Embracing Technology-Improving Employee Payroll Experience
12 Jul 2021
Payroll and change are two words that are not synonymous with each other. There is always that moment of hesitation when it comes to payroll changes, be it statutory regulations, technology, or even a payroll software update.
However, we have seen how technology completely transformed the way payroll is being processed today. Gone are the days of using excel spreadsheets for payroll calculations or maintaining physical copies of employees personal files. Technology today has provided a platform for organisations to streamline and automate administrative payroll tasks, while enhancing the way organisations manage and leverage payroll data for strategic decision-making.
As organisations continuously aim to automate and streamline their payroll processes, many organisations are gradually recognising the need to enhance employee experience when it comes to payroll and HR. Given the rapid technological advancements today, employees are expecting features such as self-service employee portals and epayslips in modern organisations.
There is a greater focus today on linking employee experience strategy with payroll processes. Employees who are paid accurately and on-time are likely to be more engaged, resulting in high productivity levels. Here are some ways in which organisations can leveraging on technology to boost the overall employee payroll experience:
Employee Self-Service Portals
Employee self-service portals are web-based tools that allow employees to access relevant HR or payroll information, while executing certain HR transactions. This may include leave applications, expenses reimbursement submission, benefits claims submission, and even internal job applications.
There are plenty of upsides in terms of rolling out employee self-service portals focusing on HR-related information. From both an employee’s and HR’s point of view, relevant HR information is consolidated into a single platform. This not only facilitates ease of information retrieval, it drives efficiencies as HR does not need to spend time disseminating information via multiple webpages or platforms.
Aside from the typical HR features such as leave application management, epayslips, or benefits administration, some employee self-service portals also come with advanced features that integrate with other business platforms, such as Finance or Performance Management System. For example, tax reporting and statutory contributions can be integrated with the organisation’s Finance platform such that any transactions made will immediately trigger a notification to employees. Similarly, linkage between the employee self-service portals and performance management system allows employees to view performance ratings entered by their direct managers during periodic performance review cycles. This provides employees with “live” updates on their work performance, which may impact and improve overall productivity levels.
There is no doubt that responding to employees’ queries take up loads of time, particularly when they are routine questions around payroll, system accesses or benefits and leave entitlements. Based on an infographic published by G&A Partners, HR professionals spend close to three-quarters (73.2%) of their time tending to tedious administrative tasks. This includes employee relations and meeting individual employees.
With the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots, mundane tasks of responding to routine employees’ queries can be outsourced. AI technology is highly sophisticated and capable of learning from experience to execute human-like actions. These chatbots are well-equipped to interact with employees in answering both basic and complex HR-related queries. While some employees may frown upon the idea of chatting with a virtual being, chatbots today have also evolved to incorporate an element of human touch. Some technology firms offer this “hybrid chatbot” solution that allows for an actual person to step in and address a wider set of complex queries which a chatbot may not be able to support.
Payroll and employee records are highly sensitive and confidential information. No employee wants their personal employee records to be broadcasted to the public. Most payroll providers have in place robust data security and encryption to protect payroll and employee records. This includes layers of network and web firewalls, intrusion detection, and employee verification to prevent unauthorized and illicit access. Most providers also backup their data regularly as part of the business continuity plan. These data controls are in place to assure employees and HR on the safekeeping of their personal records.
However, the responsibility of maintaining robust data protection does not fall solely upon HR’s shoulders. Employees play a crucial role in ensuring the safekeeping of their employee and payroll records. HR and business leaders need to instill a strong data protection culture amongst employees, and this can be done by educating them on the types of data breaches, potential implications and mitigating measures. It is also imperative to communicate data management best practices, such as using a secure password, introducing multi-factor authentication (MFA) for certain platforms, or accessing payroll records on a secure network. When employees are well-aware of the measures to miminise potential data breaches, this goes in a long way in boosting employees’ confidence towards the organisations in terms of managing data-related issues.
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