If You Have a Global Workforce, You Need a Global System

April 9, 2013      By Ultimate Software

Seems pretty self-explanatory, right? But how many times do business leaders talk about having a global customer base or a global reach but the reality is the company processes and systems are designed to accommodate the U.S. way of doing things.

As human resources professionals, we realize that we’re managing a global workforce. There are many things we do to recognize different cultures, languages, religions, etc. in the workplace. But I realized during Ultimate Software’s 2013 Connections Conference that we’re really not taking our efforts full circle if we don’t consider our systems as well.

Think about it. Given how dependent our businesses are on technology, how can we not think about making sure our technology solutions are a fit throughout our workforce. Having a system that feels right for one location of the company and is a work-around for the rest of the company sends a message. And not a good one.

On the surface, it might seem very transactional but it’s those transactions that show people the company cares. It’s the start of bringing the workforce together. To connecting employees and building engagement.

Now you might be saying to yourself that this would be a huge challenge. I heard during the session that in Germany, different religions have different tax rates. And in other countries, certain positions can have their address hidden for privacy. But Ivan Chaney, product strategist at Ultimate Software, shared a few pieces of information that really surprised me.

  • The United States has the most complex payroll and benefits processes. If that’s true, then there could be an advantage to adopting a Global HCM system.
  • The cost of managing global employees is 28% lower for organizations with Global HCM processes.

This made me realize it’s not the laws that should drive our decision making. It’s being able to consistently provide a high-level of service to our workforce. Because when we do, human resources is given the ability to keep the company compliant. Managers are able to focus on the operation and not paperwork. And the C-Suite can benefit from the data and analytics.

For a lot of very good reasons, smart companies are taking a global approach to their technology and data.


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