What does thriving in 2021 look like? EPG Payroll & HR’s Chief Operating Officer (ANZ) Daniel James shares how adaptability and agility are key for success in today’s climate and why business continuity needs a rethink.

“2020 went down as the year agility became paramount to business survival.

We were forced to adapt to new ways of working, at speeds previously not experienced. For those industries that could, new service lines were created and some businesses came out the other side even stronger.

Closer to home, EPG recognised that accurate payroll must be linked to a compliant HR foundation to deliver operational success. So we made the decision that our payroll services could only be adopted with our purpose-built HR technology.

This ensures clients are engaging their new employee correctly in the onboarding stage, which then feeds into payroll. Apart from true workforce visibility, it’s a decision that also creates better efficiencies across payroll and HR management; realistically, these two functions have always been intertwined. 

Coincidentally, this pivot became a valued necessity for remote-working businesses needing to onboard and offboard employees compliantly when COVID hit and mobilise themselves in a new environment almost completely overnight.”

Thriving in 2021

“We’re currently working with our existing clients on opportunities around process improvement, such as a move over to digital timesheets and onboarding (for those few still clinging to paper trails).

Alternative engagement and employment strategies are also on everyone’s radar as labour costs prove to be a business’s biggest expense. Deloitte say an estimated 30 per cent of large US companies’ procurement spend goes toward contingent workers (whereby a worker is engaged for on-demand, task-specific work), and Australia isn’t far behind. Contingent workers bring specialised skills, greater management flexibility and the scalability to meet the demands of a rapidly fluctuating business landscape. Cost-wise, they’re also often less expensive in terms of salary and benefits as they’re only employed when needed. 

This need for swift expertise will only increase as businesses search for new opportunities in today’s landscape without increased admin and long-term costs. With border closures still restricting mobility, allowing skilled global talent to remain in their country of residence to work remotely is a flipped approach EPG’s staffing arm is currently facilitating for clients. The silver lining here is that it allows them to safely test the talent waters before investing in the migration path.

Long before the pandemic, the EPG Group started investing significantly in human capital management (HCM) technology and in-country engagement models to grow workforce ecosystems globally; we recognised early on the need to drive operational efficiency and empower businesses to focus on strategy. Leaving behind antiquated ways of working is a decision that will only help businesses thrive in the long run.” 

Rethinking business continuity

“We’ve chosen to view the challenges through a more constructive lens, seeing technology as an enabler for achieving organisational transformation. It’s not enough to continue with legacy systems simply because they ‘do the job,’ irrespective of whether they’re also bringing operational inefficiency and risk.

For those clients who are ready to embrace change, we’re helping to consolidate their multiple data systems into one payroll and HR ecosystem to create a more streamlined way of working and deliver insights that paint a beautiful picture of their workforce. A central data Monet, if you will.

We’ve removed as many barriers as possible by simplifying change management processes and offering incentives to trial and adopt our HR tech capabilities. These include automated HR workflows and in-platform advisory that leave no room for manual error, bringing consistency to internal employment processes.

EPG Staffing is utilising more flexible staffing infrastructures that will lessen the impact on a business should difficult times arise again, and they will, and re-onboarding employees under more sustainable engagement types that fit a new business environment.

We’re also helping new clients realise that outsourcing their payroll can actually prove more cost-effective for their business as opposed to bringing in an in-house payroll resource.”

Rethinking how you run your payroll? 

Planning ahead

“The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Update released last month is projecting global growth for 2021 to be 5.5 percent, 0.3 percentage points above their previous forecast. 

While success will depend on multiple factors that will vary from country to country, one thing is consistent across all: businesses must still use this time to prepare for a world that is forever changed. 

Consider your existing technologies, your processes and the tools you need to better manage your workforce, especially those that are working remotely – but be sure to build your new infrastructure with a long-term lens.

Deloitte Insights’ 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report says, “organizations must rethink their HR technology strategy, considering cloud as a foundation and exploring innovative new platforms, automation and AI-based tools to complement their core systems.”

It’s spot on and really emphasises why EPG has hit refresh on how we deliver our managed payroll services underpinned by cloud-based HR technology. If your HR platform is siloed from your payroll, you’re missing all the crucial benefits that come with having these two functions in one ecosystem.

Yes, these are still difficult times for many, but they’re also reinventing our ways of working for the better. And for that, I am hopeful.”

About EPG Group

EPG is a leading provider of payroll, HR and workforce management services across multiple global jurisdictions. Powerful HCM technology underpins our permanent and contingent staffing solutions, immigration expertise and managed payroll services, bringing assured compliance to businesses globally and empowering today’s evolving workforces.

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