requirement, the company relied on a third party organization to manage HR processes. The key constraints were as follows:
  • Inflexibility to handle inbound data from the company and ended up taking key processes offline.
  • Inaccuracy in payroll management. Specifically, overtime calculation and tabulation of overtime in a payroll cycle.
  • Leave management was based on offline data.
  • Repeated offline reviews by the in-house HR team.


TenXLabs provided Paygenie with 30 to 50 project specific components bundled into a consolidated payroll engine. The payroll engine was deployed for the in house HR Team.

Based on a detailed analysis of requirements the engine was loaded with rules that could take care of the enterprise wide payroll calculation. TenXLabs also implemented Minerva HRMS that ensured that payroll calculation was augmented with detailed employee data. Over time hours/ overtime calculation was not a problem anymore as the data was recorded in the HRMS and translated through rules built in the payroll engine.


  • The leave management system is completely paperless. There is no offline data.
  • The third party organization is not handling HR processes for this company. This helped reduce overheads in terms of reviewing and managing the process for the in house HR Team.
  • Given all HRMS and payroll processing is in house, the company has seen cost effectiveness in HR cycles jump 100 times.
  • TenXLabs continues to provide back end SQL Scripting support for the HRMS and Payroll engine.
  • Continued support in the form of periodic consulting from TenXLabs (for clarifications and assistance with respect to the components used in the implementation)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Minerva HRMS Implementation for India's Top Logistics Service

 The largest inter-modal logistics provider in India was based on a pen and paper HR setup. They decided to take their human resource management online. Given it was a big decision, they were apprehensive and concerned about a solution that was inexpensive and fit their requirements seamlessly.

Client Overview

The company owns and operates a fleet of 20+ trains, 235 road-trailers and 10 reach-stackers at its rail linked terminals. They operate regular container train service from these `Dry Ports to the maritime ports at Nhava Sheva (J N Port), Mundra (MICT and MPSEZ) and Pipavav (GPPL), transporting import and export containers. They have the largest number of container trains among private container train operators.

Pain Areas

  • This was the single largest initiative taken by the company.
  • The expectations were high when it came to their first online Human Resource Management System (HRMS).
  • With a pen and paper setup, the biggest challenge was disorganized record keeping and discipline.
  • They were hoping that automation would help in eliminating that aspect completely.


  • This customer chose to go with Minerva HRMS. The software was provided as a SAAS (Software as a service) posting.
  • The implementation was designed with all functionalities included with minimal customizations.
  • 90% of the entire module was used without any customizations at all.
  • The HRMS functionalities are designed on a 'pay as you use' basis for the customer.


  • Ready MIS Reports. Information was ready for analysis whenever needed.
  • For offline data processing, the company used to rely upon a team of 2 HR associates. Once Minerva HRMS was online, this team was utilized for other responsibilities. Data processing was completely automated.
  • Features such as the online HR profile, Performance Management Tools, Report enrichment options etc were tremendously effective for the company to improve their overall HR processes.

Monday, May 14, 2012

HR Analytics for business performance

Brief: Talent Analytics is about understanding and making sense of workforce data to make decisions about people with the aim of aligning people decisions to business strategy. This article attempts to analyze what is talent analytics, how it is different from traditional human capital analytics, and where HR people are required to turn their focus.
Talent Analytics or Human Workforce Analytics is the way by which data is analyzed to generate insights on meeting the complex needs of the HR and business challenges and thereby enabling high performance organizations. In the traditional HR role, the expectation was to somehow manage the people processes through insight and interpersonal relationships. Thus the complex understanding of organizational and human dynamics happens by a most subjective process of hearsay, observation and interpretation.

Though the field of Business Analytics has made great strides in the recent years, HR processes have not yet caught up to the task of analyzing these complex dimensions to make decisions on talent management, be it acquisition, development or retention. The typical tasks that would fall under these heads would be assessing capabilities, identifying leadership behaviours, predicting performance indicators or studying retention patterns. Leveraging on analytics would mean an improvement in workforce planning, alignment of organizational capabilities, improvement of business strategies and the like, all of which lead to improves organizational performance.

