How to grow your business with an optimized pay experience

When you think about growing your business, your mind might not automatically go to payroll and pay experience. That’s because payroll is seen as a transactional process that only impacts employees when it’s done wrong. 

Traditionally, employees aren’t too concerned with payroll specifics—unless they’re not paid accurately and on time. It’s just something that happens in the background after they clock in and out, and they expect to see money hit their bank accounts without issue. But with recent shifts in the workforce, employees and employers are realizing that pay experience can be more than just getting paid the right amount at the right time. 

As a small business owner, modern payroll and team management tools can automate tasks like tracking hours, calculating wages, and filing taxes in one place—giving you time to focus on growth. When done right, your pay experience can go a long way to attracting and retaining top talent for your business. And with Homebase Payroll, it’s never been easier to create a pay experience designed to grow your business, save time and effort, and increase employee satisfaction.

What’s “pay experience”?

Pay experience is exactly what it sounds like—it’s the experience your employees have with getting paid. Pay experience covers everything from how much they get paid, if they’re paid accurately and on time, how easily they can access their pay, and how they record their hours.

When done right, pay experience can positively impact employee satisfaction, retention, and performance while also attracting new talent to your business. But when employees experience late payments, underpayments, or other pay-related issues, it can have a negative impact on your business.

How pay experience impacts employee satisfaction

As much as an employee may love their job, the reality is that your employees work to earn a living. And if payday comes and they find their pay is short, or even worse, it hasn’t arrived, you can imagine they wouldn’t be too happy about the situation.

If payroll errors start to impact the pay experience, it shouldn’t be a surprise that your employees may begin looking elsewhere for work.

It might seem like payroll errors are few and far between, but our survey of 500 small business owners in the US found that 76% have made a payroll calculation error in the past. Another 66% of small business owners found a timesheet error that had to be corrected before running payroll. That’s not only a lot of unhappy employees, it’s also a lot of time spent reworking payroll and correcting errors—time that could be spent growing your business.

Employees expect to be paid correctly and on time. When those expectations aren’t met, you risk damaging employee-employer relationships, creating a poor reputation for your business with other potential employees.

On the other hand, when you do meet those expectations, you’re well on your way to creating a positive pay experience. In the current workforce, being paid correctly and on time is the standard all businesses should meet. To take your pay experience to the next level, you need to find new ways to offer your employees a first-class pay experience.

4 ways you can improve your small business pay experience

Optimizing your pay experience isn’t just for your employees. As an employer, an optimized pay experience will help you streamline your processes across your business. Let’s take a look at 4 ways you can make improvements to your small business pay experience and save time, money, and a search for new hires.

1. Automate your manual processes

Are you still managing your payroll manually? If the answer is yes, you’re spending valuable time on an easily automated task. On average, businesses spend 63 hours each year running payroll. That’s shy of 8 full days of work—imagine what you could do with that time!

Additionally, a manual payroll process introduces the possibility of human error. As we mentioned above, over three-quarters of all small business owners admit they’ve made a payroll error in the past.

By automating your payroll, you’re not only giving yourself back precious time to focus on other areas of your business, you’re also giving yourself—and your employees—peace of mind knowing that a computer never forgets to carry the one.

With Homebase Payroll, payroll has never been easier. You can instantly convert timesheets into hours and wages, automatically calculate taxes, and send the correct payments to employees, the state, and the IRS. Head into payday knowing all your i’s are dotted, and your t’s are crossed.

Your employees will not only love that they get paid accurately, they’ll also receive payday notifications, so they always know when they’ve been paid.

2. Consider the value of on-demand pay

Stressing about your finances and money has almost become an unofficial way of saying, “Hey, I’m an adult now!”. Financial stress is something most Americans experience—60% of employees point to finances as their top stress in life.

Pair that with the fact that over half of all Americans (61%) are living paycheck to paycheck; it’s easy to see why on-demand pay is becoming so important to employees.

On-demand pay is a system that allows employees to access earned wages before their next pay period. If they have an emergency expense, on-demand pay helps your employees get the money they need before payday while avoiding annoying overdraft fees and high-interest payday loans.

Forty-five percent of hourly workers say access to on-demand pay would help them better manage their finances. Offering your employees a perk that will help them relieve their stress and manage their finances will improve employee satisfaction and ensure that your pay experience goes above and beyond.

