Global HR 11 min

Employee management software for global teams

Written by Barbara Matthews
April 26, 2024
Barbara Matthews


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As companies grow, managing employee information and payroll becomes increasingly complex and time-consuming. So it’s no wonder that HR technology has become a staple for businesses looking to streamline and automate their employee management processes.

Employee management software eases HR responsibilities by streamlining complicated and tedious work so you have more time for important tasks.

In this article, we explore what employee management software is, unlock its features and benefits, and explore the best HR solution to grow your global team.

What is employee management software?

Employee management software (EMS) refers to technology that streamlines time tracking, performance monitoring, and other tasks related to managing your team.

An EMS usually goes beyond traditional HR tasks by offering a comprehensive set of features that enhance employee experience and productivity.

This type of software boosts workforce productivity by streamlining business-to-employee relations, concentrating them in a single platform. In most cases, it does this by automating labor-intensive administrative tasks that take hours to complete manually. 

Employee management software also guides businesses as they grow by collecting data that drives strategic planning.

Additionally, employee management software benefits employers and employees alike by facilitating frequent and efficient conversation. It provides a hub for professional communication and clearly defines a company’s reporting structures so employees know who to contact in different scenarios. 

Most employee management software supports the following: 

  • Managing the employee experience: It centralizes all employee-related HR processes, such as time and attendance, scheduling, and employee data management. 

  • Measuring employee progress: The software supports onboarding, training, and upskilling processes. By monitoring employee progress, it alerts managers when assistance is needed and keeps them in the loop as employees learn and grow.  

  • Tracking employee data: You have access to data to make company-wide decisions. Employee management software stores and organizes employee data, often providing reports and analytics to help companies make informed decisions.

  • Recognizing achievements: It gives you tools to help employees feel valued and appreciated. These features also help employers identify areas that need improvement and employees who might be falling behind. 

  • Effective communication: EMS can include communication tools between team members and their managers. They can also support collaboration tools for employee engagement among team members.

Businesses of any size can (and do) use employee management software. In fact, 80% of small businesses in the US already use or plan to use HR software. The EMS market expects to reach USD 12.57 billion by 2032.

The widespread adoption of employee management software shows how helpful technology can be when running a business. With an efficient management system, HR managers can focus on employee experience and development. As a result, employees enjoy a better work environment with personalized career growth opportunities.

How much does employee management software cost?

Management solutions can range from as little as $4 to $445 per month or higher. Costs vary according to functionality and the size of the business.

You want to choose an employee management software solution that your business can afford to stay with as you grow. This can take some time and research, but it prevents the need to adjust to a new system every time you outgrow the current one. 

When searching for a system to suit your budget, keep an eye out for the following: 

  • Free trials

  • Free plans for small teams 

  • Basic plans with limited features 

  • Reduced pricing plans for small-to-medium-sized businesses

  • Annual plans that work out to be more affordable than month-to-month payments 

For example, an HR Management software like Remote is free to use to hire, onboard and manage your global team.

Key features of employee management software

While many employment management solutions offer generalized functionality, more and more service providers are realizing the value of specialization. 

Depending on your work setup and needs, you can work with a general system that covers all employee management bases or choose a specialized system that fulfills a specific set of needs.

Here are the most common features of employee management systems:

Onboarding and training

A good onboarding experience helps employees be productive. It even increases new hire retention by 82%, helping companies retain talent they worked hard to find. 

Employee management software can organize training resources and documents to help new hires feel confident as they adjust to your company. Training resources can cover anything from company culture to software education.

Time and attendance management

Manual attendance tracking is often inaccurate and incomplete. Digital timesheets remove the risk of human error and ensure accurate time-tracking records, both of which are essential when managing payroll. 

Time and attendance data also allows managers support their team members to take sufficient time off to recharge. For example, a leader can encourage a team member to recharge or adjust their workload if the employee is missing holidays or constantly working overtime.

Payroll management

An employee management solution with payroll processing functionalities helps you pay employees accurately and on time. 

Payroll software goes hand in hand with time and attendance management when employees are paid hourly. Having both functionalities within the same management system makes processing payroll a seamless and satisfying experience.

Employee scheduling

Scheduling features are especially important for hybrid and remote organizations. Remote team members can have full visibility on their team's schedule so they adjust accordingly.

Employee scheduling functions also allow you to schedule meetings quickly and create a standardized process for employees when requesting time off.

Development and upskilling

Growth opportunities go a long way toward boosting employee motivation since they keep employees engaged. Providing ample employee development opportunities helps your employees stay productive and feel satisfied with their work. 

Employees are also more likely to remain loyal to your company if they know they have opportunities for growth and upskilling. Fostering employee loyalty is an important aspect of retention, especially when 50% of employees are open to leaving their organization at any given time. 

Employee management software can store and organize development and upskilling documentation, links to video tutorials or online courses, and more.

Employee database 

An employee database or employee directory forms the foundation for nearly all employee management systems. It’s responsible for recording and storing personal information throughout the entire employee lifecycle. 

Most employee data management platforms store the following employee data:

  • Name

  • Birth date  

  • Address

  • Job title 

  • Job description or list of responsibilities 

  • Hire date

  • Salary information 

  • Emergency contact details 

Some platforms also record time-off information, benefits information, important medical notes, and a list of skills and certifications.  

Employee management software often comes with reporting and analytics tools, which provide insights into employee demographics and behavior. And because your data is stored digitally, it’s easy to access and update employee information from anywhere and at any time.

