Understanding the scoping process

Understanding thee scoping process ahead of implementing Sage People. Read more.

As the Professional Services account manager for Tugela People, part of my role is to provide pre-sales support in the early stages of a prospect’s Sage People journey. If you are considering implementing the Sage People HR System or about to begin the process, the article below will guide you through the procedure, importance and benefits of a scoping call.

What support do we provide?

During the Sage People journey, the Account Manager provides scoping, quoting, detailed statement of work creation, advice and guidance to ensure a successful and cost-effective implementation.

What does the initial engagement with the Tugela People Account Manager look like?

Building on an already established relationship with your Account Executive (AE) and Solutions Consultant the Account Manager is engaged at a the point in the project where the success criteria have already been defined, and you are ready to move to the implementation effort estimation stage.

The Account Manager will have a detailed handover session with the Account Executive to discuss the success criteria, desired outcomes and critical path items from the Sage People solutions. We will then set-up an initial introduction with your core project team.

What is the purpose of Implementation Scoping Calls?

Implementation scoping calls ensure that the success criteria and outcomes for the project are aligned across both your project team and the implementation team. While this can often be achieved within a single scoping exercise we can and will, where necessary, perform this over several meetings.

What is covered and what do we recommend to ensure that the call is successful and productive?

We cover all items that will affect the overall effort required to implement the Sage People solution. To ensure that the implementation is a success, we provide guidance, consultation and advice on the best approach to achieve the desired outcomes from a functionality, sustainability and cost-effective perspective.

To ensure that the scoping call(s) are productive, we always suggest that the relevant individuals with in-depth, company specific HR knowledge are in attendance.  

These individuals should have a broad knowledge of the entire business’ HR processes. While we appreciate, they may not know the details of every process, it’s important to limit the number of attendees on the call.  We can always follow up with further calls, if necessary.

What can you expect as an output from this call?  

With the details gathered in the scoping calls, we will create an implementation effort estimate proposal and initial draft of a statement of work.

What’s next?

Following enough time for the you to review the effort estimate and statement of work, we will provide a follow-up playback presentation of the provided documents. The meeting will cover detailed analysis of effort and statement of work, we will also provide details on the Sage People implementation methodology, Customer for Life ethos and high-level timelines.

If necessary, we will work with the you to update the draft documentation as many times as needed to get to a mutually understood and agreed proposal to begin your Sage People journey.

For more information about the Sage People HR System or to discuss your implementation needs ahead of adopting the Sage People solution contact us directly on email: info@tugelapeople.com or call +44 (0) 1908 030360. Alternatively click here to learn more

Sabrina Millard, Account Manger at Tugela People. Read more.

This article has been authored by Sabrina Millard, Account Manager for the Tugela People Professional Services division. Sabrina is the first point of contact with prospective clients and the main point of contact for our current customers.

Sabrina has over fifteen years’ experience specialising in Payroll and HR and her expertise includes: system implementations, budget negotiations, project management and building strong client relationships.

Getting buy-in for your new HR System

Getting buy-in for your new HR System. Read more.

Implementing a new HR System can be a challenge, presenting you with plenty of hurdles to navigate. Throughout the lifecycle of your project, you’re going to need buy-in from key stakeholders across the business or you’ll risk hitting obstacles. Below are some essential guidelines to make certain you get the buy-in you need to ensure your implementation is a success.

Build a Business Case

The first hurdle you’re going to face is getting the budget for your new software. In all my years of working with HR software, very few businesses prioritise HR and more specifically HR technology spend when it come budget planning.

More so than ever, given the challenges of the last year, getting the budget to implement your new software can feel like a daunting prospect. You can make this easier by preparing a well-thought-out business case.

This will help identify the return on any investment and will often ensure buy-in from Exec level management while aiding you in securing the budget needed for your new system.

