Payroll of the future: personalised technology

3 May 2019

Technology
A recent ‘Workplace of the Future’ survey of 250 industry professionals revealed that 88% of CFOs and CHROs expect an increase in payroll technology investment by 2025. Why? The world of work is changing rapidly and to prepare for the workforce of the future, businesses must start adapting, quickly.

In the modern workplace, payroll must go above and beyond traditional monthly payments. Payroll holds a wealth of key data that if used correctly can elevate the function by providing insight that can be used at a more strategic level. By implementing personalised technology, it is becoming easier for HR and payroll professionals to make these changes in preparation for the future of work.

There’s no doubt that digital transformation can enable the technological future that is required by the modern workforce. So, how specifically can technology help HR and payroll professionals drive innovation in their department?

Power Up Your Payroll

When HR and payroll professionals get caught up in the mundane tasks associated with running a payroll operation, technology can be leveraged to take some of the workload and free up time so people can do what they do best. This includes more time for strategic thinking, planning for the future and enabling that flexibility and personalisation that employees look for.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of those surveyed in the ‘Workplace of the Future’ report see automation as having an impact on payroll in organisations by 2025. Utilising technology can easily reduce the repetition often associated with manual tasks such as updating and processing spreadsheets. From ensuring that data is deleted and updated when necessary, to reducing the amount of repetitive data entry, automation can empower HR teams to focus on the aspects of their jobs that require a ‘human’ touch. After all, HR professionals are human-oriented people.

Alongside this, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can make handling huge payroll data sets much simpler. With technology incorporated into the usually humdrum task of data processing, AI is able to efficiently provide valuable analysis. AI can accurately predict trends from data patterns and, for example, provide a clearer understanding of employee engagements and valuable insights into talent forecasting.

This makes planning the future easier and more accurate for HR and payroll professionals. Empowered and enhanced by technology, this means that payroll data has a greater role to play within organisations, helping to provide better insights into HR and payroll so teams can have a greater understanding and act accordingly. The power of payroll can be further realised with the help of technology and introduced to the boardroom to provide insights on employee churn, retention and satisfaction as well as informing business decisions that affect the organisation as a whole.

The Compliance Conundrum

Alongside making the lives of HR and payroll teams much easier, implementing technology into the department also reduces the risk of non-compliance – a significant concern for the payroll industry. Recently, GDPR revolutionised how organisations handle their data, and, alongside other EU regulations that have been recently introduced, staying on top of the correct procedures can be very time-consuming.

The Workplace of the Future survey also revealed that over half of respondents believe that increased use of technology will crucially minimise human errors. With updates to compliance regulations occurring frequently around the world, this is good news for HR and payroll teams looking for new and efficient ways to ensure compliance.

Under GDPR, organisations must delete data on employees or customers after a certain amount of time. Rather than setting manual reminders and taking the risk that the HR or payroll team will forget, organisations can use automation to automatically delete the data when required. Automation can ensure compliance and minimise the time spent on this repetitive yet crucial task, streamlining the payroll process as a whole.

HR Heads in the Cloud

43% of those surveyed expect HR technology to improve employee engagement with the organisation’s payroll function. With an increasingly global workforce and an growing gig economy, utilising the cloud can make payroll more accessible for employees. A large proportion of respondents believe that the cloud is set to have the greatest impact on payroll by 2025, these technologies can enable greater interaction with payroll across the business. With systems based on the cloud, employees are able to access their payroll information as and when they require, with their personal needs automatically catered to no matter where they are, in or out of the office.

With a more ‘self-service’ approach to payroll, employees can tailor payroll to their own requirements through a single, common system without increasing the workload for the already busy payroll professional. The introduction of payroll technology in this way can increase productivity of the department, at the same time as improving employee satisfaction across the organisation in preparation for the workforce of the future.

The Future of Technology

The power of automation, machine learning, AI and other technologies is proven to streamline and improve the workload of HR and payroll professionals, however, there are many other forms of technology that are starting to impact the market. For example, 45% expect the prevalence of both blockchain and chatbots to increase in the industry by 2025, making the payroll function accessible to all, yet personalised to individual needs.

In fact, 70% of survey respondents think that digital transformation in payroll should improve the user experience for employees and/or enable greater personalisation of payroll solutions. As well as improving the work-life balance of the payroll professional, the introduction of technology will have effects on the wider organisation too. For example, with a personalised payroll service that is easily accessible to everyone, employee satisfaction will increase in every department of the business as their needs are fulfilled.

Without time-consuming manual tasks and distractions to worry about, HR and payroll professionals will be able to readjust their focus towards providing the changes the modern workforce requires. With over a third (38%) looking to be paid more regularly and over a half (55%) looking for simplicity when viewing and interacting with payroll systems, technology can enhance the role of the hr and payroll function to focus on the preparations that technology can’t handle alone.

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