At first glance, it may seem that workforce optimization is all about helping managers and HR. This is true. Yet workforce optimization tricks and tools can make your payroll department happy too.
Reduce administrative costs associated with payroll
Prep time and correcting errors are the main drivers of payroll administrative costs. Workforce optimization tools help avoid these. For example, they categorize all the different types of time collected. It knows which employees get paid for travel time. It distinguishes between on-site contractors who don’t get paid lunch and employees who do. Payroll staff saves time due to simplified payroll prep and fewer payroll errors.
Payroll teams also rack up admin costs by answering common questions from employees. It’s not the employees’ fault. They have good reason to know how much vacation time they’ve accrued or to get copies of past pay stubs. When employees have direct access to their own payroll information, everyone saves time. Using a large-screen employee time clock terminal lets employees look up their own information. They can also update personal information, like withholdings and employment status, with employee self-service functionality (ESS).
Ensure accurate and compliant hours tracking
Optimizing your workforce requires integrating an automated punch clock with your WFM systems. The data flow helps managers and payroll mitigate potential issues before they become problems. For example, alerts can be sent when someone is swiping in off-schedule. Now managers can investigate immediately why an employee is racking up unscheduled hours. Alerts can also be triggered when someone is on schedule but is tracking to exceed either company or legal overtime limits. The great time saver for payroll here is the volume of pay problems that never materialize.
Enforce strict time data integrity control
Managing workforce and payroll accuracy requires standards for changing collected work time data. Things happen. An emergency comes up and an employee rushes out the door without swiping out. Someone gets sick and can’t provide documentation until later, meaning an unauthorized absence needs to get changed to paid sick time. Life is messy.
A time clock that collects real-time attendance simplifies enforcing your time change policy. Your time change policy sets out clear standards when an automated time card can be manually changed. The accuracy of automated time data collection means there’s never a reason to change payroll hours unless those standards are met. The clear policy minimizes last-minute time card changes. Now payroll staff doesn’t need to take time to resolve such changes or delay running payroll.
Move payroll from cost center to cost management tool
The payroll team doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. Payroll is complicated (see above…). Even so, the payroll team rarely gets noticed by the rest of the company until something goes wrong.
The big piles of data collected in a WFM tool can change all that. The payroll team can analyze hours and payroll data. Then share its insights with managers and finance. Say, looking at the comparative costs of authorizing overtime versus hiring new permanent or temp employees. Or looking at payroll allocation across departments, and/or roles, to determine whether payroll reflects company goals.
The WFM tools are already saving the payroll team tons of time, by streamlining tasks and reducing errors. They’re going to need something to do with all the extra time. Payroll can take this opportunity to position itself as a research and analytics arm for the company makes. Instead of being taken for granted, payroll can influence company strategy.
Look at all the data your company collects. What workforce optimization questions do you think payroll can help answer? What sort of questions have managers come to you with that you could now start to answer? Share in the comments below.
While ATS is passionate about time and attendance and excited to support organizations navigate workforce dynamics around timekeeping, we recommend you reach out to your regional and/or local HR chapter for more information on common workplace advice and procedures.