Webinar: Introducing EmployAide | Where Expertise Meets Efficiency In Employee Support

Female Restaurant Manager on Phone

Tired of spending countless hours assisting employees with payroll logins, printing pay stubs, and managing time off requests? Imagine having a solution that streamlines all these tasks effortlessly.  

Look no further!

Commonwealth Payroll & HR created EmployAide because we understand how challenging this can be for business owners and human resources, and we’re here to make your job easier.   

Our EmployAide service provides your employees with direct access to a dedicated specialist, ready to handle their questions and concerns, so you don’t have to. Whether it’s navigating personal information, understanding pay and tax details, managing time and attendance, or enrolling in benefits, EmployAide ensures your employees get the support they need on your company’s self-service platform. Our specialists are accessible via phone, text, or email making it easier than ever to get timely assistance.  

What Are You Waiting For? 

Regain valuable time in your day by empowering your employees to contact EmployAide for the support they need. It will revolutionize the way you manage your HR responsibilities. 

This webinar was recorded live on July 9, 2024.

Presentation slide deck


Session Transcript:

Jeff Plakans: Hello there. Good afternoon. Welcome to our webinar everybody. I’m Jeff Plakans, I’m the president and founder of Commonwealth Payroll and HR. Thank you for joining us at this, which is probably your lunch hour. In the next 30 minutes, we’re going to talk a little bit about EmployAide and what exactly that is. [00:00:30] And what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be making sure that we’re focused on the upcoming release of this solution. Without further ado, let’s get on to today’s program. We are joined today by, hang on one second, just having a little bit of issue with my deck. 

[00:01:00] There we go. Okay. We’re joined today by Ryan Redfield. He’s our EmployAide product champion and also by Susannah Forbes, CommPayHR’s External People Ops lead. In our next 30 minutes, we’re going to learn more about what EmployAide is, how it’s going to help you and what it isn’t. What is EmployAide? We’ve already heard that’s a crazy name. What does it mean and what are we going to cover? [00:01:30] Well, most of our clients and those of you that are on this call, are usually trying to sell or manufacture more widgets, doing some level of business, spending time on your businesses and frankly on the growth and success of your business. No one of you started your business with the intention of becoming an employer, but guess what? You’re an employer. With every passing month, being an employer continues to get significantly [00:02:00] more complex. Wage and hour law changes, tax law changes, remote work, benefit costs, it all starting to move way too fast for most of the business owners that we’re working with. 

And as a result, they’re relying more and more and more on us. And so that’s where we get to come in. Traditionally though, many of you know we’ve only ever supported you management or you the administrators of our clients. [00:02:30] And we’ve always said, hey, don’t have your employees call us. But as a sidebar, a lot of you learned that have come to us from professional employment organizations had a very, very helpful solution in that you had a call center, if you will, or a place for your employees to call so they could help them get information. This became one of the favorite tools that employers had. When we’re [00:03:00] bringing companies back to us from professional employment organizations, we said, well, maybe we can offer the same thing. Knowing these challenges that you guys face and knowing that getting the most out of employee self-service is an important thing for your employees, we here recognized an opportunity to focus on that. When we talk about employee self-service, what is it? Well, it’s the ability for an employee to be self-sufficient, [00:03:30] to access and change their own data securely and with the permission of the employee to make the overall interaction between you guys and your employees significantly more efficient and significantly more effective. What’s the problem? Well, too many employees need help. They need access, they need guidance on how to leverage the tools that are out there and available to them to be self-sufficient. 

[00:04:00] Recognizing this problem really comes from a discussion that I had with another client of ours who was complaining about their inability to directly serve the needs of their employees with regard to helping them from an HR perspective and delivering them information. But increasingly he realized that employees needed direct access to their information and the direct help from their employers they just weren’t getting. When we [00:04:30] realized that employee self-sufficiency can come from the use of employee self-service, we started to look at the areas where this was important. And so of course that covers timekeeping, it covers new employee onboarding, deploying self-service, obviously helping employees with benefit enrollment, and then obviously being able to help them make the most of what’s available to them from the technology. When we talk about the technology, we’re [00:05:00] talking about for us the use of what we call the adaptive employee experience. 

