The Channel Company delivers the key expertise companies need to optimize their channels—specifically the IT Channel. From events and marketing services to research and consulting, The Channel Company offers a portfolio of products that are all geared towards helping connect people and businesses within the channel.
After graduating from college, Erika pursued a graduate degree in social work at Columbia University.
“Through the occupational social work track of my graduate program, I realized that I enjoyed studying people in the workplace. While working in an Employee Assistance Program, I worked alongside HR professionals and became really interested in what they did. After that, I decided to dive into the HR field.”
When Erika first joined The Channel Company, they were using ADP.
“The Channel Company was originally part of an international company that used ADP because they had thousands of employees around the world. So when The Channel Company split from that larger company, we continued to use ADP until we started to look for a new solution.
We ended up implementing two separate systems, Zenefits and Paychex. After using these disconnected systems, we realized that we needed one centralized HR platform.
At the time, the world of HR was starting to transition away from being paper-heavy. So when looking for a new system, I knew that we needed one to automate our HR processes. It was really important for me to leave paper-oriented solutions behind and move to something much more modern.”
After using two separate solutions, Erika needed a platform that would house all of her HR processes.
“We needed a streamlined solution—especially from a payroll perspective since payroll in Paychex didn’t sync over to Zenefits. We also wanted to streamline benefits, onboarding, and other HR processes, so it was really important for us to find a platform that was all-in-one. The more we could combine into one centralized solution, the better.”
At the time, Erika was struggling with Zenefits’ brokerage model.
“We weren’t having a positive broker experience, so we wanted to have a strong partnership with our next HR solution when it came to benefits. We needed someone who understood our business, employees, and needs. Unlike Zenefits’ brokers, we needed someone who would be able to give us insight from a benchmark perspective and provide recommendations for employee benefits. It was really important for us to find that kind of partnership.”
Since Erika was an HR department of one, she needed to find a solution that was intuitive enough for her employees.
“It was critical for me to find a user-friendly solution that could be easily rolled out to our employees. I needed a system that employees would be able to navigate without a lot of training beforehand. With this in mind, I started to look for a more modern HR system than what I was historically used to.”
“Before actually going through an evaluation process, I saw Namely’s social media-like company news feed. My favorite part of HR is employee interaction, so that feature really spoke to me. When I started to evaluate Namely, I already knew that I had never seen an HR system with that type of engaging interface before.
To make sure Namely was the right solution for our entire company, I sat through demos with our CEO and CFO at the time. I also ran the platform by managers and employees to see what they thought about the solution. Overall, it was a very collaborative process and they all thought Namely would be a great fit.
Ultimately though, I was the decision maker. Since I had been in the HR field for so many years and used so many different solutions, I knew exactly what our company needed—and that was Namely.”
Both Erika and her employees love using Namely’s company news feed.
“Namely’s social media-like news feed is what sold me over two years ago, and it’s still ingrained in our company culture to this day. On the news feed, employees can view each other’s birthdays and work anniversaries. Have you ever walked into a meeting and felt badly that you didn’t know it was someone else’s birthday? That doesn’t happen anymore because employees can just look at Namely’s news feed. When an employee wants to give a coworker kudos, they can use the news feed’s appreciation feature. From an HR and executive team perspective, we use the news feed to share company news and announce employee awards, such as ‘Sales Employees of the Year’. Every employee also has a profile with their picture on it—which is especially helpful for new hires.
In addition to enhancing employee interaction, Namely’s news feed integrates with our recognition system, Gifted. On employees’ birthdays, this integration automatically sends them a Starbucks gift card. For anniversaries, employees automatically receive certain service awards based on how many years they’ve been with the company. So for birthdays and anniversaries, employees get both a shoutout on the company news feed and some kind of reward.
Overall, Namely’s news feed helps us stay connected—especially during COVID-19 when all of our employees are dispersed. During this time, our employees have been posting and appreciating each other on the news feed more than ever before.”
“Namely’s new Pod Service Model has been working really well for us. As a Namely client, you have a dedicated Pod Team of subject matter experts who are available to you. For example, the HRIS Specialist on my Pod Team is always willing to jump on a call with me if I need help with something. You can also submit tickets through the Namely Help Community, so there’s plenty of ways to get support from Namely’s experts.”
Recently, Erika and her team decided to add on Namely’s Managed Payroll services.
“Just like our lean HR team, our Finance team is resource constrained. We do have someone that has been managing payroll for five years, but eventually that administrative role starts to prevent that person from growing in their career. What happens if you want that employee to take on more parts of the business? When you only have one person on staff who knows how to run payroll, it’s also hard for that person to take PTO. Or what happens if they decide to leave the company?
With that said, we decided to start working with Namely’s Managed Payroll team. Now, Namely experts have taken on all of the tasks associated with payroll processing. This is going to be very impactful for our team—especially since we’re starting to hire employees in different states due to COVID-19’s impact on remote work. Every time you hire an employee in a new state that you’re not licensed to do business in, you have to get a license in that state—which Namely’s Managed Payroll team does for you. That’s huge.”
Being a client for a few years now, Erika has seen Namely release new features and services to enhance her overall client experience.
“Recently, Namely started offering clients The Work Number® from Equifax. Handling employee verifications used to be draining and time consuming—especially in the beginning of COVID-19 since a lot of employees were doing refinancing on mortgages. We were constantly getting calls and questions about it, so we’re very excited about this new Namely feature.”
“After struggling with Zenefits’ brokerage model, it was so important for me to find a broker I could rely on. The Managed Benefits Team is one of Namely’s sweet spots. My Benefits Consultant has been with me since the beginning and has become an extension of my HR team. He recommends benefits for our employees, provides me with benchmark data, and gives me insight into what other companies are offering. He also runs open enrollment for us every year with our employees, so he really is a member of our team.
The Channel Company recently acquired another company, and there’s a lot that goes into acquisitions from a benefits perspective. During that acquisition, my Benefits Consultant was with me every step of the way. He advised me throughout the entire process and ran open enrollment for our new employees from the acquisition once they were onboarded.
From a technology perspective, Namely’s benefits administration solution has also simplified our employees’ experience. The solution’s open enrollment portal is really easy for our employees to use, and Namely is constantly enhancing it. I’m a huge fan of Namely’s Managed Benefits Team and my overall benefits experience.”
“As soon as I saw Namely’s company news feed, I knew that the platform was different from all the other HR systems I used in the past. That news feed helps keep us connected and has lived up to all of my expectations. In addition to loving the platform itself, my sales person was amazing during our evaluation process. We implemented Namely over two years ago, and she still checks in with me today. How often can you say that a sales person still checks in with you years after you sign on? I’m really grateful for that relationship and all of the support I have received at Namely.”
Namely helped modernize HR at The Channel Company. Ready to see how it can revamp HR at yours? Take a platform tour today.