Employee Certification Management - An Interview with Katherine McGinnis, Senior Product Manager at Greenshades

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How do you track certifications, certificates, and licenses for all of your employees?

Greenshades Software has just introduced a new product, Certification Management, to make it easy for HR administrators to collect and store information. Your business can stay compliant and spend less time looking for information with employee self-service capabilities, reporting, and notification systems.

In this interview, Katherine McGinnis, Senior Product Manager at Greenshades, tells us what went into developing the product, pain points it solves, pricing plans, and how clients are already using it.

Q: How do companies typically track certifications and what improvements did your team want to make?

A: “Our team at Greenshades has been researching and designing the new Certification Management tool for over a year.

Many of our clients are in industries where their employees need some sort of certifications and licenses in order to work. These records absolutely need to be on file.

Typically, this is tracked in an Excel spreadsheet, or their accounting package might have some fields. The problem is that these solutions do not offer any reporting or notifications, and there is no self-service aspect to it.

Our clients wanted to be able to manage the information within the Greenshades product that they use every day. Our team realized this was the perfect opportunity to fill a need. We could make a user-friendly and integrated tool within the full Greenshades platform they were already using. And by allowing employees to enter their own information and documents, we could take something off the plate of the HR administrator and make their job easier.”

Q: What types of companies could benefit from Certification Management?

A: “We wanted to make it as configurable and friendly to all organizations possible, which is why we have broad categories such as certification, licenses, vaccinations, physicals.

Many companies that use Greenshades have what we call “deskless workers”—people who aren’t sitting in front of a computer all day.

For example, warehouse employees need special licenses to drive heavy equipment. Nurses need certificates and vaccinations to work with medical institutions.

A transportation company would need to track each employee’s type of driver’s license.

We work with a few casinos, and there are a bunch of certifications and training that has to be done to work on the casino floor to maintain compliance for auditing purposes.

Staffing companies have a large workforce, and it is a big job to keep all the documentation organized.

To stay compliant, and for insurance purposes, companies need to be able to confirm that each person has the proper certification or license and that it has not expired.”

Q: You mentioned vaccinations, can Certification Management help companies comply with the new ETS (Emergency Temporary Standard) vaccine mandate?

A: “Yes. The ETS mandate was not in place when we started developing this product, but it is a perfect fit. We had already built Certification Management to track other required vaccines, such as the TB vaccine required for some healthcare professionals. Now it can be extended to track the Covid-19 vaccine and really fill an important need for our clients.

Greenshades tracks employee status, whether they are remote or full time, and we can track vaccination based on that. If a company wants to do on-site testing, you can track if someone chose to get vaccinated or if they declined. Based on that, you can pull reports and run the weekly COVID testing off of those numbers. We even created a tracking checklist for HR managers.

To my knowledge, the federal government hasn’t released anything like a 1095-C that would need to be sent to the government. At least not yet. They easily could come out with that information, and we’ll be ready for that. But with this tool, the information is available if you need to be able to pull it up for an audit.”

Also read: The Vaccine Mandate and the Greenshades Solution FAQ

Q: How much can employees do on their own with the self-service features in Certification Management?

A: “Employees can check the status of their own documentation, so they know when they need to start studying for that renewal exam, for example.

Some companies like to give their employees the ability to upload documentation, enter or change details. Others want to control everything but will allow employees to log in to see their own documentation and status. It is very configurable within the product.

For example, when every employee has to upload a COVID vaccination certification, it is a huge job for the HR admin to collect all that information over email or paper copies and do the data entry. Instead, they can just send a login link to employees so they can upload the paperwork on their own.

And of course, there are checks in place, so the administrator has oversight and an approval process.”

Q: What type of notifications and reporting are available to make it easier for the HR administrator?

A: “When companies tracked this information in Excel or even in their accounting system, they weren’t getting notified when something was close to expiration or missing. They had to just sort by dates and status; it was a very manual process. The onus was really on the administrator to make sure everyone stayed current and compliant

We felt that your system should be smart enough to tell you when you need to be worried. The Certification Management tool has all the information; we set up automation to take the burden off the HR administrator.

The system will provide notifications and reporting. Automation can automatically send out emails when expiration dates are approaching. A simple dashboard can show the admin if there is anything they need to be aware of immediately. When that dashboard is clear, there is no need for them to worry. Nothing has been missed, and they can focus on other things.”

Q: How much does Greenshades Certification Management cost?

A: “The good news is that all of our clients running payroll through Greenshades will automatically get Certification Management at no charge.

Our clients utilizing a different ERP system for payroll can purchase this as long as they have employee profile information within Greenshades and Green employee.

The pricing is a tiered system based on the number of employees. The cost can range from about $1 to $3 PEPM (Per Employee Per Month). But keep in mind, if you have 300 employees but only need to track certifications for 100 of them, you would pay just for those 100.

For brand new customers to use Certification Management, they will need the Green employee access package as a base, but other than that, it is standalone.”

Q: Do you have any client success stories yet?

A: “Yes, we have beta tested the new product with a few clients already.

One client is using Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains). This system does have certification tracking, but I would say that in air quotes because it is pretty much just a code and a date. You can not actually house the documentation there, and there is no employee self-service.

In the past, if a client needed proof of a CPR certification, they would have to notify the HR department, who had to search for it and email it back. And they had to remember to check expiration dates regularly to be sure nothing was missed. It was a very manual process.

This company already uses Greenshades for everything else; it just made sense to track certifications there.

Now the client is saying, “This is awesome because my employees can now access this information on their own where previously they were emailing me about everything.”

They were very excited about the ease of use, the employee self-service component, and the automated notification and reporting of expiry dates.”

Q: When will Certification Management be available?

A: “The team has been killing it. We are very excited about the launch in early January 2022. Our clients running Greenshades payroll will have access to it first, at no cost. Then we will roll it out to our other existing customers. After that, any company that is looking to move to Greenshades can purchase it along with the employee access package.”

Next Steps:

Register for our upcoming webinar to get a complete overview of the new Greenshades Certification Management Solution.

Webinar: Tools for Managing Certifications and Vaccine Tracking

February 9, 2022

2:00 PM EST


Visit our webpage https://www.greenshades.com/certification-management/

Schedule a meeting with the Greenshades sales team for additional information and pricing.

By Greenshades, www.Greenshades.com

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