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In this week’s Aegis Leadership Series, we learn from Tenille Harriott-Lewis, Aegis Client Payroll Services Manager specialising in regional payroll and global partnerships for the Caribbean region.

How has Payroll services pivoted in the last year? 

With the processes implemented prior to COVID-19, Aegis payroll team was able to smoothly transition to virtual work. However, when many businesses struggled with this transition, we saw the opportunity for Aegis to help businesses do the same by offering to evaluate and structure theirs.

At the start of the pandemic, our main priority was to maintain clients’ and staff expectations, in spite of the new virtual arrangement. The effects of COVID-19 will force businesses to look for opportunities to expand in other areas and with their expansion, Aegis can accept certain challenges for them, like backhouse payroll, so that they can move forward with their core business.’ says Tenille. 

Asking the right questions

There is a lot more information you can obtain from a client when you have a meeting as compared to an email. You can assess their needs and offer additional services. This is how the Payroll Department service line was grown. She shared, “I provide that opportunity for one-on-one engagement with clients. This enables us to understand the client so that Aegis Payroll team can exceed expectations and mitigate any challenges.” 

Having a dedicated person to nurture relationships with clients is important to the operational aspect of processing payroll. These two functions exist in a symbiotic relationship. Clients value that their questions can be readily answered.

Tenille shared, “It’s important for me to remember the drive that I had as a senior in the team”. She recalled a phrase taught to her, ‘your bedside manners are the one thing clients will look for’. The readiness in which you accept questions makes the client naturally want to do business with you and the company.

What is your leadership style and what tips do you have for other managers? 

‘Being of service to your employees’ is a key tip. Leaders need to transform their mentality to one that serves their employees. Tenille believes that by giving staff the tools to perform,  such as training, proper communication of deadlines and inclusion in decisions that can affect them, motivates staff to perform at their best. She also recommends being aware of the extroverts and introverts in the team and understanding the opportunities where they can shine. Leaders must understand what stimulates each unique individual and cater to that.

Here are some valuable key tips from Tenille which can set you apart from the rest.

  1. Learn even the menial tasks. Performing Job Functions outside of your job description makes you more knowledgeable, experienced and valuable to your team.
  2. Accept constructive criticism. The growth process will bring some discomfort at times but looking back at my career history it was important for me to improve at work.
  3. Do frequent self-evaluations. Find a practice to use your job description. It doesn’t matter the post or job you currently hold and ask yourself, “am I simply meeting these requirements or surpassing them?”

Aegis Director, Wendy Wong Won shared ‘Tenille has been instrumental in supporting changes throughout Payroll department with her team members as well as changes across the wider Group. Her direct approach to situations demonstrates her level of focus on making significant positive changes especially to our clients and the one-to-one support she provides to them.’

If you would like to chat with Tenille on Aegis Payroll services across the Caribbean, email tenille.harriott-lewis@aegistt.com