Things are changing faster than ever it’s so obvious that it almost isn’t worth saying any more. Some changes are pretty great, like curbside pick-up for instance. Others are not so great, like learning to wear a mask when out in public. Navigating change is tough – for individuals, for government agencies, and for businesses. But when the changes are legal mandates imposed on businesses, it doesn’t matter if meeting the requirements is simple and straightforward or incredibly complex and arcane – businesses have to step up and prove compliance. If they can’t, they face a host of negative consequences like fines or hits to brand reputation. 

Even before the pandemic, we were seeing a rise in the number of government regulations around the world and a rise in the pace of changes to regulations. Throw in the uncertainty of the pandemic and pretty much every organization in nearly every country is looking at new rules for managing workforce health and safety. As the situation evolves and more data comes in about what works and what doesn’t, those rules are in continual flux. 

The good news is that this is a problem that technology can streamline and simplify, as long as the tech provider fully understands and embraces the scope and complexity of the problem. The other good news is that SAP has nearly 50 years of experience in solving the world’s most complex problems and SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management Suite works to provide embedded automated support for managing regulatory changes in more than 100 countries. 

What Types of Regulations?

Right now, we’re seeing rapid change in three main categories of regulation: 

Employee Health and Safety
Many industries, such as manufacturing, mining, and energy production, have long had robust health and safety programs designed to keep plant and field workers safe and productive. In the wake of the pandemic, those existing programs need to be extended to include office workers at corporate headquarters, while other ‘less hazardous’ industries such banking or retail suddenly find that they need far more robust workforce safety training and tracking. 

Data Privacy and Security
When the EU passed the General Data Privacy Rule in 2016, the rest of the world had no choice but to take notice, and many other countries also passed legislation outlining how personal information needed to be managed and used – or not. For employers, this has had a massive impact on how they manage personally identifiable information (PII) of their employees. They must appropriately manage and secure the data, obtain explicit consent from employees to store or process their data, and handle change audits and data purges in a manner that meets local laws. 

Corporate Malfeasance
After the 2008 global recession caused by unexamined banking processes, governments across the world have instituted financial transparency and reporting regulations designed to prevent financial instability.

How Can HR Technology Help Manage Regulatory Compliance? 

HR technology can help streamline and optimize compliance by digitizing and automating compliance management, enabling monitoring of workforce qualifications, and offering learning solutions to bring workers up to speed. It also needs to provide embedded support that goes beyond mere translation and initial configuration. For an HR solution to be fully globalized, it needs to provide not only basic translation to local languages, but also the ability to display local currencies and local formatting for fields like name and address. In addition, it needs to provide ongoing updates for regulations, proactively pushing them forward so systems stay up-to-date. 

The SAP SuccessFactors Difference

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll customers in over 100 countries are supported by more than 200 in-country product managers who analyze local legal requirements and prioritize software adaptations to support regulatory changes. More than 300 product developers are responsible for implementing statutory and legal changes into SAP SuccessFactors solutions. These changes are automatically shared, working to simplify and streamline the compliance process. 

For a deeper dive into the power of SAP’s localized HCM software, read the full report, Fulfill Regulatory Requirements with a Localized Human Capital Management Approach. 

Barbara Ocain is global executive advisor at SAP SuccessFactors.