Beyond Financial Wellness: Why Every CHRO Needs a Chief Payroll Officer

Webinar Series

Beyond Financial Wellness: Why Every CHRO Needs a Chief Payroll Officer

Webinar Series

Beyond Financial Wellness: Why Every CHRO Needs a Chief Payroll Officer

In this webinar you will learn about…

  • The changing workforce and how Payroll and HR heroes are responding to the demand for preferences for experiences over “things”
  • Who a MAGGIE is, and why you should care
  • 3 ways your organization can help your employees to harness the power of their pay (for free)
  • How to create a Pay Experience™ that deepens the bond with your employees in unprecedented ways
  • Ways that your learning platform increases financial awareness and wellness

In their everyday lives, today’s employees expect the services they receive to be instant and seamlessly delivered. From calling for a ride, to ordering food, to the shows that they watch and music they listen to, everything they do revolves around a personalized, instantly delivered experience.

These expectations have quietly crept into the workplace and reset expectations. Employees are starting to demand that their workplace experiences mirror their personal ones.

With workplace loyalty at an all-time low, this demands the attention of HR leaders (Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) in particular) who must adapt and respond in new ways to meet the experiential needs of their workforces. Traditional services, like payroll, need to be delivered to meet these changing expectations and create more value for employees and a more loyal and productive workforce. Every company needs a pay experience.

View On-Demand

Guest Speakers

Jeanniey Walden

Chief Innovation & Marketing Officer

DailyPay

Laura Burgess

Sr. Director, HR Operations & Talent Acquisition

Vista Outdoor

Webinar Transcript

Duration: 60 minutes

Natalie:

All right. Good afternoon everyone and welcome to today’s webinar Beyond Financial Wellness: Why Every CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) Needs a Chief Payroll Officer. Before we get started, say I’d like to go over a few items so you know how to participate in today’s event. You will have the opportunity to submit text questions to today’s presenter by typing your questions into the question panes on the control panel. You may send in your questions anytime during the presentation and we’ll collect these and address them during the Q&A session at the end of today’s presentation.

Natalie:

Now I’m very excited to introduce to you today our presenters, Jeanniey Walden and Laura Burgess.

Jeanniey Walden:

Thanks much, Natalie. Hi everybody. I’m Jeanniey Walden. I’m the chief innovation and marketing officer at DailyPay, but nowhere near as important as my fellow presenter Laura who is going to be our expert today on this webinar and I’m so thrilled to have you. Thanks Laura for jumping on to this webinar with us.

Laura Burgess:

Thank you so much Jeanniey. I’m really excited to be here.

Jeanniey Walden:

Fantastic. So Laura, just for everybody… Do you want to give a little bit of your background?

Laura Burgess:

Yeah, absolutely. I’m the senior director of HR operations and talent acquisition for Vista Outdoor. I work out of their headquarters location, which is just Northwest of Minneapolis. Vista, for those of you who don’t know what we are. We’re a global designer, manufacturer and marketer of consumer products in the outdoor sports and recreation market. We employ about 4,400 employees worldwide.

Laura Burgess:

In my role at Vista, is kind of unique. My areas of ownership touch almost every stage in the employee life cycle. That includes recruiting, hiring, onboarding, ongoing employee support, and payroll. I also own HR technology for the company so that allows me to help drive initiatives that enhance our candidate and employee experience by utilizing new and enhanced technology solutions and personally I’m very passionate about building a strong and fun work culture for my teams and just increasing employee engagement and development and I’m excited to be here to chat with you guys today.

Jeanniey Walden:

Well, fantastic. Without any further ado, we’re going to get started and just share what we’re going to accomplish together over the next 60 minutes and I think we’ve got quite the agenda to talk about. We are really going to talk about how the changing workforce and the changing times are not only requiring us to rethink everything that we do and have done and have thought about in the past to create payroll heroes and HR heroes that are responding to the changing workforce in times that we live in and the demand for a more experiential initiative and I left because… We’re going to talk about MAGGIEs and I’ll give you all a spoiler alert.

A MAGGIE is someone who’s a millennial and Gen Z who gets instant everything and really focuses on experiences, but… if COVID-19 has brought us any good at all, I think it’s the realization of how impactful experiences in the workplace can be. We’re going to talk a little bit about that and also identify at least three ways that your organizations can help your employees harness the power of their pay and really leverage it in a strategic way that builds trust stronger within your organization, between you and your employee.

Definitely something that’s needed at this time of crisis that we’re going through and how to create that experience within your organization as well as… no webinar or these days would be complete if we didn’t talk about how COVID-19 is impacting payroll, HR, and employees as well. Without further ado, let’s keep talking and dive right into the content and I think one of the greatest things that I’ve seen about payroll and that I’ve learned about payroll being at DailyPay for a little over seven months now, is that payroll is the secret sauce that really keeps an organization going.

