Spotlight on Employee Experience

This article puts the spotlight on Employee Experience looking at ‘the what’, ‘the why’ and importantly ‘the how’ of it…

How does Employee Experience Affect the Bottom Line?

A robust employee experience will feed into Customer Experience, a recognised driver of business success. A 2016 Employee Engagement Benchmark Study (Temkin Group) showed a correlation between employee engagement and success in customer experience. Companies that excel at customer experience have one-and-a-half times as many engaged employees as customer experience laggards do.

Also, Gallup has found that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged, but companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.

What is Employee Experience?

According to Wikipedia, it is defined as what an employee receives during their interaction with careers’ elements (e.g. firms, supervisors, co-workers, customer, environment, etc.) that affect their cognition and attitudes and leads to their particular behaviours.

From a leading HR practitioner’s viewpoint Susan Peters, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at General Electric defines it as seeing the world through the eyes of their employees, staying connected with and being aware of their milestones.

Why is Employee Experience Important?

It drives profitability. A compelling employee experience ensures that employees are engaged and more satisfied. Also, employee retention is higher, and customer service is improved. This enhanced service translates into an enhanced Customer Experience which in turn drives profitability.

A study found that 83% of HR leaders said “employee experience” is either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their organisation’s success, and they are investing more in training (56%), improving their workspaces (51%), and giving more rewards (47%). (The Active Job Seeker Dilemma study by the Future Workplace and

How to Create an Engaging Employee Experience?

Being employee-centred is about having a right mindset that also recognises the benefits of leveraging the latest technologies in HR. To succeed it has to start at the top with the Executive Team and Board embracing the concept. It is useful to look at the principles of Customer Experience that marketing and operations teams probably already use.

For example, a useful starting point is employee journey mapping. This outlines the steps employees go through in their employment lifecycle with the company.  For each stage and employee segment the desired outcomes for both the employee and company are identified before assessing the gaps between the current experience and the desired one which would address employees’ needs while cultivating the desired culture that aligns with the business requirements.

Example of a 9 step SME Employee Journey Map

1.    Sourcing and selection

2.    Onboarding (orientation and training)

3.    Salary and benefits

4.    Ongoing development and training

5.    Ongoing engagement, communication, and company involvement

6.    Rewards and recognition

7.    Performance planning, feedback, and review

8.    Progression

9.    Retirement, termination, or resignation

Another key element of employee experience is work environment and the choices provided on where employees can work based on the activity they are doing. Research across 17 countries documents that workers who have control over where and how they work, and are free to choose a work space to fit their task at hand – either collaborative or focused work – are 88% more engaged at work. (Steelcase study using global sample of 12,480 employees).

In conclusion….

The spotlight is firmly on employee experience. Organisations need to develop strategies that create an employee experience which takes into account the physical environment their employees work in, as well as the tools / technologies that enable their productivity and learning to achieve their best at work. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article please call Thomas Schilling on +44 (0)1327 317701.

Tugela HR rebrands to Tugela People

We are delighted to inform you that Tugela HR is now called Tugela People.

Our new name better reflects our strategic focus on delivering a broader range of services in the global market for services and business software relating to Organisational People Management.

Tugela People Founder and Managing Director, Thomas Schilling, says:  “This is a very exciting time for us here at Tugela People as we develop the business to better meet the needs of our clients as they get to grips with the evolving People Management agenda.

Since 2002 Tugela has enjoyed sustained growth while developing a reputation for expertise and professionalism in the HRIS marketplace. This rebrand helps to consolidate this rapid growth while also better positioning us for our vision to be the chosen worldwide go-to partner for people services.”

Tugela People celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Tugela HR consultancy turns 5

We are delighted to have celebrated our fifth anniversary last month.  The past five years have flown by for us with high growth, a robust Sage People partnership and an expanding international client base.  We could not have achieved this success without the ongoing support from our wonderful staff, clients, partners, and family.  A heartfelt thank you to all of you.

Thomas Schilling, Managing Director and Founder, says:

‘We are proud of our reputation as trusted global HRIS consultancy that partners SME organisations to streamline their HR processes and get the most out of their HR systems.

Our strong international HR perspective, extensive HR process knowledge and HRIS technical expertise combine to provide full-service HRIS support for international mid market organisations.

We are looking forward to the next exciting chapter in our business, in particular as we develop the exciting new partnership with Sage and in particular, Sage People – onwards and upwards!’

Why Use a HRIS Implementation Partner?

One question we are frequently asked is – why should a business investing in a new HRIS system use an implementation partner? Here are the main benefits of using an HRIS implementation partner as we see it:

Broader HRIS and Technology Expertise:

A partner can bring experience of different sectors, systems and approaches. These elements can help deploy the new HRIS system more efficiently avoiding pitfalls that cause delay. They can also bring impartiality to configuration discussions and the impact of those choices on the organisation’s HR system. This infusion of specialist expertise can help avoid the “If I knew what I know today, I would have done things differently” situations.

