Putting the people power back into HR & Payroll, with SD Worx
The modern workforce needs a modern type of management. Whether it’s sourcing new talent, onboarding, training, running payroll or reporting on performance or talent management situations, any HR system needs to be relevant to the humans at the core of the business.
SD Worx threw a cat among the pigeons when it spoofed the HR industry with HARRI (Human Advisory Resource: Robotic Interface), a ‘superhuman’ HR robot with a real physical presence. Thankfully, the company’s ethos of people-centricity would never allow it to produce “a Cylon that could fire people” (according to one comment). But the company is far from a producer of the same, ‘traditional’ HR suite – it’s producing HR solutions that correlate with the new ways of working being adopted by new generations of personnel.
We spoke to SD Worx’s CEO, Steven Van Hoorebeke, about the company’s customer-centricity and approach in general. “We’ve taken the inspiration from the very latest advances in consumer tech for our digital assistant. With just a simple app, people communicate with their employer’s HR like they do with all their other solutions like online banking, Netflix, even. It’s all done from their phone. Today it’s the phone, but tomorrow it may be a smart wearable, or voice-activated device.”
The SD Worx digital assistant does the simple stuff like managing expenses and receipts, but, Van Hoorebeke tells us, it can also handle booking time off, registering sick time off work, and giving reminders and suggestions as to next steps in processes required. “It puts the power back in the hand of the human operator and reduces administration for employers,” he explains. “For the employee, such a facility is akin to having your own PA.”
The entire SD Worx portfolio of offerings is modular, with businesses only paying for just what they need. So what are the common module choices made by SD Worx’s customers? “Our core offerings are in compensation & benefits, workforce management, and of course payroll,” Van Hoorebeke says, “and most of our clients take at least two of those. Later they add new capabilities in the business, and what we have is scalable too.”
Each strand of SD Worx’s suite is centrally hosted, as you’d expect from a cloud instance. HR, payroll and other functions are all served from the same system. And because it’s based in the cloud (and paid for like any software-as-a-service) there are no updates to patch in, no incompatibilities between, for instance, payroll and talent management, and no expensive bare-metal servers to worry about maintaining.
“I think that PC installs of payroll software, finance, and HR systems are finishing,” Steven says. SaaS’s ubiquity has spread to HR, then? “Yes, of course, I think the advantages are clearer. You can work at night, on the train home, 24/7, wherever you want. That’s what the cloud gives us.”
Acceptance of any software package, web-based, or on a mobile app, is determined by its usability: if the interface is difficult to interact with on a moving bus, then people don’t use it, I suggest.
“Yes, you’re right. But our suite has real muscle, too, you know – you can see complex data, say, pay splits per department, just by tapping or clicking.”
There are over 150 reports baked into the system, according to Van Hoorebeke, but offering everyone access to all that data isn’t a good idea – it comes down to the usability issue again, he says. “You can set up your privileges easily, so everyone only sees what you let them. Human Resource managers access different data to Finance, and managers should see more than the interns!”
For HR functions, the SD Worx suite can handle sensitive financial data too. You can manage starters, leavers, employee records, absence, timesheets, work patterns and documents, all in the same system. It is, according to Steven, “a fully self-service solution”.
Previously complex routines, like requesting and approving leave, informing line managers of sickness or absence, and so forth are all handled by the system via affected staff themselves. And right across the organization, training programs, benefits, pay and rewards, personal performance stats and even schedules and calendars are all available in this same, people-centric presentation layer.
HR department staff love SD Worx, Van Hoorebeke laughs, “Time-tracking, flexitime, time-off entitlements: the software handles it in the back end,” he explains.
According to SD Worx, the benefits of the system’s use can be extraordinary:
- Improve revenue by up to 10 percent (by having the right people in the right place at the right time).
- Reduce staff costs overnight by 2.5 percent due to better time capture and reduced overpayments (time management function).
- Reduce admin time in the business by up to 40 percent (HR & Finance staff no longer having to do simple administration thanks to self-service).
The SD Worx solutions are built with compliance in mind. With data being the newest and most valuable commodity many companies possess, protecting it and handling it properly are imperative. SD Worx ensures that any organization achieves regulatory compliance with any data placed in its care.
“People are driven by a need for a purpose and to have personal value in their work lives. And work-life balance, naturally. Our products are for the new world of work. Our vision is that people remain at the center of the workplace, and pay, time and HR are essential today.”
With revenues reaching €443 million in 2017, Steven Van Hoorebeke is clearly doing something right! To learn more about HR and people-driven payroll power, click here. Or to experience how the SD Worx digital assistant can give your employees the self-service option, click here.
1 February 2023
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