21 September 2020 - Reading time: 5 Minutes
COVID-19 has forced companies to reassess their priorities. Getting the basics right, such as payroll duties, is now by far the number one concern. Besides that, we see both a strong shift towards cost-efficiency and increased emphasis on employee experience, including personalisation and work-life balance. Although these three objectives could be met effectively by turning the spotlight on to flexible rewards, few companies seem to see the connection.
In our survey ‘The Future of Work and People in Europe – HR, Fluid as Hula-Hoop Shaking ’ – conducted in June 2020 – a total of 3,000 companies from 11 European countries shared their set of priorities for the post-COVID-19 era. These answers came out on top:
At the other end of the spectrum: reward policy. Surprisingly so, since smart and flexible rewards perfectly match the revised HR focus. This is how.
Flexibility means complexity. At least, that’s what a lot of companies think. Therefore, they stay clear of reward policies that offer employees too many options – especially now that providing correct and on-time payroll is key.
“That image isn’t necessarily true”, says Ferdi Claes, MD HR Europe at Computer Task Group. “Introducing a flexible reward system isn’t rocket science. As long as you’re well prepared, have a solid implementation plan and pay attention to transparent communication, the benefits greatly outweigh the efforts. And we have SD Worx looking over our shoulder to make sure all legal requirements are met. Today, about 80% of our employees sign in on flexible rewards and their feedback is great.”
When the going gets tough, a lot of employers tend to cut back on wage costs – a major expense in a company’s budget – or, at least, look for ways to fully optimise them. A flexible reward scheme doesn’t fit that strategy, since it has the (unfounded) reputation of being a cost driver.
Marleen Dolfeyn, portfolio manager at SD Worx, paints a different picture: “Offering flexible benefits, such as allowances, insurances, extra holidays, mobility options and IT perks, is actually a budget-neutral way to go. Better still, you add value without paying for it. This again has a positive impact on, for example, absenteeism and productivity. Besides that, flexible rewards are often incentivised by tax-friendly rules. And to top it all off, SD Worx can fully automate the flexible reward process with inventive software for both HR managers and employees, saving companies a lot of time. Long story short, flexible benefits indirectly and directly lead to lower costs.”
Now, more than ever, it’s time to pay special attention to your workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic impacts not just your business; it also affects your employees. Both professionally and privately, they face new challenges. Flexible rewards might just be the missing link.
“Today, professionals from all generations want a tailored reward package,” according to Leen Scheepens, Senior HR Manager BeNeLux at Robert Half. “Our own research shows that about 4 out of 10 employees would consider leaving their employer if they don’t have a say in the reward system. Taking individual needs and preferences into account through flexible rewards can counter that and truly boost employee engagement.”
Our survey reveals that, in Europe, almost half of the polled companies only offer a fixed salary to their workforce, while over 30% have no plan to increase the flexibility of remuneration in the short term. Don’t make the same mistake. There’s more to flexible rewards than meets the eye.
We’ve gathered the most telling findings in a free ebook.
Brexit. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an employee or employer, there is little clarity over exactly what it means. While the British Government scrambles for an outcome, organisations sit patiently, doing what they can to prepare for all eventualities. Considering that there is no certainty and a myriad of possible outcomes, it makes it extremely challenging for organisations to put plans in place.
With winter coming to an end, the sun is coming out of hibernation and spring is rolling around. But as we prepare for the time of new beginnings, with flowers blooming and the leaves back on the trees, how can you use HR Tech to make the most of the new season? Rather than being stuck in the office, battling through endless admin and other time-consuming tasks, introducing HR tech into your organisation can put a spring back in the step of the payroll function.27 March 2019
Running global payroll for an organisation operating in multiple countries can, at times, become somewhat overwhelming. With various rules and regulations to comply with and huge data sets to handle, many payroll professionals would welcome a helping hand. Today, with advancements in HR and payroll technology, that hand doesn’t have to be human—in fact, embracing these technologies can unlock the power of payroll within an organisation.4 April 2019
With the support of technology, HR and payroll professionals can rest assured that their employees are receiving the support they require and that their operations and processes are compliant around the globe.
But, for many businesses it may be difficult to work out where to start when looking to invest in the technology that provides the right support for them and their employees. There are three key areas to consider when looking to power your payroll performance with HR technology.
The objective for payroll professionals used to be simple: all they had to worry about was paying employees accurately and on time. As organisations increasingly look beyond local domestic boundaries, the complexity of payroll operations has expanded and evolved so that the level of payroll sophistication has increased As a result, the needs and requirements of organisations globally have become more complex.6 August 2017
In an increasingly globalised world, there is a vast array of opportunities for businesses to explore. For companies looking to expand their international reach, payroll is one of the biggest consideration factors. Operating in multiple countries has its fair share of challenges: each region has its own local legislative requirements, and complying with these is crucial in maintaining both reputation and revenue. Here’s how outsourcing can help.12 January 2018
When the time comes for a company to expand into new territories and take operations global, it can mean a significant increase in workload for the HR and payroll departments – so, how can expanding businesses manage this transition with ease?20 June 2019
September: the month that children dread as they make their return to school after the freedom of the long summer months. But for adults, especially those in the payroll industry, after the quiet summer period September should be a time to be motivated and to adopt that ‘back to school’ thinking. It’s important for teams not to be stagnant. In the ever-developing payroll industry, adaptability is key and so learning shouldn’t stop just because you’ve left school—in payroll and HR it’s all about continuous learning.18 September 2018
The summer months can sometimes be quiet for the payroll department, as employees enjoy well deserved breaks. However, with the final quarters of the year approaching, it’s time to get back to work—payroll never takes a break, after all.
Here are three ways to ensure that the department is as productive as ever as it prepares for the busy second half of the year.
More than three years after voting for Brexit, the United Kingdom finally left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This momentous event will have far-reaching consequences for businesses and individuals on both sides of the Channel - but not just yet. All those late-night negotiations in Brussels and political upheavals in Westminster have brought us only to what Winston Churchill, in a very different context, called ‘the end of the beginning’.18 February 2020
If someone was to ask you how much your payroll operations cost, would you know the answer? It seems like a straightforward question, yet the answer for many HR professionals is often hard to pinpoint. Understanding – and therefore being able to make future projections – about how much your payroll costs requires a clear appreciation of various business components.10 October 2017
Payroll is a vital part of any organisation, whether it’s a local business or a multinational corporation. A simple payroll error can cause a large amount of damage, so getting it right is essential.
30 March 2018
With Britain voting to leave the EU last June, 2016 was a big year for pan-European news. And, while the full implications of Brexit remain to be seen, it is clearly creating much discussion amongst business leaders who are already starting to plan ahead for the legislative changes that will no doubt impact both their operations and compliance.
One of the business areas most likely to be affected is international HR and payroll, so with that in mind, ‘Brexit and Business’ will be one of the key themes at our upcoming 2017 SD Worx European Conference. This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before, taking place on the 8th February at London’s Hilton on Park Lane.
We were delighted to exhibit at HR Tech World 2016 in Paris last week , and were pleased to secure an enviable exhibition spot that ensured a great flow of both interesting and interested visitors30 October 2016
Businesses in every industry have been affected by the way that we now rely heavily on technology. Technology is now a part of everything we do – both at home and work—and in order to stay relevant in today’s world, all industries must continue to be innovative and remain up to date with technological advancements, especially in the workplace.19 October 2017
Payroll data. How often do we stop and think about how important it is to a business? Although payroll is often viewed as a back-office function, it is an essential part of any organisation, and is much more than just payslips.5 July 2018
Entering the second decade of the 21st century, the HR and payroll community have been overwhelmed by social and political changes affecting businesses worldwide, as well as the strong impact of technology in our daily and work lives.
What does the future of HR hold? The start of a new decade gives cause to reflect on what new advancements will occur in the HR and payroll industry.
The HR and payroll industry is in a constant state of change. New laws and regulations are introduced around the world, some of which—including GDPR—change the way the whole organization handles its processes and services.26 July 2018
There’s a common misconception that payroll offerings are only necessary when your organisation reaches a certain size. However, small companies should not overlook partnering with a payroll provider that fits their needs, especially when they’re looking to expand into new regions.21 November 2019
Is your HR and payroll team feeling the heat this summer? With the weather heating up, most of us want to get out and enjoy the sun or escape on a holiday. However, with more staff members out of the office, this can mean that the payroll team might be running on reduced numbers. And, typically, less team members results in a higher workload for those in the office. This is where HR and payroll technology can help, giving HR teams a well-deserved summer holiday.3 August 2018
With more and more employees relying on technology and flexible working than ever before, the world is becoming increasingly connected and globalised. However, with this new reliance on global working, what do HR and payroll teams need to consider when implementing payroll for multinational companies?7 March 2018
The multinational payroll market is growing at an impressive rate, with the entire payroll services market expected to reach 4.8 billion by 2021. The demand for international payroll services are increasing, due to the heightened need for compliance to local laws and legislations, and a demand for more comprehensive technology. However, even though the payroll market is growing, many organisations still aren’t unlocking the power of payroll.3 July 2018
