Building a Team for a Strategic Employee Pay Function

Global payroll teams today have so many responsibilities that the required skill sets needed for a successful unit are expanding all the time. Much of this change is down to the fact that payroll has an increasing role to play in guiding overall business strategy. In order to fulfill this role, a wider outlook is needed, one that can embrace the technology and innovation available to make global payroll an integral part of a company’s fabric.

As a result, it’s never been more important to develop a team that brings together a variety of skills, qualifications and credentials so that payroll can be far more than the sum of its parts. In this blog, we’ll look at the three key areas to consider when constructing a global payroll team ready for the changing world of employee pay:


Many organizations are moving towards a more comprehensive employee pay function, within which payroll is just one element of several. This represents a major departure for companies where a more traditional payroll function is culturally ingrained, and so a team focused on employee pay needs leadership that can help break legacy ways of thinking.

It’s therefore crucial that the team’s leadership espouses the values of employee pay, and has fully bought into the benefits of the concept. The importance of this can’t be overstated: a good leader will help spread the employee pay philosophy through the rest of the team. Furthermore, this leader will be expected to sit on the board, and feel confident in supporting the role of employee pay within the business to senior management in other departments.


A successful employee pay function is pretty much impossible without the right technology in place to support it, and this technology can be applied in both internal and external areas.

Internally, solutions like reporting tools can make the day-to-day operations of the payroll team much easier, and allow the team to access and analyze much more data to drive a more detailed level of insights. Externally, innovations like Earned Wage Access can bring the benefits of employee pay throughout the business, giving employees the self-service ability to withdraw their wages whenever they want, and helping support their experiences both inside and outside of their working lives.

The payroll team needs to feel comfortable with applying these technologies, and so having at least one member who can oversee them, and help their co-workers get a handle on them, is vital.

A global approach

International borders within a business’s payroll operations are increasingly being broken down. Payroll is now a global principle, where entire organizations can be catered for through a single team and a single solution, even when wage, tax and other rules vary greatly from one territory to another. 

But with so many different countries and cultures to take into consideration, it’s important that the global payroll team fairly reflects those differences. Efforts to pull together team members from different parts of the world should therefore be actively investigated, especially with technology and remote working making this more practical than ever before.

At a time when diversity in the workplace is an issue under particular focus and scrutiny, there’s no reason for businesses not to take the lead and bring together as many different backgrounds and areas of experience as possible.

In summary

Over time, the importance of a strong strategic employee pay team will become such that businesses will wonder how they ever managed without one. It will benefit its own operations through efficiency, innovation and a clear purpose, benefit the wider workforce by improving their experiences and supporting more flexible approaches to pay, and benefit the organization as a whole by leading strategy with employees and data.

If you haven’t already considered what your ideal employee pay function and team would look like, then now would be a good time to start.

CloudPay’s global payroll solution is ideal for businesses exploring the brave new world of employee pay, and how it can integrate with their wider business operations. Learn more about what we do and how we do it here.