Driving a culture of adapting rapidly to change

Sandra Crous MD

Sandra Crous, Managing Director of PaySpace, looks back on the changes the industry has seen over the past few decades, and the role that women play in the workplace.

The payroll and HR landscape has evolved significantly over the last few decades and staff has had to deal with a slew of legislation changes, as well as the evolution of the processes involved in payroll with each wave of new technology. These departments are now playing a more critical role than ever in terms of the success of a business, fundamentally, making payroll and HR departments the cornerstone of every organisation.

When the ICT industry was in its infancy many years ago, payroll and HR played a very different role to what it is today. The majority of the payroll manager’s time was spent on calculating payroll and ensuring that employees were paid on time. Organisations soon started computerising their payroll processes to improve accuracy and save time, which enabled companies to start focusing on more business-critical and important tasks such as reducing any manual processes in the payroll and HR office.

The powerful impact of reducing manual processes meant they began to examine the effect that multiple software applications had. They then witnessed a major uptake in using a single database for payroll and HR with integrations to accounting systems and clocking systems taking priority. The benefits surpassed all expectations, and software companies were able to streamline processes, and make sure there was little need for any manual intervention, which in turn reduced the risk of mistakes creeping in and saved a lot of time.

Today businesses realise that payroll, apart from being their biggest expense, also has the biggest impact on their bottom-line. Companies in every industry are realising the value that committed engaged employees have on their bottom-line, which has highlighted the true cost and impact of resources on building a healthy sustainable business.

In the new world we see today, companies are looking at employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention and realising employee success ultimately delivers the results they are looking for and boosts their bottom-line. Businesses understand that proper planning in HR and skilled recruitment can keep them remaining competitive and ahead of the curve, particularly in times where there is a scarcity of skills. Moreover, measuring employee satisfaction can help develop an environment that attracts talented employees and allows them to grow and flourish.

Today more than ever the cost of disruption associated with staff turnover is becoming crucial. An increasing number of businesses are measuring employee feedback, and, constructive criticism towards the employer, to help pinpoint and solve any issues before they affect business performance. In this way, measuring the emotions of employees, taking care of them, and building a strong culture are key. Remember, although at its heart, culture isn’t about workspaces and perks such as comfy chairs and ping pong tables – it’s about the habits employees have formed, how they make decisions, how they respond to challenges, pressure and discomfort, and what they believe is good or bad for success based on what’s been incentivised, rewarded, reinforced, and possibly even disciplined over in their workplace.

Companies are now looking at the use of big data and learning technology, to predict future events months before they happen. This means identifying root causes to help prevent challenges like attrition, performance issues, burnout, and more – with exceptional accuracy.

Technology, people, and performance data let you match the right people with the right jobs, and radically raise the bar on the performance of your organisation through targeted development.

Gender equality has always been an issue close to Sandra’s heart, and the benefits diversity brings to an organisation cannot be underestimated. Employing top talent in an organisation is key to its success and the war on talent is escalating as companies can appoint across borders as a growing number of businesses work remotely.

The number of potential professionals to cover vacancies from lower-skilled levels to executive positions doubles when companies recruit across genders. The co-existence of men and women in the same environment helps to build more creative teams and is absolutely key to the future-fit workforce.

In today’s environment, businesses need to strengthen team dynamics, and Sandra finds that women often possess the skills needed to unite colleagues and bring opinions together, which optimises the decision-making process. Hiring women ensures that our workforce is representative of our customer base and provides better knowledge on consumer preference with women making some buying decisions in businesses.

In fact, PaySpace boasts a lot of female talent within our workforce, and is fortunate that we have been able to provide a lot of flexibility to our employees. During the last few months, we have seen our female staff members being forced to work from homes as schools closed across the country and the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone into lockdown. Although during this time they were looking after children, doing homework, caring, and cleaning, we were still able deliver a fully functioning business. We have always had a culture that believes in adapting rapidly to change, and we retained our human connection with our “camera on” campaign.

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