Loosening the strings on HR and Payroll

Michael Custers - 5 December 2019 - Reading time: 3 Minutes

International HR
With 2020 just around the corner, it’s that time of year to start looking ahead at what’s to come. But a new year doesn't necessarily bring about completely new trends. Rather it sees a continuation of developments, as well as shifts in certain areas to meet new requirements. Today, work is more fluid than ever before. Workers want to be in control, they have an appetite for real-time information and expect things to get done instantly, whilst on the go. The workforce has an agile mindset and little tolerance for friction. We see this fluidity reflected in how work and life have become even more intertwined and this is only set to continue as we enter into the next chapter of 2020.

Fluidity of HR and Payroll

For decades, HR has been built around a set cadence: lifetime careers, permanent jobs, annual enrolment, quarterly reviews, monthly payroll and fixed locations. As such, HR and Payroll has been very straight and strict in its approach. However, in today’s new world of work, people want to be inspired by what they do and have the freedom to focus on what matters. And businesses need a dynamic, motivated workforce, empowered by advanced tools, adaptive services & technology, as well as meaningful insights in order to meet this demand. From Uber Eats delivery drivers taking on a few shifts on the side, through to an employee who has been in the same 9-5 job for the past 20 years; the ability to request changes when it comes to how you are paid, your benefits, your performance management or how you are contracted, has increased hugely over the past year.

In 2020, we will continue to see this move towards people wanting to control their work/life balance. As such, we will see that companies are required to think more deeply on the kinds of workers they need and the ways they want to work, then decide how they can best cater for this. Subsequently, businesses are going to need to adapt their HR and payroll processes to reflect this fluidity, so that the boundaries and fixed agreements of the past are challenged and become more flexible, to accommodate.

It’s not all about payday

As people want to be paid in different ways, 2020 will see the demands on HR and payroll departments to move away from set paydays and instead look to adopt flexi-pay. This could be anything from advance pay, to counter payday loans, through to paying people in other ways, not necessarily directly into their banks, on a monthly basis. In the coming year, flexi-pay will be a key element of the employee value proposition, especially amongst the younger generations who are entering the workforce with a different mindset. They come from an on-demand society of choice and will expect the same of their employers. As such, HR and payroll will need to start reflecting this.

Similarly, as the pressure increases to update the way workers are paid, 2020 will also see a change in reward mechanisms. Workers no longer want to be rewarded simply in monetary value, instead we will see a move towards a variety of rewards being introduced in the workplace. For example flexi-working or insurance packages.

Constant performance management

In addition to a change in pay and rewards, 2020 will see even more pressure for continuous feedback relating to performance management, as opposed to the traditional once or twice yearly reviews. All employees, whether they are freelancers or permanent employees, want more. They want meaning. Purpose. A reason to live work well. They do not expect to be in one place forever, but they do expect to enjoy the feeling and conviction that what they do matters. Businesses need to keep pace with this demand, which is why our people solutions inspire results; matching people to the jobs they’re meant for, helping them learn and grow, rewarding them appropriately, and giving them the time and tools to focus on the work in hand.

Focus on an end-to-end workforce approach and who owns what

Due to the fluidity of the workforce, as an employer in 2020, the default is no longer going to fall to permanent employment for all roles. More workers will start to run through the multiple employment options, such as temporary or seasonal staff through to long term freelancers, and all that’s in between, and hire according to demand.The consequence of this fluidity for HR and Payroll leaders, is that these different roles are currently worlds apart – permanent is the domain of HR, whereas temp is the domain of procurement/operations. In 2020, businesses will need to get visibility across both.

Mid-market is now actively adopting HR tech

Finally, there is one more observation to be noted as we head into 2020. For the last 10 years the focus of HR tech investment has been on the Fortune 1000 employers, however in 2020, the attention is now shifting to mid-sized companies, as evidenced in the rise of various startups and aggregators. Additionally, with employers facing more fluidity amongst their workers, having the correct technology in place is going to vital for ensuring they remain complaint and manage their payroll efficiently.

The consequence for HR leaders is that the mid-market has similar appetite for technology and similar high complexity as enterprise market, but does not have the HR organisation and budgets. This means they will be looking for solutions which can give them enterprise-grade solutions at mid-market rates, with less internal employees in the HR and payroll positions to support this fluidity. Mid-market has been witnessing a surge in HR tech adoption for last 10 years – and in 2020 they want their fair share. SD Worx can provide that. We bring people solutions to life. So companies of any size can turn Human Resources into a source of value for the business and the people in it. Our people solutions span the entire employee journey, from getting people paid to attracting, rewarding, and developing the talent who make your business succeed.

Closing thoughts

2019 was another big year of change for the workplace in terms of work/life balance, employment types and the more flexible approach employees have taken to the way they work. And now, 2020 is the year that HR and payroll needs to reflect this. HR leaders need to move from a ‘calendar’ mindset, with fixed dates and timings, to a more dynamic approach where boundaries and fixed agreements of the past are challenged and adapted to accommodate for the fluidity of today’s workforce.

SD Worx

For life. For work.

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