Prep your Project Team

It’s important to make sure everyone involved is aware of the demands that will be placed on them for a successful implementation.  They’re going to be busy, will need to learn new things, and more than likely have tasks assigned to them that will need to be delivered according to the timescales of project plan to progress the project. Outline and emphasize the benefits of the new system to the team. Acknowledge that for some it will mean ‘stepping outside their comfort zone’, give credit where credit is due and be as supportive as possible by alleviating those ‘business as usual activities’ where possible.

Software implementation is very rarely the day-to-day job of the people we depend on to deploy a project. The likelihood is that your HRIS implementation will have several stakeholders from across the business. Individuals from various departments, including HR, Training, Recruitment, Payroll, Finance, IT and Marketing could all be involved at some point. Even for those who’ll benefit most, the implementation is frequently outside the scope of their existing roles.

Often, the most successful projects are those that bring in additional resource temporarily, whether that is in the guise of a Project Manager or as HR Admin support, to free up your teams time. If you can do this, then I’d recommend it. From the outset, it would be advisable to include this cost into your business plan.

Make marketing your friend

Marketing can be your secret weapon in getting buy-in from the wider business. Many HR Systems will allow you to brand the self-service part of the system. This gives you an opportunity to make the system yours, brand it according to the company identity and give it a familiar feel.  I’ve often found that while the HR team might give it a go (and there will be a few with some hidden talents), marketing teams are just better at branding. It’s a big part of what they do, and they can make your self-service portal creative, imaginative, professional and appealing.

Engage with the End Users

Put the word out early, let everyone in the company know what HR are doing and sell the benefits, whilst highlighting the changes that will be coming down the line. By engaging with the workforce at the outset, you can gain valuable insight and address any potential issues and constraints that individuals may face, ahead of moving to the new system. 

It’s not all about overcoming potential issues. As part of your business case, you will need to provide a detailed account of the expected return on investment. To maximise that return, you need to promote rapid adoption and engagement amongst your team for system uptake. Think about how you can engage with your workforce. I’ve had customers have a competition to name their new system, run surveys about features that are important to the workforce (to prioritise the project’s phases) and, I’ve previously worked in an HR team that put out a monthly blog posting to the business to inform the company of the work of HR.

You can always get creative too. See the video below from one of our customers that I thought was particularly impressive.

Setting the Tone

Advice I often give is to choose the right tone for your messaging to your business. Depending on what you’re moving from, the transition to your new HR System might not be as smooth as you would like. In particular, data might be out of date, incomplete or even illogical. If you think this might be the case, set the right expectation and engage your end users upfront – you can even ask them for their support in updating information.

Provide a method for end users to report inaccuracies or issues and provide resource for go-live support. People are much more forgiving if they don’t expect perfection!

 At Tugela People, we’ve implemented hundreds of HR Systems and have many years’ experience in launching HR software. If you have any questions or need support in building a business case, then feel free to reach out to the team here at Tugela People.

This article has been authored by Kevin Hume, Senior HRIS Consultant for Tugela People. Kevin has spent the last 16 years working with HR and Payroll software in various roles and has over 3 years’ experience working with Sage People.

To learn more about the support and services we offer click here or contact us directly on tel: +44 (0)1908 030360 or email: info@tugelapeople.com

Looking back, Looking forward

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” ― Charles Dickens

Looking back, Looking forward. Read more.

The start of a new year seems like the appropriate time to take stock of what has occurred over the past twelve months, both in our personal and professional lives and to set realistic goals and objectives for the year ahead.  It is safe to say that no one could have imagined how 2020 would turn out. By taking a step back and reflecting on the road travelled, it is important to take a positive stance and to recognise and celebrate our successes and achievements along the way.

I’ve just celebrated my third year of working at Tugela People, the company is just about to reach 9 years since its inception, and we’ve been offering Managed Services to clients for just over two years now. When I joined Tugela People as a Junior Implementation Consultant, I had no idea that my role would evolve into where it is today. I was an integral contributor to the set-up of the Managed Services division and am now leading the team and expanding our offerings. The past two years have probably been the most challenging, yet exciting and rewarding of my career.

