Why it's time to say goodbye to manual processes and embrace cloud-based HR

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Sage Accounting solutions are tailored for your digital needs. (Getty Images)
Sage Accounting solutions are tailored for your digital needs. (Getty Images)

We live in a world that’s rapidly digitising. And with apps and cloud-based solutions taking care of tasks in seconds that once took minutes, hours, or even days, it’s surprising that many leaders have not yet done the same in their HR and payroll departments.

recent study into 1000 small and medium-sized businesses in South Africa revealed that although many employees want to automate HR and payroll systems, many local companies lag behind global norms.

The research conducted by Sage shows that 62% of those surveyed wanted business leaders to prioritise technology and analytics - and more than half (56%) believe digitising employee information can save them time by streamlining their efforts.

86% of those surveyed by Sage say they want payroll and HR professionals to be more involved in decision-making processes - but manual processes often keep them desk-bound instead of contributing elsewhere to the business.

There’s also never been a more critical time to embrace cloud-based HR software. 

Many businesses are retaining some aspect of their Covid-19-induced work from home policies, making a robust, secure, and remote HR and payroll solution crucial.

But even before the increase in remote and hybrid working, cloud-based software offered small and medium businesses tangible benefits - from increased data security to better time management.

It also allows stretched HR employees to refocus on their core tasks, says Yolandi Esterhuizen, Product Compliance Director, Sage Africa & Middle East.

“Specialist payroll and HR software free up human resource managers to focus more on other key elements of a business, like attracting and retaining the best possible talent. Paying attention to changing employee requirements is also particularly important as Generation Z enters the global workforce,” Esterhuizen says.

Here are three additional ways that cloud-based HR software can help streamline, secure, and improve your small and medium-sized business:

1. Automated data security

Apart from increasing cyber-attacks during Covid-19, HR and payroll managers also had to deal with strict protocols surrounding the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). Although 91% of surveyed organisations said, they are fully POPIA and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant, almost half (48%) of payroll and HR professionals expressed ongoing concern about compliance.

Employees managing important data from home also means more potential weak spots for criminals to target and data to slip into the wrong hands. But with cloud-based software in place, everything is automated - from document encryption to record destruction where required.

2. Better time management

As critical as HR and payroll tasks are to a business’s success, it’s possible to automate many of them. Leaving the heavy lifting of repetitive tasks in the hands of a cloud-based system will free employees to focus time on other tasks central to the business’s growth and development - like attracting and retaining high-quality talent.

3. Managing remote teams

Of those companies surveyed that have recently switched to cloud-based HR solutions, 70% cited the sudden shift to remote and hybrid working models as a key reason. SMEs took these decisions to shore up data protection and free up HR professionals to focus on other issues shifted suddenly by the pandemic - like employee retention and company culture.

Cloud-based platforms like Sage Business Could Payroll work safely, securely, and highly efficiently regardless of the employee’s location. They are the

perfect tools to enable HR teams to reduce the clutter of admin, allowing them to focus on the business of leading employees at thriving companies. When used correctly, payroll and HR data can result in faster recruitment, lower staff turnover, and higher employee competency and engagement across the employee lifecycle.

To find out more about Sage Business Cloud Payroll, click here.

Sage is the global market leader for technology that provides small and medium businesses with the visibility, flexibility and efficiency to manage finances, operations and people.

This post was sponsored by Sage and produced by BrandStudio24.

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