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How payroll influences the entire employee lifecycle

How payroll influences the entire employee lifecycle

Payroll touchpoints

People management is one of the biggest challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and the key to handling it well is data, according to HR leaders. A modern payroll solution amalgamates people data across the business, uniting pivotal departments including HR, finance and compliance. Using insight not hindsight, finance managers can shape strategy proactively with a fluid, agile approach.

When aligned closely with HR, payroll helps deliver a rewarding employee experience and optimises talent. Regardless of employee distribution and scale, a credible payroll platform can analyse a wealth of data including salaries (remuneration and rewards), payroll performance, employee lifecycle data and performance indicators including attendance and punctuality. Applying this insight strategically creates a more relevant, diverse, inclusive and rewarding (and even safer) workplace.

    Influence of payroll

    Payroll significantly influences the entire employee lifecycle, from staffing and recruitment, in-life HR, talent management, workforce management and of course payroll itself. An integrated Payroll & HR solution, or people management solution, has the potential to make each employee’s journey rewarding.

    Using data on your current workforce to create appealing and fair recruitment offers, you can attract the right candidates and empower new starters immediately. An efficient payroll solution optimises the onboarding experience, offering secure document hosting in the cloud and accurate pay from the start. First impressions count if you want to retain top talent!

    Maintaining profiles on individuals enables HR and managers to proactively match opportunities with skills and salary from within existing talent pools. Training and rewarding employees with personalised career paths and a choice of rewards nurtures a culture of learning and collaboration aligned to business goals. Results from HR surveys or appraisals can be used to spot trends and act upon them - links between absenteeism and anxiety, for example, to monitor wellbeing. When employment terminates, final pay and documents will be administered accurately, contributing to a positive exit strategy.

      Optimising payroll performance

      Payroll should be accurate and on-time, every time. If the basics aren’t properly executed, the impact on employees can be stressful, and consequently affect morale, loyalty and productivity. Accurately recording all data throughout the employee lifecycle (and indeed life stage such as maternity/paternity and pensions) ensures pay, benefits and expenses are accurately calculated, avoiding delays and mistakes.

      According to PwC’s annual wellness survey (2020 COVID-19 update) financial matters are by far the biggest cause of stress for today’s employees, scoring higher than all other factors combined. UK employees are increasingly placing salary packages as the most important factor when it comes to career management. SD Worx research has found that payroll is the top concern for companies, but worryingly the vast majority hold onto traditional methods.

      Poor payroll can be mitigated through an automated payroll solution that calculates pay in line with the very latest legislation however complex, across different regions worldwide. This sustainable investment impacts positively on the employee experience, offering online payroll innovation such as mobile apps.

        Trust and transparency

        The workforce is increasingly digital-first and focused on flexibility and personalisation. Coupled with great uncertainty post-pandemic, employees expect transparency and stability from their employer and access to their own Payroll & HR data. Transparency regarding rewards is also a key motivator in the UK.

        Our own research has found that nearly half of UK employees (45.1%) highlight the ability to know everything their employer offers as part of the overall remuneration package (salary, benefits, leave, etc.) as being very important. Moving to cloud-hosted payroll solutions creates a completely transparent audit trail and enhances the experience for the payroll team too. Moving away from paper payslips and spreadsheets to contactless (digital) processes is also safer as well as efficient.

          Flexible rewards and remuneration

          Fluidity in HR is deemed essential for forward-looking organisations, and payroll underpins this. Innovative companies are increasingly looking beyond the model of fixed pay for all (rather than being a privilege) to boost motivation and wellbeing throughout the employee lifecycle. Offering choice proves you value your workers, and it doesn’t dramatically impact the bottom line. A personalised remuneration package could include premiums or flexible bonuses and benefits such as holiday, mobility benefits or technical devices.

          Two out of three employers also show an interest in pay on demand – allowing employees to choose the day they are paid – recognising that employees have individual financial circumstances. Performance and productivity rewards also encourage workers to ‘be the best version’ of themselves in their role.

            The roadmap to people engagement

            Working on employee experience really is a roadmap to people engagement. This roadmap provides you with a valuable opportunity to interact with your employees at every stage of the lifecycle. These interactions influence how employees feel about your organisation, and their careers. Get this right, and you create happier, more engaged employees that are willing to become brand ambassadors. Get this wrong, and you could accelerate employee churn and damage your employer brand through negative word of mouth.


              Payroll is the backbone of any organisation, uniting core business areas and influencing the entire employee lifecycle, from attracting, on-boarding, developing, rewarding and retaining talent. Your people truly are your greatest asset, since employee engagement is directly linked to business performance.

              By putting payroll centre stage and managing “human capital” well, organisations stay competitive and a workplace of choice. Modern payroll solutions facilitate accurate pay, transparency, flexibility and personalisation of rewards, assuring the wellbeing and productivity of employees. End-to-end people solutions extract the hidden value from Payroll & HR data to drive engagement, efficiency and business value. 

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