November 12, 2021

Why Payroll and Workforce Management Belong Together

Payroll and workforce management leaders shaking hands

Payroll professionals are the unsung heroes of the workforce. They’re the reason we get paid correctly and on time. What many do not realize is how complex the payroll process is, and the challenges involved: keeping up with ever-changing legal regulations to stay in compliance, addressing all errors to ensure accuracy, and post-payroll services such as tax filing and garnishments are only a few of the difficulties that come into play.

The stakes are high. Processing payroll efficiently and accurately is crucial to engaging and retaining employees. If mistakes are made, the aftermath will not only cause your employees distress but can be costly to your bottom line. Employees place an enormous amount of trust in their organization’s payroll department to compensate them correctly come pay day — many employees’ lives quite literally depend on it, as the pay they receive is the essential foundation of their livelihoods. That’s why it’s incredibly important to have the right technology in place to avoid these potential problems, and where a partnered workforce management system can streamline efficiencies and maximize productivity.

Combined with the right workforce management technology, processing payroll doesn’t have to be the complicated, error-prone, manual process it once was. By automating processes and streamlining systems into one unified solution, your company will have full control from source (time capture) to net (payment services), and increased transparency when it comes to paying employees.

There are countless reasons why this is crucial. Below are a few of the most significant to consider:

Increased levels of employee engagement

Studies have shown that 49% of employees will look to leave an organization if two paycheck errors are made. That doesn’t leave much room for error when it comes to retaining your workforce, which emphasizes payroll's profound impact on employee engagement. As we’ve learned throughout the Great Resignation, retaining talented employees is more important than ever. With a unified pay and workforce management system, employees have access to self-service options where they’ll have complete visibility into the decisions that impact their life-work balance and improve their financial wellbeing. A unified pay and time experience empowers employees to feel financially secure since they can access their pay, time information, and schedules, etc. from any device. This can help ensure accuracy and transparency within organizations, leading to greater trust and higher levels of engagement from your workforce.

Keeping track of compliance regulations 

Deloitte's recent Payroll Benchmarking survey shows that 81% of organizations have outlined compliance as the top area of focus for improving their payroll provider services, and it’s clear why that’s so important — compliance is a complex issue, and constantly changing regulations expose payroll to the risk of noncompliance, which can lead to costly fines, damage to credit ratings, and, in extreme cases, imprisonment. If your company crosses state lines or operates globally, the rules around payroll become even more complicated. Combining payroll and workforce management in one system helps organizations stay compliant with complex union rules, taxes, garnishments, and ever-changing employment laws. With automatic updates for regulatory changes and notifications of potential compliance issues, your team will always be one step ahead. Pay and workforce management in one system helps keep organizations in compliance from source (timecard accuracy, scheduling rules, meal/rest breaks, etc.) to net (check distribution, tax filing, garnishments, etc.). A modern cloud platform not only provides regulatory alerts and updates to keep you in compliance, but real time visibility across pay and time makes for seamless compliance reporting, including Labor Allocation, Workers Compensation, PIER, ROE (Canada), and more, allowing you to prove your compliance on-demand.

Streamlining information in a single, unified system

67% of payroll departments view technology limitations as one of the biggest challenges when it comes to processing employee pay. With modern technology and a unified system in place, managers have complete visibility across critical business functions, allowing them to save valuable time addressing timesheet errors early in the pay cycle, validate time records sooner to deliver perfect paychecks on time, and receive real-time updates when any changes are made to a time record. Instead of spending time searching for errors, embedded analytics from a cloud solution place the errors right in front of your managers for quick resolution. Modern cloud-based technology and a scalable platform can accommodate any state, federal, and company regulations while seamlessly growing with your organization as you expand.


No matter what the situation — from the manufacturing line all the way to the state government office — payroll's impact on employee engagement is something that cannot be overlooked. And with payroll being as complex as ever, unifying it with a top-tier workforce management system is a transformative step that organizations can take to ease the burden and risk of the payroll process, while maximizing the employee experience.

Ready to take the first step to improving your organization's payroll? Learn how you can champion your digital payroll transformation. Click here to register for UKG’s upcoming webinar on November 17th, The Payroll Transformation You Can’t Ignore.