Over the last two years, Managed Services has:

  • Grown to support 11 global clients, offering a wide range of additional services that help organisations get the most out of their HR System investment.
  • Taken on Zoe Van Lokven as an apprentice, who recently passed her Business Administration course (with a distinction) and is now the first point of contact for the majority of cases that come through to our team.
  • Hired Renata Tenorio Boesche, an experienced HR professional with a strong background in analyst type roles, as a dedicated resource to a specific client. Renata has provided Sage People technical support to multiple countries in terms of system enhancements, training and day-to-day support.
  • Maintained a 100% happiness rating for clients that use our Managed Services.
  • Solved over 2,500 tickets raised by 120 customers and assisted with their questions, troubleshooting, enhancements and day-to-day administration.
  • Achieved a 100% renewal rate with clients re-signing for a further period.

Highlights from the past year include:

  • Further growth of the team with the appointment of Susan Martin to help support the expanding client base and develop the services offered by Managed Services. Susan is an experienced HR professional with over fifteen years’ experience in HR systems.
  • Introduced Sage People Health Checks as a service. Through experience of working with our clients, it is an undeniable fact that after the implementation of a system, businesses and processes change and progress. This allows us to conduct a deep dive into areas of the system that may need some improvements or enhancements. We can provide recommendations to get the client’s system to where it needs to be.
  • Developed a Sage People adoption overview process where we work with clients to establish what functionality is/is not being utilized, what is of interest in the future and how new functionality can meet requirements. We then work with clients to produce a roadmap for the coming year.
  • Provided clients with temporary HRIS admin support when key system users are on a period of leave. This was a brand-new opportunity for us, and we supported a client for three weeks where we monitored their HRIS inbox and received some great feedback (read more).

From a personal perspective, I have transitioned from a HR Generalist to a HRIS specialist, become a member of the Tugela management team and taken on the responsibility of managing a team of consultants for the first time. My personal goal over the coming year is develop my management and leadership skill set and undertake a certification that is relevant to my role.

In going through this process of reflection, I am extremely optimistic and excited about the year ahead in terms of what we and the business can achieve for our clients. This too sits nicely with our company ethos of 2021 being the year of recognition for our colleagues, clients, partners and industry contemporaries.

As always, I am grateful for our clients who have put their trust in me and the rest of the Managed Services team here at Tugela People, and look forward to working with you all going into 2021.

Jamie Wilkins, Head of Managed Services for Tugela People. Read more.

This article has been authored by Jamie Wilkins, Head of Managed Services for Tugela People. Jamie has a degree in Business and Human Resource Management and is CIPD qualified with over 10 years’ experience in the HR industry. Jamie is responsible for leading a team of consultants that offer technical solutions and comprehensive Sage People HR System support through our flexible managed services function that spans the full spectrum of HR disciplines.

To find out more about our Managed Service offerings or engage our services, please email info@tugelapeople.com or call +44 (0) 1908 030368. Alternatively for more information on our services click here.

Tugela People 2020 Colleague and Giver of the Year

Tugela People, Colleague and Giver of the Year 2020 Awards. Read more.

Recognition is a major part of our ethos and serves to complement our company values of Trust, Understanding, Gratitude, Equality, Laughter and Agility.

Individuals within the company are given the opportunity to recognise the contribution of other colleagues throughout the year, according to our company values, by awarding ‘Wow’ points. This can be for a job well done, support on a project, input to company output etc.

As part of this, we run a monthly draw at our townhall meetings for all colleagues who have been awarded WOW points during the previous month. Recipients receive not only companywide recognition, but also a voucher, which they can choose to spend, or donate to a charity. If they choose to donate this to one of the charities that Tugela People supports, then the company will match this contribution.  The charity currently supported is MK Food Bank – Sowing the seeds of Love.

At our end-of-year companywide meeting in December, we review who has been awarded wow points and ask the team to nominate who they think should be recognised as ‘Colleague of the Year’

The guiding criteria for this is: The colleague….

