Over the past seven years, Kemi Adebayo has been a key member of the Human Resources team for the Cloud Communications division of NTT. Starting as HR Administrator, she then evolved into several other HR roles and became our Payroll & Benefits Manager in 2019.
In this role, Kemi is responsible for completing the payroll and maintaining the benefits for several countries in EMEA. As well as being involved in a range of HR initiatives, Kemi took on the job in order to diversify into other areas and increase her knowledge and skills.
She kindly took the time to answer a few questions about her role and her career within the company.
Q. You began managing payroll and benefits just for the UK, but then quickly expanded this to six other countries too. You must have had to adapt very quickly! How did you deal with the change?
I started by building good working relationships with each of our payroll providers. Communication is vital, especially when there’s a language barrier. In taking on each country, I’ve also tried to improve and adopt processes to make the complete payroll process more manageable. Planning is also very key in implementing a successful payroll.
Q. Researching benefits plans is a large part of being a Payroll & Benefits Manager. How do you figure out which plans will be most beneficial?
I research the market to see what benefits are suitable for our people demographic. Through having informal discussions with a range of employees, I also get an indication. In addition, I review what other companies offer in terms of their range of benefits. All these factors are, of course, dependent on the budget involved.
Q. You must often need to engage in some sensitive situations with people? How do you do this and maintain your professionalism?
It’s very important to show a reasonable amount of empathy. It’s also vital to listen attentively and provide the required amount of support to help our people get through the situation.
Q. Can you share an example of when you accomplished a personally challenging goal and what helped you succeed?
One that comes to mind is when I took up my first non-UK payroll. It was Sweden. I had to learn the terminologies involved, Swedish laws and procedures in processing payroll and benefits, and of course the language translation. I relied heavily on working with the payroll company to ensure that this was done accurately and as seamlessly as possible.
Q. What’s one thing not many people know about you?
I have a fear of birds!