10 Best Practices Tips for Administering your Sage People HRIS banner


10 Best Practices Tips for Administering your Sage People HRIS

  • Posted on
  • Author: Thomas Schilling

Whether you are starting your Sage People HR Administration journey or are an experienced Admin upskilling on HR administration, best practices are always beneficial.

Consider your Sage People instance a dynamic system, which changes regularly based on the function and business needs and is also updated by the provider regularly. Therefore, it requires regular focus to get the best out of the system and give the stakeholders the correct information to make evidence-based decisions.

Over the years, we have implemented and continue to support and implement several Sage People instances and have also trained and coached many users to date. As a result, we have a lot of experience, which we wish to share with you to improve your Sage People administration practice.


10 Sage People Administration Best Practices

Be mindful of GDPR requirements

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for collecting and processing personal information from individuals who live in the European Union (EU). The purpose of the GDPR is to provide a set of standardised data protection laws across all the member countries. GDPR is important because it improves the protection of European data subjects' rights and clarifies what companies that process personal data must do to safeguard these rights. All companies and organisations that deal with data relating to EU citizens must comply with the new GDPR

You may wish to implement a process whereby candidate records are flagged if there's been no activity in 12 months or remove or anonymise employee data after a certain time period. These are just two examples of how Sage People can ensure it performs according to GDPR requirements.

Currently, the system can only flag records that need attention and require an admin to delete the records manually. However, Sage People are currently working hard with a process that can define flexible rules, which will automatically or semi-automatically delete or anonymise certain data. This update is targeted for an FY22 Q1 delivery – so watch this space!

Be Diligent with Data-backing

We all make mistakes, and a simple wrong move could delete large amounts of data or irreversibly modify your records. Data backing practice is a must for admins of all levels, especially now that effective July 31, 2020, Salesforce’s Data Recovery is a paid feature and can take 6-8 weeks to restore the data.

Fortunately, Sage People offers various ways to ensure that your data is backed up and can be referred back to should anything happen.

Weekly data exports

Data Export lets you prepare a copy of all your data in Sage People. From this page, you can start the export process manually or schedule it to run automatically. When an export is ready for download, you will receive an email containing a link that allows you to download the file.

Snapshot reporting

Snapshot Reporting allows you to create point in time reports by scheduling a source report to take data from 3 source objects; Team Member, Employment Record and Salary History. Then, when scheduled, the process "snapshots" the data at that point in time onto an object called Reporting Snapshot, and a report can be created to export the data from this object. You can then extract the data at a point in time, which is useful for HR reporting.

Sandbox refreshes

Full sandboxes are intended for use as testing environments, but with careful management, they can also be used to store and refresh data each month. Note that there are a series of post-sandbox refresh actions that need to take place. For more detailed information about refreshing a Sandbox, read our recent blog article

So, no more excuses— you must back up your data regularly.


Respect Sage People's Data Model

The Sage People data model offers only standard objects to its users. For instance, Team Member, Employment, Salary, and Objectives are all standard objects. Very rarely are custom objects created to store information that's specific to your company or industry. It's important to refer back to Sage People's product boundary document when making changes to the standard set up of the system

This model ensures the use of other features and functionalities tied to the data model to ensure the system can be effectively supported and future-proofed. Always ask your implementation partner or Sage People Customer Success Manager if you're not sure about the effects of any customisation before starting the work.


Detail Custom Fields

Make sure that all custom fields have detailed descriptions. You won't remember the purpose of every field, and others will have less of an idea as they would not have been part of the build. The descriptions will help make sense of the purpose of a field, especially in a multi-country set up.

Having clear, field descriptions will also guide end-users, remove any ambiguity and ensure that data quality is maintained throughout the organisation when it comes to field definitions.


Map out Integrations and monitor

Keep a detailed record of any interactions, API’s, enterprise connectors (Payflow), action events, workflows, process builder and flows. Also, regularly check to see that the triggers are activating the processes and having the intended outcomes.

With every new Sage People release update, is it worth flicking over to the sandbox environment and ensuring that all of the above triggers are as expected. Whilst releases are thoroughly tested before being made available, anything bespoke should be tested yourself for peace of mind.


