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Whether we like it or not, COVID-19 is forcing HR and Sales departments to do more with less, accelerating a trend towards increasing efficiency. Perhaps the silver lining is that if companies can move forward quickly with digital transformation to make their systems more efficient and flexible, there can be lasting benefits.

Be ready for anything

In a recent article entitled "Why transformation is essential to a COVID-19 recovery," global consultancy EY looked for lessons we can learn from adapting to the pandemic. “In thinking about the future, no one truly confronted the probability of such a pandemic, even if common sense and science said it could happen,” wrote Bill Kanarick, EY Global Customer Leader. “What this experience has taught us, or should teach us, is companies need to be ready for anything. Adaptability is the new norm.”

For the teams tasked with managing compensation processes, whether salary reviews, bonus plan administration, commission payments, or executive compensation, disruption is not an option. Paying people is a critical core function, and a flexible automated system is essential for both rapid adaptation to changing circumstances, and for keeping processes moving efficiently even if staff and employees are working remotely.

Companies caught with legacy or manual compensation management systems have faced steeper challenges in pivoting  than companies who had already transformed their rewards processes. Adecco, the world’s largest HR service provider, was in the late phases of implementing a global compensation platform when the pandemic hit. Luckily, the company had already been running the beqom implementation project in a remote fashion and was able to have the system in place on schedule for its salary review process starting in April 2020. 

“In April 2020, we [were] in the midst of lockdown AND in the middle of an HR review period,” said Romain Debroize, Compensation and Benefits Manager at The Adecco Group, France. “Our platform worked perfectly even when working remotely and is totally secure,” noted Debroize. “In a context such as the current pandemic, it is a good sign for our group to be able to hold its salary review process to be ready for the post-lockdown rebound.”

Technology at speed means competitive advantage

Many companies have been making do with older systems while slowly rolling out newer technologies, but the crisis has accelerated the pace of investment in new digital technologies to meet the needs of employees now rather than later.

“Companies that were looking longer term to upgrade their rewards platforms are now deciding to move more quickly,” says Vismay Gada, beqom Head of North America. “They are seeing that a centralized cloud platform leaves them well positioned to adapt to remote work, whatever the cause, and a flexible compensation management solution helps them adapt their pay plans quickly and as needed.”

Resilient rewards technology drives performance

In their COVID-19 enterprise resilience framework, EY lays out the requirements for technology resilience. Key aspects of that resilience include enhancing capabilities for communication and collaboration across the workforce, providing users access to more applications with support for an extended number of remote workforce personnel, and ensuring IT infrastructure solutions are aligned with business and workforce criticality.

An agile, cloud-based rewards platform can help to provide technological and operational resilience, keeping a critical business process running smoothly and effectively, to enhance productivity even when resources are strained, and to ensure performance is optimally aligned with strategy to maintain a competitive edge.

“Now, completely remotely, the beqom solution allows us to operate at 100%, without any additional cost, loss of performance or security risk. [In a lockdown,] our managers and employees improved their productivity and reliability,” said Debroize.  

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