  • is productive
  • is enthusiastic
  • is reliable & dependable
  • has a positive eye on work responsibilities, customers & colleagues – a role model for others
  • delivers exemplary service in daily work & a notable contribution to the company
  • is an expert in knowledge & experience in the business
  • has the willingness to work in a team setting

Our congratulations go to Jamie Wilkins, Head of Managed Services, who has been awarded ‘2020 Colleague of the Year’ by the Tugela People team. 

Jamie Wilkins, Head of Managed Services for Tugela People. Read more.

Jamie has been instrumental in building and developing the Managed Services division, growing the team and continues to expand on the services that we offer. Jamie is a real asset to the company and well liked and respected amongst his peers.

Additionally, congratulations goes to Nicki Bond, Marketing Manager, who has been awarded ‘2020 Giver of the Year’ having given 14 wow points over the past year.

Nicki Bond, Marketing Manager at Tugela People. Read more.

Nicki joined the company as our marketing consultant in January last year to support our company marketing initiatives. Having quickly established herself within the role, Nicki was promoted to Marketing Manager after a months’ probation, and now spear heads all of Tugela’s Marketing strategy and related activities.

The Rise & Rise of eLearning

As we bid farewell to the tumultuous year that was 2020, many of us will be breathing a sigh of relief that we’ve managed to weather its storms. The world of HR, Payroll and Learning & Development encounters changes fairly regularly, but last year was a doozie!

The Rise & Rise of eLearning. Read more

The onset of the pandemic accelerated those changes in ways we’d never have expected:

  • Working from home.
  • Recruiting and Onboarding of new colleagues without actually meeting them.
  • Training customers and employees remotely because the option to have them attend a face-to-face classroom was no longer viable.

The new way of working has increased the urgency for the automation of HR processes enormously. For many companies, the process of digital transformation was one they’d already embarked on, but the pandemic forced a massive change of pace. That change was most immediate in the world of training; as lockdown was brought in, any face-to-face training had to be put on hold. 

Of course, the popularity of Learning Management Systems (LMS) has already been growing in the past few years, but the pandemic brought a new urgency to their adoption. Suddenly all training would have to be provided online. Everything delivered in person would now be delivered virtually, and much of the existing training content simply didn’t lend itself to that. A class led by an instructor has its own momentum; the trainer can check for understanding, explain the more complex concepts, and—perhaps most importantly— gauge the attention levels in the room. You get none of these benefits if you take PowerPoint files and simply add “click here to continue” on each slide!

It rapidly became evident that face-to-face training materials didn’t necessarily work in a virtual setting. LMS platform sales went through the roof, as did the growth of off-the-shelf training materials (of varying levels of usefulness, it must be said). It was time for training to step outside of its comfort zone and rise to the challenge.

The Upside

As with so many unwelcome changes, the world of remote learning has immense benefits to offer those who embrace it with a well-thought-out strategy. Among these:

  • Training can be extended to more people than in a classroom setting
  • Courses and learning paths can be tailored and made available to a much wider audience
  • Training can be undertaken and scheduled at a time suited to an individual’s availability
  • Tests can be included to ensure the training is successful
  • Learner engagement and performance can be tracked and measured
  • Gamification can make the training program more enjoyable and compelling
  • Virtual classroom training is still achievable using video-conferencing software – a good LMS will support most of these.

The use of an LMS offers a much more comprehensive range of ways to impart knowledge and to measure its effectiveness. Courses can be a mixture of slides, video, quizzes, and links to other resources like YouTube clips, pdfs, etc. And because you’re not taking delegates away from their desk for a whole day’s training at a time, the course itself can be broken into smaller modules. Delegates can learn something, try it for themselves, then be tested to ensure understanding. And because they have flexibility about when they do these, they’re more likely to retain the knowledge gained.

A well-structured LMS will keep track of the delegates’ progress through individual courses or whole learning paths. Line Managers can see what progress their direct reports are making and offer help and encouragement where needed.

