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Applying The Principles Of ‘Truly Digital’ In Payroll World

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I recently read again one of our whitepapers, which was by Steve Goldberg, an eminent Global HR Tech Adviser, on Becoming a Truly Digital HR Organisation. The “truly digital” part was indeed thought-provoking. The whitepaper crisply defines Digital Transformation and Intelligent Automation and offers a practical framework for the HR to adopt, to become Truly Digital.

It acknowledges that job satisfiers vary widely between individuals and underlines the importance of personalization. The key to unlocking management effectiveness is rich and accessible data. It makes you think about going beyond ESS/MSS and supporting self-managing career plans and continuous/quick feedbacks to employees.

Be it recruitment, training or understanding employee sentiments, to achieve the ideal organisation culture and employer brand – the paper discusses what should be the approach of HR. Steve underlines that simplification of work helps in increasing productivity and deploying a nimble HR technology is non-negotiable. The best part is, he gives 5 specific actions that you must follow to achieve the goal (don’t miss reading them yourselves).

If you read this insightful paper, and if you happen to be a payroll-blooded person (like me and many other Ramcoites), you will naturally wonder, “How do I extend these principles to Payroll and make it TRULY Digital?” And the answer lies in making your HR/payroll managers the superheroes. Yes. Don’t forget, payroll manager is also an employee (like Steve reminds us about Line Manager) and your payroll function’s output is truly proportionate to the degree to which he/she is digitally armed. Three key things you should do in helping your payroll team…

  1. Cut no-value activities
  2. Empower with high-power tools
  3. Assist with automated assistants

Cut no-value activities

Yes. Why should a payroll manager spend time in clicking buttons and watching progress bars for processing payroll or generating reports? These are surely time-consuming activities that add zero intellectual value. Automation at its best, combined with intelligence to understand a payroll calendar, should be able to finish off such tasks overnight on payroll cut-off date. Look for payroll systems which can provide you such clean automated solutions with perfected RPA. Never let your folks do anything manually that could be automated.

Empower with high power tools

The primary channel through which HR/payroll managers check payroll computations is by analysing the Variance Analysis reports. The usual norm is to find the variance, and use other reports like new joiner report, salary change report, promotion report, absence report, etc. to reconcile the variances and sign off the payroll. But in today’s world of artificial intelligence and Machine Learning, you can look for powerful tools which can do all the trend analysis, find out the possible reasons for variances, and explain the payroll administrator proactively. Yes, your payroll manager can be empowered to use such tools and use their time efficiently for other tasks.

Assist with automated assistants

As Steve underlined in his whitepaper, it is now time for ESS and MSS to positively impact Employee engagement, Productivity and Retention. There are ample opportunities in digital payroll. Think of how many times your payroll manager was made to explain normal payslip queries for employees and for how many months and years is he/she doing the same routine! Automated assistants like Chatbots are the best way to break this monotony. Well-designed chatbots can be great assistants, helping employees and in turn helping the payroll managers too.

One can safely say, True Digital Transformation is something that is definitely possible, if a structured approach, the right choice of tools and HR and payroll software are put in place.

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About Author

Balamalai Ranganathan

Balamalai is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of Successful Global Implementations. Bringing transformation through practical innovation and automation. Skilled in Driving Strategic initiatives, Global Delivery, Pre-sales, Solution Architecture, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Requirements Analysis. Strong administrative professional with a Engineer’s Degree focused in Electronics from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT), Chrompet, Chennai.

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