Making payroll globally consistent and compliant can be a challenge. How does Maersk Oil, which operates in more than 130 countries, ensure that its HR systems serve its global workforce in the best way possible?
Monika Garg, head of global mobility at Maersk Oil, believes HR technology is growing in potential so much that, at present, “we’re not even scratching the surface”. “Trying to keep pace with it is never easy, as by the time you roll out new technology there is a good chance you are already behind,” she says.
HR Tech World Congress 2017
Monika Garg will discuss how to make payroll more efficient for cross-border employees at HR Tech World Congress, London, 21- 22 March 2017.
Software is central to keeping everything running smoothly at the company, which has been established for more than 100 years and operates in more than 130 countries. Its role is especially important in streamlining key HR processes for such a globally dispersed workforce.
Garg will be exploring this at the HR Tech World London conference this week, describing how integrating payroll across the various jurisdictions in which Maersk Oil operates has improved efficiency for employees and managers alike.
“There tends to be an inherent problem with HR systems and payroll not being compatible. Each country has their own system that won’t talk to the others,” she explains. “It can be really challenging to bring them together onto one platform – how to get the data into it, the reporting requirements, how people should be paid.”
Building a business case
The company has worked with Deloitte’s Global Compensation Management practice to support the roll-out of a single payroll system across all of its geographies.
Garg believes it is imperative to put together a strong business case to get the leadership sponsorship at the start of the project. This piece of work can be both cost and resource intensive so being clear on the reasons and the benefits it would accrue is critical to its success, she says.
“You have to demonstrate the cost of not doing that integration,” she adds. “It may be costly at first but in the long term it saves money, and the increased compliance puts you at an advantage.
“If you don’t integrate you’re dealing with different currencies, different tax and social security requirements, different jurisdictions. By bringing it all together, you’re also avoiding duplication of effort and making for a more consistent employee experience.”
Ensuring that global assignees have a positive experience is a key part of Garg’s role as head of global mobility, and the importance of getting this right is gaining increased recognition at the very top of the organisation, she adds. “We are starting to talk more directly to the business about how mobility can deliver what the business needs, how we support them by delivering the right sort of mobility packages,” she says.
What she would like to see, however, is more integration between talent management at the company and the global mobility function.
“We have a robust resource allocation process in place but we are working towards integrating it even more with global mobility function such that we can advise and consult with both talent management teams and business leaders proactively to make the right choices of employment types during deployment of talent.”
The current climate for energy companies means that talent management and attraction is high on the agenda – employers in the sector are faced with lower oil prices and pressure on costs, but demand for skills is high, placing upward pressure on salaries.
Making sure that Maersk Oil deploys the right people in the right place, for the right salary, also makes great business sense. “We need to ensure the value proposition is good for the employee but also good for the business,” Garg concludes. “So we look at what the business needs are and make our deployment strategy very clear, making sure there’s a good value proposition for [the employee] to move and that it’s also cost-effective for the company.”