Adopting a remote learning strategy offers some great opportunities for companies with the ambition and vision to approach it in a structured way. Both employee and customer trainees can be better served, delivering increased productivity and engagement. But we need to accept that it’s more than a slightly different toolset; it’s an entirely new way to impart knowledge.

eLearning, and the need to reach learners in different ways, is now a fact of life. There are considerable benefits to be gained for those who grasp the opportunity.

This is the first in a series of articles on eLearning authored by Charlie Gray, Business Development at Tugela People.

Charlie has been part of the Tugela People Team since 2019 and has worked in HR-related technologies including pre-employment assessments, Applicant Tracking Systems, and HRIS for longer than he is prepared to admit!

If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this article or would like assistance with your companies eLearning program, please contact Charlie directly on info@tuglepeople.com or call +44 (0) 1908 030361.

The Tugela Team Celebrates Christmas Remotely

Last week we had the pleasure of getting the team together remotely and held our annual Christmas party online. If anyone had suggested this a year ago, I would have thought they were mad!

However current times called for a change and I was pleasantly surprised by what a success the evening turned out to be.

Our boss decided to give us all the afternoon off to get our Christmas jumpers and hats at the ready for the festivities. We were all also delighted to receive a Christmas hamper from the company, filled with loads of goodies earlier that day.

#wow #spoilt #chrismashamper

We started out the evening with a thoroughly engaging and entertaining hour playing ‘who dares wins’ hosted by an external events company. We entered Winter Wonderland visiting different virtual Christmas realms such as Candy Cane land and Ginger Bread Kingdom, undertaking various challenges, quizzes and charades as sub-teams.

#Fun #Teambuilding

After this, our various partners and children joined us all for a fireside chat, drinks, eats and games.

#hohoho #fatherchristmas

No hangovers to speak of this year and none of us were left on the dance floor until the early hours of the morning, but it proved to be a welcome boost to company morale and raised the spirits of us all ahead of the festive season.

2021 Sage People Checklist

Being fresh into the New Year,, now is a good time to make sure that you’re on top of your Sage People housekeeping, as well as considering taking advantage of new Sage People functionality.

Here are our top tips to ensure a smooth transition into 2021:

WX Self-Service

  • Remember to post your Festive and New Year messages on your Employee Self Service or better still, schedule them to appear/disappear.
  • Schedule any annual compliance notices to appear on the Employee Self Service and track which employees have signed the agreement.
  • Consider using WX Reports if you don’t already. They can give managers insights into their team’s performance over the last year, including absence, objectives and recognition, and ensure they can effectively track performance over the year to come.
  • Consider setting up and using Pulse surveys to capture feedback from employees for an end of year engagement check-in.

Workday patterns

  • Check that public holidays (bank holidays) not set as “reoccurring” are correct for 2021 (and beyond if you have future years).
  • An extra bank holiday in the UK has been awarded to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for 2022, so might be worth:
    • Adding an one-day holiday on 03/06/2022
    • Configuring the late May Spring Bank Holiday to be non-recurring for 31/05/2021 and 02/06/2022, and then recurring thereafter on the last Monday of May.

Performance

  • For those using strategic objectives, remember to edit the strategic objectives picklist to align with the Company’s 2021 Corporate Objectives.

Absences

  • If you are you allowing team members to carry over all, or part of their annual leave entitlement for an additional two years, make sure this is configured and tested by the start of 2021.
  • Remember to create or extend absence adjustments for 2021 for those that have them.
  • Check that the “Hold Absence Balances” batch is set to run, as this is very useful for reporting.
  • Remember to check that Carry Over has been set up on your absence accrual patterns, and ensure that negative carry overs are configured in line with policy.

Reports

  • Check that Snapshot reporting is working and is scheduled to run in case you need headcount figures as at the end of the year.
  • Check date ranges on scheduled reports to ensure they mirror the company financial year.

