Payroll and human resources departments are the backbone of any successful organization. The efforts put forth by these departments are essential for the smooth functioning of a company. However, the relationship between payroll and HR can be tricky to navigate and, when not handled correctly, can negatively impact the company's development.

Whether you are a seasoned HR professional or a payroll expert, there is always room for improvement in how these two departments interact. For this reason, we asked the 17th Floor members to share their best strategies for achieving a good relationship between payroll and HR that benefits the company's development.

Payroll and HR need to work together when it comes to payroll logistics. Most employees go to HR first with their questions and concerns. Anything new in payroll which would impact the employees should also be known by HR. This would save time in the payroll department and also utilize the HR relationship with the employees as well.

The best collaboration to build a strong partnership between HR and payroll teams together is to identify a solution that handles both HR and payroll in one system. Also, it is very important having clear roles and separation of responsibilities.

Open and honest communication. Both payroll and HR need to have an understanding of what the other party does and be able to work together.

Communication! Payroll & HR are two very specific functions but have many shared areas that must coordinate together.

Well-documented, collaborative, and encompassing policies and procedures will ensure that both groups' needs are met, and communication is clear. Changes or updates are communicated efficiently so each team can pivot as necessary. Both teams working in the same direction will help the organization evolve in a positive and productive way.

Considering our payroll at my current employer is within HR, there is an obvious established relationship. However, at my previous employer, payroll was under Finance; therefore, I ensured there were regular meetings with HR to review policies, procedures and employee relations. I always encouraged open communication between both departments and frequently would invite HR members to sit in on our team meetings so that they would have a better sense of what we did on a daily basis.

The best strategy for developing a strong HR and payroll relationship is to work on projects that involve members from both teams. By doing this each member learns the skills and challenges both Payroll and HR face.

Payroll is part of HR, so have one manager to head them.

Teamwork and mutual understanding, and great communication.

Having payroll report to the HR manager or being part of the same department.

It is vital for HR and Payroll to be connected in terms of shared information (outside of an Employee's demographics and pay basics). Both departments interpret and utilize the information in different ways, and a stronger relationship between the two develops an understanding of the bigger picture and has the potential to reduce workload and/or eliminate repetitive tasks.


As we can see, effective communication and collaboration between HR and Payroll teams are crucial for the success of any organization. Follow our members’ tips to ensure that your company's payroll and HR departments work together seamlessly to achieve its goals and contribute to its overall success. This will not only help to build trust and credibility with employees but also improves overall organizational performance.

Share your knowledge and experiences in the comments section to help us continue to learn and grow as payroll and HR professionals.  

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