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3 Ways the New England Patriots Score Big on HR Efficiency

In a December 2023 updated report, Ernst & Young (EY) found the average cost per manual data entry made by an HR professional increased to $4.78. Read about EY’s latest findings for more information.


Robin Boudreau and Miranda Blaiklock have jobs that are equal parts enviable and challenging. As senior vice president of human resources and director of benefits, compensation and HRIS, respectively, for the New England Patriots, they help ensure the organizational efficiency of an undisputed NFL juggernaut.

We are happy to count the Patriots among Paycom’s roster of satisfied clients. And we were equally thrilled to sit down with Boudreau and Blaiklock for further insight into how this team within a team harnessed the power of HR technology to drive their organization to success.

Adopting user-friendly tech

From the players who take the field to the professionals whose work is much more behind the scenes, the Patriots are a large and diverse organization. And when you factor in the other members of the Patriots’ parent company, the Kraft Group, the overall employee count increases by thousands, while the variety of industries involved ranges from manufacturing plants to nonprofit organizations.

Given this reality, it’s important that the Patriots’ (and the Kraft Group’s) everyday HR tech is easy for employees to use. Performing tasks like clocking in for work, requesting time off or enrolling in benefits should be no more difficult than ordering a coffee via an app. And much like any app-oriented task, smartphone compatibility is a must.

“As consumers, we’ve become accustomed to having control and ease of use,” Boudreau said. “Most of us have a smartphone of some nature, and we want to [incorporate that into] our work experience.”

Driving employee usage of HR tech

When an organization’s employees use the tech their HR team makes available to them, everyone benefits.

It starts with giving employees direct access to their own HR-related information through a tool like Paycom’s Employee Self-Service®. The result? Accuracy improves, in part because no one knows employees’ data better than the employees themselves. This in turn contributes to a sense of transparency and trust, which improves employee morale and productivity.

Then there are the benefits that accrue to HR.

As Blaiklock explained, employee access to HR data removes HR’s obligation to duplicate routine tasks, “so HR professionals can really focus on the stuff they like to do, whether that’s working with employees, managing the data, becoming more predictive or being stronger business partners.”

All of this has certainly been true for the Patriots, whose HR team uses Paycom’s Direct Data Exchange® tool to diligently monitor employee usage of HR tech. This industry-first functionality not only provides a window into the cost savings associated with each HR task performed; it also informs strategies aimed at maintaining an impressive approximated average usage score of 100%!

In fact, every morning the lean HR team wakes up to an employee usage score that isn’t approximately 100% on average, they know it’s time to swing into action on strategies for improving processes, including communicating with employees.

Staying aware of compliance needs

Perhaps more than any other year in recent memory, 2020 has marked the passage of significant federal legislation and regulatory changes with far-reaching impacts on employers large and small. At this point in history, it isn’t enough for HR software to improve efficiencies; it must also be agile enough to respond to legal changes as they happen.

Furthermore, clients like the Patriots must be kept aware of any compliance-related issues that might affect them – for example, the option of delaying employer-side Social Security taxes under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Paycom really came through for us in a big way,” Blaiklock said. “That legislation was coming out quickly and rapidly evolving with further developments, and Paycom was able to adjust with it and also offer webinars so that we could have one repository to learn all the information we needed to know.”

She added that Paycom “quickly developed the system and protocols we needed in order to report on it and make some critical business decisions.”

The takeaway

What do these issues, from tech to compliance, have in common? Based on the Patriots’ example, the answer is simple: An organization must choose the right provider to meet the full scope of its HR needs. And for the New England Patriots, that choice is Paycom.

For further discussion of these and other issues, don’t miss our free, on-demand webinar, Tech Touchdown, in which Boudreau and Blaiklock were joined by Randy Peck, Paycom’s senior manager of best practices, to exchange thoughts and share their expertise.