Managing a global workforce isn’t easy. HR practitioners have to navigate the challenges of different languages, multiple currencies and various working patterns – not to mention employment laws varying widely from country to country. And on top of all that, HR teams now have the mammoth task of helping to manage the crisis brought on by the current pandemic with its impact on their business and employees.

global software staff

Yet, why is it that when it comes to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of HR practices, so many growing international organisations are still making do with a patchwork of local HR solutions?

It is not an approach that’s good for the business – or indeed for the line managers and HR people who have to deal with people management processes daily. It’s disjointed and inconsistent – and hard work trying to keep on top of everything.

Thankfully, advances in HR software have now made global solutions affordable and quick to implement, making it a feasible choice for any international business. Companies can be up and running with a global HR system, supporting an international workforce in just weeks or months, with no need for expensive setup services or specialist skills.

Still not convinced? Here are three key benefits of having a global HR system.

Saves everyone time and energy

Fragmented approaches to managing HR data and HR processes have a hidden cost.  Using multiple systems that are not integrated together well means more time is spent on double data entry and manual processes, wasting HR and line managers’ time. Incorrect information and inconsistencies across systems due to these processes are also frequent, further adding to HR’s frustrations. No one really knows which is the latest version of anything or whether the data they are dealing with can be trusted.

Global HR systems like Cezanne HR eradicate both the unnecessary admin and the pain. Companies can create separate portals for different groups of employees, and set up the relevant rules, permissions and processes for the country in question. The system can cope with multiple languages, different currencies, and will automatically adjust and recalculate to take account of variations in everything from public holiday dates to working hours. Best of all, different parts of the system can talk to each other, giving the business a helicopter view and the ability to ‘think global and act local’.

Helps you make informed business decisions

Global HR software solutions provide one central source of the ‘truth’ and give organisations the ability to easily pull off and analyse the information they need to support strategic business decisions. At a time when businesses are increasingly looking to HR to help navigate COVID-19 and become more agile, this is invaluable.

Cezanne HR can provide an overview, for example, of the skills available in the organisation, where they sit and where the gaps are. Data on headcount, employee turnover and the salary bill are easily accessible, allowing the business to make quick and informed decisions about recruitment, succession planning or even which countries might be most suitable to lead on a new project or initiative. Information gleaned from performance reviews and held centrally can also provide a valuable insight into which members of staff might have the aspiration, as well as the skills, to relocate to another part of the business.

Engages and reconnects your employees

Many global HR systems come with functionality that allows employees to connect and collaborate across geographical and departmental boundaries. They make it easy for people to find the information they need and to get quick answers to questions. Best of all, an HR management system will break down internal silos, allowing staff to identify who in the business might help them move a project forward, what their reporting line is and where they can find them. It leads to a more networked, collaborative workforce.

The self-service functionality that comes with most global HR systems also makes it easier for employees to manage the minutia of their daily working lives. With a Cloud-based system, they can log in from wherever they are to update their personal data, book annual leave, record sickness or check on the detail of an HR policy.  The use of HR portals and workspaces, and keeping online records of annual performance reviews or real-time check-ins can help employees, and their line managers, keep in touch and stay on track with their goals. This kind of anytime-anywhere access leads to a much more streamlined operation – and in this digital age, is something employees have come to expect. They feel involved, can see the business is trying to make it easy for them to manage themselves, and are typically more engaged as a result.

Erika Lucas author image

Erika Lucas

Writer and Communications Consultant

Erika Lucas is a writer and communications consultant with a special interest in HR, leadership, management and personal development. Her career has spanned journalism and PR, with previous roles in regional press, BBC Radio, PR consultancy, charities and business schools.