12 Best Practices to Totally Transform Your Payroll World


ppm logo - Edited (2)

My recent articles have aroused passionate discussion and poignant feedback from the payroll industry globally. Overwhelmingly people claimed that payroll as a function is held in low esteem and many who perform the often-thankless task, are not deemed professionals by those that employ and manage them.

Crystal balls and magic payroll buttons aside, the question left at the end of the day is “How do we turn the tide?” Well here’s how! If we utilise all of our previously unobserved knowledge to deliver first-rate value add products, services and insights for employees, business managers and other stakeholders, there will be a paradigm shift. Guaranteed! People will begin to acknowledge the complexity of payroll and come to value the true worth of our knowledge.

Mahatma Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”. So let’s do it payroll professionals! Let’s be, and lead the change!

Reading the Linkedin and other feedback from the “magic payroll button” article left me saddened more often than not. There are people who have committed to getting the job done through hell and high water for as much as 40 years and still feel that no-one truly understands the effort or personal commitment it takes to get the job done. We endure late nights, miss out on our family and postpone life. Many of us are refused leave at Christmas time and work public holidays year in and year out.

At the other end of the spectrum, there seems to be an abundance of those same payrollers with an absolute sense of humour and the ability to brush off the negative, step up and say “OK! What’s next?”

So here it is! Here’s the “What Next”. Over the coming 12 weeks, starting on Monday, I’m delivering a payroll innovation per week for you to implement. To some of us, these are hardly innovative, but every time I’ve stepped into an organisation, many of these are usually the first steps I take to quickly turnaround the perception of the service. They are easy wins. Take 12 weeks or 12 months to implement these ideas, it’s your call, but you will begin to live in a new world when you start to move down this path.

The 12 payroll innovations were selected to not only highlight your expertise to all “customers” of the payroll service, but also as they are key areas for time and cost efficiency gains and they will see you on your way to delivering service excellence. Any decent benchmarking program will focus on these areas as measurables. Here’s the list of the 12 innovations that are coming (and not necessarily in the same order):

1- Creating a knowledge base (for employees, managers, administrators and your payroll team)
2- Give your employees a “pay rise” by implementing programs with tax advantages
3- Becoming a vital information resource for Business Units and Finance
4- Creating a seamless New Employee Process for the whole organisation
5- Identifying and eliminating pain points for your team and customers
6- Creating valuable services and staff benefits via your third party creditors
7- Implementing error rates analysis to reap the rewards of superior service and cost and time efficiencies
8- Automation 101 – The Essentials of Automating Payroll Processes
9- Utilising Your HRIS or Payroll System for all its worth
10- Extracting the absolute maximum out of a limited training budget
11- Creating functional masterpieces with excel
12- Restructuring your payroll processes to create efficiency gains and service specialisations

While you await the first article, I will intoduce you to author Ron Kaufman and his book “Up Your Service!”. It’s an absolutely brilliant game changer! I came across this book years ago and now it’s a well worn management tool. Do yourself a favour and sign up for the Up Your Service! Insights newsletter at http://www.RonKaufman.com At the very least.

Ron explains the term “perception points” and how to radically shift other peoples’ perception of us by spending some quality time analysing our perception points. He does this in the easiest to read, bite sized and palpable chunks. If you are not converted by page 5, I’ll be surprised. In a rather large nutshell, the book tells us, if we didn’t realise already, that we have to accept some of the responsibility for how we are perceived. Absolutely every tiny detail we present to the world matters!

Step one in changing others perception of ourselves, is to look within and to examine what we are projecting. With the Up Your Service! book in hand, you will be keen to scrutinise yourself carefully, your team and your physical surroundings. You will understand the absolute importance of ensuring total professionalism in the end product of your services and begin to look at everything from the perspective of your customers service experiences and their five senses.

The whole concept of Ron Kaufmans “perception points” is that every time someone experiences a sight, smell, taste, sound or a feeling they are perceiving and your job is to ensure the perception you aspire to.

To begin the process, stop being the payroll manager for a moment, put your customer hat on and start observing your service. Stand at the entry door to your pay office and be your customer. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel? Is your office or workspace organised? Are your people welcoming? What do people get to physically see and touch from you? Does it make you proud? Cringe? Or just acknlowledge that it could be a little better?

Are your emails professional? Do you have forms that look like they’ve been photocopied a trillion times over the last 20 years? Are there archive boxes, filing and enough piles of paper around your office to give your Safety Representative a heart attack? Does everything you present say we are professionals and we are proud of our work?

Listen to the phone calls and empathise with the person on the other end of the phone. Attempt to understand if there is a deeper layer of concern to the questions being asked or objections being put forward. Are you and your team providing superior service or are you simply telling customers to buzz off in the nicest possible way? How do you show them that you actually exist to serve them?

To stand up and be noticed, we need to be someone of worth, or do something of worth. It’s time to change the course of history and start putting payroll on the corporate agenda… but it’s up to us to work on changing our world from the inside before we can start expecting the slightest change of mindset by a majority of those on the outside.

Join us on the journey by following this blog (top left of this page) or joining The Professional Payroll Manager group on Linkedin and each Monday your next step will be in your Inbox. I would love to have actual conversations along the way about your successes, your issues and any ideas and questions you want to share.

I am also trying to purchase bulk copies of Ron Kaufmans books, so if you would like to purchase through me via paypal, message me at any of my social media contacts and I’ll keep you posted when I’ve received a definitive reply.

(C) 2012, Louise Vidler

Follow on Twitter @louisevidler
Join the discussion via Linkedin group: The Professional Payroll Manager

Advertisements

5 Comments to “12 Best Practices to Totally Transform Your Payroll World”

  1. This is a very helpful article regarding payroll processes. Business owners and payroll masters will surely find these insights both helpful and informative. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Some really superb articles on this web site , thankyou for contribution.

  3. Louise, I’m really looking forward to this series. Thank you for your diligence and great writing!
    Joni

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: