Improving company culture and boosting employee happiness are two sides of the same coin.
They also both rely on making small business employee experiences easier to manage and more engaging. The less time people think about busywork, technical challenges, and bureaucratic obstacles, the better.
These positive experiences, eventually, will build on each other to make for a happier team. A happier team will, in turn, create a more positive company culture. And round and round the cycle goes.
One of the most fundamental employee experiences to focus on? Payday.
Although the excitement of fancy job perks may outshine the relative monotony of ensuring everyone gets paid, the way you deliver your employees’ pay and benefits to them is crucially important.
Payroll software can help make those processes even more rewarding for your team. This being said, here are five concrete ways that payroll software will improve company morale:
Customizable Direct Deposit Makes Saving Routine
Saving isn’t simple. Life costs a lot of money, and if you don’t have an option for your employees to set up their direct deposit to make saving automatic, it might not happen at all.
Top small business payroll software options allow your employees to set up direct deposit for multiple bank accounts. The very best will allow them to control by percentage or dollar amount just how much goes into their spending, savings, and retirement accounts.
If a portion of their paycheck goes directly into a separate account set up for savings, employees will be more likely to leave that money untouched for the future. These savings will, then improve employees’ financial stability, workplace focus, and overall happiness as a result.
Prompt Bonuses and Salary Increases Strengthen Positive Reinforcement
No one likes waiting to get paid, especially if they’re owed a bonus or a raise. Payroll software can help you expedite processing employees’ bonuses and raises.
With manual bonus and payday processing that you can utilize between your usual payroll cycles, along with the direct deposit feature, payroll software lets employees enjoy their extra pay right way. Seeing the extra money in their account directly after their awarded behavior will make them more likely to strive to perform behaviors you deem bonus- or raise-worthy in the future.
At their core, employee bonuses and raises are forms of positive reinforcement for excelling at a given position. Psychologists agree that delays in positive reinforcement make such reinforcement less effective. Therefore, this means that the sooner you receive a reward for a behavior, the more likely you are to perform that behavior again in the future.
If your payroll processes create a significant delay in rewarding your employees raises and bonuses, this delay could make your employees less likely to continue their great work. Although it probably won’t be a conscious decision on your employee’s part, excelling at their role after quickly receiving their bonus or raise will feel like second nature.
Benefits Tracking Means Easier-to-Access Perks
Top payroll software options will also offer benefits tracking. With this feature, employees can log in and assess all of the benefits they have access to. Setting up the perfect employee benefits package for your team takes a lot of time and thought, and you offer the benefits you’ve chosen for a reason—to improve the lives of your employees.
A self-service payroll software feature can make it easier for employees to take advantage of the perks available to them, and see their progress in doing so. Whether it’s a 401(k) plan, life insurance, or an HSA, the benefits you offer your employees will be more accessible and easier to change through comprehensive payroll software. And the more your employees take advantage of their benefits, the happier they’ll be.
Financial Wellness Education Alleviates Stress
Another feature that top payroll software options offer are financial wellness programs. These programs help alleviate potential employee financial stress. Such programs could include financial counseling, explainers on how financial benefits like their 401(k) actually work, and goal tracking.
In fact, the CFPB has noted that financial wellness programs address the “financial distress” that “reduces worker productivity, increases absenteeism, and undermines employees’ health” in the workplace. Your payroll software should work in tandem with the financial wellness education you provide (and in fact should be customized by HR to present finances and benefits in the clearest format possible). This will make your team be more present—physically and mentally—and better able to dive into their responsibilities without worrying about their personal finances.
Related Article: 10 Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress
Automation Makes HR Managers’ Lives Easier
It’s important to remember that members of your HR team are employees, too. Even though their roles involve making other employees’ lives easier, you should look to improve the working lives of your HR professionals whenever possible. Doing so has a ripple effect across the company.
The automation that payroll software offers will free up a lot of your HR managers’ bandwidth. As a result, they’ll be able to address more fulfilling and engaging work. Rather than plugging away at the administrative tasks that time tracking and employee documentation often involve, your HR team can focus on other things if your payroll software automates these processes.
Related Article: 5 HR & Payroll Mistakes That Startups Make All Too Often
Payroll Software and Your Employees: Moving Forward
Ultimately, company culture can often feel amorphous and hard to control. After all, your company is really just a sum of all of its parts—most of those parts being employees with their own free will to act and work as they please.
In a perfect world, each and every human that comprises your company is naturally as happy an employee as can be. But that’s not necessarily feasible, which is a truth that makes HR processes necessary in the first place. Payroll software can optimize foundational employee touchpoints, like pay and benefits, to make your company culture a culmination of people who are focused, happy, and eager to work.
Randa Kriss is a staff writer at Fundera, a marketplace for small business financial solutions such as business loans. Randa writes extensively on human resources and has also written dozens of reviews on payroll services and ecommerce solutions.
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.