Creating digitally-competitive SMEs – BusinessMirror

There is no better time for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to go digital than today. With the rise of digital banks and social media e-commerce store integrations, it’s no secret that the next business strategy is to go digital. MSMEs should also level up their digital game and transform how they conduct business.
“Philippine SMEs may have a small name, but they make up for it in sheer bulk and their significant impact on the economy of the nation. More than 2.5 million jobs have been created by SMEs alone in the Philippines, demonstrating the importance of these businesses to the progress of the country. It is essential that SMEs go digital as the country expands its technological capabilities and digital capacities,” Sri Coles, CEO of SunFish DataOn Philippines, Inc., shares.
Many MSMEs already had to invest in digital tools and programs to ensure business continuity while securing the health and safety of their workforce. One is to reduce their on-site employees. Their human resources departments quickly implemented digital changes and enforced a work-from-home setup. Such changes include providing hardware and software that enables employees to work remotely, premium accounts to video conferencing platforms, and an employee attendance tracker.
But what if there is a way to streamline all these digital platforms for more efficient company operations?
This shift to efficient digital systems begins with the organization’s HR department. The HR team plays a crucial role in adopting digital processes and programs that will benefit the entire organization and its workforce. In fact, digital transformation should start with them. Employee data collection and management, payroll services, and employee engagement are key areas that have to immediately undergo a digital transformation so that a complete transition to a hybrid work setup will be seamless.
Fortunately for the HR department and the company, digital tools are readily available and customizable based on the company’s needs. Tools like HRIS software are available to aid the business’s first steps toward digitalization: a cloud-based workspace. A cloud-based workspace allows employees to work wherever and collaborate as one team. And an HRIS software provider like GreatDay HR has Filipino businesses in mind.
“Through the GreatDay HR tool, which can help them with all the tedious manual work of maintaining a payroll, keeping track of time, etc., we would like to partner with these MSMEs and help them focus on the more important tasks,” Ms. Coles mentions.
HRIS and payroll software these days are also tailored to Filipinos by considering the country’s taxes and government deductions. Software like this enables the MSMEs a smooth transition from manual encoding to managing employee data and engagement. Once the department understands how the software works, it can slowly cascade its implementation across the organization.
This is the first step to creating a digitally-competitive MSME. But how does one know if the company is ready to take this first step? Here are questions to help the HR team assess the business’s and employee’s capacity and favorability.
Payroll and HRIS software with varying features and pricing saturate the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry. Finding the right software for the business needs involves revisiting the company’s vision, mission, and key objectives. The software might have all the bells and whistles, but does the organization need all these? Reviewing the company objectives and mission helps track the best offer available for the budget.
Consider HRIS providers that offer a free online session and walkthrough of the platform. This will give the organization an overview of how the software will look like and its features in action, while also getting immediate feedback on their questions regarding the platform.
The organization might have the optimal software, but are the employees ready for this transition? Companies have personnel with varying degrees of confidence and knowledge when handling tech. This is why it is important that this transition begins with the HR department. Consider the workforce population and their knowledge and comfortability in handling digital tools. Some questions to ask include:
Whatever their response to the questions above, the best step is to introduce digitalization to them gradually. They will be using the platform long-term. It is best if they see the importance of this transition, particularly once the hybrid work setup is in effect.
Explain the benefits of the platform and why digitization is necessary for businesses today. Then, make sure to schedule an orientation to guide the employees on navigating and using the HRIS software.
Fear, curiosity, and excitement are valid emotional responses to unknown or unfamiliar territory. Introducing new systems and ways of working are some of those unfamiliar territories. In time, and with the support of the software staff, navigating and using the software will be a breeze.
A hybrid work setup is the foreseeable future of organizations here in the Philippines. This setup highlights the need for companies to invest in HRIS that engages on-site and online employees. While video-conferencing software prevails in the work-from-home setup, there are various software that integrate this virtual huddle with other functional features that the organization can take advantage of.
An HRIS software with video calls, performance management, and employee-led filing and scheduling is a good investment for any organization. These features give employees the confidence and assurance that they can perform their tasks with the company, wherever they may be. These features also promote proactivity on the employee’s part as everything is on one platform. The employee can set meetings, file leaves, and even update their information – and the HR team does not have to lift a finger.
Once the employee schedules a performance review, files their leaves or overtime, or updates their information, the HR team has to approve and endorse these to the employee’s immediate supervisor for approval. And all these are done under one platform.
The HR team should be free from time-consuming activities and focus on honing competent and achieving employees. A full-suite HRIS and payroll software tailor-fit for Filipinos can aid the department in upskilling and engaging employees more. A platform like this already considers relevant Philippine holidays and automatically calculates tax and government deductions, so the team no longer has to. This also lessens potential errors when calculating the payroll.
Local HRIS software, like GreatDay HR, has local customer support. Companies have access to support that understands the local work setup and can accommodate the questions or concerns better.
Creating digitally-competitive MSMEs begins with a local payroll and HRIS software that understands the Philippine market. There are lesser configurations and a more targeted platform for Philippine companies by availing one. The next step is to use the data gathered from the software to create more growth opportunities that the company can explore.
“By fusing together processes, data, and customers, digitalization has the potential to totally restructure and transform how organizations conduct their daily operations,” Ms. Cole states. “Data collection, increased efficiency, better products and services, and employee empowerment are a few advantages of digitalization and reasons why small businesses in the Philippines should move toward it.”
GreatDay HR is one of the platforms offered by SunFish DataOn Philippines Inc. (SDP), the leading provider of cutting-edge Human Resources technology solutions used by thousands of companies in the Asia Pacific region, including the Philippines. Together, with its sister companies, Humanica Thailand and DataOn Indonesia, SDP creates human resources systems and solutions for employee empowerment across the board.  With its 80+ staff and growing in the Philippines, SDP offers a comprehensive and smooth support service to all its valued clients.
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