Employee relations a critical payroll function

Focus on handling employee concerns and communicating change effectively
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 01/24/2011

When Fatima Mirza started her new job as HR manager at MacDonald Island Park Corporation in Fort McMurray, Alta., she spent a lot of time getting to know the 25 or so employees in the company. She made it very clear the door was always open and even posted a sign in her office that said, “No question is stupid.” Employees would often walk right into her office, sit down and be completely comfortable asking her any questions they had, she said. Now, a year and a half later — and a gain of 275 employees — Mirza has been promoted to director of HR.  

“The basic thing with any job is that it all begins with employee relations,” said Mirza. “It’s so much easier to bring forward any issues or introduce new items once you have employee relations packed down.”

A major part of Mirza’s role is overseeing payroll. Employee relations in this department are becoming increasingly important now that the days of just checking time cards and processing payroll are gone, she said.