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3 Keys to Earning Local Buy-in for a Change in Global Payroll

Nov 17, 2016 

 

When you’re making the business case for a permanent change in payroll, the C-level team is far from the only group in your company that will need convincing of the benefits of a new global payroll solution. As with any change initiative, there will be significant resistance among certain areas of your organization.

For multinational companies, the individuals most likely to push back on a payroll software switch are the local payroll teams and regional managers.

As I discussed extensively in a previous article, an organization’s country-level business unit leaders and payroll managers may consider their current process to be adequate enough to serve their own needs – and thus see a proposed software change as simply an unnecessary and unwelcome distraction.

In-country payroll teams may also be reluctant to move away from the “comfort-zone” of their current approach to learn to use an entirely new system. That’s partly why many organizations make their payroll software change decisions first, then focus on winning in-country buy-in down the line.

But especially when a local team is expected to contribute to the costs of sourcing and implementing a new solution, that’s an unwise approach: If local stakeholders fail to see the value of the switch, there can be major consequences in employee morale – potentially creating dissatisfaction among staff members (or worse, turnover).

As such, your business case for a global payroll change should help you earn buy-in beyond the boardroom by

1.) proactively addressing the payroll concerns of local stakeholders; and

2.) including plans for securing and maintaining the support of local payroll teams and regional managers throughout the software change process.

Here are a few reminders on the most important efforts to undertake as you secure local or regional buy-in for a change in global payroll.

Find out their Pain Points

In advance of soliciting a new solution, get your local team members’ opinions on the gaps, issues, or weaknesses they encounter in the system(s) they currently utilize. The goal is to make clear – well before contracting with a new vendor – that you’re looking to upgrade the day-to-day toolset of your valued in-country partners, rather than cut costs or eliminate resources.

Establish a Persuasion Plan

From there, delineate which features and functionalities will have the greatest impact on your local team members and map out a plan for communicating the benefits to all interested constituencies. Think beyond emails to more holistic engagement strategies such as webinars, Q&A sessions, and in-person meetings. Ensuring that local teams understand and appreciate how a new system will benefit them is key to the success of your initiative. 

Pinpoint Your Project Team & Executive Advocate

Even before implementation, it’s important to establish which individuals will lead the charge to secure buy-in across your entire multinational organization. The involvement of senior management is crucial: Aim to get a member of your C-suite team on board to help you win the support of local stakeholders and other affected parties.

 

For more on driving enterprise-wide buy-in for a change in payroll software, download our latest CloudPaper: Building a Business Case for a Global Payroll Solution

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