Payroll Queries – Who Do I Talk To?

15th July 2020

payroll queries

When payday comes around, there are employees all over the world who have questions and concerns about their pay packet. Whether they were expecting more or less, seemingly incorrect or unanticipated amounts can lead to severe anxiety – especially if they are not sure who to turn to.

Knowing where to start with payroll questions

The issues start with how key payroll or other important information is relayed around your business. Is payroll included in the induction for new starters? All too often the payroll induction is just a form received among a handful of others, on day one of your new job, to complete with your bank details. Then that’s it, payroll isn’t mentioned again.

Instead of this, managers, HR, and payroll teams should be asking themselves how they can better inform employees. Staff should be regularly updated with details of who to contact with payroll queries. Ideal ways to provide such information includes;

  • Company intranet
  • Newsletters
  • Regular round-up emails
  • Team meetings

Otherwise simply adding a note on the bottom of every payslip offering this advice would work.

Where to turn to for payroll questions and answers

Payslip queries still dominate employee contact with HR; 43% of all queries according to IRIS FMP research. This same research also revealed that around a third of employees would consider looking for a new job if their employer paid them incorrectly just once, 44% would be demotivated, and 51% would lose trust in their employer.

These statistics indicate just how important it is that employees know where to turn should they have a payroll question, and they should feel confident that they will receive an answer – even if it’s not the one they were hoping for. Going around the houses trying to resolve a payroll query is one of the most demotivating things for an employee to deal with, and the prospect of not getting answers is certainly one to engender a diminished feeling of worth.

Company Time Spent on Payroll Queries

Not only do payroll questions cause problems for employees, but they also lead to lost time for hard-pushed payroll, finance or HR professionals. These teams come to dread the end of the month when salaries hit employee bank accounts and the calls come flooding in. Over a quarter of employees have had six or more HR queries in the last three years, so the numbers soon stack up.

Solving Payroll Questions

Such ambiguity and unnecessary stress among employees – and indeed HR and payroll teams – can be abated with various solutions. From the aforementioned clarity in regular communication to broaching the subject in employee one to ones, a significant way to improve the situation is simply to bring it into conversation. There is a steadfast taboo against discussing payroll in the workplace, and while you may not wish to invite staff to talk about salaries specifically, understanding and talking about your basic payroll processes can prove to be extremely helpful.

Sometimes the problem is caused by overworked internal teams on a vicious downwards spiral, where queries create less time for payroll processing, creating more errors, which equals even less time for processing and so on. Ways to solve this situation could include:

  • Taking a closer look at your current payroll software. Maybe a streamlined HR and payroll integrated software is needed in order to make payroll processing more accurate and efficient. Find out more about our combined software, IRIS FMP Amity.
  • Opting to outsource payroll. Many companies choose to use an outsourced payroll service that they can trust to process employees’ pay safely and accurately, taking this added stress away from internal teams. Learn about Fully Managed Payroll outsourcing with IRIS FMP.

Ignoring problems when it comes to HR and payroll queries in the workplace is quite simply, foolhardy. This strategy is likely to cause discontent and lowered morale among everyone involved. Be proactive now and take steps to ensure your employees are rarely – if ever – consumed with frustration regarding payroll questions. If nothing else, make it easy for employees to make contact with payroll queries.