And perhaps many of you have used this already. Perhaps many of you have employees that are using this already. But through the adaptive employee experience, we’ve been a long time network certified partner of a company called iSolve. We deploy their PeopleCloud HCM technology to service our clients and the adaptive [00:05:30] employee experience is there and our solution for employee self-service. It’s employee for employees who can use it on the web, who can use it on their mobile phone, and then who can use also on tablets like an iPad all downloadable from the respective app store, whether it’s Android or whether it’s Apple. We’ve never, ever charged a to use the adaptive employee experience and we never [00:06:00] will. It’s a really great tool for the employees and so they can do many of the things that we mentioned earlier. With AEE, employees can access their pay history, they can download their pay stubs, they can update and change their own information like direct deposit information, home addresses, and look up their PTO balances. 

Some employees can use it to punch in and punch out and others can use it to access employee documents. [00:06:30] A lot of employers are using it to message and communicate with their employees and new employees can use it to onboard themselves, completing forms, entering their information, and of course enrolling in benefits. And really all in all, it just streamlines that whole process that employees need to complete and utilize and get access to the tools that they have. Now, there is a problem with all of this, and you’d think that in the [00:07:00] discussions that I’m having right now, this was all about promoting the adaptive employee experience. And while we’re trying to do that to some degree, we recognize that there’s some fundamental issues that employers solve. Now Susannah is going to hop on with us to tell us a little bit about those. 

Susannah Forbes: Thanks, Jeff. What we found is that a lack of a robust employee self-service tool can make a new employee more of a tech-savvy employee. Question there. [00:07:30] Employer’s commitment to a positive employee experience when these tools are not offered or supported. Just under 90% of US workers at small to medium-sized businesses express a preference for do-it-yourself HR tool including self-service. Yet the overall adoption rate of these tools is less than 90%. We have to ask why. Let’s talk about the common obstacles that employers face in reaching these higher adoption rate of [00:08:00] these tools. First, let’s talk about lack of communication and support from the employer. Employers are too busy, they’re understaffed, may not have been trained properly themselves or find it just another technology tool. We have more diverse employee populations, less tech-savvy folks, more tech-savvy folks. We have language barriers, more non-English speaking folks. 

Another group is what’s in it for me? They question do [00:08:30] I benefit from this tool? Is the data relevant to me? Was the tool properly rolled out? Employers didn’t take the time to train the employee on how to use the tool. It’s not easy, it’s not intuitive to use. They rolled it out and then offered no support afterwards. That no support is a big one. From there, let’s talk about ways that we can have more success in utilizing these tools and create more adoption rates. [00:09:00] Make the tool user-friendly. Make sure the technology is accessible across multiple devices. Jeff talked about it, different platforms, iPhones, Androids, computers, tablets, iPhones. Personalize the rollout. We know it’s not a one-size-fits-all employee population. We have to make sure that we recognize those diverse employee needs. Make sure the technology is comprehensive, excuse me. And it serves a functional purpose for your employees. [00:09:30] You want to provide relevant content that addresses your employee’s needs. Offer lots of training and support from the rollout and after. And so important, make sure that leadership leads by example, supports the use of HR tools and supports the use of providing support for their employees after that tool’s rolled out. That ongoing support is key to the self-service platform success. From there, my colleague Ryan’s [00:10:00] going to talk about EmployAide and how EmployAide can address your employee’s self-service needs. Take it away, Ryan. 

Ryan Redfield: All right. Thank you Susannah. What is EmployAide? EmployAide through Commonwealth Payroll and HR, it’s a pay-per-use direct employee support session. It’s designed to help employees with the use of employee self-service during their onboarding process, deploying technology, using their timekeeping, PTO balances, etc. Or during the benefit enrollment. It’s a really good [00:10:30] useful tool for your employees to have in case any of those issues arise. And we’re always going to be here to assist them and it’s just a great tool for them to have confidence. With EmployAide, it is your solution to employee self-service and support. Your efficiency may be declining and that’s why we’re here to help. EmployAide can make you regain valuable time previously spent with employees, excuse me, with administrative [00:11:00] tasks. It reduces the burden on your HR department and it does it manually and it enhances the employee satisfaction in the process. 

It’s a quick and reliable support system. It’s direct to your employees, it increases your overall operational efficiency with and for your employees. There’s three methods you can do it by, through call, text, and email. And we can assist with a wide range of tasks and provide better support. These are the three mediums of communication [00:11:30] your employees can use. We have the phone line, they can call the employee line. The issue may be they’re requesting a pay stub. The resolution, our EmployAide representative can send your employee the document securely. Moving on to texts, they can text a request through the number we provided and say they’re having an issue logging into their self-service account. And with EmployAide, our representative can assist the employees with reactivating or unlocking their self-service account. [00:12:00] And finally the email, they can email right to us at employaide@commpayhr.com. Another question, how can I change my address and phone number? We can set up a virtual meeting for you or we can provide screenshots for the step-by-step instructions. 

