Leading through economic disruption: Insights for your global payroll and workforce

July 31, 2020 Catherine Honey

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven how quickly market instability can disrupt global business. Seemingly overnight, many companies have been forced to shift their focus from international growth to cost containment and risk reduction.

To better understand the implications of economic disruption on global business, we talked with our partners, industry analysts and consultants, and payroll professionals around the world. Their perspectives, coupled with our own experiences as a multinational payroll and employment outsourcing company, have provided us with new insights for how companies can lead through and adapt to our new economic climate.

Here’s what we’ve learned, including key actions global leaders can take to stabilize their business and lead through economic disruption.

Contain costs and access better data through payroll vendor consolidation

Companies are being forced to contain costs. Large transformation projects are being put on hold or pared down, while smaller ROI-driven projects are becoming more prominent.

Payroll vendor consolidation is a prime example of a smaller optimization project. Once considered part of operations transformation, vendor consolidation has shifted into a sustainability effort aimed at driving process efficiency and economy of scale.

Additionally, consolidating vendors is being initiated to facilitate access to employee data and workforce costs, which has become more important as companies look to drive business intelligence about their global workforce. Knowing who employees are, where they’re located, and the costs associated with their employment is proving to be a necessity for strategic decision-making.

Leverage flexible, remote work

As companies prepare for business after COVID-19, many are rethinking the composition of their workforce. The use of contingent workers and gig workers, along with the proven ability to engage a remote and geographically dispersed workforce, will allow companies to be more flexible than ever in how, when and where they engage the workers they need.

The size and nature of an on-premise workforce is the subject of many conversations. As Pete Tiliakos, Principal Analyst at NelsonHall, recently commented, “From an HR perspective, the ‘new normal’ is going to look like what we’ve been calling the ‘future of work’ for a while now.”

Partner with local workforce experts

Another challenge impacting multinationals is the explosion of complexity around payroll. Managing compliance and regulatory requirements in a global environment is always difficult, but with COVID-19 the rules are changing daily. Furloughs, leaves and leave types, tax filing deadlines, extra payments, return to work policies and more are all being revised, and payroll needs to keep abreast of and manage through all the changes. 

Detailing a process to cope with all these intricacies is essential and identifying strong local partners who can assist your company is no longer optional.

As you steer your company and workforce through this economic disruption, navigating challenges in new or unfamiliar global markets, we can help you understand the current situation as it relates to your payroll and workforce plans and offer guidance based on challenges solved over time.

Contact us today to speak with a global advisor and learn how our in-country expertise may be the solution you need to adapt to today’s tough climate and position your organization for success in the future.

About the Author

Catherine Honey

As VP of Strategic Partner Relations, Catherine focuses on the strategy and execution of HR service delivery through systems, processes, organizational alignment and business objectives.

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