Other

  • Check that Sage People licences for all leavers have been deactivated and review that there are enough licences available for your medium-term requirements.
  • For those using the Resource Manager, remember your new Active Resource Plan for 2021 to track the budgeted and signed off New positions.
  • Update exchange rates if they’re updated on an annual basis.
  • Are you aware that the Adobe Flash based resume previewer in Sage People is being replaced? Adobe Flash reaches end of life on 31st December 2020, and there may be some actions you need to complete in your org to support the transition to Sage People’s own viewer.

You might also want to consider:

  • In October 2021, in conjunction with Sage People’s Winter ‘22 release, the old Absence process will be depreciated, and all clients must have the Time Off process enabled at that time. Have you considered moving over yet, and are you aware of the enhancements that come with Time Off?
  • Lightning Experience is the next generation of the Salesforce platform that aims to deliver a new modern user interface and improved navigation. Find out more.
  • Taking advantage of new Sage People functionality such as objectives and conversations, Compensation Planning and half day absences:
  • Have you considered a Sage People health check? A health check examines any areas of potential improvement or inconsistencies in your system, from which we can propose corrective actions and suggest enhancements as appropriate. This improves the efficiency and effectiveness of your Sage People HR System and promotes increased user adoption and productivity.
Jamie Wilkins, Head of Managed Services for Tugela People. Read more.

This article has been authored by Jamie Wilkins, Head of Managed Services for Tugela People. Jamie has a degree in Business and Human Resource Management and is CIPD qualified with over 10 years’ experience in the HR industry. Jamie is responsible for leading a team of consultants that offer technical solutions and comprehensive Sage People HR System support through our flexible managed services function that spans the full spectrum of HR disciplines.

If you wish to download a copy of this guide, please click below:

Help is at hand

For additional information about any of these features or support in making changes or updates, our Managed Services team will be happy to help. Click here to get in touch or email us directly at: info@tugelapeople.com

Tips for Data Migration

I’ve dealt with a LOT of data over the last 16 years. Whether this was migrating customer data, supporting them in their own migration, migrating the data of my own employers, rapidly acquiring and working with data from an acquisition to ensure new employees continue to be paid accurately and on time, cleansing data, reporting on data, etc. etc.. I’d say I’ve seen all there is to see with HR Data.

It’s a huge part of any HR System implementation project, and yet so many people enter this process with limited preparation or experience. Aside from letting me take over your data migration (I really wouldn’t mind), there are a few things you can do to ensure a successful migration.

What is ETL?

Firstly, let’s discussed a method that will pop up regularly. ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load, and it’s a simple enough premise in the context of HR Software Implementations. You need to Extract the information from your current system and then Transform it (whether that be cleansing the data, trimming down job titles and picklist values, losing some historical data etc). Finally you need to Load it into your new system (often with support from your vendors or implementation partners).

Timing and Planning Your Data Migration

When do you want to plan your migration? Personally, I like to run a sample data migration before User Acceptance Testing (UAT). When that’s been done successfully, then a full migration can be performed with confidence prior to go-live. The benefits of this approach are numerous, and include:

  1. Giving you test data to work with for User Acceptance Testing that will look similar to your live data.
  2. Allowing you to cleanse your live data as you test and see how your data looks in your new system
  3. You get a practice run at migrations. If you learn from your test migration, it will make your live migration go smoother and quicker, meaning less time for your live data to age.

When planning your project, try to have a project resource that’s dedicated to leading and coordinating data migration activities. This person needs to understand the makeup of the data, the business and any reporting implications to consider once this data becomes live. It might be that this person is supported by subject matter experts from other areas of the business who also receive information from HR.

Finally, try to make sure that the team is correctly resourced and given the time to work on the ETL process. When the ‘business as usual’ activities get in the way, the data preparation can suffer, leading to poor quality data which in turn sheds a poor light on your fancy new system!

