When you are managing a team, there are bound to be instances whereby mistakes are made or certain tasks are incomplete. And that is completely fine! After all, people do make mistakes from time to time. However, when it comes to payroll processing, mistakes should be kept to a minimum. If it happens often, perhaps it is time to relook at your internal processes or payroll team’s productivity.
As a manager, you are responsible for leading and driving your team to complete their tasks with quality and on-time. This also means coaching your team and guiding them to prioritise their tasks accordingly depending on the task’s urgency.
Top culprits behind an unproductive team
The payroll function is one of the most crucial business functions and is also highly time-sensitive. Any inaccuracies or delay can result in wrong or late salary disbursements to employees.
The first key step towards boosting your team’s productivity is to identify the root cause behind these mistakes. Most of the time, it is due to poor time management, leading to a disastrous downstream impact on the rest of the processes or tasks.
In the book Master The Moment, written by famous national hockey league coach, Pat Burns, he concluded that time management issues faced by employees that he had interviewed across 50 companies were largely traced back to poor leadership within the team. Most of the employees were unable to manage their time at work properly due to:
- Not knowing what work to prioritize
- Having trouble saying no even when their workload is full
- Feeling overwhelmed with too many tasks
- Procrastinating or not finishing what they start because timelines are not clearly set
- Always being in reactive mode due to an unclear strategy
Tips to boost your payroll team’s productivity
While time management may not be high on your priority list in terms of management, it will eventually become your responsibility as a manager if it crosses over from a personal line to a business line.
Here are some solutions if you find your employees struggling with time management issues during the payroll processing period.
1. Identify tasks that requires the most time
Start by identifying the payroll tasks that take up most of your team’s time. Do you find your staff spending most of their time on employee data entry? Or are they spending a significant chunk of their time addressing employees’ payroll queries? Being able to pinpoint the tasks where a significant amount of time is being spent allows you to relook at that particular work process and also re-allocating your resources.
2. Rank tasks from high to low priority
During the payroll processing period, there are bound to be plenty of tasks that your staff need to take care of. However, this is where you need to identify which tasks are on high priority and which can be completed later. By communicating to your staff clearly which are the tasks that need to be urgently completed allows them to focus and prioritise their work accordingly.
3. Consider if there are alternatives to streamline certain processes
Another way to boost your team’s productivity is to consider streamlining certain administrative processes. For example, many organisations leverage human resources management systems to consolidate employee’s data which can be automatically fed into the payroll software during the payroll period. This helps to minimise the administrative payroll data entry which may risk data entry errors or even salary miscalculations.
4. Review your team’s workload from time to time
Payroll processing is a time-consuming and meticulous process. On top of running payroll calculations, your staff may also need to work on other payroll matters such as checking of employees’ timesheets or overseeing leave administration. This may be considerably taxing for your team, particularly if they need to manage large volumes of employee data. Hence it is crucial to check in with your employees from time to time to ensure that they are able to cope with their existing workload and not feeling burned out. Besides taking care of your employees’ wellbeing, it also allows you to reassign tasks accordingly to ensure that they are complete on time with putting a strain on your employees.
5. Enforce a culture of accountability
Finally, a great way to boost your team’s productivity is to enforce a culture of accountability. Ensuring that your team is accountable for the tasks that they are responsible for allows them to take charge of their assigned work and to ensure that they see it through. This also forces your team to manage their time accordingly.