Companies like Accenture are taking the lead in defining what is human analytics and developing an approach that would help companies answer some critical people-related questions on what programs really drive better workforce performance, what organizational and talent levers impact performance and efficiency, how to retain top performers etc.Companies like IBM have developed Talent analytics software that provides insight into recruitment, learning, skills, succession and retention.

In understanding what is Talent Analytics, it is important to review what gets measured in the name of metrics related to human capital. HR managers take pride in estimating their employees cost of hiring, turnover rate, replacement rate, contribution to bottomline, all of which do not have much strategic importance. They are useful in managing people and information, not in creating value to the organization.

The shift that is required is from managing efficiency to creating effectiveness. To give an example, most organizations measure employee satisfaction levels or customer satisfaction levels. Providing this data to the top management is not enough if HR wants to be a strategic partner in managing the business. The next logical step would be to understand what type of management or employee behaviours influence this level of satisfaction, what is the level of increased aspired, hence what are the behaviours that are required to improve the quality of employee or customer experience and finally, what would be the impact of this increased satisfaction on the company’s performance.

And ultimately, employee and client satisfaction do not mean anything by themselves unless they result in business performance, increased market share and profitability. Talent analytics helps in mapping how well the workforce is meeting the needs of its business, how they are aligned to the vision of the business, to identify ways in which a high performing employee will continue to contribute to the well-being of the company.

For instance, Thomas H Davenport, in the HBR article “Competing on Human Analytics”, talks about how some companies that are very high on valuing employee engagement can precisely identify the value of a 0.1% increase in employee engagement among employees on the performance of a particular store or brand. The transcript of his interview relating to the article is found at http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2010/09/talent-analytics-how-do-you-me.html

Talent metrics is the most objective way of measuring what brings value to the organization, in fact, more objective than employee performance measures. The role of HR in providing intuitive analyses and creative thinking will still be required, but rather than applying it on behaviour, they will be required to apply it on strategy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

HR’s Role in Creating a Learning Organization

HR can’t expect an unchanging work environment. Change is continuous and HR organizations must ensure that they become adept at managing transformations in organizations and translating it to what action they need to take to ensure their people are prepared for this change. They must do this quickly and flawlessly in order to stay at the top. Only if they build the collective capacity for managing continuous change will they be able to manage this speed of transformation.

The collective capacity in any area is built if the HR organization aligns itself to business and focuses on disseminating information about what happens outside and the impact of it internally. In other words, organizations must invest and become adept at continuous learning, reflection, action planning and implementation.

This article focuses on understanding what is meant by ‘Learning organizations’ and what they must focus on doing to ensure continuous learning happens.

The Learning Organization
The emergence of the concept of the ‘Learning organization’ is wrapped up with the concept of ‘Learning Society’. Donald Schon (1973) has made a seminal contribution in this area. His work included studying how to enhance the learning ability of large organizations, institutions and governments, which, he classified as learning systems. Peter Senge’s work on ‘The art and practice of the learning organization’ through his book 'The Fifth Discipline' (1990) popularized this concept to a large extent. However, there is no single definition of learning organization that integrates all knowledge about learning organizations.

There are three definitions of Learning Organizations:
  • Learning organizations are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. (Senge 1990: 3)
  • The Learning Company is a vision of what might be possible. It is not brought about simply by training individuals; it can only happen as a result of learning at the whole organization level. Learning Company is an organization that facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself. (Pedler et. al. 1991: 1)
  • Learning organizations are characterized by total employee involvement in a process of collaboratively conducted, collectively accountable change directed towards shared values or principles. (Watkins and Marsick 1992: 118)