Service and Speed:

Partners often provide a more flexible, personal service especially for small or mid-sized firms that are not likely to be the biggest client. A partner’s specialist skills will also speed up the implementation process so that internal resource can be focused on adoption and training rather than navigating the learning curve of the setting up phase.

More Choice:

Selecting from a pool of HRIS implementation partners allows you to select a partner that you are comfortable working with. This personal chemistry between the internal team and the outsourced team members is crucial to meeting project deadlines, translating business requirements and aiding in knowledge transfer.

Immediate Credibility:

A credible HRIS partner with in-depth knowledge of the HRIS space and best practice can accelerate buy in from internal stakeholders. Usually this works best when the partner has a broad understanding of processes and issues pertinent to particular stakeholders. This also helps to facilitate take up of the system among users.

Committed Preferred Supplier:

A third party HRIS implementation partner that is committed to the system (demonstrated by participating at the provider’s conferences, receiving partner certification, recognition or awards, and collaboration with their sales team) has an in-depth understanding of the system’s capabilities and limitations which is a beneficial in getting the most of a system.

Partnering Pitfalls to Avoid

However, it is also worth noting the potential pitfalls of outsourcing to a third party and these tend to become an issue when the following issues are not addressed:

  • Accountability – prefer a single company that is responsible for the deliverables of all work being proposed.
  • Execution – partner’s inability to execute on the deliverables based on lack of experience, training, and overall calibre of consultant(s).
  • Partner’s Viability – partner’s financial stability, leadership and proven ability to deliver results.
  • Project Ownership – “finger-pointing”. Problems resulting in the partner blaming the HRIS sales team, while the sales team blames the consulting team.

HRIS Consultancy: Phase 2 for Westminster Abbey

westminster-abbey_938x183-banner-2We were delighted to commence with Phase 2 of the HRIS consultancy project for Westminster Abbey. In the Spring we audited their existing HR processes and suggested process improvements and helped to create the HRIS brief.

The second phase is focused on helping them manage the implementation of their selected system, Midland HR. Working with the team at Westminster Abbey we will ensure that the implementation project remains on budget and on schedule.  We will also help embed the new system within the organisation and ensure that users are properly trained.

If you are looking for expert HRIS consultancy support contact HRIS expert, Thomas Schilling, on 01327 317701.

Sage People and Sage Payroll Implementation Support

Fairsail Sage ImplementationWe are delighted to be selected to help Lobster Ink implement Sage People over the next 4 months.

Lobster Ink is a multi-media based hospitality training solution that trains staff and management internationally. Their education platform is simple yet powerful, and contains detailed high-definition video lessons and online assessment tools with course material covering Bar, Wine, Spirits, Service, Housekeeping, Guiding and International Standards.

Sage People Implementation and Training

Tugela People will manage the Sage People implementation project. This will include training the Cape Town based HR team and ensuring that Sage People is seamlessly integrated with their existing Sage Payroll system so that it meets their specific international self service requirements.

Sage People is a robust, scalable Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud based application that enables, in particular, international mid-range corporates HR Managers to better manage and automate HR processes. It’s flexibility and ability to easily integrate with existing business systems, including Sage Payroll, made it the obvious HRIS choice for Lobster Ink.

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

Has HR Outgrown Spreadsheets?

Yes it has! Even though many still SME and mid-range organisations use spreadsheets, automated HR management systems now offer a viable cost effective alternative to process and analyse data. Read on as we discuss why HR has outgrown spreadsheets and should be embracing the move to automated systems.

Save Time for Your Staff

One of the most noticeable changes when switching from spreadsheets to a HRIS is how much time it saves the business. The amount of manual input time is considerable reduced, meaning staff are free to focus on other tasks.

Reduce Human Error

Spreadsheets require a lot of data inputting often from various sources; which increases the risk of human error. This can lead to a whole host of problems and inconsistencies further down the line. HR technology systems reduce this risk making for accurate and consistent reporting.

Protect Your HR Data

Protecting the personal data of employees should be a top priority for any business. If a spreadsheet that contains such information can be accessed by any employee then the security is simply not good enough. HR management systems make it much easier to control who has access to certain data significantly, decreasing the risk of security breaches.

Link Your Systems Together

From performance management to payroll, there are lots of different process and systems within HR and the business that need to work together seamlessly, a task which can be very difficult when relying on spreadsheets. Automated systems help to streamline data meaning that greater consistency can be achieved and each component is easier to manage.

Ease of Access

An automated human resources management system makes it easier and cheaper for employees and managers to access the information they need. With everything they need available to hand, more time can be spend on important projects, rather than searching for the relevant spreadsheet to complete a task.

Analyse Your HR Data

The data produced by HR management systems is much cleaner than the data produced by spreadsheets and so ensures errors are reduced when it comes to analysis. This means you can produce reports and make business decisions much more effectively than your competitors who may still be using spreadsheets as an HR system.

