Using team values to boost payroll culture

by | Jun 27, 2023 | Payroll professionals

In the past, payroll has been overlooked and seen as a back-office function. But things are shifting. Payroll is maturing and is now starting to receive the recognition it deserves. It’s a critical function, imperative to the success of any business.

So, now it’s time to invest in your team. A big part of that involves working to improve your payroll culture. Sure, you can leave the culture to develop on its own – but it could be at your own peril.

One tested and proven way to build a strong culture is by establishing a set of values specific for your team. In this article we’ll cover some best practice tips on how to get started.

How to establish team values

Here’s some tips from a Harvard Business Article to help you figure out which values that will last the test of time:

  • Develop your values together with your team: Tap into the values that people already find meaningful and uncover core values that we, as an organisation, were already living. This will help you avoid those aspirational, but essentially meaningless values that leaders often impose on their team.
  • Reflect and contribute thoughtfully: Before you plan on meeting to discuss your team values – ask yourself and your team questions like: What do you value? What unspoken values have contributed to our success to date? What do successful employees share in common? What values should govern the way we interact with each other and with our customers? Giving everyone the opportunity to think it through first.
  • Get all ideas out there and then organise: List all the potentials on a whiteboard after talking through all the questions asked. Then ask everyone to independently select ten values that they thought would resonate and rank those values in order of importance to them.
  • Shortlist your values: Compare your lists and assign point values to each — if a value was #1 on a person’s list, it was given 10 points; if it was #10, it received 1 point; and so on. Use your top-ranking values to create a short list and then see what general themes emerge.

Bonus tips from our team to yours

Here’s a couple of extra tips that have worked well for our team at Paytools:

  • Keep it simple: We kept ours to 3 values (4 max), so they are easy to remember and recall when you need.
  • Print out a poster: Put together a fun design in poster form, print it out and stick it on your wall so it’s visible to everyone (send a printed version to remote employees in their welcome pack). This way, it’s visible to everyone what behaviours and attitudes they should be bringing into to work every day. It’s also a good idea to place a copy in the room where you have interviews and reviews, so you can always use it as a lens for developing employees and hiring/firing.

Free payroll culture poster

Here’s a free example of an A4 PDF payroll team values poster to give you some inspiration:

Creating a strong payroll culture is an essential step towards building a positive company culture overall. By establishing values that are meaningful to you and your team – you’re much more likely to have a culture where your people feel valued and like coming to work each day.

If you’d like to learn more about what makes us tick, check out our company page or read about our payroll operations platform.

Payroll culture


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