I took on the role of HR Director in a large global company just over 18 months ago and when I joined one of the big red flags for me was the poor retention rate within the payroll department.

It was well above industry average and as a priority I began to do some research into why this was the case. Due to the nature of our work, we operate a pretty complex payroll system with weekly, fortnightly and monthly payroll runs. In a business-as-usual situation this isn’t an issue as we have the team in place to manage the workload.

What I discovered was that when there was a situation outside of BAU operations, the payroll team came under extreme pressure. For example, the 2 week company shutdown in August. The majority of other employees finish up as normal and take their 2 weeks hassle free whereas the payroll team must work overtime in the week leading up to the break to get a triple payroll run processed for all weekly paid employees.

A senior member of the team has missed out on an annual family holiday for 2 years running as the payroll is just too busy, the amount of mistakes and unanswered queries upon return make it not worth the hassle of taking the annual leave.

There was also a situation that arose within my first few months where, after completing an audit of the payroll processes, it became clear that we would need to change our payroll processing system to meet the needs of an increasing workforce. Because we had to keep resources dedicated to the weekly, biweekly and monthly payroll processing, the window for team them to work on migrating the data to the new system was almost non-existent – we got to the point where we just could not deliver the project.

“What I discovered was that when there was a situation outside of BAU operations, the payroll team came under extreme pressure.”

It was at this point that I started speaking to some of my peers about the challenges I was facing and one of them suggested I get in touch with CR Payroll as they have a Payroll Cover offering that might be of interest to me.

I set up a call with Helen and she clearly explained the Payroll Cover CR Payroll provides and how it works. I loved the analogy of it being like a tap that you could turn on and off as needed as 90% of the time we wouldn’t require any cover, the accessibility of it is comforting. Within a week we had signed up to the cover and the onboarding process began. Their team were so efficient – 5 days later they were up to speed and ready to provide cover when we needed them. They completed our weekly, biweekly and monthly payrolls for us while our payroll team focused on the project to move to a new payroll processing system – we delivered the project very efficiently once my team were able to focus on it, knowing that CR Payroll were doing a fantastic job on the old system. They were even able to help us when it came to running parallels – I can’t begin to imagine how we would have done that without their increased resourcing.

“I loved the analogy of it being like a tap that you could turn on and off.”

2 months later we had a Covid outbreak in the payroll department. Typically, in the past, those that could work would because of their dedication to completing the payrolls but, in this instance, CR Payroll provided cover so that we could let the people who were sick fully recover without interruptions. The experience was seamless, there were no disruptions to operations and the payroll was processed on time and with no errors or accuracy issues. Since then, we have used them multiple times for varying reasons, and we will be using them to do the payroll processing during our 2-week company shutdown again this summer so that the payroll team can experience a more relaxed run up to the holiday period.

The feedback from the team following the introduction of CR Payroll has been overwhelming. They have expressed genuine gratitude to the organisation for the operational support that having the service in place has provided and their morale has steadily increased. Since CR Payroll were brought in, there have been no departures from the payroll team and in fact we have started getting CV’s in from contacts of the existing employees who are looking for work with us.

“The simple presence of this retainer, knowing that experienced, qualified payroll resources are available as and when we need it, has offered huge peace of mind which has in turn transformed the morale and efficiency of a department that was feeling neglected for years.”

If you think your organisation would benefit from the peace of mind, support and reliability that CR Payroll Cover offers then please get in touch and one of our team will talk you through the ways in which we can help.

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