Jeff Plakans: Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate that. 

Ryan Redfield: Not a problem. 

Jeff Plakans: There’s some things that we want to talk to you about moving to EmployAide or about thinking about moving to EmployAide. And the first question [00:12:30] I think that customers should be asking themselves is, are your employees currently struggling with self-service on a regular basis? If they’re not, then you don’t really have a problem. I would look at your adoption rates in terms of how many of your folks are actually set up and utilizing self-service. Now if you don’t know the answers or you don’t know where to find that information, have a conversation with your customer service and support specialist and they can give you adoption rates [00:13:00] and usage rates for your employees. Now obviously if you don’t know how to use adaptive employee experience, then obviously that’s something else too. Not only is that out on our website, but you can also consult with your CSS for that. 

How important is self-service to your HR department? The folks that are handling employee requests, they don’t have to be traditional HR folks, it could be you as an owner of a company or you as the person operating the company. Do you have a line [00:13:30] of people at your door saying, I don’t know how much vacation I have left, or saying my address changed or I need a couple of pay stubs ’cause I’m going to get a mortgage, right? The question is if all of that stopped or slowed down, would that make the folks in charge of HR more efficient? Question I asked earlier, do most employees utilize the platform or not? That’s really a statistical question. You can always ask around. I would look [00:14:00] at the data, ’cause you might have one or two that say, oh absolutely, we all do, and they’re the only ones that know how to use it or knew how to use it. 

I would ask around. Now, is there a burden on your day-to-day responsibility? Is what you need to do for the employees, so a good example of this is if you’re responsible for employees that are trying to punch in and out, but they’re not leveraging the tools that are in adaptive employee experience to punch in or out, is that making your [00:14:30] day harder as a supervisor or as a manager? And if the answer is yes, then there’s probably some ways we can streamline that. How do employees enroll and interact with their own information? Great question. Some folks say the employees really don’t know anything unless you tell them what it is. Other organizations, we see the employees own all their information in the sense that it’s their responsibility to make sure it’s up-to-date. It’s their responsibility [00:15:00] to make sure that the data in there is correct. 

And then lastly, and I think this is the most important one, is employee empowerment important to you? What happens when you put that power in the hands of your employees to be able to control their own information and do something with it and be able to do something on behalf of themselves? And we also see a lot of things as Susannah mentioned generationally, [00:15:30] that a lot of folks want to have that control at all times, and when they don’t, they feel disempowered. And that’s obviously something that’s going to take away from your employee happiness and your employee satisfaction. Now with EmployAide, what Commonwealth is going to do, we are going to provide your team directly with US-based support for your employees on these items that Ryan talked about already. We’re going to promote to those employees [00:16:00] and to you how to get and access that help from our EmployAide team. 

We’re going to demonstrate how easy it is to interact with our team obviously before it gets done. And we’re going to ensure your employees are properly and fully leveraging the tools that are available to them through their self-service. We’re going to make sure you continue to get the most out of your choice of Commonwealth Payroll and HR. And then finally, promise that you [00:16:30] have happy, productive employees and demonstrate your own commitment to supporting them. The big question is what is all this going to cost? Well, here’s our initial out-of-the-box participation pricing. It’s all going to be based on employee headcount. Depending on the headcount, you’re going to be required to have a monthly minimum number of sessions. In other words, we’re going to bill for this number of sessions every single month regardless of whether [00:17:00] they’re used or not. And as you can see, the per session charge decreases based on the size of the headcount because we anticipate there’s going to be more and more sessions. 

Now what happens, for example, if you’re a fifteen-person company and you have three monthly sessions? Well, each of those sessions will get billed at $75, but in addition to the three, you have three more employees that call. Each time an employee [00:17:30] calls, that’s going to be a new session. We will only charge for every session past those three. If you have just three sessions in a month, then that’s all you pay for. If you have six sessions in the next month, that’s all you pay for. If you have five sessions in the next month, then that’s all you pay for. It’s pay per use other than the minimums that come into play. And of course with the minimums, the higher level [00:18:00] you come in at, obviously the greater the amount of discount is going to be for these sessions. How to get started, very, very simple. 

Indicate your interest to your customer service and support specialist or mention it to your account manager. You’re going to sign an EmployAide customer agreement. Agreements are going to have a six-month minimum commitment. Can you do a 12? Can you do 18? Absolutely. Discounts [00:18:30] will come for the longer commitments as well. Then you’re going to need to make sure that the email demographic and contact information for your employees is up-to-date in iSolve. After that, we’re going to issue you an EmployAide ID number, which is going to be an indication that you’re participating in the program and that’s going to be something that you’ll provide to your employees. And then let CommPayHR roll the program out to all of your employees and then watch [00:19:00] your employees and then you in the process become significantly more efficient. Now, I know we’ve given you a lot to think about here in the last 30 minutes. 