Your Opportunity to Cleanse

Use the ETL process fully; this is your opportunity to truly transform your data, making it more efficient for reporting purposes and improving your admin processes across the company:

  • Roles, departments and teams can all be structured correctly. Any business that has grown through acquisitions might have experienced a disjointed organisation structure that has been inherited and appended to an existing business. Look at this process as your chance to improve that situation.
  • Make your data consistent. Through inherited spreadsheets and ill-defined processes, your old data might be inconsistent. This is a chance to put right some of the common problems we see, e.g. several variations of the same Job Titles and Departments such as:
    • R&D
    • R+D
    • R and D
    • Research and Development
    • Research & Development
  • Do your dates make sense? Are they in the correct order? Apply validation to make sure you don’t have absence end dates after their start dates, or start dates earlier than continuous service dates. You can also use this time to make sure you’re filling in any blanks.
  • Key Data. Think about what data is fundamental
    • Core employee data for RTI purposes
    • Salary information for payroll and finance reporting
    • Organisation information for reporting purposes
    • Next of Kin information for benefits
    • Data for IT service provision (usernames, hardware and more)

Pitfalls and Advice

This is all valuable information that you now have an opportunity to provide for your new system. Watch out though; there will be pitfalls!

Dates

Date formats can be a nightmare for those multinational organisations that have different people at a local level providing the data. Make sure that your dates are all in the same format.

Commas

Commas outside of the UK are another pitfall for multinational companies. The UK seems to be one of the few European countries that use a full stop (.) to represent a decimal place, with the majority of Europe opting for a comma. If you have to provide your data in a .CSV file that separates columns with a comma, you can probably see why this is a potential pitfall. If you are putting your data together in different countries, it’s often wise to keep in XLS until it’s all compiled, then saving as a .CSV file at the local level choosing an appropriate delimiter to separate values.

Excel

Excel can try to be a little too clever at times, only this week I saw it try to change Lithuanian phone numbers from a string of digits to a shortened formula. Trust me, nobody’s phone number is “3.71E+10”, you’re trying too hard Excel! To get around this, you might need to format the columns as text before adding your data.

Picklists

Picklists can be a great tool to regulate the data choices on offer in your system and to provide consistency. They can often be set up to hold dependencies, allowing a dependent picklist to only display options that are relevant to the one selected previously. For example selecting a department of “Sales” might present you with team options of “New Business” and “Customer Success”. If you have any such dependencies, make sure you’ve prepared your data to accommodate them. Your data should be an accurate representation of your new system’s structure.

Finally, with picklists, the number one thing to check is that the values in your data match the values in your system. You should be able to export your picklist values from your new system to the area you’re preparing your data in (most likely Excel), let lookups become your new best friend. Vlookups will help you identify where your data will not match your new system.

Better minds than me have already explained Vlookups, so I’ll not reinvent the wheel, the below is a very quick guide, but honestly, there are literally thousands of people explaining this online!

Validation

Validation is a fantastic tool employed in most systems in one way or another. Put simply, it’s a way to make sure that your data conforms to any predefined rules. A basic example of this could be that probationary end date should not be before the start date.

Validation is there for a reason; you might be able to turn it off for the purposes of your data load, but that might lead to issues when it’s turned back on. Instead, consider why it’s there in the first place; in most cases, it’s to make sure your data is clean and will work efficiently for you. I see no reason why you’d want to avoid that! Take the time in the transform stage of your data migration journey to make sure that your data meets any criteria set out in your system’s validation. That way you’ll have the best possible start to using that information effectively come go live.

There are further journeys into data validation that you can venture down. Regular Expression, for example, can be an excellent tool in verifying the formats of NI Numbers, Social Security Numbers, Bank accounts and Sort Codes, Post Codes and Phone numbers. In simple terms, it ensures that data conforms to a predefined format. It can get complicated, but if your new system employs regular expression, it’s worth finding out before you try to load your data!

There you have it. Hopefully nothing too scary, but those are my words of advice for any newcomers to Data Migration or HR System Software Implementation.

This article has been authored by Kevin Hume, Senior HRIS Consultant for Tugela People. Kevin has spent the last 16 years working with HR and Payroll software in various roles and has over 3 years’ experience working with Sage People.

