Payroll is one of the most important business functions but it needs resilience and flexibility to function effectively. South African organisations have shifted gear, changing working models to adapt to changing regulatory requirements. Today, many companies have adopted hybrid working models, designed to maximise the best of both words – on-premise and remote working. However, the trend towards flexible working has put pressure on payroll platforms and professionals as they’ve dealt with decreased visibility and limited physical engagement. According to Ian McAlister, General Manager at CRS Technologies, remote working introduces the risk of managers losing track of people, or employees skating under the radar, and this requires that payroll become more resilient and flexible to ensure it remains on top of change and ahead of the proverbial game.
Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from complexity at speed, and with minimal damage to business and individual. This is where payroll has really shone over the past 18 months. It has been the digital toolkit and trusted platform that’s provided employees with regular payments, accurate benefits and reliable income at a time when the words reliable and regular were rare, when the unexpected defined everything.
“Payroll contains a vast amount of information that can be used to provide reliable support to employees and business alike,” says McAlister. “If the system is designed intelligently and leverages the true potential of digital and data, it can offer the business rich insights and ongoing support in difficult times. Now, as ways of working undergo permanent change, payroll is a consistent and trusted resource that ensures everyone is paid properly and on time. And the value of that cannot be understated.”
Payroll can be used to track trends in the business, to identify people who may have fallen off the radar, to manage skills and projects, and to gain essential visibility at a time when everything feels murky. This is of particular relevance at a time when people are feeling isolated and disconnected.
“It’s easy to forget about people when you don’t see them every day. They can become ghost employees,” McAlister warns. “If they don’t put their hands up, they can get lost in this remote working environment. A well-structured, digital payroll platform is invaluable here – if it’s updated regularly and manged properly, it serves as a reminder of those who work for you. It gives you the opportunity to connect with people who may have slipped under the radar.”
Insight into payroll also builds resilience for the business itself. It provides an overview of different departments in the business, the people who work in these departments, the jobs they are doing, and what they cost. This granular level of insight offers managers far better clarity into costs and project management, helping them to allocate the right people to the right work.
“Payroll visibility shows managers and decision-makers the skillsets and capabilities they have to work with on any given day,” says McAlister. “They can use the data to unpack the different skillsets available within a department and make sure that they have the right skills allocated to specific projects. This has the immediate benefit of ensuring that tasks are handled properly by people who know how to handle them. The value will be felt not just by the business, but by engaged employees who are empowered to do the work they love.”
A good payroll is more than just a resilience builder, people finder and skills tracker, it’s also a powerful resource that can help you manage costs, assess internal trends, manage sales and build a robust culture that’s capable of withstanding uncertainty.
Payroll is one of the most important business functions but it needs resilience and flexibility to function effectively.