by Marc Moschetto
Like most Americans, you’ve likely been inundated with advice related to COVID-19 and how to contend with the current (hopefully temporary) state of work. Of course, these are important discussions to have and the advice is extremely valuable, but it can get to a point of saturation: a point where it all seems to blend together and, at that point, it just starts to lose its impact.
So, in the spirit of breaking out of this mode a bit, we wanted to share our “top 5” list of best practices payroll professionals should be following, pandemic or no pandemic, on a regular basis. Here we go:
- Stay educated – Even under the best of circumstances, the world of regulatory pressures is in a constant state of flux. Federal policies. State and local policies. Region-specific policies. Each come with their own nuances and could potentially lead to fines, penalties, or even poor word-of-mouth that could impact your company’s ability to attract and retain talent. So, even if you are working with a payroll provider who “minds the store” on these issues on your behalf, stay conversant with the regulations impacting each of your locations, avail yourself of resources such as the American Payroll Association, and attend webinars to keep up to speed on the latest and greatest.
- Stay connected – Remember: when it comes to one of the most critical aspects of your workers’ lives – their paycheck – you are the go-to resource. You have always been a strong resource for your organization, but today more than ever, teams are looking to you for answers. Staying connected with the other members of the HR, finance, and executive teams helps you to stay in the loop on what’s going on within the four walls of the business and, when coupled with the insights you gain through the items highlighted in point 1, helps to reinforce you’re your value to your leadership team and the employees they serve.
- Be proactive / be responsive – The more “out front” you are with insights and information about payroll-related issues, trends, and topics, the better informed your entire organization can be. This will not only help to reduce the volume of questions that come in from employees, but put decisions surrounding everything from the technology stack that is implemented to the way internal policies and processes are developed, will have payroll needs taken into account. Further, when employees reach out to you with questions, be sure to respond in a timely fashion… even if the response is a simple “I’m not sure but let me look into it for you.” It’s especially important now, but it’s a great practice to adopt on an ongoing basis.
- Foster your network – One of the greatest challenges any professional faces is, once you get to a certain point in your career, you become the domain expert in your field. People will come to you for answers and advice, but it’s important that you have folks to whom you can turn for guidance as well. Invest the time to develop and cultivate a list of knowledgeable, “go-to” individuals who can become your own personal network for advice. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool and there are several different groups you can join on both a national and local basis. Many technology providers also do an exceptional job of making their experts available to clients, and there are third-parties such as MyHRCounsel who also provide great services to payroll and HR pros.
- Take care of YOU – Okay, so this particular tip does have a bit more relevance now, but it’s sage advice for any hard-working professional. For most of us, particularly those of us who work for small and mid-sized businesses, the days can get a bit long. The to-do list never seems to shrink, and email is always just a tap or swipe away, so it can be a bit tough to get away and get perspective. Just like the flight attendants tell you on the airline, when emergencies pop-up, you have to put on your oxygen mask first so you can then help those around you. The same advice holds true in the world of work: get away from your desk for lunch, take a walk around your office (or your house, or your apartment), and just get away from phones and screens. A bit of a break goes a very long way in helping you, and your team, stay centered.
Payroll is one of the most critical yet overlooked aspects of running an efficient and effective business. Flawless execution of payroll week after week goes unnoticed. However, make a small error, and the response is immediate and vocal. Increasingly complex regulatory pressures – particularly for multi-state employers – make the job of the payroll professional more challenging than ever. You deserve a partner who can simplify the complex and transform an obstacle into an opportunity.
That’s where we come in. For more than 15 years, Greenshades has been providing exceptional automated payroll, tax reporting, robust employee engagement, and comprehensive compliance solutions to mid-sized employers across North America. Today, through the cloud-based Greenshades Payroll & HR Platform, we can now support your organization on a whole new level. Learn more at www.greenshades.com.