Sage People’s Triton release making Waves

The latest Triton release from Sage People, named after the Greek god who was a messenger of the sea, has certainly been making waves. It focuses on 7 ways that Sage People helps improve the user experience and enables HR managers to be more efficient.

Client feedback so far has been positive as they begin to upgrade elements relevant to their organisations. Elements changing include:

  • Payflow support for multiple bank accounts
  • Groups and teams pilot release
  • Time and attendance: enhancements to same day absences and to the absence calculator
  • Reward planning (Compensation Planning) beta release
  • US tax forms
  • Payroll pilot enhancements
  • Know Your People pilot release
  • SEO enhancements for talent acquisition
  • Employee API pilot release
  • Team member sharing speed and performance improvements
  • Telemetry roll out

Exciting times as Sage Business Cloud People on the Salesforce platform continues improve and enhance capabilities for people efficiencies, insights, collaboration and employee engagement. The release is part of their continued commitment to deliver a highly effective HR solution that meets the evolving people management needs.

To find out more about the upgrades see here

Or if you would like any support or help getting the most from your Sage People investment, please call us on 01908 030360 or contact us

How to Fast Track your Sage People Implementation

As a Sage People preferred partner with over 110 Sage People implementation projects under our belt, we are often asked what is important to ensure a successful implementation. Here are six elements that we suggest are in place at the outset, to ensure that your Sage People implementation stays on the fast track.

1.)    Make sure your project has a quantifiable business case

2.)    Think about the end-to-end business process rather than just the software features

3.)    Ensure senior management buy-in

4.)    Identify sufficient time is made available for the project

5.)    Make sure your data is consistent and accurate

6.)    Focus on user adoption and training early on in the project

 

1.      Why a business case?

For many projects, the approval to proceed would not have been achieved if there wasn’t a clear business case with financial justification to support the investment.  However, in some cases projects are signed off with only high-level justification.

Having a clear quantifiable business case will ensure the project is focused on delivering value quickly to the areas that are most important.  It also provides a measurement for assessing whether the investment is delivering the return expected post go live.

 

2.      Why is an end-to-end business process important?

A new People system should deliver new ways of working involving a wider audience outside HR.   Going into a project with a view on how the process is going to work and who is likely to be involved at which stage, will make it easier to define the requirement.   It will also help to identify whether your business has any non-standard requirements or whether you could change your way of working to adapt to a standard process.

The HR business processes should all be aligned with each other e.g. recruitment and new starter activities.    If you don’t consider the end-to-end process at the outset parts maybe missed off, such as the on-boarding process.

 

3.      Why stakeholder buy in is so important?

Senior management may have signed off the expenditure but their buy in needs to go further. They need to be fully committed, leading by example and proactively getting their teams buy-in.

We find a useful way of engaging with the senior management team is thinking in terms of Heads, Hearts, and Hands.

  • Heads…  frequent, targeted communications to understand why the change is necessary.
  • Hearts… belief that this is the right thing to do for the business and themselves personally.
  • Hands…  leading by example.

The importance of senior stakeholder commitment cannot be overstated in terms of fast tracking your implementation.

 

4.      Why ensure sufficient resources are available?

It’s an obvious question but often the day job becomes more important than the project and a small delay could have a knock-on effect, creating additional cost and delays to the project.   It is important to understand what your responsibilities are on the project, when you will be expected to perform the task and whether there is any preparation beforehand.

If you have budget constraints, you may have chosen to have your own team deliver the project. In these instances, it’s important to make sure that your team have the time available to them for coaching sessions, otherwise they will not be trained sufficiently to carry out specific tasks. This could result in the system being set up incorrectly or result in unexpected errors during the testing phase. If you are taking this approach be very clear on what tasks are to be performed and the level of skill required. If your team is expected to deliver the system themselves and they aren’t given the necessary time to receive coaching and training your implementation could actually end up costing more than it would had you involved an implementation expert with years of experience who could provide your system efficiently and with the benefit of the experience of other customers and system best practice.

 

5.      Why is accurate data so important?

If your data is incorrect and inconsistent you will not be able to easily migrate it into your new system.   Your system will be set up with your business structure, policies and rules and if the data you have does not match those held in the system it will reject the data upload.  For example, if you have a department set up in the system and there are different variations on the department names, it will only accept the record which matches the department in the system.    Our recommendation is to start reviewing the data as early as you can as this activity can be quite a time-consuming activity.

