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Can we talk? Tips for communicating with employees about payroll

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

Payroll isn’t an easy subject to master, so it’s a safe bet that employees in your company don’t have a clue about what goes on in your office. That makes explaining key payroll changes to employees difficult.

Sarona-Lee Wilde, CPP, and Ronald L. Moser, CPP—both of whom run Payroll for large organizations—steered audience members at the American Payroll Association’s 30th Annual Congress through the choppy waters of communicating to employees about payroll issues.

What we talk about when we talk about payroll

Payroll has lots to communicate to employees—from routine payroll procedures to complicated and topical issues such as upcoming health care reporting on employees’ W-2s. And that communication happens via many media, from new-hire orien­tation packets to employee manuals to pay stubs.

Your ultimate communications goals: to cut down on employees’ phone calls and build good will for the Payroll department. But complicating your efforts, Wilde pointed out, are the numerous ways em­­ployees “talk” to each other, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks. The key, she said, is to find the most effective medium for the information you’re trying to convey. For example, you can tweet simple things: “It’s W-2 time again! Is your address correct?”

How we talk when we talk about payroll

Regardless of what you’re communicating to em­­ployees, you should always be courteous, responsive and personal. To be effective, adjust your communication method to the medium you’re using, Moser advised. Smartphone emails, for example, should be succinct. To enhance those emails, include links to further information.

• SAY THAT AGAIN: Be persistent when communicating with employees, Wilde and Moser urged. Sometimes you have to make multiple efforts because employees generally don’t read in detail. Trap: ­inconsistent messaging in your multiple efforts.

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