That really in many cases isn’t recognized for the incredible and incredibly important jobs that they do. Because when you think about it without payroll, no company can survive. For all the payroll people that are listening in today I’m going to say you’re the most valuable employee in the organization, but really I don’t think today’s call is tell that, I don’t think that it should be a secret anymore because payroll is to HR like peanut butter is to jelly. They both exist separately, but without the other life just isn’t the same and over the years I think we’ve seen payroll and HR have a stronger and stronger alliance and bond that really is required in order to keep improving the experience within every organization to keep productivity high, to keep the employees happy and to really help drive bottom line for the company.

With those two statements it really is time to elevate the strategic importance of payroll. We’ve been saying since the end of last year that one of our predictions for DailyPay is that 2020 is the year of the emergence of a Chief Payroll Officer and there were a lot of questions earlier on in the air, if that was something that even made sense, if strategically, if it was even possible but I have to tell you with all the changes that are happening now to every organization of every size around the entire globe, with COVID-19 when business starts to come back and the economy starts to grow again, it is going to be the payroll department and the payroll team that are going to be the heroes that take the place of those workers on the front lines right now to rebuild businesses and the economy and make sure that employees and their families are paid for and that organizations are protected from a financial standpoint.

Thinking about it we really should be considering how to align both HR and payroll objectives, because payroll taking a bigger role inside the organization from a strategic standpoint, absolutely doesn’t mean that HR has a lesser role. In fact, in many cases, the role of HR and payroll together makes the most powerful impact on a business. When you look at this little grid that we came up with, you’re looking at exploring the benefits and satisfaction that companies and employees both have when nobody meets their objectives, obviously no one’s meeting their expectations. If HR meets their expectations, you see typically some high levels of employee satisfaction but sometimes there can be a lack for a real sense of a feeling that the financial means of an employee are taken care of.

When payroll objectives are met you get that sense that their financial needs are taken care of but is it being done in the most experiential way and really does that matter when these two super powers come together. I mean it is really… has the ability to change organizations and Laura, I know you’re going to speak in a few minutes about the transformation that you have helped create at Vista and your thoughts and opinions about how HR and payroll should work together as well. I’m going to keep moving on and talk about some of the research that we’ve read and that we’ve seen and the feedback we’ve been getting at least pre COVID-19 according to Kronos and what we… In all of our research at DailyPay, we’re constantly keeping our ear to the ground on what can help empower and power an HR employee to bring better experiences to their organization. What experiences do they need? What can help power and empower a payroll person to bring better payroll solutions to the company, especially for those companies that are focused on digitization and innovation and transformation of their organization.

We’re always looking at that but also with a keen eye on what can bring employee satisfaction to a high level and I know at DailyPay, whenever we roll out a DailyPay benefit to any of our partners and our clients we often do a survey after the launch has taken place and the benefit has been in place for about 90 days or more and we specifically ask employees if their satisfaction in working for an organization or their trust levels in working with an organization has improved since they offered DailyPay and each time I see the stats. I’m really kind of blown away because they’re usually in the high 70 to 80% where employees are saying this helped me understand that my employee values me even more than I thought they did and it’s helping to create a better working relationship where I want to be more productive because they’re giving me access to something that I need and I think the Kronos study shows similar insights talking about digital solutions that the entire workforce, whether hourly, salary, or management level.

It’s really top of mind for all payroll professionals to make their own role more effective. Payroll professionals responded saying that their next solution must have on demand reporting in analytics something that’s critical for someone who’s leading the charge in a payroll solution and a payroll role right now. Seamless integration with time and labor management to improve data quality and I don’t think there’s any role within an organization that doesn’t strive for improvements in data quality and then the comprehensive ability to track multiple worker classifications like seasonal and temporary employees in addition to full and part time.

Jeanniey Walden:

What payroll leaders are looking for to help power an organization, build employee trust, build productivity, build compliance security and just increase value to the bottom line is no different than I think what we’re all looking for and striving for but to see this survey come back with a data oriented results is really exciting because with the advances in fintech, in the advances in technology in general, we see a lot of solutions like DailyPay that can actually answer these needs of payroll providers. And now that COVID-19 is fully in place, we’ve also been hearing about a tremendous number of new pay codes in addition to multiple worker classifications listed here. Hazard pay is a big one in the news that we’re seeing. Shift differentials is one that we hear about paid time off, furlough pay.

