Enhanced Payroll Technology Can Improve the Employee Experience

Enhanced payroll technologies and tools allow companies to improve their employee work experience and increase employee interaction, a payroll systems professional said May 11.

The four major milestones in an employee’s career with a company are recruitment, their first day of work, promotions, and their retirement, said Andrew Rivkin, the global systems integrator director at Workforce Solutions. Payroll impacts each major milestone and creates smaller milestones for employees in the form of regular paydays, he said.

“Payday is not one of the top four milestones for an employee, but payday completely affects the employee experience,” he said. “Did I get paid correctly? Are my leave absence balances right?”

Employees seldom communicate with their employer’s payroll office unless they identify a problem with their pay and many do not even use the payroll tools that the company offers, he added. This lack of communication can increase barriers between payroll offices and the employees they are trying to serve, he said.

“One thing you need to do is try to remove the barriers and obstacles to tools that will help employees to interact better and have better communication to improve their overall employee experience,” Rivkin said. “Gallup tells us that companies with highly engaged employees were 22% more profitable.”

Enhancing payroll technologies can allow payroll offices to communicate with employees quickly and effectively. For example, payroll offices can add individual employee overtime preferences to their system so companies know who to contact if overtime work is available, he said.

“You really need to give employees access to tools that are easy to use through systems that they use every day,” he said. “Normal employees don’t use payroll unless they’re getting paid. They’re using more workforce management systems to record their time and absences and breaks. These systems have communication capabilities now so that employers can communicate with employees though that system, not ask them to go to a separate system to communicate.”

For the first time in U.S. history, five different generations are in the workforce at the same time, and payroll technologies must be flexible and easy to use for all of those workers, Rivkin added. Employers should teach employees how to use new payroll technologies, especially older employees that may be close to retirement and are less willing to adopt workplace changes, he said.

Potential Compliance Concerns

Any updates to payroll technologies should be personalized to ensure that employers are complying with various state employment and labor laws, and good technologies can improve compliance, Rivkin said at the American Payroll Association’s 40th Payroll Congress.

For example, earned wage access is currently a popular payroll development that can decrease employee turnover and improve employee motivation, but many states have laws that restrict its use, he added. Payroll professionals that want to establish an earned wage access benefit for employees should work with consultants and attorneys to develop benefits programs that comply with labor laws, he said.

“You need a type of system where you can track people and pay people on a shift-by-shift-basis,” he said. “If you can put this type of solution in place, you can positively affect millions of employees.”

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