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How Technology Can Optimise HR and Payroll Over the Holidays

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A recent SD Worx survey revealed that over half (57%) of European employees have the freedom to take a holiday when they choose. Although this can improve the work/life balance and autonomy of employees around Europe, it can leave departments a little stretched over the summer – a popular time to travel and enjoy the sun with friends and family. This can particularly affect the HR and payroll department – a business function that never stops. 

So, with fewer staff in the office, how can the HR department ensure it runs efficiently and that workflows stay as streamlined as ever? Technology can provide a solution to this annual strain over these holiday months and can help HR professionals do what they do best – humanity is vital in Human Resources after all! So, what specific areas can payroll professionals turn to HR Tech to lend a helping hand while their colleagues are away?

Improving summer staffing with predictive analytics

If you fail to prepare, then you must prepare to fail. With a huge pool of global data at its fingertips, the HR and payroll department is in the best position to prepare for this eventuality. With the right technology, HR teams can view a single dashboard and report on employees’ behaviour – at a department level, business unit level, or even at a country or a multi-country level.

Particularly useful at this time of year is data on the dates employees have booked their annual leave. This data enables departments to plan around absences in advance and ensure it won’t affect their team’s productivity, or even the departments and the business as a whole. With AI predictive analytics, the preparations can be more accurate and effective than ever before. Using the past trends and data, AI can predict in advance the days when the workforce will lack resources  and additional workers might be needed. It can also extract insights to inform staff-planning, and can make sure that not only are employees working efficiently, but that their level of satisfaction remains high. This naturally impacts the employee retention level, saving the company extra cost for the talent recruitment and training.

Managing the workload with automation

As well as planning in advance for the times that the team will be running with fewer staff, technology can also be used to minimise disruption. Employees in many industries see automation as a risk to their jobs; although contrary to that belief, it has the potential to empower them in their role within the business.

At times when the department is stretched for resources, automation can ensure that people aren’t left overworked while their colleagues are away. For example, working with an AI-powered Digital Assistant can help employees manage their calendar, book meetings, arrange travel routes, last-minute annual leave and even turn on their out of office when it’s time for a vacation. It also allows them to see the calendars of other team members, which can help them choose their own holiday dates and manage their workforce on a team level.

Beyond automating personal admin, technology can help minimise the workload associated with running the payroll itself too. Admin is often seen as part of the job of an HR and payroll professionals, however, with automation helping out, manual processes and back-office tasks can instead be accurately and compliantly managed by technology. With shortened to-do lists and minimised human error, the payroll department can run efficiently even with employees enjoying their annual leave.

Find out more about how SD Worx can unlock the power of payroll here.

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Two results from our annual employer survey ‘The Future of People and Work’ immediately caught our eye. First, digital transformation is a much bigger HR priority for European companies than it was last year. Second, about a third of the 2,746 surveyed HR decision makers see employee experience (EX) as one of their top 5 challenges for the future. So, why not kill two birds with one stone?

8 October 2021