There’s a lot of different types of workers now that we’re seeing in the market, and I think back in the day if it was limited to this, the world would be fine but on top of just straight data analytics and insights, we started to see a crazy thing happen about two years ago coming into the workforce. We started to see a new type of employee, we call them MAGGIEs. Like I said early on, MAGGIEs are millennials and Gen Z who get instant everything and this really kind of threw the traditional HR and payroll organizations for a loop because they had built standard benefit processes down based on value for certain things, including very valuable 401(k), 401(k) matching program. Payroll teams were very efficient and very focused on the management of an established set of pay codes and established process and set for the way that workers work and then these millennials and Gen Z come in and just really took us for a loop because what happened is this new workforce entered the workforce with different expectations.

Jeanniey Walden:

It wasn’t about the traditional ways of getting paid that all of us had been used to prior in the workforce and it wasn’t even about the traditional workday anymore. Where for Gen Z… Gen X, which is what I am, and baby boomers, we were raised in an environment where you came in, you worked from 9:00 to 5:00, 9:00 to 6:00, whatever the hours were. You did your job, you worked really hard, and your reward was a paycheck. Like that was it. You were looking for that and you were very thankful for that but millennials and Gen Z, these MAGGIEs came in and they just don’t want a paycheck anymore. They want something more.

They want an experience and so at DailyPay, we started to do this really interesting analysis of what creating an experience for an HR leader or even a payroll leader actually means to this new organization and when we started to look at the things all around us that had become experiential, Uber, Lyft, so car rides are now an experience, easy, seamless, at the touch of a button. Hotels and places to stay with Airbnb and Vrbo, easy, seamless. Uber Eats, Grubhub, Seamless itself with the name of it. All of these elements allow people to create experiences that they felt would help support the quality of their life without changing anything about the process that they used for it but now we’re also on demand.

This unique combination of digital capabilities started to kind of intertwine with technical capabilities to create an experience generation, which is what we see with millennials and Gen Z. As we sat around at DailyPay back when we thought that together in one office and brainstorm things, we started to think about how can you build solutions that create an experience if everything must be an experience. We tried to think of what the most mundane, boring, transactional type of element in a Gen X and a baby boomers world would be and then tried to reimagine that as an experience so that we could see if we could do the same with pay and we started with coffee because we felt that coffee was the most boring thing in the world for a Gen X so a baby boomer and hopefully they’re having a cup of coffee right now or maybe if it’s late enough where you’re listening to this, you’re having glass of wine but coffee is really basic for the Xs and the baby boomers.

You wake up, you have your coffee, typically while you’re getting ready or getting the kids ready, the coffee cup either goes into a mug to take it in your car or into the sink or the dishwasher and it’s over. It’s a five minute initiative. It’s not an experience, it’s just something that you do to get the caffeine going but not for this new generation, and the new generation, the experience goes like this. A millennial, a Gen Z wakes up around 6:00 in the morning and they say, “Boy I’d love some coffee.” They go online to different community channels like Slack or Skype or any Instagram, any of these channels and they start researching, asking their friends, where is the most amazing coffee that I can get? Like not your traditional run of the mill. Folgers at the grocery store.

They want to order their coffee because it’s important to them. They order their coffee after getting ready using an app where again, the process is on demand. It’s customized, it’s personal, it’s seamless. They have it to be ready for them when they show up at the coffee location. An hour later as they’re ready to show up at the coffee location and they pay probably way more than they needed to get the most beautiful cup of coffee ever with a gorgeous leaf of butterfly, a heart, something else on the top of it, even though their name has been butchered. It’s okay because look how gorgeous this coffee is. This whole two hours has been an experience.

Now you would think they’d drink it right now, but no, in an experience economy, if they drink it by themselves in this undisclosed location that would end it and who would it be able to share the experience with them? They take 12 minutes of the most incredible social media photos that you could possibly have and they post them online to show their surroundings, to show their coffee, to show what they’re wearing, to show how happy they are to have their coffee and then at 8:15, two hours and 15 minutes later after they have created this full experience, they don’t drink their coffee. They experience their coffee with others as they see live comments, live feed and even social posts.

They’re now… what they have done, what this generation has done has turned something that used to be mundane, very rote, and it just happened because that’s what happened into something that’s an experience that they can appreciate, that brings joy to their lives that they have control of and that they can turn into something more meaningful. You see when coffee turns into an experience and if coffee can turn into an experience, imagine what could happen with pay. We started to think at DailyPay that pay should be more for a millennial, a Gen Z, and for every worker than just something that happens on a predefined date of the month, whether it’s the 15th, whether it’s every week, whether it’s once a month, whether it’s two weeks.

Pay could become an experience that allows the employee to control what they’re doing. That allows them the flexibility to decide the timing on when they do it and it gives them a greater satisfaction and engagement with an employer to drive things forward, and so if we look at the next slide… we were all set at DailyPay on talking about how employees can enjoy this new pay experience focused on a millennial and Gen Z connection but then this happened, the pandemic. And it really kind of stopped us in our tracks for a minute because we started to think in the world of COVID-19 pandemic, what does the role of pay actually mean?