Creating a Learning Environment
There are various characteristics of learning organizations that HR organizations must understand and embrace in order to create a learning environment.
  • Management responsibility – to articulate continuous learning as a value and showing linkages to business success, to provide continuous learning opportunity for employees, to create infrastructure to support learning, to link individual performance and organizational performance, foster a culture of openness, risk-taking and creativity, and establishing learning objectives for every goal.
  • Employees responsibility – make use of the learning opportunities, give their personal commitment to learning, continuously translate their learning from the interaction with the environment into their work, permeate this culture to new entrants into the organization.
  • Systemic responsibility – Get the commitment of both Specialists and Generalists to drive learning. Often it is seen as the Specialist’s role to create learning in the organization, for instance the Training or Learning & Development anchor is given the responsibility for ensuring that learning happens in the organization. Generalists, on the other hand, operate from the business angle or the operations side and consider themselves as merely recipients in the learning process.
For example, one of the L&D initiatives in an organization is to identify employees for succession planning. These employees would be high performing individuals handling successful teams and they would be put through a rigorous one-year developmental programme, running alongside their routine responsibilities. The selection of these people is done through a participatory process every year, where the management reinforces it’s commitment to learning initiatives, the employees vote for people who can go through this developmental programme and Managers are responsible for identifying potential people who can go through this programme. HR is only a facilitator who receives applications and processes them.

Aspects of a Learning environment
Learning in organizations cannot happen through intent alone. There needs to be a rigorous systematic, planned effort from the Human Resource group to create space for continuous learning. Learning can happen through formal and structured interventions or through a natural process fostered by the organizational climate. The most important way by which Formal and Structured learning happens is through Training. When every change in the environment, every innovation in the market and every new regulation in the industry provokes discussion on the implications for the organization and is followed by the creation of action plans, the organization is said to have a natural process of learning ingrained in the culture.

A learning intervention that is able to recreate learning and provides for easy retrieval is one that will be more effective in the long run. The analysis, design and evaluation are critical stages to ensure that the learning intervention meets the outcomes set.

The most important aspects of a learning environment are:
  1. Learning Needs Analysis
  2. Instructional Design and Development
  3. Training programs & Learning events
  4. Evaluation and Measurement of learning effectiveness
  5. Alternate learning methods - E-Learning, Learning applications, On-the-job learning
  6. Facilitating informal learning
  7. Strategic Planning & Change Management
There is an increased need for perpetual learning as people try to keep pace with technology and emerging markets. A learning organization that keeps its’ employees completely engaged by providing a fun-filled, challenging and innovative environment while at the same time constantly providing new learning and perspectives for business success, can be called a successful learning organization. People in such organizations experience a very high level of personal and professional growth which in turn translates into high performance and low attrition.

This article has been published in People and Management Magazine in March’2012. http://www.tenxlabs.com/newsroom-150312.php

Friday, May 4, 2012

Career Transition Services in India

Companies often use Career Transition Services to manage layoffs. This article looks at the benefits of outsourcing this service to an expert.

One of the contemporary HR practices that has changed the way people think about retrenchment and lay-offs, is Career Transition Services (CTS). Simply put, CTS is the service provided to an employee who is being handed the pink slip. Organizations engage specialized consultants to offer this service.

But, let’s first look at the few reasons why organizations retrench people. One, and most poignant, is the change in Strategy. This could mean anything from the decision of the parent company to enter or withdraw from certain geographies, consolidation of their businesses, change of location within the geography, withdrawal of certain products from the market, change in people strategy etc. Sometimes mergers and acquisitions can result in laying-off people.

The other reason could be a change in Performance Strategy for re-distribution of available competencies or re-skilling. Productivity studies, efficiency and effectiveness parameters are all then introduced parallely.

The Career Transition Services is offered to help employees go through separation, and provide professional services to handle the transition. These specialist organizations have both psychological and career counselors, who work with the employees in providing alternate meaningful careers.

The Career Transition Services also include resume sprucing, support in getting them onto social networking sites, helping them in their job search, and providing the necessary contacts for networking. If the specialist organization also has a recruitment wing, the candidates are also placed in other organizations that the specialist works with. Typically, the company that engages the CTS provider pays for the service.

