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Paylocity SHRM 2022: Halibut Fishing and Delivery Drivers Show Us the Way

June 08, 2022

SHRM 2022 was a huge success across the board. Read about how our clients leverage Paylocity because they want to - not because they have to!

Blog Post

Employees Using HR Software Because They Want To (This is no Fish Story)

Halibut fishermen in Alaska, food delivery drivers in North Texas, and direct support healthcare professionals in Nebraska share a common thread when it comes to communication, collaboration, and connection. Their voices are being heard through their HR and payroll platform.

Wait what?

Yes, you read that right: an HR software solution that helps not only HR pros, but the employees they serve. Those are the client stories we shared at the 2022 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) annual conference in New Orleans June 12-15. Instead of focusing on Paylocity, we turned the spotlight on our clients and told their stories at the HR Tech Theatre on the expo floor.

SHRM 2022 was once again the world's largest gathering of HR professionals. The 2022 theme centered on how "There's No Cause We Can't Effect." Whether it’s DEI&A initiatives, talent acquisition and retention, culture, or mental health, all these topics were covered throughout the four days in the Big Easy.

Paylocity's 2022 SHRM booth showcased all the modern experiences available to our clients through the most modern HCM platform in the industry.

Paylocity's 2022 SHRM booth showcased all the modern experiences available to our clients through the most modern HCM platform in the industry.

Workplace culture directly impacts DEI&A initiatives, talent acquisition and retention, and mental health. As Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of SHRM noted on the PCTY Talks Podcast, culture consists of two challenges. The first is determining what he called “cultural clarity”—compiling an accurate picture of a company’s total employee experience. The second, he said, is devising strategies to help HR teams change their cultures to become more like the ideal. “That’s the big challenge for us as HR professionals—to lead, nurture, and facilitate the process of concluding and getting cultural clarity,” he said.

Modern employees want to grow and be successful, and they crave the three Cs: connection, collaboration, and communication—even if those aren’t the labels they use. The three Cs are critical building blocks to establishing and maintaining culture. Alaska Mill and Feed is an employee-owned retailer in Anchorage, AK. The company started in 1950 and continues to this day as one of Alaska's most well-known retailers for pet food, garden products, home gifts, and animal feed. With a retail store and more than 70,000 square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space, it’s easy to see how employees could become disconnected from the company. That became more of an issue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As company leaders searched for a way to connect with employees, the HR team jumped right in. Using tools like Community to create groups based on employee interests, they nudged employees into the Paylocity app to share stories about their pets or what activities they participate in during their spare time. The Hunting and Fishing group quickly became the top choice for many employees to share their adventures. A warehouse worker named Bo went fishing with some friends one weekend and landed a 77 lb halibut. The fish was enormous. He was telling the story to friends back at work and they urged him to post it on Paylocity. With some help from a colleague, Bo quickly became a viral sensation across the business. His post generated dozens of comments, hundreds of likes, GIFs, emojis, and more. Alaska Mill and Feed’s Controller, Chimena Campbell, said company leaders were amazed at the reactions.

“All the warehouse guys started commenting on it, and they would never normally get on there,” Campbell said. “Then they're all like, ‘oh, well what about my fish? I want to post mine’. So that's been really fun to get people that are not normal users into the system more often to create connections. Then when you run into them, out in the warehouse or whatever, you can be like, oh, I saw your fish and strike up a conversation based on the connection you made through Community.”

North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), based in Plano, TX, distributes donated, purchased, and prepared foods through feeding programs throughout 13 North Texas counties and faces collaboration challenges daily. Of course, the HR team can bring in their desk employees for meetings and gatherings, but what about those in the field? They employ warehouse workers, delivery drivers, and other employees who are not at a desk all day. As they shifted their focus on a new fiscal year plan, they wanted to collaborate with every worker about the "word of the year". Using the Paylocity platform, they initiated a poll to select one of four words which would represent the word of the year. They opened the comments to let employees share why they picked a specific word.  And that’s how two employees – a delivery driver and warehouse production associate – ultimately influenced the choice for “Word of the Year. These two would have never been in a traditional meeting; yet they were able to share their opinion based on personal experience. Their contributions helped shape the organization’s direction in FY22.

“If we did not have Paylocity, there's no way that we would have ever gotten that insight,” said Suzanne Drotman, VP of HR, NTFB.

The influence of two non-desk workers shaped the FY22 plan for NTFB. Those employees' voices were heard by simply engaging in the Paylocity platform. NTFB even published a blog on its website showcasing the “Word of the Year”. Those employees could truly say they were part of the team who influenced that decision.

Insight is important for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) at Integrated Life Choices (ILC), too. These hourly workers spend their days on the road going to various locations to help their patients. The days are long and can create a separation between the employee, their manager, and the company. ILC’s VP of HR, Becky Miratsky, turned to Paylocity to help alleviate the communication and collaboration gaps that stemmed from the physical separation.

With tools like file sharing, team groups, and chat, employees can communicate with their manager and their teammates in real time. File-sharing opened communication for weekly or monthly check-ins – something that many of these employees could only participate in sporadically. DSP’s can create agendas for those check-ins with their managers and share them directly through the platform. Managers can add comments or give feedback before or after the check-in. This enables two-way communication and feedback between team members in a more efficient manner. Miratsky credits Paylocity’s ease of use for helping to bring her teams and their managers together, even if they weren’t sitting right next to each other.

“We feel connected,” Miratsky said. “That's so cheesy, but a little more as a company, our areas are very much siloed. So, if you work in the Texas area, you are ILC Texas. If you work in Colorado, you are ILC Colorado. Community has given us, oh gosh, it sounds so hokey, but Community has given us more of a sense that we are ILC as a whole.”

These are the employee stories behind the Paylocity platform, and we enjoyed sharing them at SHRM 2022 in New Orleans. Hear what else we were up to at this year’s event by tuning into the SHRM22: Recap episode of our PCTY Talks: HR, People, Culture podcast.

Paylocity's Customer Advocacy Manager Matt Doyle shared how our clients leverage our platform for connection, communication and collaboration.

Paylocity's Customer Advocacy Manager Matt Doyle shared how our clients leverage our platform for connection, communication and collaboration. 

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