Gillian has recently returned from maternity leave to take up the challenge of this brand-new role in the business. As our Payroll Performance Manager Gillian will be supporting teams with onboarding, process rollouts and training. With such a busy remit we caught up with Gillian to hear a little bit more about the role and how she sees it benefiting the business.
As this is a new position, both for you and for activpayroll why don’t we start with you telling us a little bit about what you’ll be working on a daily basis?
As you said this is a new role, it came about when my operational manager and the team in HR realised there was a gap in the structure. They knew that the business would benefit by having an additional resource who could take the lead when it came to supporting operational teams with things like global process adherence, operational efficiencies and continuous improvements. They knew that we also needed to provide additional training to support these initiatives.
Another good example of where I’ll be concentrating my efforts is onboarding, especially as we develop our new hubs. One of my first projects is the build out of the EMEA Ongoing Dubai Team where I am providing support and coaching to the new Team Lead. This has involved assisting with onboarding training of the new starts, sharing tools I found helpful when I was in the EMEA Delivery Manager role, sharing knowledge, covering manager/employee reviews, and supporting the Dubai Ongoing new starts when they take on their first payrolls.
Wow! That’s certainly a full programme of work. You’re going to be busy. Do you see this new role as a good way to build on your knowledge and experience?
Absolutely! Before joining activpayroll I used to work for Blackrock which is one of our clients. We used several payroll service providers there, so I saw plenty of examples of both good and bad service delivery. I knew the simple things that used to annoy me and the things that worked well from a client’s perspective. I wanted to use this experience to help with my team’s training and ensure we provided a high level of service.
When I joined activ in 2020 as EMEA Deliver Payroll Manager for Edinburgh I was a total billy no mates with no team. But things change fast here and after 18 months I had a team of seven made up of a mix of new recruits and internal moves. This meant that I got to grips with both the onboarding and payroll processes quickly, and I could relate to the operational team goals, challenges & what we need to do to perform well for our clients.
I did all my training for my new starts remotely during Covid / Lockdown. I would like to think my team, even though we had very limited face to face, felt supported and had a sense of collaboration (even if it was over video conference 😊). This is what I’m looking forward to most, the training aspect and making sure our operational payroll managers and new hires feel supported and encouraged to grow in whatever role they are in.
So certainly, plenty of challenges in this role. Was that one of the main attractions for you?
Yes, that and the opportunity to learn new skills. Most of my career has been spent at the front line of payroll processing, both before activpayroll and while here as EMEA Payroll Delivery Manager. Coming back from maternity leave it felt the right time to for me to embrace change and progress. There’s also the major benefit that my new role will allow me to work more closely with my wider colleagues and brings me greater flexibility by working part-time. And of course, it helps me balance family life and work.
How do you feel about being the trailblazer for this role? I guess there’s no process map to follow so you have to create your own!
As this is a new role in the business there has been no predecessor to shadow and learn from, but my colleagues in Operations and HR have been extremely helpful & provided me great feedback for current and future performance projects. I’m looking forward to making my mark!
With your passion and drive I’m sure there’s no doubt that you will. How would you like this role to be seen by others in the business?
I’d like them to see this as a way to support our global payroll teams. That I will be able to build strong teams, to help them perform well in their current and future roles with activpayroll.
And finally, before we sign off, when you’re not working how do you like to spend your free time?
Generally, as I have two young children most of my spare time revolves around play parks, soft play and play dates. But when I do get time to myself, I enjoy cooking (with a large glass of wine in hand), baking and going out with friends and family.
Thanks for your time. I don’t think anyone reading this or speaking to you about this new role will be in any doubt that you will make this a huge success. Good luck 😊