Tugela People are leading providers of HRIS services to growing and mid-range organisations across the globe. Our HRIS expertise could help your company get on the right track to better people management, making for a much more productive business all round. Whether you are looking to upgrade a manual system or replace an existing vendor we can help. Our HRIS system technical skills and HR process knowledge add value to the implementation process. To find out more call +44(0)208 144 5213

Key Steps to a Successful HR System Implementation

The successful HR system implementation is a time-consuming and complicated task. The project requires careful planning with a team of focussed stakeholders involved and rigorous evaluation and adaptation to be as well-suited to the company as possible.

Here are our key steps for a successful HR implementation for you and your business:

1. Identify your executive sponsor

Ensure that the project has one key stakeholder who will assume the role of executive. This person should have a special interest in the project and be involved in every step of the implementation. It may be useful to make this individual the executive of any future implementation to ensure consistency.

2. Create your project team

Identify the skills and knowledge needed to make your project successful and assemble a team that collectively covers all these bases. It is important to ensure your team consists of at least one system administrator to work alongside the executive sponsor throughout the entire project. You also need a project manager to lead the implementation. Super users and trainers are also important team members for ensuring all of your employees adapt to the new system quickly and easily. And don’t forget to ensure that somebody is held responsible for the regular communication to the key stakeholders. Some projects even appoint a dedicated communication specialist onto the project to ensure early engagement of all stakeholders.

3. Define the business processes

Now you have your team assembled, you need to define the business processes. This step is about making sure everything is in place prior to the start of the implementation. Plan out all of the business processes that will be included in the configuration of the system to ensure that nothing is missed.

4. Define the business requirements

Think about what you want to the new system do do for your business and the steps required in order to achieve this. Clearly state everything you wish to achieve but do ensure you are not working towards too many goals in a single project. There is time to make amendments and adaptations towards the end of the process.

5. Define the phases of the implementation project

Decide on the scope of the project by gathering the business requirements.Ensure you make clear which processes or outcomes are the most important and implement your priorities in the right phase of the project. Processes you need immediately should always be prioritised. Try to keep it simple!

6. Configure the HRIS system to meet the requirements

Analyse the system to see which of the standard processes meet your requirements and make a note of any customisations that need to be made. Marry your requirements to their corresponding processes, trying to limit the bespoke configuration of the system.

7. Customise the HRIS system

Now it is time to add in the customisations to your system in order to meet all the requirements of the project. Try to keep this to a minimum as things can become tricky when complex processes need to be added to the system.

8. Gather clean data

Gather data and enter it into your new system. Before doing so, ensure it is of good quality and correct. Bad data could corrupt your system during the early stages meaning many more alterations may need to be made in the future.

9. End user adoption

It is necessary to ensure your users can adapt quickly and easily to the new system and receive the full training they need in order to do so. This is where your trainers come in- making sure every employee is comfortable with the system and any concerns or questions are addressed before they need to use it as part of their day to day job role.

10. Evaluate the system

Evaluating your HRIS system after it has been implemented is incredibly important as there are always ways your processes can be improved. Feedback from power users is important during this stage as their role is to fully immerse themselves in the new system and highlight any areas for development. During this stage, the system should be fine-tuned and perfected.

10 Tips for Procuring Company Benefits Successfully

As benefits specialists we are often asked for advice on creating Benefit packages that work. Here is 10 elements to consider at the outset to ensure

  1. Know what you’re looking for and why. Start early on with the process too to ensure you’re not pressured into a deal that isn’t right for your organisation.
  2. Decide if you have the necessary expertise in-house to procure benefits ; if not outsource it to a broker. Outsource advisors have specialist knowledge, understand the providers and market. Outsource providers can save you time and money. But make them work for the money that you’ll pay them (New RDR Rules)
  3. Consider doing less complex benefits in-house e.g. dental plan, medical cash plan, cycle-to-work or Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to save costs, but only if you have the knowledge.
  4. Consider a benefits platform to communicate the company’s package and to enhance the benefits on offer. Benefit platforms also make the administration easier, less complex and reduces administration costs.
  5. Try to bundle as many benefits as possible from a single supplier to make use of bulk discounts and additional services e.g. some providers offer EAP services as part of their package or communication support &/or helpdesks
  6. Take out only the cover that you need for risk benefits. For a low risk workforce, consider increasing excess to reduce premiums.
  7. Consider tax relief options (salary sacrifice, salary exchange) that exist for many benefits including cars, bicycle, pension, etc.
  8. Ensure you review your suppliers (good procurement practice) financial stability and service deliver (references). Negotiate good SLA terms as part of the deal to protect poor delivery and none compliance.
  9. Compare multiple suppliers and negotiate on price to get best value for money.
  10. Seriously consider flexible benefits for your workforce, because one size doesn’t fit all. And also consider financial education as part of the package, especially with pensions provisions. Ultimately you should understand what benefits your employees value most to get a good return on investment.

If you would like further advice on creating an appropriate benefits package for your organisation call Tugela People.