And what we started to realize is that everything we had focused on around pay, needing to be an experience, needing to be something that the employee can control and have flexibility over so they can make decisions, that it’s not just about a new generation who wants to have an incredible experience. It’s about an entire world that needs to have control and flexibility over one and how they access their pay that they can take care of their families and when COVID-19 happened, we started to track what was happening with pay and we started to see that 43% of employees who were using DailyPay had started to use it specifically to support COVID-19 related expenses.

These were anything from… thank God I could get my pay early. I needed gas to go pick up my daughter at college before they shut her college down, all the way to, I work at a gas station and I was thrilled to be able to have access to my money before pay day because I needed to buy masks and gloves so that I could continue to service the people who come to work on the front lines and need to get gas on their way to work. I mean this whole… and then everything in between, including… I needed to buy toilet paper and chicken. If I waited until everyone got paid, it would be sold out. Thank you for letting me to go on my time when I could go to the grocery store when I knew that the stock was coming in.

We started to see that in a time of crisis, the power of pay becomes even much bigger and that our responsibility as HR leaders and as payroll leaders to enable our employees to access their pay when they need it becomes much more strategic. Again, it’s not something that’s fun for a new generation. This is now the way that it needs to be. As we’ve been following this, we’ve been seeing that one in seven employees are accessing their pay early through DailyPay in order to get what they need and we’re seeing 63% of people who are using DailyPay said they would use it for emergencies.

When we go to the next slide, I think what you can see here is that as employers are responding to this crisis, time off, sick leave, access to pay also becomes super critical. In fact, as we’re keeping our ear to the ground, we’re seeing several new times of paid leave being implemented. There’s a number of new laws that are requiring and incentivize the employers to provide paid leave to COVID-19 situations. In fact, my older daughter works for a sporting goods store. She’s an assistant store manager. Everyone underneath her has been furloughed with pay during this pandemic. Everyone her level and above have taken reductions in their salary to make sure that everyone is taken care of. We’ve got the federal stimulus, we’ve got New York and Colorado requirements for paid leave directly to those impacted by COVID-19.

There’s different temporary requirements that we’re seeing and we’re also watching very closely how employers are processing these new types of paid leave, and as I mentioned earlier, we’re seeing a tremendous number of new earnings codes coming up that are things that we’ve never had to deal with before. Most systems allow for these additions pretty easily. We’re seeing these new codes are actually enabling a lot of people in the payroll teams, a lot of leaders to track payments, to claim tax and other benefits, which is critical to keep companies thriving and we’re seeing that summary purposing special codes like those used for snow emergencies in order to move through this. When you think about it, now more than ever we’re seeing that payroll has become the cornerstone of success for every single business and that’s just what we’re seeing on the DailyPay side of things.

We try and keep our ear to the ground with as many of our millions of employees and hundreds of clients as we can but Laura, I think you can probably speak best to this as an expert in this area and talk about what you’re seeing as a payroll leader. Tell me if my ideas and our observations about millennials, Gen Z and the COVID-19 crisis are crazy or not, but we’d love to hear from you. What you’re seeing, the steps you’re taking at Vista and how you’re really having to rethink and change a lot of what you’ve historically done.

Laura Burgess:

Yeah, Jeanniey, thank you. That’s a really good question. I do think that you are spot on with. I know what you guys are thinking and what you’re seeing. This is definitely an unprecedented time that we’re in right now. Businesses all over the world are being tasked with finding ways to navigate the challenges and the uncertainties that are coming up every day. For Vista, we are fortunate in that most of our businesses are considered essential and therefore we actually are able to keep the majority of our factories and distribution centers in operations.

For us this is actually trying to find ways to incent our employees to come into work because with everything going on not everybody wants to be at the workplace. Obviously pay is important, but their health and safety is even more so we’re doing everything we can and taking the precautions that we can to ensure that our employees stay safe and healthy while continuing to support the business. I think it’s definitely important to think about how we can leverage payroll and technology to continue to support our employees through these trying times and a program… an on-demand pay program like DailyPay offers that. We definitely have communicated out to our employees that DailyPay has waived their fees for next day transfers and I think it’s really important to again, put back control into our employee’s hands and help them feel like they’re in control in a world where it feels like everything’s out of control, and little things that we can do to help support them goes a really long way.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah, that’s amazing. It’s so great to hear from you, from the front lines on the steps that you’re taking and that Vista is taking and yes, we did waive our fees for next day access to funds so people can have that, but are you looking at taking it down your staff? Are you ramping up hiring? Like what is the environment right now for you?

