Paylocity CEO Steve Beauchamp on the future of work and managing Gen Z employees

Paylocity, the Illinois-based provider of cloud-based payroll and human capital management (HCM) software solutions, is adapting to the modern workforce so that it can continue to make its customers’ jobs easier. Having a large remote workforce itself, Paylocity understands the shifting habits of today’s workers. Ladders spoke with Paylocity CEO Steve Beauchamp to find out his thoughts on the future of work and how his leadership style changes with employees from different generations.

How do you see Paylocity fitting into the future of work?

“Paylocity is always trying to embody the future of work so that in return, our customers can as well. In today’s multi-generational, work anywhere gig economy, employee needs are rapidly changing. They expect the immediate access at work that they are accustomed to in their daily lives outside of work. Additionally, they expect intuitive, flexible workplace education, where they can easily share their own expertise with colleagues. The Paylocity platform helps meet those needs by giving employees a social, mobile and consumer-style experience inside the company.”

How would you describe your management style?

“My management style reflects the culture we foster at Paylocity. I believe curiosity, being comfortable challenging the status quo and encouraging others to speak up and share their opinion are critical to effective leadership. Additionally, I believe in creating real relationships with colleagues so that we can have deeper conversations about the business that don’t require PowerPoints or analysis.”

Does your leadership style change with Millennials and Gen Z employees?

“Yes. Raising four teenagers has helped me understand Gen Z better than I would have been able to otherwise. I appreciate that Gen Z approaches ideas from a different perspective. Often, I notice that Gen Z and Millennials tend to start conversations by asking very broad questions – for example, they may ask about your career history, but really want to know about your experience in a certain function of the business. Because of this, I really try to take the time to understand what they’re trying to accomplish and what answers they are looking for.”

What are you most excited for at Paylocity right now?

“There are a few initiatives taking place at Paylocity that I’m excited about, but most noteworthy is that at Paylocity, we’re adapting to the modern workforce and creating an experience for our customers that allows them to do their jobs better and easier. Recently, we’ve focused on elevating and building better employee-to-employee connections. Creating products and services that allow both Paylocity and our customers to move away from the transactional hierarchy of the enterprise and focus on fostering an environment where employees feel appreciated and motivated is most exciting for me.”

What’s the most surprising aspect of being a CEO?

“Flexibility and moving across business functions while having different conversations throughout the day is the biggest aspect of being a CEO. For example, in an average day, I’m having discussions that span initiatives being deployed in 24 hours, to customer concerns, to planning strategy for years ahead. The ability to wear multiple hats and move from discussing strategic details to tactical details – often within very short time frames – is key in this role.”

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

“When I first graduated from college, I was unsure which direction I wanted to take my career in. I ended up taking a job in sales even though I didn’t believe I had the skill set, because my dad told me that everyone should sell something at some point in their lives.

When I first started, I quickly realized how challenging the role of convincing someone to buy something could be. Ultimately, this was a learning experience that has stuck with me throughout my entire career. Eventually, I realized that my true passion lies in product, however, I’ve worked in a rage of positions – sales, finance, operations and product – to get there.

Being able to not only understand but experience working in all the different functions of a business played a big role in where I am now. I’ve never been afraid to take on a different or new challenge and I’m glad my dad instilled this in me early on.”

How do you describe your company culture?

“We have a large remote workforce at Paylocity, so our employees are diligent about staying connected through a variety of our platforms. For example, our Community platform serves as a common space for employees to connect, share common interests – like sports teams or pets – and keep up with each other’s everyday lives. Overall, our culture is curious, open to different opinions and unafraid to take on new things or speak up with unique ideas.”

What advice would you give to someone interviewing at Paylocity?

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions about things you don’t know the answer to. Always provide an opinion – with context – and show that you’re willing to do the research. Also, remember to evaluate Paylocity as much as we are evaluating you. Interviewing is a two-way street and it’s important that you find a good fit as much as we do.”