When it comes to discussing how Human Resources can make improvements to the twenty first century workplace, topics such as increased leave or fancy desks with free coffee machines receive short-term interest and excitement. But many experts will tell that the real way to ensure employee engagement is found in far less exciting but areas such as the very important payroll system.

Eye on Engagement

Employee engagement may be the most important thing that your company isn’t watching out for: A recent study in the US recently showed that only 29% of American employees were truly “Engaged,” in the sense that they are working at 100% capacity the majority of the time and working with and for the company’s overall goals. The majority — 55% — are considered Not-Engaged, and a troubling 16% fall under the heading of Actively Disengaged, meaning that they are working against the company’s stated objectives and goals, and generally adding a negative atmosphere to the workplace itself. Simply put, engaged employees result in a more efficient and productive workplace, and investing money in employee engagement in the short-term yields significant gains for the future.

Simple is Better

There are a variety of reasons for why an employee may feel disengaged or actively disengaged from a company, but sometimes simplifying the most basic aspects of work — like getting paid — can be the first important step to improving transparency and trust within your workplace. Over the last few years, the world of payroll went from being entirely paper-based to digital, and yet often the technology associated with paperless pay stubs, time sheets, or sign-in logs still isn’t as accessible, customizable, or as comprehensible as it could be.

Countless employee benefits go unused year after year because employees are either unaware of what’s available to them, or else are confused about how to go about claiming those benefits from their employer. A similar issue is often at work with payroll, particularly when an employee feels that something as simple as clocking in for a shift or checking their pay stub is a time-consuming process

Keeping Up to Date

Outdated technologies which require employees to jump through countless hoops just to access their own information can be a huge driver in employee disengagement as it creates a sense of frustration with the primary role that the Human Resources department serves. Moreover, it negatively impacts one of the most fundamental reasons for working in the first place: getting paid.

But with cloud-based software that allows an employee to quickly and easily access their schedule, vacation hours, pay stubs, and other important working information, much of that confusion and frustration is abated and employees have more time to complete the work itself — instead of chasing down documents they should have immediate and clear access to in the first place

Giving & Investing

Improved technology does more than just ensure that people receive their paycheck accurately and on time; more and more companies and services make it easy for employees to donate to a charity or contribute to investment programs through their employer. These benefits are also another way for an employee to feel that they are building something more with their employer — whether it is a philanthropic effort, or their long-term savings and retirement.

Customization is key here, however. An employee is unlikely to feel engaged if their money is being pledged toward a charity they didn’t choose, or if the rate of contribution to an RRSP or TFSA is not one that they are comfortable or happy with. Sites like Chimp (for charity donations) and Wealthbar (for investments) make it easy for an employee to choose the package that suits them best, and both sites are easily comprehensible and accessible, avoiding any unnecessary confusion. Paysavvy’s platform is unique in the sense that our software allows the ability to integrate with these types of services.

HR Engagement & The Big Picture

Finally, it’s important to remember that the employees working within Human Resources need to be retained and engaged as well. When payroll, charity, and investment contributions are easy, the men and women of HR also have more free time and peace of mind to pursue bigger and better projects, to do their job well, and to interact harmoniously with their co-workers.  Understandably, Human Resources personnel are happier and more engaged when working with a company that makes their job more efficient and allows them to execute initiatives that excite them.

So even if simplified payroll and contributions may not sound as enticing as zen rooms and wellness packages, the amount of time saved, frustration prevented, and engagement increased as a result of improving this one basic but vital aspect of working life, the better for everyone involved

At Paymaster we like to make things easy for Payroll and HR –  try us out and experience Error Free Payroll today