How technology can help global companies weather coronavirus

25 June 2020

Professionals in Payroll – 514

How technology can help global companies weather coronavirus

By Jeff Phipps, Managing Director of ADP UK

International businesses face complex challenges, taking on communication and language issues, employment law compliance, and various cultural differences. The coronavirus pandemic has compounded these difficulties, with many organisations struggling to engage their global workforce. The legacy of the pandemic will be long-lasting, as remote working and continued travel restrictions may limit international employers for years to come, making it harder to keep in touch with a multi-national workforce.

However, when companies have the right technological tools in place, it can be significantly easier to manage the challenges of operating internationally. The Economist Intelligence Unit report The HR challenges of international expansion sponsored by ADP, a global payroll provider, highlights the role technology plays in a range of global organisations. Investing the time and resources into appropriate tools was shown to help companies tackle the challenges of managing an international workforce.

Technology is essential to improve human resources

Human resources is one of the most challenging areas for global businesses. Nearly half of organisations name recruitment as the greatest challenge they face, with over two-fifths struggling to understand cultural differences and their implications for HR. Tackling these issues is essential, or businesses risk falling engagement and productivity.

The right technology is instrumental - nearly half of global organisations agreed that technology helped to improve HR process integration, easing the burden of having to monitor disparate systems in different geographies. It also helps employees to communicate across languages and cultures, facilitating high-level collaboration and boosting engagement.

Ensuring that you are recruiting the right people, maintaining engagement and wellbeing, and providing the right training are all elements that can help a business to thrive. When employees are heard, they produce better work and are more engaged with the shared purpose of an organisation.

Organisations need to gain a singular view of employees

Many international businesses are unable to perform at their best, with 80% stating that potential growth is limited by HR challenges. Overseeing a global employee base can be difficult, and when employers lose touch with their workforce it can lead to a downturn in engagement and productivity.

With the right technology in place, managers at a range of different levels can access a singular view of employees: their performance, their capabilities, and their needs. By accessing this information in one place, employers can tackle problems before they arise, keeping teams running no matter what they are faced with. HR teams, too, are freed up to bring greater value to businesses by drawing out the best in employees.

The rewards can be huge

Managing an organisation internationally is a task that is exciting and daunting, no matter the size of the business. The rewards can be huge, with companies gaining access to new market opportunities, a wider base of specialist skills to draw from, and proximity to global resources. To access these benefits, employers need to stay connected to their workforce no matter where in the world they might be.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the challenges international businesses face, but by adopting the right technological tools, organisations can empower their global employees to thrive through communication, training, and well-integrated systems.