Paychex Releases New Report on Hot HR Technology Topics Influencing Workplace Trends

Surveys on HR Technology and workplace topics often poll employers to gain their perspectives on the latest employee issues and trends – but, in a recent survey, Paychex, Inc. went directly to the source and obtained insight from employees themselves.

Paychex, a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, benefits, human resources, and insurance services, asked 757 full-time employees working in companies with 1,000 workers or fewer across the United States about workplace hot topics, including benefits, pay equity, HR technology, corporate social responsibility, and more, to determine how these HR trends are impacting them and how their workplace expectations are evolving.

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“As businesses shift into the future of work, it’s as important as ever to understand employees’ workplace expectations, challenges, and requirements,” said Maureen Lally, Paychex vice president of marketing.

Maureen added, “While employers can implement changes from the top, employees ultimately define what the American workplace looks like. Their habits, preferences, and behaviors are what shape company culture.”

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Employees’ survey responses offer insights on several key topics:


Employees are split on the most complicated aspect of making annual benefit elections: 29 percent say it’s keeping up with plan changes; 28 percent say it’s trying to predict personal and family needs; and 28 percent say it’s evaluating all of the providers and plan options. For women, trying to predict personal and family needs when making benefits selections is the number one most complicated aspect of the process at 33 percent. That ranks third for men at 24 percent.


More than half (51 percent) of employees feel very confident in their retirement savings, but 25 percent of those add the caveat that their confidence is dependent on Social Security remaining intact. This confidence increases as employees get older: 48 percent of workers age 18-34 are confident in their retirement savings, 51 percent age 35-49, and 58 percent of those 50-65.

Pay Equity

Nearly half (48 percent) of employees – regardless of gender – say they have expressed verbal or written concern to their current employer that their current rate of pay was not equitable to another employee with a similar role and responsibilities at least once during their career. Seventy-seven percent of men are confident that their employer is auditing employee pay for gender equity, while slightly fewer (74 percent) women say the same.

HR Technology

Seventy-one percent of employees agree that they expect employers to provide them with a high level of employee self-service that allows them to accomplish various HR tasks (update address, enter life event, fill out tax forms, report hours, manage retirement, etc.) on their own. And, 85 percent expect such self-service applications to provide a simple, intuitive user experience, similar to the consumer apps frequently used in their personal lives.

Workplace Ghosting

When asked if they had ever “ghosted” (leaving a current job or not reporting for a new job without informing the employer) from a current or potential job, 27 percent of employees said they had. Younger workers are much more likely to have ghosted than their older counterparts. Of those aged 18-34 and 35-49, 33 and 30 percent, respectively, admitted ghosting, compared to only seven percent of employees who are 50-65 years old.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Working for an organization that is socially responsible (caring about the impact the business and its employees have on things like the environment and the well-being of the local community or region) is important to workers regardless of age. Ninety-five percent of those aged 18-34, and 94 percent of those 35-49 agree that it’s important for their employer to be socially responsible. That percentage dips slightly to 90 percent for those aged 50-65.

“CSR is an important driver in attracting and retaining talent for companies today,” said Laurie Zaucha, Paychex vice president of HR and Organizational Development.

Laurie added, “More than ever before, candidates research prospective employers before applying and are looking for organizations whose values align with theirs.”

Research Methodology

Paychex polled 757 randomly selected full-time employees across the U.S. who are working in organizations with 1,000 employees or fewer. The survey was conducted online via SurveyMonkey, took place between 10 October 2018 and 11 October 2018, and had a margin of error of +/- 3.90 percent.

By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business.

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