Laura Burgess:

Yeah, that’s also a really good question. For us our shooting sports segments is really our biggest business and we’re actually doing really well right now. We are ramping up hiring just to keep up with production. Our fiscal year end runs through March 31st, so we actually just finalized our fiscal year and we had a really big push to get product not only made but out the door and so the fact that we were able to stay open, being considered an essential business really helped that and we are hiring and we’re again trying to find ways to incent our employees to come into work.

We created a program, we worked with our compensation team to create a program to offer incentive bonuses for all of the hours that they work and so payroll will be facilitating that and making sure everyone is paid timely and accurately and as we’re looking at hiring, again, this is tough. There are a lot of people that are looking for work, but there are also a lot of people that feel safer at home so it’s really finding that balance in order to support the business.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah, totally, totally. I can certainly appreciate that. For us at DailyPay I mean, it’s so fantastic to hear that you’re an essential business and I think that’s probably a huge sigh of relief for you and the team that works for you and we always love hearing people are hiring at this time. We’ve been trying to play matchmaker with some of our partners, clients and we call them partners, we’re hearing this company is downsizing at least temporarily. This company’s hiring in the same area. Are there transferable skills that we can kind of help place people in the short term. It’s always great to hear that you’re hiring because of the demand for your business.

Jeanniey Walden:

I know for a lot of us at DailyPay, we were concerned that as the economy was somewhat slowing down, that a lot of our team was going to be left with not a lot to do with a slow down in work. I have to tell you, I’ve worked from home in the past on occasion, things are coming. I’ve not worked for home for four straight weeks in a row in my life like this, but I’m busier today than I have been when I’ve been in the office. It’s crazy. How are you and how’s your payroll team like? Are you all busy? Are you seeing a slow down or are you seeing the same effect that we’re seeing at DailyPay where it’s just a great opportunity and a really crazy time?

Laura Burgess:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’re definitely seeing the same thing. For all of our employees that do have the ability to work remotely are doing so, and my days are typically busy but they feel like they’ve been even busier lately. Obviously we have a lot of additional meetings and conversations just in regards to COVID-19 and just working through that and supporting our employees but I think this is really being used as an opportunity to really kind of get stuff done. When you’re in the office, you have… or maybe at least I do, I have people stopping by all the time and I love it. I really miss that daily interaction, but it’s really tough to kind of get stuff done, if you know what I mean. When you’re working from home, I mean there’s still the distractions and the interruptions. It may not be from your team or coworkers, it might be from your kids, dogs and husband, but there’s still interruptions and distractions, but it is much easier to kind of just hunker down and get through that list of stuff that you thought you’d never get through.

I feel like for my they’re doing a great job continuing to support our employees and really focus on kind of those project lists and those nice to haves and things that we really wanted to get done. Again, with us kind of wrapping up our fiscal year, we’re actually just kicking off and launching our performance process. My teams are very busy with that. My HRS team is supporting that for the company, and we debated on whether or not we wanted to kind of push forward with our normal timeline of that because with everything going on, I mean, do people really want to stop and think about their goals and what they’ve accomplished, but it’s really important to stay focused and to stay grounded and to really continue to drive our work and our business even through what’s going on in the world because I think kind of having that sense of normalcy really helps our employees and their peace of mind and just to kind of keep things feel as good as possible with everything going on.

Jeanniey Walden:

Totally, totally. Basically when I think about what you’re doing and what your team’s doing is… I really do think that you guys have almost evolved into like the chief payroll officer organization. You’ve implemented all these great programs. You have considered… everything that’s going on, you’re doing what we’re doing at DailyPay on the marketing team, which is doing this like gap analysis or what are the critical elements and things that we haven’t been able to get done in the past that now we have a little time to think about and prepare for the future, but I think what you’re doing is so critical because as the economy starts to bounce back again and build back again and everyone is out there looking for more meaning in the jobs that they’re doing and just being grateful that they have made it through this terrible pandemic hopefully without much personal loss. Your team’s going to be so critical.

Jeanniey Walden:

From my side of the world, you are in this great role of… that will emerge as a chief payroll officer advising on digital transformation needed to further that pay experience as we get out of this and providing insights to your fellow C-suite members and certainly… definitely all of leadership and advising even the CFO on cost savings through new initiatives. Do you see that the payroll… do you see payroll emerging or do you agree with me that payroll is going to emerge with this new sense of purpose and power within the company? Not to make you sound like this evil villain that assumes all the power. I think I did… but I think it is much more strategic now as we move forward with all of the things you’re going to have to do with, with bonus pay, with sick pay, with appreciation, with validation.

I mean we’re seeing all over the news today that supermarket workers are walking out without hazard pay delivery, drivers are walking out because they want hazard pay. People want access to their money. I mean, it’s a crazy time.

