With the rise of the mobile apps we knew it couldn’t be long before they had a role in HR and not just for the recruitment and selection of talent. Last year seemed to be the year for mobile technology to come to the forefront of HR particularly for those HR teams who work with a mobile workforce. Mobile seemed to rise to the top of everybody’s “trends to watch in HR” as more tools aimed at the mobile management of workforces were seemingly arriving on a weekly basis. There was also a major shift taking place within the workplace as employees were clamouring for more improved and frequent ways of using their mobiles at work to help them with their roles whilst on the move.
As exciting as this all was, what has it really meant for HR leaders? Does it mean you now have to reach for your mobile to conduct your performance reviews? Are you now sending text alerts to enrol your workforce for benefits or are you panicking that you’ll need to be sending people on training courses to use all these potential new apps? Possibly. However, the main thing the experts stressed at the time, and are still doing, is to not panic. Mobiles and apps are nothing new, we are pretty much all savvy with the smartphone, and there has just been a shift towards how they can take their place in the world of human resources, apps are by design developed to make your life and that of your employees easier so it should be seen as positive technological progress.
If you want a comparison you can liken it to the time when all the paper personnel files became members of HR information systems. This is not a revolution, merely moving with the times. Unfortunately, as with all movements of this ilk there is good and bad and many an app that promised great things but failed to deliver is now languishing in app stores with barely a glance in its direction. So how you can you wade through to find an app solution that genuinely delivers value to your organisation. As with anything, start with the problem, not the solution. It is so easy to get drawn in by all the features and gimmicks offered by app developers that you can end up with a solution for a problem you never had, creating more work for you and your workforce.
It’s long been an issue for HR teams to track employees using their own cars for business, from ensuring the right documents and insurance is in place to calculating the exact mileage for journey’s and ensuring HMRC compliance. This is where driving apps can come into their own.
Keeping track of your staff’s mileage can always cause an issue, people all have their own methods of recording mileage, the old fashioned pen and paper or resorting to Google Maps to claim expenses for what is effectively an estimated journey. In a company vehicle it can be slightly easier to record mileage but when employees are using their own vehicles, known as the “grey fleet” it can be more difficult. This area was once the doyen of inflated expenses bills and it was extremely difficult to disprove the mileage employees claimed to have racked up.
They’re not new, but mobile tracking apps are now coming into their own and proving their worth to businesses and local authorities. The newer apps track the driver by GPS using their mobile phones so HR leaders know exactly the journey an employee has taken rather than their ‘estimated’ one. This will make a big difference to those not only in HR but also fleet managers within local authorities, medium to larger businesses and even NHS trusts. In fact anyone with a mobile workforce will benefit from these kinds of apps.
It all makes the process of calculating payment from mileage quicker and means mileage allowance can be paid on time and thus adhere to HR compliance guidelines. Having all this info at your fingertips in real time will benefit both employees and employers as it ensures the right payment is made every time. Okay, drivers won’t be able to charge for those little, non business related trips anymore but that shouldn’t be an issue for anybody.