Making the Most of Mobile

By Michelle Rafter

Jun. 1, 2014

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

Give employees the choice of using a smartphone or desktop computer to see paycheck or benefits information and mobile technology wins hands down.

When employees can use a smartphone to look up a paycheck or confirm a copayment for a doctor’s visit on a mobile-friendly website, 37 percent do. By comparison, when employees have to access the same data from a Web portal and desktop or laptop computer, only 23 percent use it, according to an Automatic Data Processing Inc. Research Institute report.

The report is based on analysis of 2 million employees at 25,000 U.S. companies that use both ADP’s Web- and mobile-based paycheck and benefits services and 25,000 that use only the Web-based service. The report was released in late February based on data collected in May 2013.

Years after HR departments first started using mobile to find and recruit potential employees, more are integrating it into internal workforce management functions as well.

Mobile-device users average 7.2 page views a month looking up information such as gross pay or withholdings.

It shouldn’t be a surprise given Americans’ obsession with all things mobile. Today, 90 percent of U.S. adults own a cellphone, and 58 percent own a smartphone, according to a February Pew Research Center study titled “The Web at 25 in the U.S.”

Mobile-device users average 7.2 page views a month looking up information such as gross pay or withholdings, and 4.1 page views a month checking medical, vision or dental coverage, as well as benefits such as flexible spending and health savings accounts and long-term disability, the ADP report states.

Based on additional mobile-based HR processes that ADP provides and monitors, employees use iPhones, Androids and other smartphones even more frequently to punch in and out of work, request time off, view their W-2s and access a corporate directory, said Roberto Masiero, vice president and head of ADP’s Innovation Lab, which also produces the company’s widely read monthly employment report. “Once they’ve used mobile, they don’t go back,” he said.

Companies especially rely on mobile to connect with younger workers. At MyCorporation, a Calabasas, California-based business that helps companies incorporate, roughly 20 percent of 42 employees use their phones to look up 401(k) account and company match information. “We’re a young group, so encouraging the team to focus on saving and planning for the future via simple, mobile tools is a true win-win,” said Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation’s CEO.

At retail chain Aéropostale, employees use Ceridian’s Dayforce HCM mobile app to view work schedules, update their availability and swap shifts. “For Aéropostale’s vast, part-time workforce comprised of high school and college students, mobile scheduling has empowered employees to work on their time,” a spokesperson said.

It’s not just younger workers, or employees in retail or services industries, using mobile devices to look up their HR and benefits records. In its report, ADP found employees in such industries as construction, mining, natural resources, manufacturing and hospitality are just as likely to use mobile devices to look up information.

Michelle V. Rafter is a Workforce contributing editor.  Comment below or email Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

Michelle Rafter is a Workforce contributing editor.

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