Laura Burgess:

Yup. Absolutely. No, and I agree completely. You kind of spoke to it earlier in the webinar but payroll, is typically been the back end support team. Unless something’s wrong with your pay, you just don’t even really think about the fact that they’re there? But payroll touches every single employee across the organization and it’s up to us to make sure that that experience is as positive as possible and that really does need to go beyond just timely and accurate paycheck. I mean, what else can we do to help employees feel like they have control, that they have a voice and there’s a lot that payroll has access to in terms of data and analysis, and we can be leveraged as that strategic partner to help drive just the full employee experience across the company.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah. That’s cool. Message to anyone in payroll out there. As the world emerges from COVID-19, as this country emerges from COVID-19 so do payroll people emerging into the strategic role that… I think you said it really well, Laura. In the past, no one’s thought about payroll unless something goes wrong and like, it’s been this after that because everyone in payroll is committed and focused to compliance, technology, process, and all of those details of which I could never do as a leader, because I can’t pay attention to details that much attention like you all can so you get my full respect for that in the first place. Now emerging out of this to really be advising based on the data that you’re seeing, the insights that you’re seeing on what changes, what programs need to be implemented in order to keep a workforce that’s engaged and not only engaged, but helping to keep a business ,and get a business back on feet or keep it accelerating through this.

I think that’s fantastic and we will certainly award you the first title of chief payroll officer, at least deputy chief payroll officer as deputized by DailyPay for this conversation and moving forward.

Laura Burgess:

Thank you. I appreciate it. It’s an honor.

Jeanniey Walden:

You’re welcome. You can make a speech if you’d like to. You can thank your husband, your kids, everyone who’s staying at home and working, but we are getting actually a tremendous number of questions and most of them are for you. I’m going to actually move to the Q&A section of this webinar now. If you have more questions, please send them in. If we can’t get to them in the next 10 minutes or so then we’ll try and get back to you after the webinar is over. The first question is, congratulations on being deputized as chief payroll officer. How did you evaluate different DailyPay offerings in the first place and why did you even decide to offer one before something like a pandemic happened?

Laura Burgess:

Yeah, that’s a really good question. Enhancing our employees’ pay experience, it’s been top of mind for Vista and part of my goals and just my strategic priorities for my teams. I think what really propelled us kind of down that path was the completion of a huge project to consolidate our five different pay frequencies down to just one biweekly lag pay cycle. We’re an organization of a little over 4,000 employees and we as a payroll team, we’re literally paying our employees on five different pay cycles. We were constantly running payroll. It was very difficult to manage. I mean, we have a great team that did a really good job, but it was time to just simplify and I think from a payroll perspective, simplification, automation, standardization, like those should be our key goals and so that’s really what our focus was.

Laura Burgess:

Once we had all of our employees down to one biweekly pay cycle, we really started thinking about ways that we could further enhance the pay experience by understanding the needs of our workforce and leveraging technology to meet those needs. It was shortly after that that we really began our full evaluation of an on demand pay program. Again, our goal of rolling out program was really just to provide our employees with access to their pay with just greater flexibility and in a responsible way and there were a lot of factors that we considered. Vista, we probably also win the prize for taking the longest to complete the evaluation process. We really wanted to make sure that we understood what it was that we were kind of getting into and what it meant for our employees because it was really a new concept at that point.

Laura Burgess:

And so our very first step was really just to research what vendors were even out there that offered on demand pay. What did it really mean? And how did we make sure that the impact to us as an organization and to our employees was a benefit and that it wasn’t actually putting more of a burden on our payroll teams after just going through that huge project to actually relieve our payroll teams of all of the work that they were doing. We found through our evaluation that there were really two primary models, vendor funded and employer funded and so we kind of sent a detailed questionnaire to each vendor that we were talking to and ended up based on those responses and what we were looking for, we narrowed down that evaluation to four specific vendors and really kind of started diving deep.

Once we knew what each vendor had to offer, we sat down and really thought about and defined our selection criteria, which was basically the key pieces that we wanted our program to have and then we also engaged with partners across the business to ensure that we weren’t missing any critical components. We really wanted to think about what was important to us as a whole not just the payroll, but as an organization in rolling out a program and so our selection criteria was really focused on four key areas. The first being the employee experience itself. How easy was it to use? Did it provide universal access to funds for all employees or just for a group of employees? What were the employees’ fees? What was the timing and the amount of funds that they could transfer? What other perk did it offer like financial wellness and other things?

Secondly, we looked at the program model and of course the impact of payroll. Who funds the transfers? What was the vendor retainment method? What data exchanges were needed and then of course the impact of payroll processing. Did we have to change anything in terms of how we process or the timing of funding and that stuff was really important. Third we looked at security and compliance risks. We looked at final pay compliance, wage discounting, what was the impact of payroll tax? What was the security of our employee sensitive data that we had to share with a vendor? And finally the implementation process was part of our really key selection criteria. What were the time and resources that were required? What was the training model for managers and employees on using the program and then for payroll to support it? What marketing and educational material was provided to us? Were there any specific contract requirements that we needed to think about and get our legal team involved in?

