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There are insights hidden in your international payroll data. Reveal them and they could benefit your recruitment, retention, pay gap reporting, succession planning and more. 

At its core, your international payroll has one job to do: pay your people the right amount at the right time in a locally compliant way. Whether you run it in-house or outsource your global payroll processing, the definition of ‘mission accomplished’ is when your international workers check their accounts and find their salaries ready and waiting for them. 

Yet while compliant payment is the baseline for any effective international payroll, it’s far from the only outcome. Any payroll generates data, and that data can offer powerful insights for any business willing to dig a little deeper. Such as…   

1. Salary benchmarking 

Outsourcing your international payroll will ensure the salary you set is paid in the right currency at the right time in a way that complies with local employment and tax law. What it doesn’t do is ensure that salary is sufficient to attract and retain the talent your business needs to thrive. 

In a cost-of-living crisis affecting pretty much everywhere, a competitive salary is more important than ever in keeping staff in post. At the same time, and as PWC’s latest Employee Financial Wellness Report1 notes, 53% of employers are most worried about expenses increasing. That figure rises to 80% of HR leaders in PwC’s Pulse Survey2. 

Your international payroll contains insights that can make it easier to develop compensation packages that tread a careful line between keeping staff onside and compounding inflationary pressures. With role, time in post, hours worked and even performance reviews easily to hand, you can develop tailored packages that ensure your most valuable workers feel valued, and create packages that attract the people you need. 

2. Pay equity 

It’s fair to say that the issue of equal pay isn’t one that receives equal attention globally. In the EU, perhaps the most stringent of equal pay territories, not only are employers required to close their gender pay gaps on pain of fines and penalties; victims of discrimination can now claim compensation3. In the UK, where the median pay gap is just under 10%, gender pay gap reporting comes with the risk of fines for those who fail to comply.  

Elsewhere in the world, and almost irrespective of the legislation enacted to close them, larger pay disparities continue to exist (for example, 18% in the US4 and 31% in sub-Saharan Africa5). 

Your international payroll contains clear data about your gender pay gap. And that means it contains the insights that can help you a) reduce the gap, b) comply with local pay gap laws, and c) enjoy the reputational boost that comes from being known as an employer that pays fairly. 

Your international payroll will include data to help you address other diversity and inclusion-related pay disparities too. 

3. Succession planning 

When your operation is spread globally, it’s easy to lose track of where your senior leaders are in relation to local retirement laws, especially as retirement ages vary around the world. 66 may be the (current) age in the UK, but in France it’s 62 while in China it’s 60 for men, 55 for women in white collar jobs and 50 for women in blue collar roles. 

Your payroll data can help you understand who is likely to be retiring over the next few years, so you can effectively plan for their successors. Similar insights can be used to understand where you may have a skills shortfall (where, for example, a number of similarly skilled workers are likely to leave the business within a short period of time), so you can plan recruitment.  

4. Employee wellbeing 

A lot of workers are feeling financially stressed right now. That presents an obvious retention risk. PwC’s Employee Wellness Survey found that financially stressed workers are twice as likely to be looking for a new job than those who don’t feel financially stressed. Inevitably, those looking for a job are more likely to find one and leave. 

Yet the effect of financial stress goes beyond an increased risk of employee resignations – it also significantly damages their productivity while at work. According to PwC, trouble with personal finances leads to a risk of workplace distraction five times higher than for those who are not worried about money.  

56% spend three hours or more per week at work dealing with or thinking about issues related to their personal finances,” says the report, before adding that financially stressed workers score lower across a range of measures of engagement than their non-stressed peers. 

The data from your international payroll can offer insights to help support workers and increase engagement, wellbeing, goodwill and retention. 

Data can highlight upward trends in, for example, staff seeking pay advances, and highlight acute issues in specific territories that can enable you to put measures in place. You might, as just one example, switch pay strategies from monthly to weekly, so that more staff can access their wages sooner and avoid the cost of falling into debt each month. 

Discover what more you could do with the insights from your international payroll. Talk to us now.