 

6.      Why focus on user adoption and training at the outset?

As Nabil Al Zarouni said ‘If no one is using the solution, it is not a solution at all’ and we all know that change is difficult. So, we suggest at the outset prioritise both user adoption and training, rather than treating it as an add on.

It takes time for people to accept, and ultimately buy into new ways of doing things and by focusing on user adoption at the outset will help to ensure that stakeholders buy into the new system more quickly. Communicate early and often with your stakeholder groups.

Offer effective training that can provide users with hands-on learning using real data and scenarios (we prefer to use data that the users know, as it is easier for them to understand and internalise).  Then don’t stop there. Once users have used Sage People, provide follow up training to build on their knowledge as they will have different questions and issues to address.

To fast track your Sage People implementation project, and to ensure that you maximise your return on your Sage People investment, consider outsourcing to a partner who has an in-depth understanding of HR processes alongside the system’s capabilities and limitations.

An experienced implementation partner will not only bring Sage People system expertise to the project, but will add value by sharing their knowledge of HR best practice. They can also explain the various implications of configuration choices and provide guidance on getting the most from the system.

 

Outsource for less headaches and more support

Outsourcing to an implementation partner generally means less headaches and more support. Also, you can avoid the steep configuration learning curve, and instead focus on value adding process enhancements and championing user adoption.

They also bring instant credibility to the project and provide guidance to ensure that the common pitfalls are avoided so that the project stays on schedule and on budget.

 

Conclusion

If the the importance of these six elements are understood at the outset, you will be better able to ensure that your Sage People implementation stays on track.

To discuss any of the issues raised in this article or want help preparing for your implementation project, please call us on (01908) 030360 or contact us and we will be in touch.

The Fight against a Toxic Company Culture

How many companies have you heard of that have a ‘toxic’ environment? One where the workplace is characterised by negative attitudes, poor interpersonal relationships, bad work styles which affect the morale and productivity of employees and impacts on efficiency, customer service and the profitability of an organisation.

 

Employee engagement and company culture

So how do you improve employee engagement?  Several studies have shown that a ‘toxic’ or negative company culture can be improved by high levels of employee engagement and effective communication irrespective of market and business.

But this does not mean an organisation just saying “we’ll send out emails to all staff” as both communication and engagement needs to be so much more than this. Employers need to open two-way dialogue at all levels, involve employees in the decision-making processes and ultimately promote engagement in the company mission and values. This process has two benefits, the first is that employees feel informed about the direction of the company, allowing them to promote this externally. The second is that the company attracts applicants that have the same values and objectives.

When employees feel involved and engaged in the direction of the business, their commitment to the company and its goals increases, lending to a higher retention rate and improvement to overall company culture. With current staff aligned with the values of the business, it sets the foundations for new employees to know that they are part of the larger organisation.

 

Using HR technology to engage employees

So, to increase employee engagement within your organisation you involve them, try to see the world through their eyes and stay connected with and be aware of their milestones and issues.

HR technology now plays a vital role in helping to promote consistency in management styles and enables a continuous two-way dialogue. This gives employees the opportunity to share their workplace issues and helps to develop trust.

Enlightened organisations are ditching the annual appraisal in favour of continuous assessments and are increasingly using instant feedback tools.

While the needs of staff may vary, organisations must understand the basic needs of their employees to be valued, recognised and respected. Whilst HR technology cannot replace the personal touch it does provide a quick, easy way to manage employee data and facilitate employee engagement in a consistent, continuous way.

 

In conclusion

While investing in employee engagement has not always been high on the agenda. The increasing evidence showing the positive correlation between profitability and employee engagement has meant improving company culture has become a boardroom priority. Forward thinking organisations are turning to HR technology to help facilitate these initiatives especially in competitive markets where companies have to work leaner and more efficiently than ever before to stay ahead

So, watch this space as employee engagement is used in the battle against toxic workplaces with HR tech providing increasingly useful tools for managers.

Are you Ready for Liemba, Sage People’s Latest Upgrade?

Sage People recently announced details of Liemba, their exciting new release which comes into effect soon. The Liemba update include significant enhancements including:

  • WX UI improvements (menu bar, top masthead, HR Noticeboard and Internal Communication display enhancements)
  • Enhanced performance management
  • Support for configurable groups and teams in WX
  • Pulse surveys (pilot programme)
  • Automated manager and span of control reporting
  • Sage People Android App

New Pulse Survey

Thpulse survey sage peoplee element that excites us most is the new pilot programme of Pulse surveys. We believe that this is going to become an invaluable addition to the software’s employee engagement toolbox. Pulse surveys allow employees to give quick and relevant feedback and makes data collection easy. It is great for insightful analysis and reporting to inform business decisions.

