South Africa is beginning to follow the international trend whereby companies are treating employees like they would their customers. In part, this is done by providing on-time and detailed payslips designed to boost employee satisfaction and increase the efficiency of query resolution.
For a business, there is no greater asset than its employees and keeping them happy and motivated results in employees being more engaged, productive and committed to the company.
“One of the most important things that every employee wants is a clear understanding of their payslip and their contributions and deductions,” says Lavine Haripersad, Vice Chair, South African Payroll Association (SAPA). “If they understand every line, deduction and number, then they are immediately more positive and engaged. Unfortunately, the opposite is true when they are confused or bogged down in baffling details.”
She adds that employees can easily become distracted and discouraged if they are paid incorrectly or not on time. However, if this issue is out of the equation, their focus falls back on their jobs, which automatically improves performance.

Ensuring trust
A cultural shift is taking place across companies towards high-performance and high value-driven employees. Within this arena, payroll plays a significant role in ensuring employees’ trust in the organisation’s ability to provide them with financial stability and in taking the pressure off management who don’t have to worry about whether or why people aren’t being paid.
“This is why it is important that the payroll department offers employees support by providing them with insight into how their benefits work, how the payslip structure works to their advantage, and by adding value,” Haripersad states, while adding that providing employees with access and visibility regarding this information fundamentally changes how they engage with their pay and the company.
“In addition to open discussion around payslip structure, the department should consider providing employees with their payslips earlier than on payday,” adds Haripersad. “They can then immediately see an abnormal deduction and query this before payment. Of course, any issues also need to be addressed quickly to avoid discontent or concern.”

Compliance and risk mitigation
The same extends into the area of compliance and legislation — well-oiled payroll departments with exceptional payslip acuity are more likely to mitigate business risk and limit employee dissatisfaction.
“Complying with legislation and ensuring accuracy in data and detail minimises the risk for the business and the employee,” says Haripersad. “The challenges around unionised employees can be managed by ensuring that they are taken care of correctly, and employees remain satisfied with pay and benefits. The business is assured of efficient payroll processes and a high level of service.”
A professional payroll team with the right tools and systems can transform the payslip from a page peppered with numbers into an understandable and reliable mechanism by which businesses run smoothly and employees remain happy. The extra mile in providing insight, explaining the layout and ensuring every detail is correct — or every error swiftly amended — can fundamentally impact on the working environment and employee satisfaction.