Payroll is More Than Just Timely, Accurate Pay

Marlo Hertling

Happy National Payroll Week 2016

Happy National Payroll Week!

If you ask Canadians to describe what role payroll professionals play in their organization you’ll often hear them say things like, “pay employees on-time and accurately, maintain compliance, and process year-end tax slips.” And while these are all true, one of the most important, and unmentioned, roles that payroll professionals often play in their organization is one of employee financial success.

After all, payroll is a department with a reputation of managing confidential and secure information, so they are a natural place for employees to turn to and trust for advice on making the most of their pay. When employers take the initiative to truly educate their employees about the importance of retirement savings, it provides an opportunity to improve employee engagement and to demonstrate to employees that your organization cares and is a great place to work.

'I work for a large company that already offers employee savings plans.'

That is terrific! But simply telling employees during the onboarding process that there are plans available isn’t enough. Ongoing education is important to make sure your employees are making the most of the savings opportunities available to them.

Here are a few ways to do just that:

  1. Offer educational sessions quarterly to employees to learn about your company savings programs
  2. Automate workflows to let employees know when they have reached milestones (such as the end of their probationary period) that allow them to opt-in or increase their contributions
  3. Let employees know if they can opt to have some of their wages go directly into a separate savings account
  4. Share value added savings tips in company newsletters or communications
  5. Prepare a presentation for a lunch & learn that shows employees what their financial future could look like if they keep saving a little each month, because seeing concrete examples of how savings grow can be an eyeopening experience for employees

'I work for a small company or startup, how can I help?'

Even though your company may not be in a position to provide matching RRSPs or other programs, there are still many things you can do to help your employees become super savers.

Here are a few ideas to get you inspired:

  1. Many financial advisors will provide free lunch and learns to your employees to educate employees on how to save, and furthermore, how to invest those savings
  2. You could build a library of books like:
    The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
    Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life by Gail Vaz-Oxlade
    Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin, etc. for your employees to borrow
  3. You can invite an accountant in to show employees how to create a budget
  4. There are lots of great free resources you can point your employees to so that they can start planning for their financial future, here are a few to get you started:
    - Money Mentors (an Avanti client) provides free financial classes and online resources. Their blog has some great advice on saving money, here’s an example.
    - Credit Canada has some great free online tools to help employees learn to build a budget.
    - Many Canadian banks have free money management advice centres. The TD Bank offers checklists, advice and online saving calculators here.
    - Many Canadian benefits companies offer free advice on saving and RRSP calculators, here’s one from Manulife.

And there are some terrific blog posts on saving money

So whether you are joining in on a Canadian Payroll Association event or if you are treating yourself to a latte, make sure you take time to celebrate your profession and the difference you make in the lives of your employees.

For even more resources on saving to share with your employees click here.

About the Author

Marlo Hertling

Marlo Hertling has worked with leading HCM organizations and has been helping Canadian companies implement HCM solutions for more than 15 years. She is the Vice President of People & Culture at Avanti Software Inc and serves as Avanti's HCM subject matter expert.

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