Why Compliance has Become HR’s Top Priority

Discover the major compliance challenges faced by HR following the COVID-19 pandemic and learn how to overcome them.

During the spring of 2020, the world’s workplaces diminished almost overnight. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, about 80% of the global workforce is estimated to have been affected by lockdowns and stay-at-home measures.

Business as Unusual in HR

The world is open again, and companies are bringing their workforces back to new routines and agile working practices. We also see that companies are facing stricter compliance requirements in the wake of the pandemic. HR managers are increasing their requests for third-party help with risk management, mitigation, regulatory compliance, and GDPR.

A Shift in HR Priorities

Covid-19 has shifted HR’s priorities. According to the HCM Technology Report, regulatory compliance is becoming a top concern. About 36% of practitioners have stated that keeping track of regulations is now their biggest challenge.

Also, we see that HR budgets are smaller than in previous years. Any increased funding is not going toward talent acquisition and benefits, but rather toward technology, automatization, and effectiveness.

Furthermore, the report discloses that 79% of respondents said managing their company’s Covid-19 response has made HR increasingly challenging. Surveyed HR professionals outlined their top concerns, noting which were more of a focus for them going forward:

  • Keeping employees motivated and engaged: 56%

  • Keeping employees informed: 56%

  • Managing employee stress: 51%

  • Managing the expense of employee pay and benefits: 41%

  • Providing technology to keep employees productive: 40%

  • Providing employee training: 39%

These statistics speak volumes. To address these concerns, the focus must be on people, processes, and systems in order to resolve the most urgent and important questions. In the following, we will address the most critical challenges that the Covid-19 crisis has brought to the HR function, and how you can resolve them.

Keeping up with New Compliance Measures

Throughout the pandemic, we saw several examples of food industry companies that experienced outbreaks of Covid-19 due to a lack of compliance and poor implementation of compliance measures. These recent events show that even if compliance measures are taken, communication and training of employees and managers to ensure that the measures are implemented are equally important.

Having to close down production facilities in one country can damage a company’s profitability globally. The side effect of negative press coverage can also potentially hurt a company’s brand value. Fortunately, measures can be taken to avoid this scenario.

Low Employee Data Quality Results in Poor Decision-Making

If your company does not have a good overview of its master data and employee experience data, how can you steer the company safely through a global pandemic? How will you secure your return on investment (ROI) if you are unable to make informed decisions about your workforce? The answer is that you cannot. Low-quality employee data will potentially result in poor decision-making, which can have a massive impact on a company’s profitability. Having a robust human resources information system(HRIS) in place is vital for companies that want to be able to make decisions based on facts.

Master Data and Reporting

One of the many challenges for HR at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic was missing, inaccurate, and outdated contact information. When employees have self-service access, they are more likely to keep their contact information updated, which is one less manual process for HR admins. You can also incorporate monthly metrics to gain better insight into employment trends and pull out accurate contact information or assemble data for benefit audits, which will save you both time and effort.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)-Compliant Document Management

There are many reasons to move your employee files and records to the cloud, especially following a global pandemic. You get the advantage of instant access to data from anywhere with a secure internet connection. Companies that still use paper file systems are now experiencing delayed processes due to missing or incomplete information. In addition, emailing documents back and forth, instead of having a secure document repository, is not ideal from a compliance point of view.

Coping with Covid-19 by Speeding Up Digital Adoption

The focus for most of Effective People’s clients now is the shift from digital transformation to actual digital adoption. This involves adopting hybrid (office/home) work models and using customer and employee experience data-tracking to improve results. It also involves restructuring the organization for growth to meet the relevant transformation targets at the senior management and executive levels.

Employee well-being, transitioning to a “new normal,” positioning the business for growth, and continuing success are key objectives for many organizations. When asked, about 50% of clients stated that they would focus more on employee engagement going forward.

Use Analytics to Gain an Objective View of the Workforce

With a robust people analytics setup, HR can provide an objective view of the workforce, make informed decisions, and justify those decisions to senior management. It is also a great tool to track employee benefits, time off, and training, as well as benchmark data against other organizations.

Your Employee Experience Data

It is important to know what is going on with your employees and with your organization—and what you can do to improve. When discussing experience data, there are two main types of data you can analyze: employee experience data (X-data) and operational data (O-data). If you find something happening in your O-data, you can look for an explanation in your X-data. Or perhaps something is happening in your X-data that is caused by operational situations. By analyzing the data, you can build projections so that you can act quickly when needed.

From Opinions to Insights

A practical example of how opinions could be validated is by using insights. It could be a company that suspects it is falling behind in implementing Covid-19 measures. The data from an employee pulse survey shows that this might be true due to poor communication. Let's say that 63% of the company’s contingent workers responded that they felt uninformed.

Contingent workers are not fully incorporated into HRIS, and in a time of crisis, they might miss important information that is distributed based on the HRIS data. With this information, the company can now implement measures that ensure that their contingent workforce will be better informed about any new Covid-19 safety measures going forward, ensuring compliance.

Management of Non-Permanent Employees

SAP Fieldglass is a cloud-based vendor management system (VMS) that enables businesses to manage their contingent workforce. The software is designed to improve compliance and manage risk in the procurement and management of contract workers, freelancers, and other non-permanent employees. The platform provides a unified view of all non-employee resources, enabling HR departments to monitor compliance with employment laws and regulations, track performance and compliance of staffing agencies, and ensure that contingent workers are appropriately classified and compensated. SAP Fieldglass also offers tools for time tracking, expense management, and invoicing, making it easier to manage the entire contingent workforce lifecycle.

An Opportunity to Innovate

In times of crisis, we are forced to think differently and develop new solutions. Even though we cannot predict exactly when the current crisis will end, we know that it will end. When that day comes, all the measures HR and leaders take today will have an impact on tomorrow’s workplace. Contact us to learn more.

Author avatar

About the author

Marit Strømmen is the Head of Marketing at Effective People.

With more than 20 years of experience in the commercial area, she has worked with content, communication, business partnerships, and new business development in various industries. She has been with Effective People since 2018, overseeing all branding and marketing efforts. Marit writes about cloud-based HXM and HCM.

Contact us

Get in touch and learn how to successfully prioritize compliance with SAP SuccessFactors.

We use cookies to give you the best website experience possible, and by browsing our website you consent to this use. Non-essential cookies are currently blocked, but certain functionality on this website won't work without them. For full details of our cookie settings, please see our privacy and cookie policy page. For full site access, please accept these cookies below.