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Employees Making the Most of Mobile for Benefits Information: Survey

Employee with access to personnel data from a mobile device view it more often than those who can only look up the same data from a Web portal, according to an ADP study.

March 18, 2014
Related Topics: Mobile Apps, The Latest, Technology
KEYWORDS benefits / payroll

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.

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 studytitled “The Web at 25 in the U.S.”

'Once they’ve used mobile, they don’t go back.'

—Roberto Masiero, ADP

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 Aeropostale’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.

The extent to which employees have flocked to mobile caught the HR services vendor by surprise, Masiero said. When ADP introduced mobile-friendly access to W-2 information last year, 1.5 million people used it in the first month. “People just want everything on that device,” he said.

Michelle V. Rafter is a Portland, Oregon-based writer. Comment below or email Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

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