Traditionally, both branding and marketing have focused on consumers and matching an organisations products or services to their needs. But, in recent times, more and more attention has been focused within the organisation and the role of employees as brand ambassadors. All staff in the organisation, as representatives of the brand, can affect the way a brand is perceived and that means that the internal processes and policies that affect the staff the most also affect the way the brand is perceived. Chief among these is payroll.
Is it drawing a ‘long bow’ to suggest that a poor payroll service can affect brand perception? We would argue, no.
Think about how payroll is the constant throughout the employee lifecycle. When a new employee joins an organisation, one of the first processes they encounter is payroll. If the process is cumbersome and frustrating for the employee, how is this likely to translate to the brand? If employees cannot quickly access information such as leave balances and payslips, or apply for leave in a quick and efficient manner, how does this impact on the brand? What if employee payroll queries are not answered in a timely and professional manner? What if there are continuous issues with the accuracy of information supplied to employees such as leave entitlements, overtime and penalty payments, applicability of awards and the taxation implications? How long before these issues start to affect the employee perception of the brand they are supposed to represent and, in turn, change the way they represent it?
Disgruntled employees are never going to do a good job of living your brand and one of the major sources of employee disgruntlement is a poor payroll service. If you want a positive perception of your brand, then you need a positive employee experience. If payroll is consistently taking away from that positive experience, then it is also attacking the perception of your brand.
There is, of course, no such thing as a flawless payroll system but the fact that it has such a broad impact on every part of the employee experience and, consequently, the brand experience says that organisations should be working hard to make it as flawless as possible. That means paying at least as much attention to payroll as you do to the brand itself.