How payroll operations support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging

Payroll pro discussing DEI&B initiatives with team members

Payroll professionals of today are expected to provide quality service to the organization. Part of that service involves supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) practices in the workplace. But what does that mean for payroll? How do you as a payroll professional ensure that you're including these practices in your organization's payroll operations? While most payroll teams know DEI&B is important, many are unclear on how they can support their organization's efforts in this area.

Having strategies in place to move diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging forward is critical when it comes to payroll and if it's not done correctly, employees and companies feel the impact. HR technology plays a key role in helping payroll professionals to align payroll operations with DEI&B initiatives without adding more administrative work. Here are 5 ways it can help you succeed.

1. Employee self-service

Having correct information is critical when it comes to creating a payroll strategy that supports all the people at your organization. Many payroll professionals struggle with DEI&B practices when their processes are inaccurate or inefficient. This is mainly due to inaccurate data or delays in updating things like W4 information, bank accounts, addresses, salary increases, or deductions.

HR technology that offers self-service functionality to employees ensures that critical information is being updated in a timely manner. When you have accurate and timely payroll-related data, you can better align payroll with your DEI&B initiatives. The best way to get this right is to ensure your payroll system is part of a wider unified solution that interacts seamlessly with other key areas like time and attendance, scheduling, and HR. That way, your people will be able to access their pay information anytime, anywhere, increasing their sense of security that they're being paid correctly and their feeling of belonging at your organization.

2. Pay equity

Pay inequities are one of the biggest concerns for organizations today but identifying where you have gaps in pay can be a challenge. Without the right data, it can be difficult to evaluate your compensation and salary structures to ensure that your employees are being paid equitably across the organization. Technology can provide you with comprehensive reporting you need to analyze and assess your entire workforce and quickly identify where you have pay disparities based on different factors including gender, ethnicity, age, and disability status.  

In addition, organizations need to consider pay equity when they're developing compensation policies and procedures around starting pay, merit increases, promotions, one-off increases, and incentives.  All of this will help you put practices in place to achieve a more equitable workplace, where people are rewarded fairly based on their contribution and efforts. This information will also be key to helping executives at your organization be transparent with employees about what's being done in this area, so build a unified executive insights dashboard that serves up all the payroll and HR stats they need to give updates and set strategy for pay equity initiatives in one spot.

3. Language access

When rolling out your DEI&B initiatives, an important thing to remember is how you support a diverse workforce culture. As payroll professionals, you play an important role in ensuring that your DEI&B initiatives include strategies around helping your people understand their pay. HR technology that can provide your employee’s with things like pay stubs, total compensation statements, and access to self-service in their native language, format, and currency where possible helps ensure that they feel a sense of inclusion and belonging.

Take a look at where your main operating locations are and what the standards are in those regions or countries. Another advantage to a unified approach to HR technology is you should be able to map these locations fairly easily and get an idea of what you need to support in each place.

4. Digital accessibility

Another area where technology advancements can help with your DEI&B initiatives is how you serve the visually and hearing impaired at your organization. If you are using paper-based systems or outdated systems with limited functionality or you have technology that is not compatible with screen readers or voice response, your employees may not be able to get their jobs done or easily access key pieces of information. Modern HR technology can help them obtain their pay-related information and other essential HR-related information through their phone's native voiceover assistant, an often overlooked but essential capability that impacts your employees' lives in and outside of work.

5. Name and gender inclusion

Payroll needs to accurately capture their employee’s gender identification information and preferred name as part of their DEI&B initiatives. Because there are many local, state, provincial, and national legislation and guidelines such as those the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) establishes around self-designation requirements, it's important that you are capturing this kind of information and keeping your processes compliant.  

HR technology can help support your employees by allowing them to select their preferences so they can feel authentically represented at work. It can also help in cases where you need to reconcile regulatory standards against your people's desires and preferences so you can provide the right data to regulatory groups while also allowing your employees the freedom to be their true selves.

Conclusion: Payroll plays a key role in DEI&B success

Payroll professionals need to play an active role in their organization's DEI&B initiatives, but are often limited by outdated or manual systems and processes. With the right technology, you can provide your employees and payroll staff with the resources they need to contribute to a more inclusive organizational culture. If you need help making the case, check out the UKG Value Estimator to see where you can make a difference at your company and get all the proof points you'll need.