Laura Burgess:

We really did a lot of due diligence to ensure that we were choosing the right model and the right vendor for us. We evaluated each of the vendors against that selection criteria and we chose the one that most closely aligned with what was important to us as a company and for our employees, and I know I’m kind of going on and on here, but one thing I just wanted to kind of call out at the end is keep in mind that getting buy-in for an on demand program or even any sort of enhancement to the pay experience from partners and from your executive leadership team does really need to go beyond just the work-related impacts of the program. Initially I would say our partners and leadership team at Vista were somewhat skeptical of the program and I think that’s probably why it took us a while to really do that full evaluation and make sure we really understood what we were getting ourselves into.

I think they were worried that it would be overused, that it would actually encourage bad financial behavior and I heard a lot of times that they were worried that employees would end up receiving no pay on pay day and then that would actually put a further strain on payroll because employees would be calling in and asking where their money was, but the exact opposite has really proven to be true for us. I think employees are actually more interested in just being able to see what their available balance is so that they can budget, so that they can make sound or financial decisions.

I think it’s been really interesting to… You talked earlier about the survey that goes out 90 days after implementation and I think it’s really interesting to see what employees really are using it for and how many are active users versus how many are actually transferring funds. I think just that visibility and so their available balance and again, that feeling of control of I can see what my balance is, I can control when and how I get paid if I want to. I think that really goes a long way. I’m sorry that was a very long answer.

Jeanniey Walden:

So, that was a phenomenal answer. I think it was so comprehensive in just a short amount of time. I think you spoke to so many key points there. I’m curious something that you said was… you came into this looking for a solution because you were trying to consolidate different pay schedules. Do you feel like there has to be… I don’t want to say a problem, but do you feel like in order for the payroll team to get behind looking at a DailyPay benefit that there needs to be a payroll process that needs to be changed? Or do you think that also some payroll teams would consider just looking at more control for their employees now that the COVID-19 has shown that people are less likely to go out and take their money and spend it on drugs and terrible things and waste it. They don’t do that with their ATM machine that they’re using it for managing their family and their finances. Or where do you think it has to be a payroll driven challenge? Or do you think that it could be in support of employees in most cases?

Laura Burgess:

Yeah. That’s a great question. I don’t think there has to be a payroll challenge or a problem that needs to be solved. I think for us that kind of started the process for us as we started thinking about other ways to improve the employee experience, but it certainly does not have to be that way, and I think this is where it’s really, really important and I think you’ve touched on this earlier too, but it’s really important for HR and payroll to work hand in hand with things like this because HR was really on the forefront. They’re on the ground so to speak with our employees and they’re hearing firsthand. Those experiences and situations and things that employees are looking for and HR and payroll really has to partner and payroll is in a position where they can help support and enhance the experience based on what the HR business partners are hearing as they’re kind of on the ground every day.

Laura Burgess:

I think it’s important for payroll… It’s easier for payroll if there’s a problem that helps kind of their workload. I think it’s easier for them to get behind it but I also think that payroll teams are also evolving and that they’re not thinking of themselves as transactional anymore. We really are starting to step into that sort of analyst role and really being able to look at our processes and our data and doing something different with it? And so I think it’s a mindset shift that has to happen within payroll as well and then that strong partnership with payroll and HR and really listening to our employees’ needs and then helping to drive just a better experience overall for them.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah. No, I think it’s great, and like I said we’ve been seeing this trend where the payroll teams are becoming more strategic. They are becoming these data analysts, almost data advisors where you’re seeing the trend and one of the things… like I’m a data fanatic and one of the things that I love about the DailyPay data and you alluded to this earlier, is being able to see what the trends are among employee usage. When I first started at DailyPay, I had thought that people were taking their money out because they had an immediate need. They got in a car accident or they couldn’t pay their rent, or like my mom who’s retired but still has a part-time job, her social security check was delayed but her electric bill is still due the same day every month and she was going to be a little short for a time period.

I was really kind of blown away when I realized that the use of DailyPay across all of our partners, clients is really a personalized use case where you might have Mary who doesn’t have financial challenges at all but wants to boost her credit score and is looking at DailyPay to pay bills down faster or earlier based on what things like Credit Karma tell you to do before your next credit report is pulled so she can buy a house or get a lower interest rate on a car or… There’s a great story from this one client, from an employee. He wanted to get MMA certified via Mixed Martial Arts certified fighter, so he would actually look at how much money he’s earned and starts to pick up extra shifts or work overtime in order to make more funds so that he could accelerate his training.

