Paymaster Magazine

Hat 7 — 3 Levels of Trust

 

Hat 7 — 3 Levels of Trust

Trust is earned. It’s something all payroll professionals acquire upon joining a payroll department. It’s naturally assumed that when you’re a staffer in a payroll department, that you’re 100% trustworthy. However, trust can also—easily and quickly—be lost in an instant, …all because of one careless error.

In short, levels of trust may be distinguished on three levels:

Management trust the payroll professional

Consider this statement: “We need you to keep this confidential”.  These words or phrase normally results once you, (the Payroll Manager) have been summonsed to the boardroom. Often, this may mean that bad news is looming. For example, the official letter reads, “The company has decided to downsize and we need to calculate redundancy packages for Mr Joe Employee, who has been terminated with immediate effect”. Consequently, Mr. Joe Employee wants his salary paid out immediately.

Or, on the other hand, this may mean that good news is on the horizon. For example, the organisation may have decided to pay out a bonus and executive management have approached you to commence with calculating the facts and figures. This is great!

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis display_mode=”box” remove_hidden_urls=”true”]Trust is earned. It’s something all payroll professionals acquire upon joining a payroll department. [/tweetthis]

Oftentimes, as a payroll professional, you are privy to confidential information — you know whom management decided to award a sizeable bonus to. You also know who did not qualify for a salary/remuneration package increase.

Regardless of the occasion, the point being made is that the payroll professional is trusted with sensitive information. For this reason, there is a professional understanding that those who are privy to confidential information will not disclose the details thereof to anybody who is not authorised to know about it.

Bluntly stated, executive and senior management trust that the payroll manager will not blabber his or her month off and let the whole world know about the confidential details.

Employees trust the payroll professional

As payroll professional, you know far more about employees’ information — more so than anybody else in the organisation.

For example, should a garnishee order arrive at your desk, you are immediately ‘in the know’ about the impending trouble that an employee may be in.

Or, to cite another example, should a divorce summons arrive, you as and HR or payroll professional immediately know that there is a whole host of personal problems and possibly future marital status changes that an employee will have to contend with.

Payroll professionals are privy to a whole host of secrets: you know when somebody has had children, or when they’re having an affair, or possibly you may even know when an employee is thinking of making a sizeable credit-purchase, simply because you were approached by a retailer and asked to verify employment and salary details of an employee.

Employees in an organisation expect the payroll professional not to divulge their secrets, or to tell other people and employees about some of the sensitive issues relevant to their work and private life.

Outside service-providers and a variety of other institutions trust the payroll professional

As a payroll professional, you are likely to submit regular documents and reports to various government departments and private institutions. You will report on Taxation details, medical aid matters, and sometimes even on emolument attachment (garnishee) orders that are to be deducted from an employee’s salary and paid over to an employee’s creditor. These numerous institutions trust the payroll professional to send the correct information in the correct format, at the right time.

And then lastly, be reminded that the payroll professional is regularly phoned by financial institutions, such as banks and credit institutions, in order to verify employment details and remuneration specifics of the individual.

In short — in all cases, on all three levels, you—as payroll professional—are being trusted to be 100% truthful and honest. This makes you trustworthy!

Consequently, as a gentle word of caution — do everything in your power not to jeopardise the trust that you’ve earned, …for as stated in the beginning of this article, trust can also—easily and quickly—be lost in an instant, …all because of one careless error.

In short — in all cases, on all three levels, you—as payroll professional—are being trusted to be 100% truthful and honest. This makes you trustworthy!   [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis display_mode=”button_link” remove_twitter_handles=”true” remove_hidden_hashtags=”true” remove_hidden_urls=”true”]On all three levels, you are being trusted to be 100% truthful and honest. This makes you trustworthy! [/tweetthis]

Concluding tips worth remembering:

  • Don’t be tempted to talk out of turn.
  • Don’t divulge a person’s sensitive and private information without first obtaining requisite permission to do so, particularly when releasing information to a third-party.
  • Don’t say “yes” when you quite knowingly know that it should be “no”.
  • Never do anything ‘underhandedly’, particularly if it’s against the law, or in breach of company policy.
  • Be very careful what you (publicly) say on social media platforms.
  • Be very careful with confidential documents — don’t leave them lying around for snooping eyes.

 

Remember — trust is earned, it doesn’t come of its own! Take pride in the trust that comes with your job as a payroll professional. If you cannot be trusted, you may as well not call yourself a payroll professional.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Adrian Baillie-Stewart

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