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What do Beauty and the Beast have to do with Global Payroll?

What do Beauty and the Beast have to do with Global Payroll?

With my payroll brain that never really sleeps, I started to see the similarities between this tale and ours here in global payroll. So I decided to share this with you in the context of making our profession more visible.

When browsing through Disney+ to watch a movie with the kids on a lazy Sunday, I saw my personal favorite again: Beauty and the Beast. I am a sucker for these classics and Belle happens to be my all time favorite princess. This tale follows the story of a young, self-motivated  Belle, as she dares to be different. She selflessly offers herself as a prisoner in exchange for her father's freedom, who is being held “captive” by the Beast. She eventually discovers that this Beast, initially frightening and rude, holds a kind and gentle heart beneath his scary looks and aggressive tone. Through their journey together, they learn to see beyond appearances, leading to the transformation of the Beast, and the love between them.

Are we much like the Beast?

This is of course the most immediate comparison: the Beast who is misunderstood by his appearance as a frightening creature that is always angry. He sealed this fate due to his own arrogance, by rudely refusing to help a beggar woman who, unbeknownst to him, was actually an enchantress who cast a spell on him.

The Beast shouts at everyone in the household, from Cogsworth to Lumière who have also been transformed as part of the spell. When he finally has an opportunity to change, to fall in love with this wonderful girl called Belle, he is afraid to open up, share and reveal himself. He is also working against the clock, as the enchantress’ rose is fading and he must find true love before the last leaf drops…

So, to recap the Beast (and Global Payroll) need to accomplish 3 key initiatives:

  1. To open up and share in order to change
  2. Help from others to transform him back into a better version of himself
  3. He needs to lead the change, as his transformation means others transform too

Let’s explore these initiatives in the context of Global Payroll, with a little “everyone lives happily ever after” Disney flavor.

Open up and share

Much like the Beast, global payroll professionals are somewhat uncomfortable to open up in the sense of sharing what they do, why they do it and how they do it. As global payroll is the aorta of employment related data in the organisation, we simply cannot work in a silo. We therefore also cannot change the inflow and outflow of data 0. However, we can influence it. 

If we want to grow and use that influence, we need to make sure our perspective is made visible and is shared. This perspective should contain the word payroll as little as possible. Instead, we must look at our processes through the lense of those we talk to and engage with. 

How different does the payroll process look from the perspective of HR, Finance or the employee? From the employee experience, to reliable financial transactions, to getting paid what was promised - In order payroll to get what we want, others need to get us first. 

Whilst you may have been comfortable for years in the ‘payroll bubble’, sharing how complex and underappreciated payroll is, if we do not act, that bubble will soon implode.

We need to create tailored information packs for the needs of the listener: What is in it for them? And what in return is in it for us?

Who can be our Belle?

While I would love to meet Belle again in person (I have met her in Paris), I don’t think we can get her on the payroll train just yet. So who can be our Belle, then? 

Remember, that we need help in order to transform ourselves and others, but as we mentioned previously before we can do so, it is super important that we approach this sequentially. First, we must need to open ourselves up and share, in order to find our ‘Belle’. In the context of payroll, our ‘Belle’ is:

  • The specific buy-in from the wider HR group to transform our pre payroll processes
  • The buy-in and budget from all stakeholders (e.g. HR, Finance, Leghal, Tax, IT) to transform run-payroll processes.
  • The specific buy-in from the wider Finance group to transform our post payroll processes.

This goes beyond your more traditional business case where we quantify hard savings and soft savings. This is about deep connections with these peer groups and not just meeting cadences, but establishing partnerships. In a partnership, you have a true interest in what the other has to share, and not just push your own agenda. Though a partnership takes time, and requires a big time investment - it is worth it in the long run.

Lead the change

Be the change you want to see. Take a look at the man (person) in the mirror and what do you see? Someone who is brave and bold enough to lead, to transcend an ‘Us vs Them’ mentality, to set a longer-term vision, and then to plan here and now how you are going to reach that future. 

Yes, I am talking to you, Global Payroll Managers, Directors and VPs out there, be the change your team needs to see, be the improved version of a human that the Beast will become.

One truly inspiring European Payroll Manager who I have engaged with recently, embodies the essence of Belle that we mentioned above. She could relate to the real payroll pain on the ground, while also engaging on a senior and multi-country stakeholder level. She truly understood what was needed to make the lives of her team easier and deliver a greater employee experience. She went the extra mile and then some. Climbed mountains through slide packs and calls, but she got there, with us here at Payzaar. Will you be a Belle like her too?

So, what now?

Write your own happily ever after, your own Disney story. You can be a Belle to someone else while transforming from a Beast into a caring human. You can change the payroll paradigm you are most likely in, and be the change you need. You can have flexibility, standardisation, and harmonise 7+ data sources, you can get to an admirable first time right (FTR) rate in terms of payroll approvals, and YES, you can get that consistent G2N. You can truly have a good work-life balance when you work on a global payroll.

I am a Global Payroll Professional, and a passionate one too! After managing global payrolls across the world for about 20 years, I found there must be a better way of doing this. I joined Payzaar - the global payroll management platform everyone needs and can easily implement.

Oh yes, we are just fun to work with too - Let's chat about the Payzaar Experience!

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