Meet the team - Sheryl Steele, PayCaptain's Head of Payroll Experience

Meet the team - Sheryl Steele, PayCaptain's Head of Payroll Experience
Meet the team - Sheryl Steele, PayCaptain's Head of Payroll ExperienceMeet the team - Sheryl Steele, PayCaptain's Head of Payroll Experience

With 28 years’ experience in payroll, 20 of them being in payroll leadership, Sheryl Steele is PayCaptain’s Head of Payroll Experience.

With a CIPP Diploma in Payroll and Pensions Management, Sheryl plays a key role in defining and prioritising product requirements and ensuring they’re included in the Product Roadmap. The ‘gel’ between PayCaptain’s customers, product and operational teams, her role centres around making the payroll experience the very best it can be, both for employers and employees.


What attracted you to join PayCaptain?

It was my belief in Simon and his vision to create the most helpful payroll solution on the planet. PayCaptain had already come a long way in the 2 years before I joined and I was immediately passionate about contributing to something so special. I’ve worked with Simon for almost 15 years now and he is so inspiring.


How is PayCaptain different from other companies you’ve worked for?

PayCaptain is incredibly exciting and fun. I come to work feeling like I’m part of something really special. As a team we all support one another to make things happen and although we're remote, there's a togetherness that's unmatched.

PayCaptain looks beyond the service it provides to customers, we also prioritise the employee who is seen equally as a customer.  We use our expertise in payroll as a force for good, to benefit peoples' lives and help them understand their pay and their finances overall.  It’s great to work for a business that has huge heart and a desire to make a difference.


How is the PayCaptain payroll solution different?

PayCaptain puts the employee front and centre of the entire payroll process.  The payroll solution goes beyond paying ‘on time and accurately,’ we work hard to ensure individuals understand their hard-earned pay and help them focus on the impact that building savings and investing in their pension can have on their lives.


How does PayCaptain help improve employees’ wellbeing?

We provide inclusive tools and features that support employees in times of need. These features help employees to make positive decisions about what to do with their pay - whether that’s encouraging them to set up savings pots, make contributions to their retirement pots or support them in financial emergencies with access to emergency cash.

Why is it so important to improve employee wellbeing?

22% of the UK population has less than £200 in savings and approximately half of adults in the UK have the numeracy skills of a primary school student. When you add in the financial crisis and the cost of living, it’s no surprise that people are more financially vulnerable.

Using payroll as a force for good, we’re helping employees have more control over their pay. By helping employees build financial resilience, it makes them less anxious about their financial position and happier overall. Not only is this important for an employee’s financial, emotional and physical wellbeing, but it has a positive impact on employers too.


What do you love about what you’re doing in the payroll industry?

I love using my background and experience to do something good and improve peoples’ lives.  I come to work each day with the desire to make a difference… whether that’s reducing the stress for payroll professionals in the industry by providing the latest in innovative technology, or improving employees’ lives by supporting their financial resilience.

"We’re totally unique as a business. We think differently, act differently and we’re having a great impact on the world of payroll!"


What innovations are you currently working on?

We’ve got some amazing innovations in the pipeline that we’re keeping under wraps, so I’m not going to give the game away!

Earlier this year I became a Plain Numbers Practitioner. I’ve been focusing on individuals with maths anxiety and how prevalent this is in the UK. We’ve been working on a new, more inclusive version of a payslip that is much easier to digest and is for everyone. You may have seen some of the posts on social media and in the press recently, it's something that has been well-received and we’ve had such a positive reaction from our customers, they're delighted.  

Our new Plain Numbers Certified payslip is currently being rolled out across our customer base and will be available to employees via the employee mobile app.  


Who do you work closest with at PayCaptain?

I’m lucky enough to work with pretty much everyone.  I work closely with Michael and Stacey to ensure the Product Roadmap is complete prioritised and filled with lots of exciting new features that improve the payroll experience. I also work with some of our partners on the integration pieces and I’m heavily involved with the testing of new product features and delivery.

I also work closely with Mike and support the sales process when larger, more complex payroll prospects are looking at our products and services, helping them to understand how their specific payroll practices transform following a move to PayCaptain.  And last but definitely not least, I work closely with Simon to support delivery of the overall business strategy.


What are your personal and professional goals within the business?

My goal is to raise the profile of PayCaptain and influence greater engagement/trust in the use of innovative technology. I'm also aiming to dramatically reduce the unnecessary, burdensome and tedious workload that payroll professionals often endure to achieve accurate and timely payments to employees.  My desire is to revolutionise and enhance the efficiency of the industry, challenging the existing norms and reduce the monotony and manual labour commonly associated with payroll processing.

My personal goals are constantly evolving. I’m enjoying the exposure to wider areas of the business and learning new skills all thetime.  

Throughout my career, I’ve primarily focused on leading payroll operations within technology companies. While I continue to learn and grow, I have come to a point where this area feels like a comfort zone.  Looking ahead, my long-term vision is to broaden my expertise and lead operations in a more comprehensive capacity, perhaps even aiming for a COO role one day – aim for the sky, right?

However, I’m in no rush, I genuinely adore my role and the challenges it offers, even more so that I can maintain a healthy work/life balance to raise my 2 young children while pursuing my professional aspirations. I couldn’t be happier with what I am doing right now.


What’s the proudest moment in your career?

I’ve several very proud moments throughout my career.

The most recent was when PayCaptain won the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals’ ‘Software Product of the Year’ at the CIPP Annual Excellence Awards in 2022.

I’ve only been with PayCaptain for a little over 12 months and so my greatest successes have been for previous employers.  This includes scaling a small UK payroll operation of less than 10 people, to one processing 500K payslips a month across the UK and USA. That took me a little bit longer than 12 months to achieve though!