You’ve probably heard the saying, “An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.” For many employees, it’s a foregone conclusion that they’ll get paid for their work. However, without payroll professionals to ensure they get paid accurately and on time, it wouldn’t be possible.
At the start of September, we observe National Payroll Week to celebrate payroll professionals and the critical work they do. Here’s a quick rundown of the week, and ideas on how you can get involved.
What is National Payroll Week?
National Payroll Week was founded in 1996 by the American Payroll Association (APA). It’s held annually the week of Labor Day, which lands on Sept. 7-11 this year. While National Payroll Week is a celebration of payroll professionals, it has another important goal: to educate all employees on their paychecks, the payroll-withholding system, and payroll-related benefits.
The official slogan for National Payroll Week is “America Works Because We’re Working for America.” And it’s true. Payroll has a significant impact on our economy. Through payroll withholding, we contribute, collect, report and deposit 70% of the U.S. Treasury’s annual revenue, or about $2.4 trillion per year. The money collected from wage-earners’ paychecks funds essential programs such as social security and Medicare. This past year, these withholdings also funded the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) and other initiatives to help many businesses get through the COVID-19 crisis.
Considering the massive impact payroll withholdings have on our economy, there’s no question that we owe it to the payroll community to dedicate an entire week (if not more) to celebrating their hard work.
2020 National Payroll Week theme
If you’re familiar with National Payroll Week, you know there is always a theme. Last year’s theme, “payroll saves the day,” was a tribute to the unsung payroll heroes responsible for getting Americans paid. This year’s theme, “Paylympics,” is all about celebrating the members of Team Payroll USA as they bring home the gold for being the best in their field. It’s a fun idea and a true testament to the hard work, training, and dedication that goes into making payroll professionals the champions they are.
Ways to get celebrate National Payroll Week
The best way to celebrate National Payroll Week is to show some love to all the payroll professionals in your life, to yourself (if you’re a payroll pro), and to the payroll community at large. There are many ways to accomplish this, the first of which involves raising awareness for the week within and outside of your organization.
1. Spread awareness about National Payroll Week
National Payroll Week is the ideal opportunity to not only show appreciation to payroll professionals, but to also make sure all employees recognize the hard work of these individuals. By getting the word out about this special week, you can accomplish both of these goals with awareness-raising efforts like the following:
- Inform your employees and colleagues about the holiday, so they know what it’s about and can also raise awareness. Explain the significance, but also refer them to the National Payroll Week website, which gives an overview of the week, its significance, and links to educational and networking tools.
- Post about the week using #PayrollWeek on social media to raise awareness among other businesses and with their employees. Even consider featuring payroll professionals from within your organization in your posts to let the world know about their greatness.
- Check if your local APA chapter is promoting the event, and ask if there are ways for you and your organization to get involved in supporting the week. Alternatively, APA may have awareness driving swag or signage they can give you. B2E Solutions, for example, sponsored yard signs through the Greater Milwaukee Chapter.
2. Show appreciation to “team payroll”
While it’s important to show your appreciation to payroll professionals year-round, now is the time to add a little extra boost to your efforts. If you yourself are a payroll professional, don’t forget to find ways to express gratitude to your fellow payroll colleagues and network, while also taking the opportunity to pause and soak up the admiration for yourself. Get creative with ideas like these:
- Send the payroll people in your life a thank you note or email to praise them for all they do. Mentioning specific instances they’ve helped you or your team is a great way to personalize your message.
- Reward employees by making the week fun. If employees are working remotely, bring everyone together with a virtual breakfast, lunch, or tasty dessert. Make it an interactive celebration by playing games or even offering giveaways.
- Share the “Getting Paid in America” survey with all payroll employees. Simply by answering a short survey, participants will enter into a drawing for a bonus paycheck and a dream vacation for two. Winning that would certainly make anyone feel appreciated!
- If you haven’t already finalized your National Payroll Week celebration plans, download the National Payroll Week Planning Guide for last-minute tips on how to get the most out of the week.
3. Stay engaged in the payroll community
If you’re a payroll professional, the best way to celebrate your talented and hardworking community is to get involved. Having a network of people that understand what you’re doing day in and day out is a wonderful way to stay motivated, grow your career, and garner support year-round. Here are a few ideas from our in-house team of payroll professionals:
- Find your local APA chapter. By playing an active role in your local APA, you’ll have access to a range of useful payroll resources, as well as professional networking and educational growth opportunities within your community.
- Attend payroll events, many of which are available virtually. In addition to providing educational and networking opportunities, these events are an opportunity to earn Recertification Credit Hours (RCH) so you can keep your Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) designation.
- Follow the National Payroll Week hashtag #PayrollWeek on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Be a part of the national payroll conversation not only during the holiday, but year-round. Connect online with other payroll professionals by liking and following the official NPW Facebook page.
Thank you payroll professionals
To all payroll professionals, we can’t thank you enough for the critical work you do to keep America working. National Payroll Week offers a special opportunity to show our gratitude. We recognize your work is demanding and want to support you in making it easier. One way we can do this is by sharing valuable industry news, payroll updates, and other resources. To ensure you don’t miss out, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Editor’s Note: This article is from 2019 and has been updated for National Payroll Week 2020