EXCLUSIVE: Suez Recycling and Recovery builds trust among staff with digital pay system

Employee Benefits Live 2021: Entrusting employees with control over their own pay submissions can have a huge impact on wellbeing and retention, says Michelle Sutton, head of compensation and reward at Suez Recycling and Recovery.

Addressing delegates at Employee Benefits Live 2021 session ‘Empowering employees through digital transformation’ at London’s ExCel, Sutton explained how her organisation successfully implemented an employee self-service app to allow staff to take control of inputting their own timesheets for pay.

Prior to implementing a pilot of the new scheme in May 2019, Suez Recycling and Recovery had run its payroll using spreadsheets but found this process to be ineffective and could result in employees receiving incorrect pay, or no pay at all, which in turn could create distrust among staff.

“If we are not concentrating on the main thing, which is pay and how employees feel about their self worth, then we are not getting to the heart of the matter,” said Sutton. “Pay is an emotional issue; if employees do not feel valued because they are not being paid correctly, they will leave.”

In a bid to cut waste processes and reduce errors in the organisation, the new payroll process allows employees to input their own hours worked, including overtime and variable hours, which is then approved by a manager.

Sutton said: “Employees took control of their own wages, which has had a massive impact on wellbeing and retention.”

In January 2020, prior to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the organisation switched from paper payslips to digital payslips delivered through the app.

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Suez Recycling and Recovery also partnered with Reward Gateway in November 2020 to provide staff with a voluntary benefits app that gives them access to retail and leisure discounts.

As well as the self-service payroll app, employees are now able to view their entire benefits package digitally and can view their total reward statements (TRS) in real time.