Though CTS is a well known phenomenon in countries like US, UK, Canada and Australia, it is less common in India, where companies engage recruitment consultants to do the job. CTS services are a good alternative which help companies manage transition in a more holistic fashion.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Payroll Processing - HR or Finance Function

Payroll function is very important for both the employees and the employer. For the employee, it is a mark of the value that the organization assigns to him, while for the organization, it is the reward given to the employee for his competence and loyalty. Organizations have their own reasons for assigning this critical function to either their HR department or to their Finance department. In this article, we shall explore some of the merits and demerits of both, and assess if one function is better suited to handle payroll than the other.

Payroll processing is a complex computational process that involves using Salary, Statutory, Income Tax and Legal implications to organize a set of pay related information in such a manner as to arrive at the amount to be paid to each employee as the reflection of his/her worth in the organization.

When organizations are confronted with the decision of assigning payroll to HR or Finance, usually availability of expertise is a key factor in determining the outcome.  However, when the expertise is available in both the functions, then the question is whether the organization identifies payroll more as a motivator or as a routine mechanism.

One of the primary responsibilities of HR is to maintain employee confidentiality and it is the better custodian of confidential data in the organization. And salary data of employees is one of the most confidential data, as it is a measure of the employees’ worth in the organization. Payroll is also closely related to employees’ satisfaction or grievance, and HR, by the nature of its duties, is better equipped to handle the queries with empathy and understanding.

HR also plays a critical role in fixing salaries of employees while joining and at the time of revision. The holistic understanding of the complex interface of grades, levels, work experience and performance in deciding an employee’s salary is better understood by HR. And the input for all this is provided by the Payroll software or application. Likewise computing of performance related pay, bonus or revisions would also require the backing of the existing payroll and making permutations and combinations to decide the perfect mix. The other area of expertise is the compliance under Labour laws and Statutory laws.

However, a critical area of compliance where Finance might have a better understanding is tax computation. Tax planning support, computation, deduction advice and issuing of certificates is a domain of Finance function. In addition, Finance also manages loans and advances.

Beyond these tasks, Finance has better control in ensuring the accuracy of payroll data, as well as a better idea of cash to cash cycles in managing payouts and disbursal. Finance function is also known traditionally to possess more efficiency when it comes to managing complex sets of data.

From the management’s perspective, better financial perspective can be provided by Finance in the management of payroll data, while HR can use the same data for planning for resources as well as clarifying doubts of employees. Considering all this, a partnership in payroll processing would greatly benefit the organization. While HR can take on the role of an input provider and an output checker, Finance needs to take responsibility for payroll processing and disbursal. Thus the errors relating to input data, as well as those of process inefficiency can be avoided.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting HR Technologies to SMEs

Research has shown that companies with less than 500 employees do not feel the need to invest in a Human Resource Management System (HRMS). Depending on the industry, an employee count of 500 could be small, closer to mid cap and sometimes enterprise – small if you are in a workforce intensive services company, mid-cap if you are in a business that involves higher degree of automation and closer to enterprise if you are into design or consulting – but generally, the verdict is has been that small and medium enterprises haven’t realized the need to invest in an HRMS.

It seems ironic and against the core character of SMEs that they would not want to automate repetitive parts of their people management functions. HRMS is a compelling proposition for  SMEs, given these core traits:
  • The environment of change and the pace of change
  • The need to specialize: often a David vs. Goliath situation, where David (the smaller, smarter challenger) needs to muscle up every ounce of available resources to reach the end goal (and bring down the established, larger competitor)
  • Small and medium enterprises are also the platforms for optimization, heightened utilization and hybrid roles
A 250 – 500 headcount services company could have human resources team of around 10. The functions of this team would include multi-channel talent sourcing, recruitment design, evaluation and actual hiring, induction and training, attendance and leave management, resource allocation, grievances, reporting, policy and much more.

