Broadening your payroll skills
We had a fantastic two days at the Payroll Game Changer Conference again last week. The focus of this conference is both on developing your technical knowledge but also growing your career.
The focus at the start of day one was on how you broaden your payroll skills to add value.
Anna Sefuiva from Auckland DHB kicked off the conference talking Payroll Career paths.
She also talked about how payroll can be a business partner by:
- Not just being about paying people. Look for data that you can collect and provide this to managers or to HR. For example you may have fields in your payroll system to collect diversity information or EEO statistics etc
- Look for simple ways to modernise. At Auckland DHB they still had paper forms so have now put these onto SharePoint for people to access.
- They also turned the performance review module on that was in the pay system but wasn’t being used. So you can utilise existing systems to modernise.
- Taking career jumps – it can be scary but in Anna’s role she now has a team of 53 and can influence and create change and she’s got that by taking a number of career jumps which were outside of her comfort zone.
Our panel of Liz Tibbutt, Melissa Russek and Glennys Morris then shared their career paths and spoke on broadening your payroll skills.
The points that stood out for me were:
- Glennys talked about in the old days you delivered cash pays to everyone so you knew everyone in the business. Now payroll doesn’t leave the office so at University of Auckland they are going to do open days where they go and work in the business once a month. This helps them achieve their CPI goals of continuous process improvement and builds relationships with the business.
- Melissa talked about the many similarities between payroll and remuneration and inspired a few attendees to think about working more closely with them teens or going into remuneration!
- Liz talked about the power of using data to help inform the business. Data is scary for many HR people and they aren’t using it, so this is an area Payroll could add real value. Start by producing dashboard information for the HR team on sick leave trends, annual leave, teams that are working overtime and find out what’s useful and what else they could use. This could then also be provided to managers in the business making payroll proactive, rather than reactive.
All our panel talked about the fact that payroll can be invisible unless someone gets paid slightly wrong, so broadening your skills and providing more information to the business, means people can see what you do.
We’d love to hear any other suggestions on how payroll people out there have broadened their skills. Please feel free to post any ideas in the comments section!
Angela Atkins is People & Learning Director for Elephant Group NZ and UK. She works to support payroll, HR and L&D people with innovative events and training. She is also the best selling author of Management Bites, Employment Bites, Training Bites and Safety Bites – and has just started writing Payroll Bites!