The Christmas festive period might be over, but winter is certainly not. With snow thick and fast in some regions, it’s understandable that HR and payroll teams may want to pack up and hibernate for the next couple of months.21 January 2019
Optimising your payroll process is no luxury in times of economic turmoil. The first step: mapping out the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your payroll. This allows you to make good use of your resources, lend focused support to your team, streamline your operations and generate transparency in complex times. So, what exactly is the TCO of your payroll? Is there room for improvement? And if so, what can you do? Let us help you answer these questions.27 July 2020
It is often said today that data is the new oil – it’s extremely valuable, especially in international business. But, as organisations expand, their databases grow and this can impact the workload of the HR and payroll professionals, distracting them from their vital roles and left to drown in never ending streams of data.11 April 2019
Summer is finally here—and before long it will be over. HR and payroll teams face various challenges over the summer months, from increased staff holiday to keeping track of summer interns and flexible working.16 July 2018
SD Worx explains the importance of balancing global and local payroll operations for expanding international businesses and how a multinational payroll provider can help keep this balance.14 May 2019
With any outsourced service that a business requires, it’s important to understand the needs that service should fulfil before selecting a provider. This is especially true when it comes to choosing payroll services: it’s one of the most important requirements to get right, and choosing the wrong provider could lead to damaged business reputation in the form of disgruntled and less productive employees, a low staff retention rate and more.8 November 2017
Technological advancements are helping to turn a vision of digitally accessible, automated payroll processes into reality. Here’s five predictions for the future of payroll:5 December 2017
It’s a well-known fact that businesses need to continually adapt in line with macro-environmental changes in order to maintain and grow their competitive advantage, but in the fast-moving retail sector, this is especially true. The advent of technology has clearly had a huge impact on retailers across the globe in recent years, with online retail purchases catapulting tenfold and the industry as a whole riding high.4 September 2017
It’s a well-known fact that businesses need to continually adapt in line with macro-environmental changes in order to maintain and grow their competitive advantage, but in the fast-moving retail sector, this is especially true. The advent of technology has clearly had a huge impact on retailers across the globe in recent years, with online retail purchases catapulting tenfold and the industry as a whole riding high.10 October 2017
You now can get the most out of your payroll and HR data in six European countries
As a Workday Global Payroll Partner, SD Worx enables multinational organisations to (more) effectively manage their global workforce and efficiently process payroll. In November 2019, we reached a new milestone: the integration between SD Worx payroll and Workday is now also up and running in Switzerland.
The results of SD Worx’s recent international survey are in! With 1,500 respondents from nine European markets, the survey reveals that up to 87% of business leaders are now asking for employee data to inform business decisions—HR and payroll data is now being regularly used by business leaders.11 June 2018
In the increasingly global business landscape we live in, international operations and business expansion is becoming more and more common. Often this can significantly increase the workload of the HR and payroll department: with international business expansion comes international admin and regulations.
18 March 2019
The technological revolution in the payroll sector has been steadily advancing in recent years. However, with the rise—and demand—for contactless payments, payroll technology and cashless transactions increasing in the last few years, we now find ourselves at an exciting turning point in the industry. This is supported by global industry analyst Josh Bersin, who has rejoiced that the HR industry is being “boosted by billions in venture capital funding”.15 October 2019
Global Payroll Week is an annual opportunity to put the world of payroll in the spotlight. At SD Worx, we have relied on our payroll specialists during the past month more than ever before. Despite the unravelling pandemic and the most bizarre social circumstances we have faced in a long while, all salaries were processed smoothly and on time. That's quite a feat.27 April 2020
The multinational payroll industry is set to be worth 4.8bn by 2021, yet, despite the evident power of payroll, only a third of multinational organizations have a global payroll provider. Instead, they rely on a disparate selection of multiple local providers and therefore have no access to collated data or a clear insight into their employee attrition, engagement, or retention.30 August 2018
A recent survey carried out by SD Worx revealed that out of 4,000 European employees surveyed, 44% had been paid late by their employers and 48% of those that had been paid late had also been paid incorrectly. The research exposes several risks for businesses associated with not paying their employees correctly: let’s explore the top three.13 November 2017
Payroll is the lifeblood of an organization, so getting it right is crucial. When organizations branch out into new geographical locations, the risk of payroll mistakes heightens. It’s a scary thought for HR and payroll professionals.
30 October 2018
In today’s business landscape, organisations are facing uncertainty as they plan for the future. When managing this business change, leaders don’t always think to look to the HR and payroll departments for the answers. However, working with a Global Payroll Provider can open up opportunities that could ensure it thrives and grows despite the challenges of today.4 September 2019
Today’s business world is becoming increasingly international as technological advancements make it easier for organizations to operate in multiple regions, or even globally. However, when it comes to modern international payroll, many businesses struggle to run their payroll on a global scale.12 February 2019