At the same time, it’s vital to choose an employee management software solution with appropriate security features to protect your company and employees. Users can log in from anywhere with a cloud-based solution, so you’ll need to take extra steps to keep your data safe. Safety and data security measures can include encryption, multi-factor authentication, and fraud detection.

Employee self-service portal

An employee self-service portal lets employees access HR-related information on their own. Employees can resolve small issues and find answers to their questions without needing to help from an HR professional.

Some self-service portals include communication capabilities for direct access to the HR department outside of business hours, which is useful for time-off requests, open enrollment questions, inquiries about company policies, or scheduling conflicts. These communication features save precious time by automatically creating a written communication record.

employee management software

The benefits of employee management software

To summarize the above points, here are all the ways an employee management software solution can positively impact your company: 

  • Increased productivity for employees and HR personnel by cutting out time-consuming exchanges through employee self-service functionalities 

  • Improved employee experience through smoother payroll processes, increased employee self-sufficiency, and upskilling opportunities 

  • Actionable insights through accurate reporting made using employee activity data

  • Compliance support to assist with payroll management, tax filings, and benefits administration

  • Secure employee data through multi-factor authentication, data encryption and fraud detection

Unique HR challenges for global-first companies

Even with all their features and benefits, most employee management systems are unable to handle global-first organizations. 

A global-first company is a business that operates on a global scale by recruiting international employees and prioritizing global expansion. Global-first doesn’t necessarily mean remote-first, but rather that the company holds its global team at the forefront of its planning and decision-making processes. 

More and more companies are taking a global-first approach to expansion because it gives them access to a wider talent pool and client base, increases efficiency and productivity, allows for flexible work hours, and increases company diversity. 

But being a global-first company comes with a unique set of challenges, including the following:

  • Communication: Working with an international team means dealing with multiple time zones. Global-first companies need robust communication processes to help keep distributed teams connected. 

  • Language and cultural differences: Different regions have their own social norms, communication styles, and expectations when interacting. Global-first companies need to navigate these differences with tact to build a culture that celebrates diversity.

  • Compliance: International companies need to stay on top of local requirements and laws from around the world to remain compliant. Without a system that helps them navigate these laws, they risk fines, penalties, loss of intellectual property, and business bans.

  • Complex administration: Different regions have their own requirements on benefits, leave, and time-off allowances. International companies must juggle these requirements in a way that’s fair to all employees and compliant with local standards. 

  • Global compensation: International companies need to be able to pay team members in multiple countries and use different currencies. 

  • Worker classification: Global teams need to correctly classify their team members to avoid misclassification risk. Employees and contractors are different types of workers that have unique legal requirements.

What is the purpose of employee management software for global teams?

Global employee management systems help HR professionals fulfill their duties on a global scale, addressing the challenges of managing an international team. 

Here are the most common features of global employee management systems:

Global talent acquisition 

In 2023, 34.11% of companies planned to invest in expanding their talent pool. 

If you’re looking to expand globally, your management software needs to support global onboarding. Global employee management solutions facilitate smooth onboarding with standardized, self-paced enrollment processes and training procedures that guide new hires as they adjust to your company.

Performance management 

Performance management features allow managers to track employee productivity without the need for in-person monitoring. They help managers catch when an employee is falling behind to give employees the support they need to reach their goals.

Two-way communication 

Most global employee management systems have communication features built to support asynchronous communication, or communication that doesn’t happen in real time. This is essential for teams spread over multiple time zones. 

Adopting an async communication setup allows team members or leaders to provide updates or feedback without needing anyone to be online at strange hours of the night.

Global payroll 

Managing global payroll is more complicated than paying workers in different currencies. Global teams juggle many sets of local laws on employee payments. 

Remote Payroll helps you pay your team members in countries where you own an entity, and our Contractor Management system helps you manage and pay local and global contractors compliantly.

Recognize achievements 

Employee recognition is important because it increases employee engagement, productivity, and retention rates. It also builds a positive company culture that values team members.

When managers do not see their employees in person, it’s easy to forget that they’re working hard. Global employee management systems with recognition features help remote employees feel valued and connected to the rest of the company because their work is recorded and shared.

What do you need for global HR management?

For companies expanding globally, HR professionals need to anticipate and overcome unique challenges. A costly EMS may not be the best solution for managing international teams, because not all systems are tailored for global HR.

Instead, a Global HR platform like Remote centralizes all your international HR functions in one place. Our platform is free to use, and is the only hub you need to hire, pay, and manage domestic and international employees and contractors. This means you can avoid software bloat, minimize expense, and spend less time on administrative work.

Even if you decide your business is too large for one HR solution or you need a specific HR feature, Remote Global HR can help you grow. You can integrate Remote Global HR with other EMS platforms depending on your specific needs. In this way, you have a complete view of all employment data and the ability to hire, pay, and manage a global team.

Employee management made easy with Remote

Employee management software makes HR professional’s lives easier by automating labor-intensive administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on other responsibilities. 

If your organization has a global team or is expanding internationally, a Global HR platform like Remote helps global teams of any size manage complex tasks with ease.

If you’re looking for a flexible, fast, and inexpensive HR solution for your global team, Remote is the Global HR platform you need. Simple and purpose-built, Remote lets you pay and manage your team in one place, with full visibility of employment data, leave, expenses, benefits, equity incentives, and more. 

Ready to change the way you manage global HR processes and the employee experience? Get started with Remote Global HR today.

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