Payroll is wrongIt seems simple enough. You get hired for a job. You tell your employer who you are, where you live and sign up for various programs and benefits. Every two weeks your pay shows up in your bank account, and if you need to go the doctor, your insurance works the way you expect. Sign up, work, get paid. But as anyone who has ever come anywhere near the process of managing core HR data, payroll, and benefits knows, this “simple” task is anything but easy.

Want to provide a positive employee experience? Get the fundamentals right – every time

Managing what goes into and out of the calculations that make up an employee paycheck is so fundamental to the employer/employee relationship that it actually defines work. If there is no pay, you are volunteering. So, when it goes wrong, it can shake the foundation of that relationship. Why would your staff trust you with their career development if you can’t keep track of where they live, the benefits they signed up for, and do the math correctly on their check? As organizations struggle to find and keep great talent, creating a positive payroll and benefits experience is increasingly important.

Data from Aptitude’s latest research finds that compliance and reporting are both among the top three drivers for workforce management technology, trailing only improving productivity. Compliance may not be a strategic driver for organizations, but failure to execute on it can derail any bigger plans the organization has. Compliance is essential, but if you stop there, you’re missing the opportunity to leverage your investment in technology that helps drive compliance to also enhance the employee experience.

Transparency: key tenet of today’s employee experience

An efficient, effective, and accurate core HR, payroll, and benefits management solution can deliver an employee experience that helps eliminate issues that can distract employees and reduce productivity. More accurate and compliant processes also support transparency, a key tenet of the employee experience today. Workers don’t just want to see their paystub online, they want to understand the variables that may be impacting their pay, like overtime or hitting various taxation limits. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act in the US, and whatever comes after it, individuals and organizations need insight into who is eligible, what factors went into determining eligibility, and how all of those factors influence their pay.

Core HR, payroll and benefits administration have gotten a bad rap for being boring, but they are essential to an organization’s ability to operate and to an individual’s ability to plan for their life. They also make up the core employee experience that can define the overall success of the employer/employee relationship. Ensuring that these critical processes keep the employee experience in mind as well as the administrative and reporting needs of the organization can go a long way towards engagement, retention and overall organizational success.

Mollie Lombardi, Co-Founder, Aptitude Research Partners