The onboarding process is never easy. Someone in HR is responsible for getting new workers going before passing them off to their direct supervisors to complete the onboarding process. There is so much to do, so much to say, so much to hope for with every new worker who comes on board.
From a payroll perspective, there is quite a bit that new workers need to know right from the start. So much so that it might be a good idea to have an orientation period before new workers actually start work. Some companies offer a full day of orientation just to make sure new team members are brought up to speed.
Whether a company offers a specific time of orientation or not, there are a few payroll topics that need to be discussed during onboarding. New workers need all the information they can get so they are not left with questions that could undermine the confidence they have in their new employer.
HR and payroll department members already know how frequently company employees get paid. So does the rest of the staff. New employees need to know this as soon as they come on board. Never leave new workers wondering when they will get that first paycheck, or they may be unhappy before they ever start the second or third week of work.
Options for Getting Paid
It is a mistake to simply cut a check and not tell workers about the options they have. To begin with, workers may prefer one of the other options over the paper check. Some of them may not have bank accounts, forcing them to take paper checks to a check-cashing company that inevitably charges for the service.
Equally important is the fact that writing paper checks is one of the costliest ways for a company to pay its employees. Direct deposit is a lot more cash-efficient. It is also easier. Definitely talk to workers about the different methods for getting paid during the onboarding process.
Open enrollment for established workers begins late in the year. For a new worker coming on board in February or March though, having to wait 30 to 60 days (depending on company policies) to be eligible for things like health insurance and vision coverage is typical. These things should be discussed during the onboarding process.
Again, workers should not be left wondering about when they will be eligible for benefits. They shouldn't have to guess about whether they will eventually be getting health insurance. These things should all be discussed up front.
Time and Attendance Policies
One of the biggest areas of confusion for new employees are time and attendance policies. What are the company's policies about punching in 5 minutes early, for example? Are workers required to punch out and back in for lunch breaks? Is time tracked using a digital clock or through handwritten time sheets?
Online Payroll Access
If your company offers access to payroll records via online accounts, this is definitely something to talk about during the onboarding process. One of the benefits of online payroll is that it eliminates the need to visit the HR department every time an employee has a question. Online access gives every staff member the information they need at their fingertips.
There's a lot to discuss with new employees during the onboarding process. Although payroll may not be high on the priority list, it shouldn't be ignored. Informing employees up front gives them both the information and confidence they need to get right to work as soon as onboarding is complete.