Burdening this team with employee record management, manual leave balance tracking or payroll generation defies logic. Shouldn’t the Human Resource function of such a dexterous set up focus on better quality of resources, motivation, greater throughput and other qualitative aspects? Or should this chunk of valuable management time be invested in manually collating, verifying and proofing reports and data? This is the choice facing small and medium enterprises. And, the answer is obvious.

Is it under estimation of the costs - opportunity cost and effort consumed by the manual route? Is it an unfounded assumption that HRMS is somehow associated with ERP and stamped as the big boys’ game? Or is it genuine concerns about software – hardware management overheads?

TenXLabs Minerva HRMS changes the game by:
  • Providing a genuine automation option, where the system configures to your workflow
  • It is truth economy – fair priced and its returns justify the investments in weeks or months, not years
  • It is available on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model from a cloud – meaning: you pay by use and do not worry about support, hardware, admin or other overheads traditionally impacting software use
What is Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing solutions and software as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources are made available to customers over the internet, on demand. As defined by IBM, Cloud is a computing model providing web-based software, middleware and computing resources on demand. By deploying technology as a service, you give users access only to the resources they need for a particular task. This prevents you from paying for idle computing resources.

What is Minerva HRMS
Human Resource Management, traditionally considered a key spoke of enterprise resource planning has now evolved into its own life and automates key Human Resource functions. Minerva HR Suite from TenXLabs is designed to house all information pertaining to every employee in an organization from Recruitment to Retirement. Minerva is cloud based, can be configured (without need customizations) to implement existing workflow AS-IS, integrates with other software systems openly, is available as a life time license without user – usage restrictions and includes a query builder for custom reporting.

About TenXLabs
We take deep interest to assist your company’s most important assets – human assets. HR automation is a critical process for boosting productivity within the organization. HRMS tools give management the ability to recruit right talent, improve employee morale and retain talent among other benefits. A system that automates these, if implemented correctly, will pay for itself and save the company much pain.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

HR and the Social Media

HR was often the last to catch up with technological advances in the industry. However, when it came to social media, HR has been at the forefront. HR professionals across the world are successfully using the social networking sites to connect with their stakeholders and building networks.

In this article, we will see how HR professionals can use social media effectively to UP THE ANTE and does it make sense for them to play the role of gatekeepers when it comes to employees using these forums.

Social media has provided us with a reach like never before to interact, engage and collaborate. And HR people have been gung-ho to embrace social media. Being a part of the social network keeps them abreast of the latest developments in both technology and people practices. It keeps the company in the news and helps disseminate the right information at right place at the right time.

Social media can act as a very powerful platform for recruiting. However, the buck does not stop there. It opens up a wide plethora of opportunities like networking, knowledge sharing, precipitating the corporate culture, positioning the company as a thought leader, raising awareness about the company, increasing employee engagement or simply having an ear to the ground and all this helps identifying and attracting the potential talent.

Talent Pipeline: Social media allows HR professionals to stay connected with a large audience who can prove to be potential hires at a later stage. This serves to keep the Brand alive and helps in sourcing at the right time. Staying connected with former employees also helps to arrest information loss and paves the way for rehiring.

Creating a network for knowledge sharing is also done admirably through social networks. Positioning the company, sharing the company’s vision, culture and best practices not just helps building the Brand, but also attracts the right type of people to it.

The challenge that HR people face is in the amount of regulation they need to deploy in allowing access to social networking sites for the employees in the organization. Unrestricted access is not going to help HR measure the impact of social media. Indiscriminate usage will also result in employees losing focus and time. There are industries-specific and topic-specific sites. Some even focus on networking within regions and nations. The trick is to identify which tools and applications provide the most value, as an engagement and collaboration platform and then establishing appropriate metrics to measure the results.

According to a TNN report, Gartner, said that fewer than 30% of large organizations would block social media in 2014. The agency said that in 2010, almost 50% organizations blocked social media websites in the office. The report carries the words of Andrew Walls, research vice president at Gartner saying that "Even in those organizations that (nowadays) block all access to social media, blocks tend not to be complete,certain departments and processes, such as marketing, require access to external social media, and employees can circumvent blocks by using personal devices such as Smartphones."

