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Four out of ten employers offer mobile app as central access point for HR applications

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Digitalisation is a priority at many companies, with two-thirds endorsing it as a general goal. Digitalising HR fits in well with that, and six out of ten companies are investing in this area. All top three of HR tech investments are dedicated to employee-oriented HR applications. These facts were revealed by a new study of 4,833 employers and 16,011 employees in sixteen European countries, commissioned by European payroll and HR services provider SD Worx.

Companies attach importance to a digital work environment and an optimal digital experience at work. That is not surprising, as more than a third of employees (37%) of all ages report struggling to keep up with all this digitalisation. Companies are therefore doing what they can to optimise their employees’ digital experience, including on-site training, investing in employee-oriented HR applications, and full integration of all systems.

    More than a third of companies are training employees in digital experiences

    Swiss (68%), British (68%) and Spanish (66%) companies in particular lead the way in terms of investments in HR digitalisation. That includes training, as while 64% of employees feel they have sufficient digital resources available to them to work efficiently, one in three employees still struggle to keep up with digitalisation. This is most apparent among Danish (41%), Irish (40%) and Croatian (40%) employees. Strikingly enough, there are no significant differences due to age.

      Three out of four employees already use digital applications

      According to the survey, employees also make extensive use of HR technology themselves: Three out of four are using digital applications actively and frequently. Four in ten companies (41%) offer employees a mobile app as a central access point to various HR systems. That can be handy, as the study shows that on average, companies are running 17 different HR applications. It is hardly surprising that more than half of European companies (54%) consider integration a great priority. At four out of ten companies, integration is already extensive or even comprehensive now. This is particularly true for Poland (49%), Switzerland (48%) and the UK and Ireland (44%).

      Companies describe user-friendliness and an optimal digital experience as the main incentives for system integration. Another good reason is the need to easily link data in aid of analyses and reports. Faster data processing for greater efficiency is also a popular reason to integrate applications. At four out of ten companies, integration is already extensive or even comprehensive now.

        Shift in digitalisation

        The digitisation of HR technology has shifted in emphasis to some extent. Previously, companies were clearly striving for more efficient HR tech at work, especially where this could benefit their personnel department. Their main focus was on process-based HR technology to support automation within the company, such as document management, internal communication, payroll, communication about payroll, and time and attendance management.

        Today, the focus has shifted more towards applications that benefit individual employees: training and development, collaboration and teamwork, but also employee well-being.

        Despite this, 40% of organisations consider their process-oriented applications to be quite mature already, while a lot fewer (30%) say this about their employee-oriented applications. So, there is still some progress to be made.

        Increasingly, companies realise that technology can not only help make their organisation more streamlined and efficient, it can also support employees in their day-to-day tasks and personal development at work. This benefits both staff and the organisation in the long term, explaining the greater willingness to invest in training and development. Particularly in the context of the war for talent, which is at least partly a result of digitalisation and new working arrangements, organisations cannot escape the increased importance of employee-oriented applications", says Veronik van Loon, SD Worx Academy Portfolio Manager.

          About the survey

          SD Worx, a leading European HR and Payroll provider, is committed to creating the perfect match between business, HR and employee needs and thereby fostering organisations’ success and sustainable growth. Extensive surveys among both employers and employees help provide insight into people’s perceptions, opinions and beliefs about work and the labour market. This year’s survey concentrated on three overarching themes: digitalisation, talent and flexibility. In February 2023, SD Worx collected data from 16 European countries, namely Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A total of 16,011 employees and 4,833 employers were surveyed and the results were weighted to ensure a reliable representation of each country’s labour market.

          Learn more: sdworx.com/theperfectmatch