Kevin can be contacted directly on: khume@tugelapeople.com

To learn more about the support and services we offer click here or contact us directly

Action required regarding your absence functionality

As a valued client of Sage People, you may have seen the email that was sent on the 14th October confirming again that they will be deprecating the old Absence process.

Clients are urged to take immediate action to have the Time Off process enabled once the Winter ‘22 release is installed. For clarity we’ve added the deprecation timeline below. More information in this regard, can be found on the Sage People community article on Migrating from Absence to Time Off.

The Sage People Time Off process was created to replace the legacy Absence functionality, enhancing and improving their offering surrounding vacation and absence calculations. There are several new features that have been released requiring utilisation of Time Off that will benefit you as a client.

New Time Off features

  • Work schedules: enable you to define and allocate set working times for your Team Members. Useful to show shift patterns for example.
  • Enhanced accrual balances and accrual log: additional reportable fields on the absence balance object.
  • Partial days: view of half days in the WX calendar.
  • Outlook calendar files:  ability to add absence/vacation requests into calendars.

Sage People Deprecation Timeline

  • Effective Immediately – All clients should begin the transition to Time Off if not already using the new functionality. You may find it easiest to migrate at your plans’ reset date(s), although this is not a requirement. Sage People Support Team will continue to accept support cases related to the Absence process as will Tugela’s Managed Services team.
  • Winter ’22 release (est. Oct/Nov 2021): With this release the Time Off process will be switched on by default and all clients should be transitioned. The Absence Process will still exist within the HCM package but will no longer be supported by the Sage People Support Teams.
  • Spring ’22 release: The Time Off process cannot be deactivated, and the Absence code will be deprecated entirely.

Help is at hand

If you require additional information about this notification or require support in effecting any of these changes, our Managed Services team will be happy to assist you. Contact us now or email us directly at: info@tugelapeople.com

Enhancing employee communications with Sage People

Keeping in Touch During Covid Times

With the ongoing pandemic and restrictions imposed, keeping abreast of the impact in the workplace is critical. From the work that we undertake with our clients, we are finding there are a few key groups that need improved communications more than most. Those returning from furlough and resuming a ‘normal working environment’ in addition to an increasingly remote workforce, need to take additional measures to ensure effective communication with their teams.

Action Events

Remember, Sage People by default includes “team members home” as a contact method for action events, so you don’t need to go reinventing the wheel to contact people who are furloughed. Regular communications that they might need to be kept up to date with can be sent to their home email address.

Workflows

Just as with Action Events, you can use workflows to email team members using their home email addresses This can be especially useful to notify people of changes they might encounter as they return to the workplace or vital communications that they may have otherwise missed while furloughed.

HR Noticeboards

These are a great tool to help you spread messages to your teams via WX. If your business is returning to life in the office and you need to ensure new measures are being met, share those measures with your teams through an HR noticeboard. Top tip: incorporate distinctive imagery into your HR Noticeboards to make sure they stand out and grab the required attention from your people.

Internal Communications

This type of WX process will allow you to share information with your teams via WX as well as enabling you to gather confirmation of receipt and report on it. If you need to share important information about returning to the office, including measures to protect your employees’ health, consider using a confirmation option to ensure your teams have read the communication. You can also activate your daily digest to trigger an out of the box email reminder to colleagues to review their communication actions.

Pulse Surveys

With Pulse Surveys, Business leaders will be able to gauge on a regular basis how staff feel about certain topics. It’s best practice to regularly source feedback on the same measures to determine if the initiatives that have been put in place are having the desired effect (i.e. that progress is being made to address any concerns areas). Pulse Surveys in Sage People are straight forward to set up and easy to access by staff via the employee self-service portal (known as the WX). And because of the powerful reporting module, Sage People enables HR to report on the results in real-time, draft trend reports and to add the results to HR Dashboards that are typically shared with business leaders.

If you have not used this functionality for a while and would like a reminder, feel free to get in touch with us, to discuss training options that might assist you in creating effective communication strategies during this challenging time.