Constantly evaluating the impact of social media tools by asking employees for their feedback on the areas impacted by their interactions on social networks might help get a pulse of the usage and types of media. Another approach to evaluating the use of social media is to carry out polls and researches on those networks to check how much it impacts the organization positively.

Friday, February 3, 2012

HR goes the Technology Way!


A function that is all about managing the needs of people uses a significant amount of technology to service its need. This article presents the role of technology in the HR function.


Traditionally, HR was about managing people, but not any more. The magnitude of information that HR has to manage regarding people and processes can no longer be carried out without the support of Technology. Technology made its presence in HR in the early and mid 90s through the advent of ERP in taking over the administrative functions of HR. Overnight, HR professionals realized the value of technology in reducing the time spent on all forms of data management. 

The HR function has three important roles to play – Administrative, Developmental and Advisory.

HR Administration & Technology:  

The use of technology has virtually replaced the administrative part of HR, which is related to HR data maintenance, Wage and salary administration, Employee welfare activities like medical insurance etc. Through this, the efficiency of HR in managing business-critical information has increased manifold. 

Efficient payroll management applications have ensured accurate, efficient and timely processing of compensation. The ease of analyzing salary data has helped in making benchmark studies and offer the right kind of salary to high-performers. The latest use of technology in HR is the usage of the online employee self-service modules (ESS), which enable the salary and other data to be available to the employee at the click of a button. This ensured more transparency and less ambiguity in what has traditionally been one of the more confidential areas of HR. 

For example, a leading company in the travel and tourism industry uses technology to optimize business processes. In fact, they introduced SAP in all areas including HR and even won the prestigious SAP ACE award in 2006 for best SAP implementation in service industry. The company claims that IT has moved from being a support system to a Business enabler.

HR Development & Technology:  

In the role of a Development catalyst, HR focuses on the key areas of Talent acquisition, development and deployment. Here, the impact of technology is greatly felt in the areas of recruitment, performance management and training and development. 

Technology has revolutionized the recruitment processes – sourcing has been made very easy through online job portals. Data is available at the click of a button for both employer and job-seeker. Social media has also impacted HR operations to a large extent, which makes use of this opportunity to network with candidates and the HR community. In the area of performance management, technology has facilitated the analysis of historical data for effective decision-making. Past data on performance, potential and achievements makes promotion and fast-tracking decisions easier. And online and e-learning solutions have completely revolutionized the way HR plans, delivers and implements its learning and development strategy in the organization. Virtual classrooms have become the order of the day, and this has helped not only in maintaining global standards, but in keeping up with the fierce competition in the global arena. 

In fact, the business of designing recruitment software to manage the entire selection process has become a very profitable business. Known as RMS or Recruitment Management Software in common parlance, the tool is used for maintaining a resume repository, screening, contacting the shortlisted candidates, and also sends the candidate information to the regular HR MIS for offer letter generation and payroll.

HR Advisory & Technology:  

In the advisory role, HR is now empowered with enough information to guide top management decisions on business. This is very evident when we see that the latest trend in HR is Analytics or the management of business-critical information. Sophisticated methods are used to analyze complex sets of employee related information to make meaningful decisions regarding selection, placement, performance and retention decisions. HR no longer provides just intuition-based data on people trends, their propositions are backed by rigorous analysis of historical data. In this, Technology has become the backbone for HR decision-making. 

Technology has taken over HR management too, as it has every other function in the organization. When we analyze some of the downsides, we see that there is grave danger in allowing technology to replace some of the human-intensive processes, like employee engagement, employee management and potential analysis and grooming. This is more critical for HR than any other function because HR is the custodian of human processes in the organization. The danger that the HR manager faces is the substitution of analyses and objectivity in the area of employee engagement, where empathy and intuition are required to manage what is essentially human.