What Paddling taught me about Payroll

Article by Diana Geldenhuys | M.Com HR  I  Managing Director, Outsourced Payroll Solutions

I love Surfski. The feeling of catching waves, and stretching your gaze to where sea and sky fuse into blue, is something that is hard to describe. Those early morning paddling times, when most of Dubai is still asleep, is just indescribable.

It was on one of these outings one morning that it struck me. Much of what I do at sunrise translates into another of my favourite things, running payrolls.

Let me explain with a few anecdotes.

1. Read the Patterns

In paddling, you constantly consider the waves, the wind, the currents,  and adjust your style and speed. In payroll, consider everything. The impact of what you do has on other teams, management approvals, legal implications etc. Everything about the external environment is just as important as your own data capturing, and the effect on your payroll cycle, you can’t run a payroll by not understanding the bigger picture.

2. Look Ahead 

Sometimes the size and rolling of waves is so darned scary you have to keep your head up and look at the horizon. You just paddle on, thus managing to stay in the boat, despite the churning of the water. Payroll is just the same, focus on the end goal –  salaries to hit the bank,  and don’t fret over the immediate things that can easily derail you.

3. Technique

I smile sagely at the odd person that still thinks payroll is a mere transactional job. The specialisation and virtuoso that is needed to understand and execute a seamless payroll are akin to a master paddler that can reach speeds of up to 50km/hr. Building payroll expertise is continuous and so understatedly valuable.

4. Work in a team 

Paddling, like payroll, is essentially an individual sport. However, it is when you are paddling in a team when the magic happens. Paddling behind someone, catching their slipstream, or being the lead, shielding the wind, being there when someone tips over, is what gives the sport its camaraderie. In payroll, working in a team brings that discernment of delivering payroll accurately, confidentially and on time.

5. You gotta love it!

A truism for almost everything you invest your time in, but trust me, if you don’t love payroll, that adrenaline needed to make it before the deadline, the smug satisfaction of accurate payroll, the glee of a job well done, will leave you cold. If that is the case, my dears, you’re in the wrong field.

Go paddling instead! 😊

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