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


When it comes to making a case for change in payroll, the C-suite is far from the only group you need to convince of the benefits of a new global payroll solution. As with any change initiative, such a transformation is likely to encounter resistance among multiple areas of your organization.

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

Country-Level Comfort Zone

Country-level business leaders and payroll managers may be reluctant to move away from the ‘comfort zone’ of their current approach and learn to use an entirely new system. In-country teams often see their current process and workflows as good enough to serve their own needs — and view a proposed solution change as an unnecessary and unwelcome distraction. 

This is partly why many organizations make their payroll change decisions first, then focus on winning in-country buy-in down the line. However, especially when a local team is expected to contribute to the costs of sourcing and implementing a new solution, that can be 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 part of the success plan for a global payroll transformation, your business case should aim to 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.

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Identify their Pain Points

In advance of soliciting a new solution, it’s important to get local team members’ opinions on the gaps, issues, and weaknesses they encounter in the current system and workflows. 

These insights can help guide RFP creation and vendor evaluation, and the process of collecting this input will begin to set expectations with local teams. Long before introducing a new vendor, the goal should be clear to everyone involved: that you’re looking to upgrade the day-to-day workflows and toolset of your valued local practitioners, rather than simply 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 an essential key to the success of the switch. 

Pinpoint Your Project Team and Executive Advocate

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


For more on driving companywide buy-in for change in global payroll, download the CloudPaper: Building a Business Case for a Global Payroll Solution