If your organisation would like support managing your Sage People upgrade call the Sage People support experts, Tugela People on +44 (0)1327 317701.

How to Successfully Embed your HRIS System

Our handy pointers on how to successfully embed your HRIS system into your organisation….

1. Engage your users early in the buying process

Nothing encourages users buy in more than when you get their input at an early stage. Allow them to express their opinion of the functionality of the HRIS system and its key attributes. Gather both their positive and negative feedback and suggestions. This will also help with addressing potential issues with your Implementation partner so you can embed your HRIS system with less hassle.

This early interaction will help users understand what it is that the business is looking to achieve and help them to adapt more quickly to the new HRIS system.

2. Create a plan to introduce the new technology

Develop a plan of how to train all employees so that they know how the new system works. Whilst cloud based HRIS system, like Fairsail, does make adding new absences or holiday requests, simple to administer you still need to cater for all levels of technical ability and remember that change can be daunting for some users.

Apply various training approaches to reach all users, from classroom training, to coaching, video’s or virtual webinars. Also, provide reference material and don’t forget about new starters training. The aim should be to get them into the habit of using the new system regularly.

We find it useful to select key change agents to help engage end users and gather feedback for you.

3. Highlight the benefits for users answer i.e. “What’s in it for me”

Focus on the ways that the new system will save users time and improve performance. Also, drip feed users tips and insight about the system functionality. This needs to start as soon as possible, not at the implementation stage. These positive messages will help to build excitement about the new system.

4. Continuous learning and improvement

Remember that coaching / training your employees to use your HR system is not a one time learning experience. You need to constantly update your employee’s knowledge. Use system reports to see how the various processes are being utilised and where there are gaps (e.g. where performance reviews are not being completed). Then use the data to drive awareness and coaching sessions.

Use the employee self-service functionality to engage and communicate with staff about new or improved features to the system or connect systems (e.g. payroll, time & attendance, expenses, etc.)

5. Make top notch technical support available when its needed

Create a support network to ensure users can get issues sorted out as soon as possible. Firstly have manual guides that contain enough information to make your employees feel safe handling the system. This avoids having to resort to technical support whenever a problem arises. Try to find a permanent solution for common problems.

Secondly, consider having one or two well-trained super-users who are your internal go-to people for first line support. This will speed up the issue resolution process and help improve the system set-up based on users’ feedback.

6. Reward users for engagement

We find that a competition and reward get greater system engagement. For instance, at the outset you could have a fun naming contest amongst employees or during the training do run quizzes. Similarly based on things like number of login’s or general usage of the system consider recognising users who shine. Finally, some systems like Sage People offer functionality to run snap polls to gain quick feedback about areas of the business, or even the system itself – this feedback can improve HR process and system set up.

7. K.I.S.S.

Remember less is more so only include the most needed features. The simpler the system and processes are, the easier it will be to train your employees and improve user adoption. In addition, the adaptation process will be easier if you limit yourself to include only those functions essential to achieving your immediate company goals.

This will also make maintaining the system going forward and adapting to changes in the company that need to be applied to the system (e.g. a company restructure).

8. It you don’t measure it you can’t manage / improve it

Lastly, do not forget to measure the success of your efforts. Run reports to see how well the system is being used and which aspects are maintained as required and which aren’t (e.g. gaps in data, late or no entries, etc.)

Run short polls to determine the general feelings towards aspects of the system, but best of all, go out and gauge the mood and get employee’s opinions by speaking to them.

 

If you would to discuss how to embed your HRIS System call HRIS implementation specialists Tugela People on 01327 317701 or via the website.

Best Practice for Effective Sage People Adoption

Given the investment of time and resource in investing in a new HRIS like Sage People it is worth embracing best practice so you enjoy the maximum return on your investment.

How do you maximize ROI from HR automation?  Any new process or technology roll-out has challenges.  Research from organisations that have successfully adopted Sage People suggest that user adoption is key to success.  The thing to remember is that whilst you are fully invested in Sage People and its benefits, your wider team of users are not yet.  So your mission is to bring the rest of the organisation to your level of understanding and commitment.

What is Best Practice for Effective Sage People Adoption?

