March 24, 2022 Payroll Support

Payroll Support as a Tool for Employee Retention and Recruitment

Competitive advantage is not a new concept for those well-versed in the business world. Finding out what sets your business apart and developing it can slingshot a ‘good’ company to a ‘great’ company. However, the term competitive advantage doesn’t just stop at product or service offerings, especially in today’s business environment. Arguably one of the most important competitive advantages that a company can have right now is the ability to recruit and retain top-level talent.

Give Employees What They Actually Want 

We’re deep into a historical time period that many are dubbing “The Great Resignation”. There’s no denying that it’s an employee’s market, and many companies are having to get creative when it comes to ways to attract and keep essential employees. “People don’t want just pay raises anymore, you have to look at how to retain employees in a completely different way than we ever had before,” explains Ana Woods-Hill, CPP and manager of Payroll Services at Wise Consulting. While salary increases are always alluring, many in the workforce are looking for more than just a bigger paycheck. Now, internal elements including culture, morale, and more personal benefits can be leveraged as a huge competitive advantage in recruitment and retention. 

In fact, Forbes claims that the future of work is going to be centered around employee well-being. They claim that 62% of employees have identified well-being benefits as a key factor in deciding whether to apply to a new job. This is especially true for younger generations and employees with children–these two groups are much more likely to demand a work-life balance and flexibility than prior to the pandemic. 

No Employee Left Behind

On the surface, increased benefits may seem as simple as offering unlimited PTO, monthly company-wide mental health days, sabbaticals, or “Summer Fridays”. However, if your company hasn’t invested in internal infrastructure, you’re in for a rude awakening when key employees become frustrated that they can’t cash in on the perks that initially drew them in. It can foster a feeling of being left behind.

While it may seem easy to offer your team more days away from their desks, it’s important to consider business-continuity-critical employees, such as your payroll team who typically see time off as too difficult to figure out how to take than a realistic benefit. “From a retentive standpoint, if you’re not PTO-ready, employees won’t care about PTO offers,” Woods-Hill points out with the tone of one who knows this all too well. “Not being able to deliver on this will only breed resentment–no one cares about floating holidays that they won’t be able to take.” 

The relentless nature of payroll makes it feel nearly impossible for most payroll staff to splurge on multi-day vacations. “For the first few years of my career, the only consecutive days I took off were because I was in the hospital,” says Woods-Hill. “But, that’s payroll.” In many instances, companies only have one point-of-failure when it comes to payroll processes, and if that individual or team isn’t in office to make sure the process runs smoothly it doesn’t get done. Woods-Hill suggests that it’s time to remove that negative ‘no time for vacation’ payroll stigma.

For too long, many businesses have accepted this rigidity as par for the course–they couldn’t afford to let their payroll staff spend the time out of office they were due. However, in today’s environment, you can’t afford to not let employees take PTO, no matter what department they work in. 

Build A Better Payroll Backup System

Changing this narrative is a bit of a passion project for Woods-Hill and her team. “If I could leave a legacy, it would be for payroll people to not feel panicked by the thought of taking time off,” she affirms. “Some may feel that they never get a Christmas, New Year’s, or that they can’t afford to take any time off from November to April.” This lack of PTO-use freedom is something many have been dealing with for far too long. Payroll professionals are accustomed to, and in some cases fed up with helplessly watching 

their PTO days pile into weeks, not because they don’t want to plan the fun vacations their coworkers enjoy, but because responsibility for the never-ending payroll cycle (and the resulting payment of everyone in the company) has felt inescapable. 

One of the biggest things Woods-Hill and her team see clients failing to capitalize on is implementing payroll support at some level. Having a team of expert consultants on standby allows the payroll team to feel free to plan and take their days off without guilt or feeling the weight of catch-up work hanging over their heads. “How great would it be to use our payroll support services as a way to retain talent, because you know that at any point in the year, you have a reliable backup person. You can always have stress-free PTO,” says Woods-Hill. 

Seeing A Challenge as an Opportunity 

“We know that everyone’s in turmoil right now,” says Woods-Hill. “But, this can be capitalized on. The next time that an essential employee is planning to be out on PTO, come in and try temporary payroll.” Woods-Hill and her team understand that some clients view temporary payroll support as a sampler menu of more comprehensive payroll services. It allows a client to test the waters and discover the benefits of having certified, payroll professionals dependably on call without the commitment to fully outsourcing their payroll function.

“Temporary payroll support is great for when someone is out on days or weeks of PTO,” says Woods-Hill. The Wise temporary support team can be that reliable, qualified stop-gap measure. “However, when you lose someone and you need more support, it’s going to be a little bit different.” At that point, the Wise support team can seamlessly transition a client to long-term support or Flexible Managed Payroll, taking on the payroll functions that need to reliably be 100% compliant and accurate every single cycle. “If you’re enlisting managed payroll support, you have a full-service team that’s on-demand,” Woods-Hill explains. “It’s so much more comprehensive in terms of that total support network.” 

Consult With A Wise Expert About Payroll Support 

Investing the time and energy in evaluating payroll support options is something that will pay you back tenfold. Current employees will feel empowered to take advantage of the leave perks you offer and your backup payroll support system can be a competitive advantage when recruiting payroll talent. If you’re looking for a way to increase retention and recruit top-level talent, it’s time to think outside the box. Consult with our team of payroll experts on how you can leverage payroll support to relieve stress from the payroll experience. 

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