The last thing is we’re going to give you a QR code to make it super, super easy. Go ahead and take a picture of that QR code. That’ll take you right to our landing page. If you’re interested, you’re going to just fill out the form and then we’ll get back to you on becoming a participant in [00:19:30] EmployAide. We’ve got a couple companies up and running on this right now. It’s running really, really well. Of course it’s not for every single company, but I think the idea is to maximize the amount of employee self-service that’s getting used and to free you as the employer from some of the challenges. Now let’s open it up to questions for anybody that’s out there who have questions. Questions, hopefully, plop them into the questions section, [00:20:00] which is on the dashboard for the GoToWebinar. And I’ll give it a couple seconds here and then I’ll start looking through what we have and we’ll see what we’ve got. All right. There’s a question here. Who pays for this? Good question. Maybe I wasn’t clear about that. This is not paid for by the employee. This is paid [00:20:30] for by the employer to encourage the use of these tools by the employee. But on a pay-per-demand basis, it makes it significantly more palatable. This question, actually, I’ll put this one to you, Susannah. Will you answer HR questions that my employees might ask? 

Susannah Forbes: [00:21:00] No. EmployAide questions that come in are truly about the self-service platform. What questions will get answered? For example, issues around I can’t see my PTO accrual, or I need to change some information in my self-service account. I can’t print a pay stub. We’re really there to help service folks around the employee self-service account needs and issues, not HR-related, I don’t like my boss, I need to be coached [00:21:30] on how to handle him type issues. That won’t be covered. 

Jeff Plakans: Okay, excellent. The next question here, how do I know or how does my employee know or how do you know you’re talking to my employee and not an imposter? Ryan, do you want to handle that? 

Ryan Redfield: Absolutely. We do have, excuse me, a verification checklist and it is a four-step checklist. We have the last four of the social security number, [00:22:00] we have the EmployAide ID that we had mentioned in the presentation. That is actually generated by us on a per session basis. It is required. That would be the second step of verification, their email address, and the fourth would be their phone number. 

Jeff Plakans: Okay, excellent. That actually relates to a different question that came in that said, how much time do I need to commit to this as the employer? And the answer is [00:22:30] frankly, very little. The thing that is probably going to take some time is how good is the data or how accurate is the data in there for your employees? We see some employers who don’t have any email addresses in there on their employees, they don’t have any contact information, the phone numbers are not right, or sometimes right. Making sure that’s up-to-date is really the biggest commitment that the employer is going to need to put into this. Once we know [00:23:00] that that information’s good, because again, that’s how we’re going to be verifying who we’re talking to. Once that’s done, then I think that’s really the extent of it. And again, that gets to the whole heart of the program, which is we want to make sure that you as the employers are not stuck with doing this yourselves. As a result, we want to be able to do this for you. We know the product very well, we can support the employees on the product very well, but we [00:23:30] need to actually make sure that there’s time allocated to be able to do that. And that’s where your role as an employer comes into play. 

There was another question that I thought was the same question, which was what’s the time commitment or what’s the commitment? As I mentioned before, the commitment is a minimum of a six-month commitment, but we can go up to 12 and 18 months depending on what your needs are and probably depending on the size of your organization as well. [00:24:00] That seems to be all of the questions that we have. We’ll put one more minute out there to see if anything else pops in. But other than that, we hope you enjoy what we’ve had to show you today. We know our participating employers are very, very excited about this right now ’cause it has really given them a lot of time back. And we hope that you’re going to find that that is the case as well. And oh, here’s one more. [00:24:30] Is there a discount if I sign a longer contract? 

Yes, that is the case. As I mentioned, six month minimum is what you saw on the board. We go to 12 and 18, the contract will be longer and as a result we’ll be able to apply a little bit more of a discount for you for that commitment. All right. Other than that, thank you for joining us today. Thank you, Susannah, and thank you, Ryan, for lending us your time as well. Again, if you want to go [00:25:00] ahead and learn more, reach out to your CSS, reach out to your account manager or fill out the form that’s attached to this QR code on the screen. Other than that, have a wonderful afternoon and we’ll see you at our next webinar. Thanks everybody. 

Susannah Forbes: Have a great day. Bye-bye. 

Ryan Redfield: Take care everyone. 




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