The recently returned Public Sector Show gave Zellis the chance to meet with delegates from local authorities and government bodies across the country. With public sector procurement taking centre-stage, issues high on the show agenda included recruitment, zero emissions, innovation, cloud migration, and gaining better value through contract management.

Ian Hodson, Head of Reward and Deputy HR at the University of Lincoln, brought the findings of our recent Financial Wellbeing report to life in a presentation. He also shared how the university, a key Zellis customer, is tackling the rising competition for talent with a more progressive reward system. 

Adding value: from payslip to pay advice 

Ian has long advocated that the employee payslip could be more meaningful. No surprise then, that the University of Lincoln has stopped referring to the ‘payslip’ altogether and repositioned it as ‘pay advice’.  

More than just a change in language, the shift sees three core streams coming to the fore: access to financial education, supportive saving vehicles, and enabling benefits. These are all designed to help people’s financial wellbeing, with both proactive guidance and reactive support.  

Our research found that 73% of employees in the UK and Ireland are now more worried about their finances than they were prior to the pandemic. As you would expect from an educational institution, the university’s approach aims to start addressing this with information and guidance. The priority is accessible education around finance – available at the point of access and at a time when the user is engaged with their finances. 

Engagement is, in fact, the key benefit anticipated from the new approach. The new pay advice is seen as a gateway to regularly engaging users. The overall goal is to embed a culture of financial wellbeing and trust in the employer, and to look after and help their staff: all critical to attract and retain employees. 

Pushing for better public sector payroll capabilities 

From the public sector procurement professionals at the event, the feedback was that everything has changed post-pandemic. Digitalisation programmes have increased and projects that once took eight to ten years are now getting turned around in 12 months.  

In light of this, procurement as a discipline should now look beyond existing product capabilities, and challenge providers like Zellis to adapt and innovate to suit a new way of working. Services and features not only need to be agile and effective; they also need to be presented in a way that is accessible and exceeds the minimum bar set by compliance. 

Financial wellbeing is the catalyst that affects so many other areas of life, be it home life, work productivity, or mental health. The point of pay is a crucial moment. Instead of being seen simply as a functional product, payroll software can and should be harnessed as a vehicle for promoting financial wellbeing. 

Discover more great examples in Zellis case studies.