Introducing Modern Workforce Index

April 15, 2021

When you have the right data insights, you don’t have to play a guessing game with something as important as employee productivity and sentiment.

Product Release:
Modern Workforce Index

We’re excited to announce Paylocity’s newest offering, the Modern Workforce Index. MWI is a dashboard that helps you understand how effectively you’re using your Paylocity tools, as well as the steps you can take to further drive employee sentiment and ultimately optimize organizational health. As part of our culture of caring and innovation, our dedicated (and growing!) team of 20+ data scientists and data engineers are focused on making the most sophisticated AI accessible to companies and HR teams of any size. MWI is backed by a patent-pending algorithm that uses machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to mine key insights and provide prescriptive guidance on recommended actions specific to your company.

After partnering with Deloitte on an exhaustive study to inform time and cost savings calculations, beta testing with early adopters, and iterating based on that feedback, we’re ready to roll MWI out to the people that inspired it: our clients. Our goal is making lives easier by providing proactive insights from directly within the Paylocity platform. This will help you make the most out of Paylocity and recognize and measure ROI. But more importantly, it guides you to take actions to support and engage employees during one of the hardest times in recent history.

Key Components

MWI has three primary components that together provide a snapshot of how effectively your company is using Paylocity tools, along with prescriptive recommendations to improve ROI and organizational health. 

MWI Score

This quantitative guidepost ranges from 1-100% to help you easily understand your performance over time. Proprietary machine learning algorithms benchmark you against similar companies (determined by NAICS code and based on anonymous, aggregate client data), and calculate your score based on that benchmark, how frequently your employees are engaging with the Paylocity tools available to them, the sentiment expressed by your users, and the factors that can influence employee sentiment and overall workforce productivity. Arsenal Medical’s leadership team uses data to make decisions across all departments. “…and HR is no different,” said HR Consultant Nancy Berkeley. “We love benchmarking ourselves against others in our industry, and the Modern Workforce Index provides us that insight.”

Prescriptive Recommendations

Paylocity's patent-pending algorithm provides customized, actionable recommendations (right within the platform) to improve your score, and ultimately help increase productivity and reduce turnover. These recommendations help you make informed decisions and can range from quick hits like deploying a Pulse Survey to see how employees are handling remote work (as part of Modern Workforce Index, all Paylocity clients have access to a Pulse Survey via our Surveys tool!) to more significant steps like turning on Community to foster collaboration and reach employees without company devices. Because it’s based on machine learning, the Modern Workforce Index continues to get more predictive over time, ensuring you’re getting the recommendations most relevant and impactful to your organization.  

Time and Cost Savings

While many studies evaluate the cost savings from automating tasks to justify software purchase, we believe that the key to a thriving modern workforce is what HR professionals are empowered to do with the time saved by automation. We partnered with Deloitte to quantify the average time and cost savings associated with the most common HCM tasks—inclusive of ones that employees can be empowered to do on their own. 1,450 respondents from a range of industries provided insights spanning ten categories like Payroll & Tax, Applicant Tracking & Recruiting, and Performance Management. Deloitte’s findings are the foundation for MWI’s customized, annualized cost savings calculations, which can be measured in hours or dollars, tracked, and improved. You can even drill into savings by category. And, while we know your company well, you know your company best. So, you can edit inputs based on your specific organization to ensure the calculation is accurate based on your structure.  


What’s Driving Your Score

The companies that are the very best at managing scarce time, talent, and energy are 40% more productive than the rest (HBR). That’s why, in addition to your composite score, you can drill into three sub-scores to better understand the strengths and opportunities specific to your company in terms of how frequently you engage with your workforce, how they’re feeling, and the environment they work in—all of which are interrelated, and you should see impact each other over time. 


study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting found that 63% of managers said the pace of technological change in their workplaces is too slow, primarily due to a “lack of urgency” and poor communication about the strategic benefits of new tools." The utilization sub-score indicates how frequently your employees access the Paylocity app and perform expected tasks, based on frequency of interaction vs. potential for interaction. It highlights monthly average users, headcount, and users per workspace. This helps you ensure employees are taking advantage of self-service capabilities —for instance, leveraging ESS to adjust their own personal or direct deposit information, or tracking the trainings they need to complete. And by driving utilization, you’re beginning to collect a 360-degree viewpoint of your employees, which fuels the rest of MWI’s insights.


25% of respondents to a January PWC Workforce Pulse Survey said their physical and mental well-being deteriorated during the pandemic and 20% said the ability to disconnect, their work–life balance, and workloads had worsened. Clearly, employees need support more than ever. Understanding sentiment highlights areas of opportunity, as well as strengths you can leverage to attract and retain talent. The sentiment score indicates how the workforce is feeling as expressed in Community, certain Surveys, and Performance Reviews. KPIs help contextualize details, such as % utilization of workspaces being mined for sentiment and participation rate.  Trending phrases highlight themes that may drive sentiment and allows you to see which of those themes are driving positive sentiment versus negative sentiment. “We want people to come onboard and stay,” said Ungerboeck Global Director of HR, Mike Cameron. “So being able to measure sentiment is really important.” 

Organizational Health

During periods of uncertainty, organizational values and health are at greater risk, increasing the risk of employee disengagement, which can lead to compliance, unethical behavior, and misconduct (Gartner estimates an increase by 33%). The organizational health score evaluates company factors that create a healthy work environment, employee satisfaction, and productivity, and impact a company’s performance. KPIs like headcount, growth rate, and turnover rate help contextualize details. Turnover, overtime, and hire/fire trends are also provided, on a rolling 12-month basis. San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group uses Community, Surveys, and Impressions to drive collaboration, accolades, and keep a pulse on their organization.  According to CHRO Toni Martin, “Paylocity has been a game-changer for us in terms of improving our culture. 

Want to learn more about MWI? Check out the Modern Workforce Index adoption kit

Interested in the details from the Deloitte report? Click here to download Estimating the Return on Investment of a Human-Capital Management Solution for Various Resources Tasks


Eliminate the Guesswork on Employee Engagement

How can you tell if your employees are engaged? The right data. Create a culture of connection and collaboration with actionable insights to improve engagement, increase productivity, and reduce turnover. Quantify your cost savings and find out how you can get the most out of your HR and payroll investment with Employee Experience.

Employee Experience