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Simon EllisFeb 7, 2023 10:41:42 AM4 min read

Earned Wage Access & 4 more HR tools you need to know about

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in making our jobs easier and our companies more efficient. When it comes to HR and payroll, the most useful new technologies help employers effortlessly manage & streamline HR processes. These technologies save companies fortunes in hard costs and efficiencies and also reduce the burden on overworked HR and payroll administrators. Importantly, many of these innovations are making it easier for companies to manage HR and payroll admin for their frontline employees, who make up the majority of the working world, but who have traditionally been underserved by enterprise tech.

If you’re an HR or payroll administrator or a leader in a company with deskless employees, these are the 5 biggest HR trends for you to look out for in 2023.

1.Cloud-Based HR Systems

Like almost all enterprise technology, cloud-based HR systems are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a more flexible and cost-effective way to manage HR processes. These systems allow employees to access HR information and services from anywhere, and they also make it easier for HR teams to share data and collaborate. For companies with frontline employees who don’t have regular access to emails or who can’t simply speak to their HR and Payroll managers in the office, cloud-based systems are incredibly useful. If you’re still using on-premise HR systems, it might be worth considering a change. Sage, SAP and Workday have some incredible systems that offer easy migration.

2. Digitising HR Processes

We all know that paper-based processes are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Digitizing simple HR processes is a major trend in 2023 due to the increasing demand for efficient and streamlined workflows. With the move away from paper and the widespread adoption of digital technologies, organizations finally have the ability to digitise HR tasks such as onboarding, time tracking, payslips, leave and performance management. This not only saves time and reduces manual errors but also provides employees with a more convenient and accessible HR experience. One thing to consider is the complexity of some of these systems. Companies like Sage and Oracle offer a wide range of systems to digitise paper-based processes, however, setting up and managing these systems can be complex and expensive. If your company is earlier on its digitisation journey, or if budget is a constraint, you should consider modular systems like Jem, which bolt on to your existing HR and Payroll software to digitize individual processes instead of completely replacing your existing systems.


3. Creating Better Ways To Communicate

While there’s no shortage of technologies that allows us to communicate, companies still struggle to connect with their employees - particularly companies with large groups of deskless workers. We are seeing an increased focus on technology that bridges the gap between the office and the frontline. Improved communication with employees - in the office and on the front line - leads to greater job satisfaction, higher levels of motivation, and ultimately, better business outcomes. In the past we’ve seen companies develop custom communications applications to bridge the gap. However, they typically fail for a number of reasons, including data costs, and the simple fact that most people only regularly use a handful of applications on their phones. A more effective approach is to leverage existing popular communication channels. Companies like Jem are using channels like WhatsApp to help companies communicate with their employees, because that’s where employees - in the office and on the frontline - already are.


4. HR Technology For Frontline Workers

Frontline workers make up the majority of the working world, yet for some reason, the vast majority of enterprise technology is built for office-based employees with regular access to the internet, emails and desktop computers. To give you an idea of how rapidly this trend is growing, investment in technology for frontline workers has increased more than 5x in the last decade. Companies like Microsoft, Sona and Jem are developing HR technology specifically for frontline workers which allows them to communicate with the office, access payslips, apply for leave, access their earned wages and more, wherever they are and where the work is happening.


5. Giving Employees Access To A Portion Of Their Earnings

The final emerging HR technology trend we’re highlighting for 2023 is the concept of on-demand pay (or earned wage access), which simply means giving employees access to a portion of their earned wages as they earn it. It’s becoming increasingly popular with companies whose employees regularly take loans to make ends meet. Many of these employees borrow from loan sharks and other predatory lenders. This leads to higher levels of absenteeism and lower productivity, not to mention the fact that employees fall into debt cycles that they can rarely escape. Because on-demand pay allows employees to receive a portion of their wages before their next scheduled payday, it addresses their immediate financial needs without exposing themselves to mounting debt and exploitation from lenders. On-demand pay is gaining popularity globally with companies like Amazon, the NHS, and Walmart all offering it to their employees. It offers a flexible and accessible solution for employees while also supporting organizations in retaining and attracting top talent. Jem offers an On-Demand Pay solution that employees can access via WhatsApp, also making it ideal for frontline workers.

With so many HR technology trends shaping the way we work, you need to consider the best solution for your business context. If you have large contingents of deskless workers, your main consideration should be whether the technologies you implement are accessible to them. At Jem, our key focus is on building HR and payroll technology that cuts costs, saves time, and importantly, works just as well for frontline workers as it does for their desk-based counterparts. If you’re ready to take a step forward in your digitisation journey, contact and someone from our team will get in touch.


Simon Ellis

Simon is the CEO of Jem, an African technology company that is making HR & Payroll easier using WhatsApp.