“Human resources are at the heart of an organization!”- Isn’t that a universally acknowledged fact constantly emphasized in HR conferences, workshops and board meetings? If your organization has anywhere in excess of 20 employees and if you are based out of a single location, the odds are that, you might have hired a HR manager to oversee your employees’ life-cycle changes. The HR manager, being physically present can monitor various transactions, address the needs of employees and contribute to better employee experience. However, what happens if your organization is a multinational company with a long-tail employee presence? Is it feasible to hire an HR manager in each location?
Having an HRMS deployed in these locations with the right cocktail of modules will help better employee and HR manager interaction. Modern-day organizations have migrated from the traditional HR model to a more strategic model that focuses on employee engagement and talent transformation.
A survey by Statista in 2016 highlighted that “72% of global companies believe digital HR to be an important part of the organization”. Hence, organizations with a far-flung employee spread can rely on technology to help bridge the gap and support HR managers’ interaction with their employees present in the long-tail region.
An Everest Group study on long-tail HR operations measured the difficulty levels of administering HR services for employees in the long-tail regions of organizations. Among processes that fall under talent management and talent retention, payroll, helpdesk, compliance & benefits were found to be ranking the highest. When you take a step back and analyze, I’m sure you would agree that these are the foundational HR processes that help govern an employee’s lifecycle along with few other adjacent supporting processes. Let’s dig deeper.
Top 4 foundational HR processes
1.Payroll: The payroll process is often contested as being managed by either finance or HR – depending on the organization that you speak to. Assessing and implementing a global payroll solution that fits your organization’s needs and goals will help you mitigate issues that one would otherwise commonly face. This could include:
- multi-(payroll) vendor reliance for countries of operations
- supporting multi-lingual requirements
- adhering to in-country payroll compliance norms
- supporting cross-organizational policies
While a payroll software solution is crucial for the processing of payroll, it is equally important that payroll inputs collected from different sources are accurate. New hire and employee exit information can be obtained from HRIS systems, but capturing Time & Absence data for employees in the long-tail is often seen as a challenge. This can be mitigated by implementing a Time and Absence solution that could integrate with the global payroll solution, resulting in a seamless flow of data to payroll system. Minimizing human intervention, unless required, would be an ideal solution to increase payroll accuracy
2. Employee Helpdesk: Employees, irrespective of the work location will require a medium to get their queries resolved. Conventional methods like email/placing a call to the HR are no longer deemed effective as they tend to become mere stop-gap solutions.
Employing a smart service desk solution would help monitor queries, and more importantly, pre-empt possible issues among employees. Having a solution that will further act as an employee-friendly, interactive tool is a bonus to any organization, especially to those based out of the long-tail who do not have an HR manager on call!
3. Compliance: Managing in-country HR and payroll compliance across multiple locations of operations need not be a nightmare! Having that constant nudge if your organization has complied with the local laws of that country with just two of your employees will no more be a bother.
Service providers have devised local as well as global compliance solutions to help you plan steps and measurements to ensure HR & payroll compliance to local laws of the land. Some solutions offer a compliance library for reference, a calendar that one can configure alerts to take compliance-related actions and run compliance diagnosis to assess the health of the organization to local laws.
4. Benefits: Errors in administering employee benefits can result in gross employee discontent. Employee benefits could either be statutory or those defined by an organization’s policy. A large segment of employee benefits is either paid to employees as part of their payroll or as statutory payments to various regulatory bodies.
Seamless integration to the organization’s global payroll solution will help administer such payments efficiently. Several multi-national organizations offer provisions to employees to opt for benefits programs which will be required to be configured based on their employees’ location. A global benefits solution should help organizations administer these requirements, all the while ensuring local compliance.
While the above modules would help an organization support the foundational HR processes, it is important that the organization has a flexible workforce management (HRIS) solution that features accurate employee information. The HRIS would act as the input source to most HR processes. In several multi-national organizations, the HRIS is often managed by the Shared Services team who take accountability for the sanctity of the employee data residing in the system.
Data audits conducted by an in-house ISMS team or an external auditor would help identify and fix process gaps that could otherwise become a core reason for data inaccuracies in adjacent HR processes. Managing data-fields supporting multi-country inputs requires a robust yet agile HRIS that supports integration to other HR software solutions/products, which would include the foundational processes listed.
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