Getting Payroll Right in 2020


The frenzy of Christmas and New Year may be behind us but that doesn’t mean things are slowing down for retailers. With January sales calming down and expectations running high that the new year starts off well, retailers are relying on their numbers of temporary employees and zero-hour contracts in order to deliver on customer satisfaction whilst also streamlining costs.

From something as seemingly minor as ensuring the central heating and air con levels are kept balanced at peak shopping hours, to keeping track of stock, and managing demand on the shop floor, the last item on the agenda they want to worry about is payroll. Getting staffing levels right is one of the biggest ongoing challenges for retailers and it is especially challenging for those responsible for HR & Payroll.  

With retailers currently facing a fall in sales – monthly retail sales in December made for a fifth month in a row without growth,their reputation is already on the line. As such, retailers can’t afford to make mistakes, least of all when it comes to pay. It has never been so important for retailers to make sure they are getting payroll right in order to maintain positive relationships with employees  and leave them feeling informed, engaged and assured.  

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail 

Payroll is often overlooked as an essential aspect of a business and one that can be extremely costly if there is a poor system in place. Being paid late is guaranteed to leave employees feeling dissatisfied, undervalued and with a negative perception of their employer. In fact, in a 2017 SD Worx survey, 44% of employees would consider leaving their jobs after being paid incorrectly. HR & Payroll therefore only have one chance to make a good first impression or risk a high employee turnover. 

A huge part of ensuring you get things right is to plan early and stay transparent with your employees. It is vital for businesses to know and communicate in advance exactly when their employees will get paid and if any issues do occur, informing your employees as soon as possible is key. The sooner employees can prepare and plan, particularly if they are on part-time or short-term contracts, the more likely they will consider their employee experience as a positive one and want to remain loyal and productive. 

Embrace payroll automation 

With the right technology, retailers can remove some of the mundane and repetitive payroll tasks, enabling their HR teams to focus on value adding activities to ensure the business runs smoothly and customers are kept happy.

One ticked off the New Year list

By planning ahead, maintaining clear and transparent communication as well as taking advantage of the technology available for HR and Payroll teams, retailers can start the year as they mean to go on, knowing that their payroll is taken care of and employees are paid accurately and on time every month. 

Credit: Fiona McKee, Director of HR, at SD Worx.