Here are our suggestions to help boost your user adoption, these are drawn from our experience as Sage People implementation and training specialists with over 50 implementation projects under our belt.

Clear goalposts with the bosses cheering…

Start by setting clear goals and expectations that are endorsed by senior management so your user base understands what is expected from them and they understand what they can expect from the application itself.

You need to think in terms of Change Management that embraces all users. Also the senior management must be fully committed, even leading by example where possible to enable full user adoption. Whilst change is tough and new processes can be daunting; hand holding and empathy, as well as FAQ content and process overviews are helpful.

What’s in it for them…

Focus on the benefits. Demonstrate how Sage People can help make their lives easier by giving them better control and saving time. Showcase the mobile interface and its ease of use.

We find it is useful to focus on quick wins early in the implementation project, as we find that when users see results early on they adopt more readily.

Training, training, training…

This is key to successful user adoption. If you don’t have training expertise in-house, then outsource to training experts who can make the process fun and accessible to all. Training should provide users with hands-on learning using real data and scenarios. We find when users use data they know, it is easier to understand and internalise what they are learning. Don’t stop there. Once users have used Sage People, then provide follow up training as they’ll have different questions and niggles to address.

Customise to simplify…

As you implement Sage People and automate your HR processes, make sure simplification is a priority. This will help with user adoption, as the simpler things are the easier they are to use. Research this and prioritise exactly what users need to be successful and then customise to meet their specific needs. We find simplifying the access / log in process has positive impact on user adoption.

Have fun with incentives…

You don’t have to break the bank, but some incentives and a little competition can do wonders for user adoption rates.  Get creative or speak to marketing for some pointers.

 

If you require help with Sage People best practice call the Sage People experts on +44(0) 1327 317701 or contact him via the website

Does HR Self-Service technology boost Employee Engagement?

Does HR Self-Service technology boost Employee Engagement? Yes, in our experience employee HR self-service technology can help boost employee engagement if it is implemented properly. It empowers employees to manage their own personal data and boost the employee experience.

HRIS Drives Employee Engagement by…

Increasing Employees Input to Decision Making

With advances in mobile platforms and an exciting array of pulse tools, feedback apps, and anonymous social networking, employees can easily and quickly provide input into decision making. Research, by the Institute for Employment Studies and Towers Perrin, shows that enabling employees to provide input into decision making is one of the top drivers of employee engagement.

Increasing Autonomy

Employees can now view and amend personal data, make requests for leave, and access company information. Research from the Aberdeen Group has shown that more control over personal data leads to increased autonomy and higher employee engagement.

Drives Employee Empowerment

Self-service technology increasingly allows employees to take responsibility for their personal and professional development. Latest advances in the technology provides employees with more control. They gain responsibility for their own performance and development. Consequently, their career planning is increasingly being managed by the employee, freeing up their Managers time.

Why Driving Employee Engagement is important?

It’s important because engagement is seen as an important lever that HR can use to drive productivity in the business. Research by Gallup reveals that world class organisations have a near 10-1 ratio of engaged to disengaged employees while average organisations have around 2 to 1. So introducing self-service technology will drive employee engagement and productivity, when implemented properly.

If you would like help implementing effective HR self-service processes call Tugela People on +44(0) 1327 317701

What is Social HR and What Can it Do For You?

If you were to ask an expert for definition of Social HR, they would probably respond with words along the lines of “the act of engaging with an organisation’s workforce to help create an open and transparent working environment”. But truly, what does that really tell us? Social HR adds a potent new element to your HR strategy and business processes. But its purpose and process is often misunderstood, or indeed, not understood at all!

Exploring Social HR…

Here is a simple ‘Mind Map’ to help you better understand this important new discipline and the various facets to consider. Explore the Mind Map – and if you like it or have any comments, share it with your friends and followers. It’s the social thing to do!

The downfall of these technologies and the willingness of HR to comply with their use is that they are finding barriers to entry (and effective implementation and execution). The worries are defined as follows:

  • employees will misuse time on the system (46 percent);
  • upper management is not perceiving a clear need (44 percent);
  • there is a lack of budget (42 percent);
  • and there are concerns about system security (42 percent).

Because of these constraints, companies are noticing that social technology efforts are non-existent, not well-organised and/or poorly explained to facilitate proper and effective use. The Mind Map above contains a number of ideas on how you could get started with Social HR and also details the advantages of doing so. So in essence, all that’s left to decide is whether or not the pros out-weigh the cons.