The Time Relation Model: What is it and why it matters



The Time Relation Model: Using Your HCM To Travel Through Time to Get Accurate Data

Have you ever wanted to travel through time? We could all benefit from taking a peek at the past or future and using that knowledge to guide us in the present. For HR professionals, that ability would be especially beneficial for developing strategies, improving manual data corrections accuracy, and even making better decisions. 


But when most HR leaders want to look at their organizations at a particular point in time, they’ll often find specific information hard to come by because it’s in multiple spreadsheets, paper files, or in different applications that can only provide summaries for date ranges. That makes it especially difficult to accurately reflect changes to historical data or zero in on vital information such as the company’s headcount on a certain previous date, which can significantly impact strategic decision making. 


HCMs featuring a Time Relation Model is a solution that recognizes when HR and payroll changes occur in real-time, and reflects those changes from the past, present, and future.


Time machine technology gives business leaders the flexibility to tailor information to their needs. New hires usually come on board at the beginning of a pay period. It's tradition, but that tradition is dictated by the inability of most HCMs to be flexible with dates. Imagine being able to set a hire date for a mid-pay period, mid-week, or whatever date worked best for the hiring manager and candidate, without being impacted by the limitations of the HCM software. 


How a Time Relation Model Helps Employers

Consider company benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, benefits account for about 30% of employer costs. Businesses must balance offering benefits that allow them to be competitive and support a healthy workforce with managing costs. One way to do that is by understanding how enrollment has changed or is changing in your organization. Pinpointing historical information, such as who enrolled over the years or growth and rate changes year over year, gives companies instructive data for negotiating cost-efficient options with carriers and brokers.


Or, suppose a CEO plans an acquisition and wants to understand how the newly acquired employees will fit best into the current organization. Looking at the existing org chart provides limited, static information. Instead, the CEO needs org charts that incorporate various scenarios to give critical insight. Or perhaps a  CEO wants to see how much a function has grown over the years. While it may be possible to track down spreadsheets or paper organizational charts, those reports can be outdated quickly, as employees join, move around, and leave the company. An org chart that accurately reflects the company on January 1 could look different just a few weeks. Having access to the correct information-- no matter the search date is critical for making accurate decisions.


Senior executives aren’t the only ones who need to look backward and forward in time. HR managers work diligently with the payroll department to ensure the information put into the payroll system is correct. But sometimes, that information changes, requiring a retroactive adjustment. 


For example, suppose an employee forgot to enter weekend work hours and didn't realize that until weeks later. To further complicate things, the employee now worked in a different position within the organization and was in another state. The hours couldn't be added automatically because the new department would be charged for the employee's work in the old department. Additionally, the employee would be taxed at the rate of the new state. Getting the employee the salary owed quickly without playing havoc on tax records and subsequent filing can be tricky. To stay compliant with industry and government regulations, HR would have to manually make the correction, which costs time and increases the likelihood of human error.  


The SyncHR Difference

The time relation model, or time machine technology, gives business and HR leaders a view of the organization on a specific date, whether in the past, present, or future. That aspect, added to SyncHR's position management capability, helps businesses plan more effectively. Position management separates the person from the position, so regardless of employee changes, the data tied to the position, such as salary range, hierarchy, or benefits eligibility, stays intact.


Using SyncHR, benefits administrators can make a retroactive salary change and update all of the employee's benefits and other records. A CEO can look at positions to add in the future and determine how those scenarios impact budget, benefits, and reporting relationships.


SyncHR's time relation model doesn't really enable time travel, but it does give businesses the capability to make better decisions by accurately seeing the past, present, and future. 

Contact us today to learn more about how the SyncHR Time Relation Model can help you make better decisions based on a unique and accurate perspective of your organization.



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Liz Sheffield

Liz Sheffield

Liz Sheffield is a writer and communicator based in Seattle, WA. She specializes in writing about topics related to HR and the people side of the business. Her areas of interest include HR Tech, HCM, leadership, training and development, employee engagement, culture, and recognition. Sheffield brings more than a decade of corporate experience in HR.

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