How a successful payroll outsourcing relationship can optimise your employees’ experience
Article 5 minute read

How a successful payroll outsourcing relationship can optimise your employees’ experience

01 July 2021

The employee experience (EX) is how an employee perceives the company overall and their role within it. It impacts everything in a business, from workplace culture to talent retention and even productivity. When the employee experience is positive, employees are happy, engaged and able to get their work done efficiently. It has a knock-on effect that ripples throughout the company.

With many businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic – and remote working becoming the norm, in some instances – it is arguably more important than ever for companies to put the interests of their staff at the forefront of their concerns and, believe it or not, seamless payroll processing has a key role to play in this.

Why should payroll processing impact EX?

Regardless of their size, companies need to get their payroll right every single pay period or risk dissatisfying employees, resulting in low productivity and disengagement. This is one of the reasons why having “just” a payroll provider doesn’t do the trick. Companies need to have a payroll partner that is flexible enough to be able to adapt to the company’s growth and specific needs.

Some providers state that this can be done with the right payroll software, but it takes more than good technology to impact a client’s employee experience positively.

And this is a lesson that companies entering the outsourcing world for the first time sometimes learn the hard way.

What could possibly go wrong?

In short, many factors can contribute to errors when processing a company’s payroll, which consequently create a negative impact on the employee experience. These can include:

  • local regulatory complexity that entails deduction calculations and mandatory local benefits;
  • having to process payroll in multiple countries, which translates into a diverse spectrum of regulatory complexities in each of their local languages;
  • security protocols to maintain data privacy compliance;
  • integration with different platforms (HCMs, T&A, ERPs, etc.); and
  • the need to generate different types of reporting.

The World Economic Forum has stated that there’s a worldwide epidemic of poor mental health and related illnesses. Employers have a duty to their employees to pay them correctly and on time, to avoid creating unnecessary anxiety.

Partnering with a payroll provider

We believe that an outsourcing provider should be an extension of a client’s payroll team, forming a strong, flexible partnership which evolves as the client’s needs do, with a feeling of being one team.

It is a combination of understanding the client’s needs and having:

  • a partnership approach in the relationship;
  • a healthy and fluent communication in place;
  • proper SLAs in place (and compliance with them); and
  • the local knowledge;

…along with the technology that enables all of the above.

In the complex payroll outsourcing environment, the goal is to establish partnerships by creating and building up trust and open relationships where a client’s corporate culture is well understood and aligned with by the outsourcing provider, to create a delivery model which can support the client, while providing exceptional customer service that fits both clients’ business needs and improves their employee experience.

In order to achieve this, clients expect and require innovative and forward-looking thinking, to always find ways to simplify a complex world. In business, speed matters. Many business decisions and actions have a direct impact on the employee experience. Quality service, flexibility, adaptability, cooperation and a quick, solution-oriented approach, is critical to acquiring and retaining clients and keeping their employees happy.

A successful payroll process should underpin an employee’s feeling of being a company’s most valued asset.

What contributes to a great client employee experience is always getting paid accurately and on time, having an understanding of ‘how things work’ by receiving uncomplicated guidance, having a single easy and secure access to personal and company documents.

“Our staff are our most important asset”. Many companies have made that statement over the years but there may still be employees who think that the business is placing a higher value on technology and/or the company’s profitability. Personalisation is the future in the HRP outsourcing world.

The role of technology in the payroll outsourcing world

At TMF Group, we see technology as an element that facilitates the payroll process. For us, the role of our people remains the critical factor for successfully processing payroll.

Technology is important but is a means to an end. The service capability wrapped around whatever technology it may be, along with the knowledge of local jurisdictions, is where the value is really added. Typically, the market is enamoured with technology, but the mechanics of flawless execution and good experience is about the team that makes best use that technology.

Clients are looking for a seamless process, driven by professionals who recognise where things can go wrong. It’s critical to tightly integrate with the client to understand the culture of their business practices, how they operate, where they typically make mistakes and how to leverage our experience with them.

The ability to be flexible and adapt to a client’s business practices is critical to delivering the outcome that they want. There can be nuances, be it from country by country, between business practices, or cultural differences, and that’s where the value of a partnership comes to the fore. The payroll provider may have strong standards – it should actually be a must – but they should also be malleable enough to fit nicely with the client’s unique culture.

How can TMF Group help?

We are not “just” a payroll provider. We take a partnership approach with our clients, we adapt our services to their specific needs and processes.

Visit our Global Payroll and HR services webpage to learn how we can help you optimise your employees’ experience.

Written by

John Barker and Desi Stoyanova

Global Service Delivery Lead and Client Service Director

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