Think offering on-demand pay is out of reach for your small business? Think again.

With Homebase, you can give your team early access to their wages so they can handle any emergencies. Not only that, it’s totally free to offer and doesn’t impact your payroll (even if you aren’t using Homebase Payroll yet!).

On-demand pay with Homebase is a win-win for you and your employees.

3. Boost job productivity, retention, and engagement

More than 50% of workers say stress has caused them to become disengaged while on the job, leading to a loss of productivity. We mentioned above that 60% of American employees are stressed about finances. So, when you have a financially stressed employee, odds are you’ve got a distracted employee on your hands.

Financially stressed employees are also more likely to seek another job as a way to alleviate some of the financial stress they’re experiencing. And while offering raises across the board may not be a realistic option, there are other things you can do as an employer to help your employees dial down their financial stress.

By giving your employees tools that help them budget and see their earnings in real time, you give them access to vital information that can empower them to make financial decisions in their best interest.

The Homebase app has everything employees need to understand their earnings, and track and manage bills so hourly workers are empowered to make smart decisions about their total financial picture.

In less than 5 minutes—and with just one app—they can stay on budget and keep their finances under control. Weekly bill reminders help them avoid missed payments and protect their credit scores so employees can dial down the financial stress.

But how does this translate into more productive, engaged employees? When your employees have an understanding of their financial situation, they’ll feel more in control of their finances, and better equipped to manage financial stress. And when your team stresses less, everybody wins. Employees who feel supported with financial wellness benefits like budgeting tools tend to stress less and can better focus on performance and productivity.

4. Leverage business insights

Understanding your business is key to growing your business. And when it comes to your pay experience, you can only improve it if you know what needs improvement.

With access to labor, sales, and payroll data, you’re equipped to make better decisions about your small business. That’s why Homebase has created a toolkit to help business owners feel more in control of traditionally unpredictable factors.

With Homebase, your labor, sales, and payroll data live in one place to help you make smarter decisions.

Additionally, the Homebase app gives you all the tools you need to understand how your team is feeling. We know it’s important to create a great place to work, so we’ve given you everything you need to measure it. Collect feedback from employees regularly and get automated reports on employee sentiment.

Understand employee satisfaction trends over time so you can continue to make informed improvements to your workplace.

How can an optimized pay experience help to grow your business?

Currently, the cost of living is rising at over 8% a year, and multiple industries are experiencing severe labor shortages. Because of this, employees can be more selective about where they choose to work.

Gone are the days when a good vacation package and benefits would be enough to keep employees at your business. Now, employees look at everything before signing on the dotted line.

And one thing that job seekers are considering is a company’s pay experience and payroll policies. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 hourly workers say access to on-demand pay is a top factor when considering a new job opportunity.

By creating a positive pay experience that benefits your employees, you’ll retain your top employees and be more likely to attract new talent when hiring.

Creating a top-notch pay experience has never been easier than with Homebase. Automate your payroll processes, offer your employees perks like on-demand pay, and manage it all in one place. With Homebase, your small business can offer a pay experience that rivals your biggest competitors.

Become an employer of choice with Homebase.

Pay experience FAQs

What does pay experience mean?

Pay experience, or an employee’s experience with getting paid, covers everything from how they track hours, the amount they’re paid, if they’re paid accurately and on time, when they can access their pay, and how easily they can access their income. A positive pay experience can improve employee performance, satisfaction, and retention.

What are the benefits of a good pay experience for your small business?

The benefits of a good pay experience for your small business impact both you and your employees.

A good pay experience will make administrative tasks like running payroll easier for business owners. Pay experience can also positively impact employee performance, satisfaction, and retention. It has also been shown to be a top factor in attracting new talent—1 in 5 hourly workers pointed to elements of the pay experience as a leading factor when considering a new position.

How does payroll automation create a positive pay experience for your employees?

Payroll automation helps create a positive employee pay experience by reducing the risk of human error. Seventy-six percent of business owners admit they’ve made a payroll calculation error in the past. Whether over or underpaid, payroll errors and inaccuracies are a burden for employees. 

With payroll automation, the margin for human error is significantly reduced, and employees can have peace of mind knowing they will be paid accurately and on time.

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