How Martin Resorts Transformed the Employee Experience with Paylocity
Apr 14, 2022
Digitizing and automating HR processes saved managers and employees thousands of hours of paperwork while causing employee engagement to skyrocket. Senior Editor (Hotels)
Martin Resorts owns and operates five boutique hotels along California’s central coast. But what this brand is most proud of is that many of its employees find their first job at Martin Resorts and stay for decades. However, the hospitality brand found it was facing some significant HR challenges that were exacerbated by COVID-19. For instance, the resort’s paper processes weren’t working well anymore and a lack of face-to-face interaction with staff – due to the pandemic – was putting their highly engaged work culture at risk. Martin Resorts’ Director of People and Culture Sara Kennedy knew the brand had to provide its 230 employees with time sensitive updates and allow them to connect with each other the way they used to do pre-pandemic. Plus, she saw that a lack of integration between her former HR and payroll provider was making it difficult for staff to understand some of the exceptional benefits the resort offered, such as a 401(k) match program. But possibly the real kicker was the fact that every employee onboarding experience involved 25 paper-based workflows, making it overwhelming for new hires and HR alike. (Not to mention paper forms required for time off requests!) So what’s an HR officer to do? Kennedy knew right away. “We turned to Paylocity ,” Kennedy explained. “I’ve actually had the privilege of implementing Paylocity three times – at three other companies – and I keep coming back to them because I’ve always felt from the very beginning that they were the one company with whom we had a true partnership. And at the end of the day, you have to have a great partner.”
After switching to Paylocity, Martin Resorts saw some immediate benefits. For example, eliminating multiple payroll and benefit platforms saved the company significant amounts of money. But it also allowed the company to modernize the employee journey from recruitment, to onboarding to engagement. “Paylocity provides our staff with a single username and password that allows them to access so much information, from surveys to their pay stub to their W2 to community – a platform where they can communicate and collaborate together with each other, management and leadership,” Kennedy adds. In particular, Calvin Sun, Senior Director Compensation, Benefits & Talent Analytics at Paylocity, believes Paylocity’s Community platform really helps differentiate the company’s product from other competitors on the market. “Of course, we can streamline things for HR administrators and employees,” he explains. “But our goal is to help HR leaders build culture, community and connectivity. For hotels and other businesses where staff don’t follow a ‘normal’ nine to five workday, this can be really difficult. That’s why our product is meant to provide management with the support they need, however they might need it.”
That’s also why the company focuses heavily on creating a product that is built around the user experience – not just the HR manager, but the staff HR is requesting to use the product. “We’re constantly trying to see things from the staff members perspective and to keep in mind that the conveniences they have outside of work should be available to them at work as well (meaning a mobile-friendly, easy to use platform),” Sun adds. But are Martin Resorts employees really using Paylocity? Absolutely. Kennedy has found overwhelming amounts of evidence that point to the fact that staff members are enjoying it. For example, when HR would send out W2s at the end of the year, many would get returned due to having an outdated address. That rarely happens now because employees can update their address themselves within the system. Also, staff members can see their work schedules online and use the system to request changes to those schedules. “I’ve even had staff members pull me aside when I’m doing site visits to our property to ask me questions about the mobile app and how best to use it which tells me that they know it’s a valuable tool, they want access to it, and they’re looking to use it regularly,” Kennedy adds. “It’s a really great feeling.”
In particular, one of Kennedy’s favorite Paylocity tools is the paycheck calculator. “One thing we struggled with was communicating about our 401(k) match program,” she explains. “With the paycheck calculator, employees can actually see what it looks like to have 3 percent or 5 percent contributed to their 401(k) and learn that it comes out pre-tax, that it’s a reasonable amount to start saving, and it really opens their eyes.”
In fact, since Martin Resorts switched to Paylocity, the company has seen triple the sign-up rates for its 401(k) match program, proving access to this information led to improved employee benefit utilization. As a group, across the brand’s five properties, managers are saving more than 50 hours per pay period that were previously spent sifting through piles of paperwork and the company estimates that the entire workforce has saved more than 4,000 hours by automating HR functionality, digitizing paperwork, and giving employees easy access to their information. By saving so much time, managers can engage more with team members and ensure they’re making the most of the Paylocity platform. Plus, HR can access important demographic information about its employees as well as create and share salary reports so that the brand can continually offer competitive wages.