Making our research visible and accessible

Through structural and recurrent research, we turn HR into a source of value for our customers, their businesses and employees. By sharing our findings in various ways, we inform, inspire and prompt interesting new questions. Let’s take a look at some of our research projects in 2023.

The goal of our research initiatives is twofold: it allows us to better tailor our products to our customers’ needs, while helping them make well-informed business decisions that are based on the latest stats, insights and trends.
Lorenzo Andolfi
Senior HR Researcher

Highlights of The Perfect Match


online survey by SD Worx


February 2023


16,000+ employees and nearly 5,000 HR directors in 16 European countries


Through this large-scale research, we identified 3 critical areas where HR teams often face a mismatch of priorities and expectations between stakeholders: HR digitalisation, talent management and flexible working.

Our research revealed, among other insights, that …


1 in 3 European employees would leave their employers because of a poor digital workplace.


4 in 10 employers still struggle to attract the right talent to their businesses.


only 45% of employees are satisfied with their work-life balance.

So, there was work to be done. Based on these remarkable results, we created a dedicated web page, 3 e-books, 20+ blog posts, 4 customer stories, press releases, email banners, videos, podcasts, infographics, visual quotes and fun quizzes to share our most remarkable survey findings a year long.

The objective of the campaign was to address prevalent HR obstacles while synchronising priorities to ensure that our customers’ HR strategies are in line with the requirements of their teams, businesses, and personnel. This approach aims to nurture organisational success and promote sustainable growth.
Marie Dalleur
Brand Content Manager

Payroll Proficiency Index in a nutshell


online survey by SD Worx


3 waves, spread over 2021, 2022 and 2023


8103 companies spread over 28 countries

Payroll in Europe is notoriously complex. To better understand the differences in payroll processes between countries, we research this topic in depth each year. For our 2023 Payroll Proficiency Index, we asked our respondents to assess the impact of 6 payroll drivers: legislation, reward, technology, capability, workforce and partner. The country-specific averages reveal how proficient companies perceive themselves in running a smooth payroll:

  • Get clear insight in payroll reality in Europe
  • How easy / complex is handling payroll? What drives proficiency?
  • Scores from 1 to 100: the higher the score, the higher the payroll proficiency.

5 key takeaways for 2023


Serbia tops the bill, France flops: Serbia is the most proficient country for payroll. On the bottom of our index: France.


Legislation remains the main obstacle for payroll proficiency: France, Belgium, Switzerland Austria, Germany and Croatia specifically highlight that the socio-legal legislation in their countries significantly hinders their payroll processing success. Norway experiences the least negative impact of legislation on payroll handling.


Most countries prefer in-house payroll handling over external: countries outsourcing payroll recognise its added value, yet Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark encounter challenges in collaborating with external partners.


On-premise software peaks: majority uses on-premise software (52%), followed by cloud-only (1 in 3), and 12% use both.


Digitalisation improves the costs of payroll: overall, technology has the biggest positive impact on data collection and integration, especially in Slovenia. Germany encounters the fewest benefits.

Sharing our research at UNLEASH World


In October 2023 we were present at UNLEASH World, a two-day HR conference and exhibition, where we hosted multiple learning and networking events.


  • At the SD Worx booth we tackled many HR questions through a series of discovery sessions and live demonstrations.
  • During our speaker session, Global Product Manager Payroll at SD Worx, Jeroen Wielens, explained how we tailor our SAP offering to help organisations improve their unique payroll strategies.
  • At our interactive roundtable: ‘Solving your digital puzzle: find your perfect match amidst the digital HR landscape’, experts engaged in a lively discussion on how to align technology with the needs of the business, HR teams and employees alike. SD Worx led the discussion, triggered by our shared insights from The Perfect Match survey.

4 takeaways from our roundtable


As technology evolves, HR professionals must balance tradition with innovation.


After acquisitions, HR departments must blend different IT systems to unify the company culture and brand, which is made harder when employees lack access to necessary technology.


In a time when talent is scattered across the globe, HR must be included in company IT roadmaps. Prioritiing talent and recruitment becomes vital, especially for global companies.


Convincing stakeholders of the value of HR initiatives poses a challenge due to differing ROI measurements and the gap between employee expectations and outcomes. Building bridges is key.

Main HR trends we spotted on UNLEASH World

CEO’s increased focus on transformation

In a tough business climate where the economy is slowing down and there’s a shortage of skilled workers, CEOs focus more on changing their organisations rather than just getting things done. At the same time, they want to boost productivity and skills, so it’s crucial to address employee stress and work-related burnout with comprehensive workforce programs.

AI is here to stay

AI is changing how we work, making companies think of ways how it can help employees become highly efficient. To make this happen, HR practices need to evolve to encourage creativity and fully harness everyone’s skills.

HR tech market consolidation

In the HR tech world, companies are streamlining their tools, thus fewer options are available. Big players like Microsoft and Google are getting into the game and smaller HR tech companies are being bought up by bigger players.