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Engagement is key to getting more from your people – and operating an international payroll is one powerful way of improving the engagement-boosting employee experience. 

First, the good news for employers: employee quit rates are declining. Faced with rising costs and lots of volatility in every area of life, from mortgage rates to a shrinking jobs market, more workers are choosing to stay put. 

The bad news is that many of them aren’t happy about it. As the BBC reports, it seems the ‘Great Resignation’ has evolved. People may not be leaving, but that doesn’t stop them looking for alternatives. The BBC article notes a 150% rise in job applications in the UK in July 2023. If they can’t move, many are quiet quitting instead.  

What is quiet quitting? 

It’s not always easy to spot a quiet quitter, not initially at least. They still turn up for work. They still do their job. But they do less. They are less engaged and less motivated. At best, they are less productive than they once were. At worst, their influence can be corrosive, gradually extending to other members of the team. 

Some of the causes of quiet quitting are outside any employer’s control. You’re not responsible for the cost-of-living crisis, after all. Some causes may be within your power to address, but only in a theoretical sense. Your employees may want a wage rise and you may have the power to grant it – but you know the business can’t really afford that. 

Yet there are measures you can take that can have a positive impact on engagement without making a dramatic dent in the bottom line. These are measures that improve the employee experience. 

What is the employee experience? 

The employee experience is the way your people perceive their life in your employment. Think of it as a figure (some employers use an actual EX score to measure it) that can be positively or negatively influenced by your interactions with your people. 

The better the employee experience, the greater the engagement. IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute found that organisations scoring in the top 25% of employee experience report double the level of sales compared with organisations in the bottom 25%. 

How to improve the employee experience 

There are lots of ways to improve the EX score of your organisation which don’t require budget-busting pay rises or other measures that will damage the bottom line. The technology your people use, the development opportunities they receive, quality onboarding and appraisals, line manager relationships, organisational communication and clear goal setting can all have a positive impact. 

And so can your payroll. 

How to enhance the employee experience with global payroll 

You may be familiar with Herzberg’s motivation theory (if you’re not, there’s a handy guide here) which essentially contrasts the parts of the employee experience that are genuinely motivating with those that are simply expected.  

Growth opportunities, for example, can be truly motivating. Pay, on the other hand, isn’t generally viewed as a motivator for most people. The lack of it, however, or its failure to arrive on time or at the expected amount can definitely be a demotivator. 

That’s why pay is known as a ‘hygiene factor’, something employees expect to be in place to avoid negative impacts. Payroll, it has long been thought, is simply the way this particular hygiene factor is delivered. The truth, however, is a little different – especially in respect of a global payroll. 

An international payroll can be a strong driver of the employee experience in a variety of ways: 

  1. Improve retention and work/life balance: We all know work life balance matters. Some studies suggest it matters even more than pay. The right balance is different for every individual, but for a growing number of people, especially Gen Z, seeing the world is an important aspect of work life balance. That’s not easy to achieve when you’re tied to your office desk. It’s much easier when you work with a global company that operates an international payroll. A global payroll can help you attract and retain workers who aspire to travel, but need to know their pay will always reach them. 
  2. Reduce stress: Pay may be a hygiene factor, but when everyone’s costs are rising, having faith that your pay will reach you as expected every month can be a real advantage. A global payroll ensures your international workforce can have faith that their money will arrive as expected. 
  3. Reduce frustration and increase productivity: The employee experience is improved when workers feel they are able to make progress. Conversely, days spent trying to unpick problems that shouldn’t exist in the first place is likely to damage engagement. If you’re running your international payroll in-house, or outsourcing still leaves employees making too many queries and corrections, consider switching to a global payroll provider who can make the process seamless, and make everyone’s lives easier.   
  4. Build trust: A consequence of working remotely from your employer is that it’s harder for a business to build trust with its workers. When your HQ is in London, it’s harder to build meaningful relationships with your people in Lagos, Lisbon or Los Angeles, and yet we know that trust is a major factor in the employee experience. 

A global payroll is one way to put your words into actions, demonstrating your commitment to your people by delivering a payroll system that makes their life simpler. 

Improve your employee experience with Just Payroll Services 

Outsourcing your global payroll may not be the only way to improve the employee experience, but it is a relatively simple way to lock in the benefits it brings. And with its quick wins secured, you can focus on other areas of the business. 

Find out more about international payroll at JPS 

Talk to us about your global payroll requirements