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A national charity based in Northamptonshire has used People Inc. to increase its efficiency, by automating the time-consuming activities associated with absence management, and training course administration for full and part-time staff.
The people development team had been using the same personnel database to manage HR details for the past seven years. Although the system was working, access was restricted to a small group of users and there was not enough flexibility to provide the additional benefits which this busy organisation required.
By using the standard functionality of People Inc. the charity has automated tasks which previously took the HR team a great deal of time to carry out. Key amongst these are: management of absence for full-time and part-time staff without the need for lengthy manual reconciliation of the time lost; management of training needs and the scheduling training courses; generation of accurate and well-focussed reports (for example Bradford Factor reports).
“As a charity we are mindful of the responsibility that we have to our supporters to use our resources and time wisely,” says Kay Attard, head of HR & facilities. “Automation will also save us money in the long run.”
The charity also wanted to use their HR software program to manage the registration of their time-off-in-lieu process and to have the ability to notify payroll staff when the threshold between various sick pay rates is also needed. It would have been impossible to add these requirements to their existing system but using the more-powerful People Inc. program this functionality has been customised quickly and inexpensively, without the need for any ‘hard-coding’.
People Inc. allows customisation which means that employees and managers are granted access to specific information on the system. There is a hierarchy of access so that individual employees can view their records as well as register and manage their own holidays, time-off-in-lieu and other absence. This relieves HR staff from inputting data and frees up their time so that they can concentrate on monitoring and managing absence, rather that registering and reconciling it.
Rules associated with holidays and time-off-in-lieu have been added to the system so that the information is validated as it is processed, for instance, the maximum number of hours of time-of-in-lieu is set to expire if not used within a specified time.
Working out when to change the rates at which sick pay is paid is a lengthy and error-prone task. The charity has very specific rules for managing this and needed the system to check automatically the previous rolling 12 months’ records for when an employee’s sickness absence is recorded. This record establishes whether or not the employee should be on half-pay, full-pay, etc. When the sickness absence approaches the point where pay rates should be changed the People Inc. system is customised to send a notification e-mail to the payroll team.
Training needs and training course administration functionality is provided as standard within People Inc. This allows the HR team to use one central system for all training tasks, rather than using spreadsheets for some tasks. Plans are also in place to use the system to manage the information associated with appraisals so that employees and line managers once again have a hands-on role in the administration of the task. A similar project will be undertaken to configure People Inc. to manage the use of vehicles. Using the screen design tools, staff will be able to customise the system to record ‘mileage check for vehicles’, ‘driving endorsements’ per employee as well as generating reminders for MOT and vehicle servicing when they become due.
“We believe our staff will embrace this way of working and will like the element of control it gives them,” Kay Attard reports. “Not only can they feel in control, but our HR team will find that they are much better able to manage their standard day-to-day tasks and concentrate on the things that are really important in good personnel management. We’re looking forward to adding the extra functionality and completing the design of the system to work exactly as we want it to.”