Air Traffic Control to the Payroll Office … We have an employee questioning why the health care deduction changed on their last pay check … Beware of turbulence …
Being a technical guy (ok, ok, I.T.) partnering with Payroll departments for 25 years, I’ve come to the belief that payroll processing and commercial airline piloting are really very, very similar disciplines. You Payroll folks know the routine – get 99.9% of the checks correct this year, and all you’ll hear about is the .1% that were incorrect. Meet our airline counter-parts – 100% safe landings should be more of a “requirement” than a “goal”, right?
Every good Payroll office works from a checklist, or series of checklists. The Boeing 737 Captain with 25,000 hours in his/her flight log starts each flight working through the pre-flight checklist – a checklist of the most basic switches and settings on the plane. Guaranteed this experienced pilot could fly the plane without any reference to the checklist. Still – these checklists are considered an absolute requirement to meet the 100% safety requirement.
Inside the checklist - Airlines have routine checklists, as well as extended checklists covering weather events or mechanical failures. Procedures in the Payroll Office need to include routine pay cycle steps and audits, along with links to special situations. Is this a bonus cycle, or is this the end of a month, or a year, or the first pay of a new year? Is there special consideration needed for a holiday that fell in the pay period – or a weather related closing? Without the checklist, the most experienced pilot, er, payroll administrator can miss key steps simply because of an ill-timed phone call.
Beyond the checklist - project yourself into the passenger seat of your favorite airline (or payroll cycle). Checklist-driven-procedures are wonderful. However, when Captain Sullenberger was landing his Airbus in the Hudson, I’m pretty sure he was working beyond any checklist they could find on that plane. We demand our pilots know WHAT THE SWITCHES IN THE CHECKLIST ACTUALLY DO. We need them to be able to react quickly and appropriately.
In a payroll world where governing bodies are changing our rules daily, and where finances are driving HR administrators to dream up more and more creative benefits plans, we really need to understand our Payroll solutions and their capabilities. Train hard, my friends. Spend time in the flight simulator – attend training and conferences, join discussion groups (like Kronos-Fans!), ask Kronos and all of your software vendors for tools, not just specific solutions. We owe it to our payroll passengers, who are simply expecting a smooth, on-time flight.
Thanks for welcoming our newest guest author Terry Shook. Terry is the Kronos Application Manager at Philhaven Behavioral Health Hospital in Mt. Gretna, PA, with over 20 years of HRMS systems administration experience. He has a 15 year association with Kronos Workforce products, dating back to version 1B!