Leverage Sage People Functionality

Try using Sage People features before trying Salesforce or other tools for the tasks at hand. Here I'm referring to features such as Enterprise Connector to share .csv files with third-party systems, rather than API's, Action Events, rather than flow or process builder, Dataloader or mass updates, rather than the salesforce dataloader. That is because Sage People fully support these features, and there is extensive material to support the use of these tools. Implementation consultants are also well placed to support you with these tools.

HR Admins need to ensure that they stay abreast of changes within Sage People HRIS. Information regarding these updates is readily available on the 'Customers for life' portal (which, if you require access to, you would be best speaking to your CSM).

An excellent example of this is the pending change to Salesforce Lightning.


Enable Field Tracking

Tracking the field history in Sage People is available for custom objects and most of the standard objects as well. Sage People admins can select fields to track and display the field history in the history related list of an object. The data is retained for up to 18 months, and you are allowed to track 20 fields per object. You can then use this to run reports on the historical data to audit changes or refer back to data at a certain point in time. Go to the object's management settings to enable/disable field history tracking for custom or standard objects.


Process changes in the right way to maintain information

If you overwrite an existing user's information, all the previous audit history will be overwritten. Therefore, you should never overwrite a current user with a new user. Instead, deactivate the user first and then create a new user.

Similarly, ensure that there is a process for amending team member and employment record information that allows for history to be tracked through job history. This functionality in Sage People allows changes to be made to a record, and a job history is created with an effective date that can be reported on.

Also, make sure that you process rehires in the right way, i.e. do not override existing information. Instead, maintain the existing team member record and create a new employment record each time.


Qualify as an Admin User

Make sure as a Sage People admin, you are capable of administrating the platform. Sage People training is a great place to start, as there are many things that could go wrong when a complex HRIS is managed by someone who is ill-equipped to manage the system effectively. Other suggestions are to actively participate in the Sage People customer community forums and Sage People bi-annual customer events. We also advise that Admins attend the regular Sage People product updates. We'd also recommend that you sign up for Tugela's newsletter and consider engaging with the managed services team that support numerous clients with the ongoing management and updating of their Sage People systems.


Snapshot reporting, WX Reports, Reports and dashboards

In a very data-driven world, HR analytics help guide talent, management, and hiring decisions. Many organisations use metrics in HR to influence how they recruit, retain, and compensate employees (evidence-based decision making).

HR reports provide both quantitative and qualitative information on employees, HR practices, and company trends – and this information is vital for informed decision making.

Dashboards can take the stress out of the daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual routines.  Here at Tugela People, we have seen how they can empower your HR team to work toward business strategy-focused goals. Sage People comes with a selection of pre-built reports and dashboards readily available to use. However, these can be customised and aligned to your HR teams.


It is not only HR though, that are involved in business making decisions. This can extend out to line managers, so it's important that they are equipped with the necessary tools. A good start in Sage People is to capture any recurring questions that line managers ask HR. These might be "when did my team members last get a salary increase" or "can I get an idea of my team's performance over the last three years". These questions can then be translated into WX reports, accessible by line managers.


About the author

Thomas Schilling. MD and Founder of Tugela People.. Read more.Thomas Schilling, Managing Director Tugela People Ltd

Having spent 20 years working in HR for various large multi-national companies, Thomas gained extensive experience and understanding about selecting the ideal People Solution and the right and wrong ways to implement one. Thus, Tugela People was born out of the desire to share his knowledge and experience gained in successfully scoping, implementing, and managing an HR solution for multi-national, mid-sized companies.

Today Tugela People help companies to achieve their business goals with people-centric, cloud-based solutions. As well as core HR Systems consultancy services and offerings, they provide integrated solutions for HR-related systems, including Payroll, Learning Management Systems and Time & Attendance. They also offer an extensive range of support services to ensure that their clients meet their people and company needs, whilst maximising the return on investment, now and into the future.

As HR System specialists, Tugela People helps you bridge the gaps between technology, people and HR processes; and provides a full suite of services to ensure the successful implementation, integration and longevity of your Sage People system. As the first Sage People implementation partner in the UK, Tugela People have implemented 140 systems globally. Tugela People uniquely combine Sage People technical experience with extensive HR process and change management skills and add value to your HRIS.