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Hotel Group Clears the Way for an Enhanced Employee Experience

February 02, 2022

Martin Resorts needed an HR and Payroll partner that could eliminate piles of paperwork and consolidate their multiple platforms into one simplified solution to create a harmonious employee journey for employees and HR alike.

Case Study

Martin Resorts owns and operates five boutique hotels along California’s central coast with a mission to create memories for their guests and an equally memorable experience for employees. Its workforce is diverse—about 50% of staff are Spanish-speaking—and many find their first jobs here and stay for decades, well into their 70s. Director of People and Culture Sara Kennedy has cultivated a work culture that engages its 230 employees by creating opportunities for connection and a work environment where everybody looks forward to contributing.


The Problem

With five locations within a 70-mile radius and facing HR challenges exacerbated by COVID-19’s curveballs, Martin Resorts’ paper processes didn’t work anymore and less face-to-face interaction put their forward-thinking culture at risk. It was vital to provide employees with time-sensitive updates and give them a way to connect with each other during a challenging time and beyond. And to save critical time, they needed to integrate all aspects of people management, facilitate the growth of their culture, and automate tedious, manual processes.

For example, Martin Resorts offers exceptional benefits, like a 401(k) match program, but a confusing process prevented staff from participating. Their previous HR and payroll provider didn’t integrate with their 401(k) system and made it challenging for staff to understand what plans and programs were available and to sign up.

Additionally, the onboarding experience involved 25 paper-based workflows, making it overwhelming for new hires and creating loads of manual work for HR. And once they fully onboarded a new hire, HR struggled to make the experience smooth with paper forms for time off requests and missed punches creating tiresome entry, tracking, and reporting.

So trapped behind the paperwork and all the redundant processes, the two-person HR team at Martin Resorts needed to find one, connected solution to overcome their bottlenecks and start focusing more on the employee experience.

“We’re saving at least 10 hours per hire by eliminating paperwork and the need to log in to different systems.

Sara Kennedy, Director of People & Culture, Martin Resorts

The Solution

Not only did switching eliminate multiple payroll and benefits platforms, saving significant money, but Paylocity transferred data seamlessly, preparing Martin Resorts to modernize the employee journey from recruiting to onboarding to ongoing employee engagement.

For instance, when it comes to recruiting, Paylocity’s all-in-one system enables customizable job postings and tailored offer letters. As a result, Martin Resorts can capture potential employees in an industry that moves quickly, hiring the talent they needed yesterday, today. Now, new hires can access their forms, including I-9s, online—making onboarding a breeze.

“Knowing that I had a dedicated support team when I called and that I wouldn’t be put into a queue made the difference.

Sara Kennedy, Director of People & Culture, Martin Resorts

During this early phase, Martin Resorts noticed certain staff in particular didn't engage with employee benefits. With their previous provider, Spanish-speaking employees didn't understand the benefits of the 401(k) program and didn't participate. But with Paylocity's Check Calculator, they have a clear picture on the value and can make more-informed decisions. After easily going through their benefits selection, Martin Resorts' employees explored other parts of the platform, finding Community, where they can continue to communicate and collaborate with each other, their managers, and leadership, enabling them to fully embed themselves into the employee experience. Now, employees can become part of the team by sharing photos. For example, hosting a Halloween costume contest lifted spirits and fostered the culture across locations.

With Employee Self Service, Martin Resorts eliminated paper forms and offered direct access to simplified time tracking and request, empowering employees and giving them autonomy over certain communication. For example, supervisors and staff can check for missed punches online, and employees can submit time-off
requests in the system.

Across the five properties, managers save upwards of 50 hours per pay period that they previously spent sifting through piles of paperwork, including 100s of cumbersome paper time off requests per pay period, now easy to process online. By saving so much time, managers can check in with their team to engage with them and ensure they're also getting the most out of the tools.


The Results

By upgrading recruiting and onboarding, Martin Resorts saved thousands of hours while welcoming 100 or more new hires every year. They were able to find talent and onboard faster, resulting in better engagement from the start. And HR has seen employee engagement skyrocket through the use of Community.

And HR can access critical data through Data Insights to understand and support its people in innovative ways, such as pulling reports on employee makeup by age or gender, upcoming birthdays, and utilization rates for benefits. For example, the 401(k) report showed triple the sign-up rates proving access to information led to improved employee benefits utilization. And HR can easily share salary reports with the Chief Operations Officer (COO) to ensure Martin Resorts stays ahead of the game when it comes to competitive wages.

Now that employees can access and adjust their information through Employee Self Service, HR has their time back. HR managers and employees collectively saved more than 4,000 hours by automating HR functionality, digitizing paperwork, and giving employees access to their information. But the benefits of switching to Paylocity transcended saved hours and minimized costs. Martin Resorts found a partner that delivered quick results and provided service and support for ongoing needs as the company evolves with its people.

“I can say with 100% certainty that Paylocity is head and shoulders above everyone else.

Sara Kennedy, Director of People & Culture, Martin Resorts
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