Jeanniey Walden:

In addition to people who, starting out with their first job, they really don’t understand how finances work. They do get behind. They really do need it for the first couple of months until they can figure out how pay works or even switching jobs when there’s that sometimes the awkward three week gap between your last paycheck and your next first paycheck so you can hit payroll cycles. Being able to be at the helm of understanding all that data and sharing that with the organization to say, hey, guess what? These people seem to be taking out their money. We’ve got a high percentage doing it to repay student loans or to take care of veterinarian bills, COVID-19, things that can really start to inform decisions that your HR partners are making about additional or incremental benefits to add into the organization. Like, I love that and I’m sure you’re using that at Vista, I think… it sounds like you’re really focused on the data and trends as well.

Laura Burgess:

Yup. Absolutely, and I think Vista might be at a slight advantage in that our payroll team actually rolls up to HR. It’s nice that we literally work side by side with our kind of employee relations side of HR, payroll, our HRS team, our employee service center. We all kind of roll up together under HR and so when you’ve got all of those different very critical teams kind of working together and literally working towards the same common goals, it really makes it that much simpler.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah. It’s so fantastic. All right. Let me go back and see if there are any other questions. Someone asked, what payroll system you’re working with?

Laura Burgess:

Yeah. We are actually working with ADP. We have ADP Vantage for our payroll provide, and that really did factor into our evaluation process because we needed to make sure that the vendor that we chose and the program that we chose could work seamlessly without creating a bunch of additional workload for our payroll team. I mean, that was really one of our goals outside of, of course, enhancing the experience for our employees. We needed to make sure that that didn’t come at a cost of actually adding workload. ADP and DailyPay have a partnership as you are well aware which includes an ADP marketplace integration and I think… For those of you that are not familiar with what that means, it is literally the click of a few buttons to activate the data exchange between ADP and DailyPay’s system, and I personally did this myself when we were rolling out. I really do know that it’s that easy. If they trusted me with it, then it’s definitely easy.

Laura Burgess:

For us we do use Kronos for timekeeping, that is obviously a very critical part of the implementation process, is having that time data feed into DailyPay every day so that our hourly population could have their available balance be there for them to draw from. We needed to build an integration for our daily time data but even with that workload, the process was incredibly smooth. We spent the majority of our time on just the change management pieces to ensure that we communicated the benefit of the program in various ways to reach all of our employees. Ultimately we were able to implement the program quickly and easily without any changes to our existing payroll process, including the timing of payroll funding and so it was… It was really awesome that ADP and DailyPay are working together like that to truly make it seamless.

Jeanniey Walden:

Yeah, it’s great and I think we can’t say enough positive things about the team over at ADP. I wonder if the person asking the question works at ADP, but I don’t know. But this is… it’s great because I think… we work with a lot of companies that are using ADP as well as Kronos. Viventium and just a whole slew of other types of channel partners. I think our goal at DailyPay has been to strive to make it as seamless and quick as possible to do the integration from a payroll and time management side so that we can accurately feed the information in and then put our algorithm on top of it to do exactly what you said previously, answering a question which was ensure that there is no employee who is left with a paycheck of zero and put in a bind when payday comes along. We do make sure that our [DIA 00:51:37] algorithm and our AI is focused on all types of withholdings including any child support or alimony or tax liens, which is really critical because we want to take care of people.

Jeanniey Walden:

Wow, this has been such a phenomenal conversation and Laura, you have… as I expected at the beginning of the call, been such an expert to talk to. I greatly appreciate you taking the time out of your day to spend with us and really talk about the importance of the chief payroll officer role and the importance that payroll has today but also as we emerge from the pandemic and really start to focus on what’s going to get America back to where it was before the pandemic and possibly even in a better state with creating employee experiences and pay experiences that really power the bottom line results for all the organization.

Jeanniey Walden:

Thank you very much for attending and supporting this webinar. We are going to have another webinar next week and we’re just going to keep doing webinars until this crisis is over and we can all return to in person events and possibly never shake hands again, is what I heard on MSNBC or something like that to see if we can reduce the flu. That’s what they were saying, but our next webinar is actually April 16th, and it’s going to be focused on managing healthcare growth during COVID-19. How drastic times are calling for drastic measures and I’m going to have another great guest with me. I’m going to have Terra Vicario, who’s the CMO of the Viventium and we’re going to talk about how CMOs are dealing with COVID crisis during this… and managing it through the health care industry and during this timeframe.

Jeanniey Walden:

So, Laura, thank you again. I really appreciate it. Enjoy your deputy title. Go tell your family that you’re now… now they’ve promoted in the eyes of DailyPay and hope to see you in person sometime soon.

Laura Burgess:

Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Jeanniey Walden:

All right, great. Thanks much. Bye bye everybody.

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