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Digital and mobile HR services key to unlock both employees’ and employers’ needs


An international employee survey conducted by HR and payroll services provider SD Worx amid the COVID-19 crisis shows that most employees would prefer to have more digital options when handling HR-related issues. Employers seem to have understood the urgent need for change, with 64.8% of them having short-term plans to improve their HR service delivery to employees. The ultimate goal: boosting their rather low employee engagement scores.


The average employee engagement score across Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany and the UK.

Employee engagement is directly related to the employee experience – a catch-all term that includes workplace happiness and physical safety as well as development and empowerment. Indeed, employee experience concerns every touch point between employees and their organization. And according to employees some of those touch points should be more digital.

    Employees as supplicants for digital solutions

    Today, only 20% to 30% of employees state that they find answers to their HR questions on topics such as salary, learning, attendance, career opportunities, vacation and illness in a completely digital way. Those who do, report that this mainly happens through desktop computers. Mobile is lagging far behind. Less than 1 in 4 employees can consult their remaining vacation days, request sick leave, enter expenses or register work time with their smartphone. A missed chance, since mobile-friendly self-service tools or digital assistants could greatly benefit the employee experience, especially among millennials.

    In short, most employees (35%-40%) still have no choice but to pass by the HR department to get their questions answered. This is contrary to what they wish: about half of them would love to see their HR queries handled by digital solutions.


    Most employees still have to physically pass by the HR department to get their questions answered.

      On the crossroads of HR’s and employees’ aspirations

      Employees are not the only ones who are craving change. More than half of European employers (54.4%) are very to moderately unsatisfied regarding their digital HR tools for employees. Countries like France (66.1%), Austria (66.1%) and Belgium (62.5%) in particular can still take big leaps. In other words: integrating new digital HR tools could well be the key to lifting the burden on HR and to meeting employees’ wishes at the same time. This can only benefit the overall employee experience. According to the survey, European companies have planned a large number of projects, so things are about to take a turn for the better.

        Companies reconnect with their most important capital

        In June 2020, SD Worx also questioned employers via the online international survey ‘The Future of Work and People in Europe’. That survey indicates that 57% of European companies are actively trying to improve the employee experience, either with running projects or with projects to be carried out within the next 12 months. Another 20% have mid- or long-term plans in place to tackle this issue. Interestingly, companies with more than 1,000 employees are even more decisive on this front. About 65% of them have running or soon-to-be-launched projects, whereas the figure for companies with fewer than 250 employees is 55%.


        of European employers admit that improving the employee experience is (very) important going forward.

          HR service is top of mind

          Of all the topics that fall under employee experience (learning, HR service, well-being, work-life balance, etc.), employers prioritise HR service the most. Only payroll is considered more important than efficiently and effectively answering and processing HR questions from employees. To illustrate: 64.8% of 3,000 polled companies have HR service projects in place or planned in the short term.


            Due to the pandemic, companies have seen an increase in possible questions from their employees on topics ranging from homeworking to vacation issues. Going (more) digital might just be the way out, with benefits for both parties.

            “In our quest to deliver the best-possible employee experience, we’ve launched an innovative digital platform. This allows our employees to easily register time, upload sick notes, revise their vacation days and enter data on bike use and carpooling, among other things. The cherry on top: SD Worx makes sure all this information is flawlessly transferred to our payroll engine, resulting in reduced workloads and correct payslips.” Says Filip Peeters, HR director at Nike European Logistics Campus