The Tugela Team – boosting morale and performance

At Tugela People, although the majority of us are used to working remotely, a typical week or month (depending on our roles and home locations) sees us visiting the office to touch base with the core team and for meetings.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak and the government mandate for remote working where appropriate, our offices have been devoid of the human touch. With all of our systems being cloud-based, making the business remote from a technology aspect has been relatively simple. The social aspect, however, has required more consideration and effort to ensure that we don’t feel isolated or unsupported and that we can stay focused despite the personal challenges we are all facing on the home front.

The key to all of this has been effective management and enhanced communications. We are in the enviable position not only to have cloud-based systems but also to have many communication tools in place to facilitate this. In addition to the standard (and somewhat mundane!) emails (and the more formal way of communicating), we have a host of other tools to hand which we have been using to the max: Yammer, Microsoft Teams and a company WhatsApp group.

It is perhaps not only having the tools to hand but the way everyone in the company has come together to embrace the best of a bad situation. We keep in regular contact about both business and personal matters, are undertaking some individual challenges set by other team members (like 10,00 steps a day) and have bi-weekly group video coffee morning/afternoon get-togethers. I have even had the pleasure of virtually meeting some of my colleagues and business partners kids and pets via video chat!  We also have our regular one-to-ones with managers and catch-ups with colleagues (both written and oral) combining to provide us all with a sense of belonging to a caring and supportive professional family.

How is your company managing to keep you and your teams’ morale boosted and create a sense of community?

Take advantage of the opportunity to up skill your HR Teams on Sage People

With the rise in remote working due to Corona Virus, many HR departments are finding themselves with increased capacity. This is the ideal opportunity for you to enhance your HR Team’s knowledge in the features and strengths of Sage People.

Additionally if new capabilities or upgrades are required to support your pool of remote employees, your HR resources will require training and support to implement these and to take advantage of those system enhancements.

As a preferred partner and accredited Sage People trainer we have been offering bespoke Sage People training services to global mid-range organisations since 2012.  

We pride ourselves in ensuring your team is self-sufficient in making changes and delivering new functionality, thus reducing the total cost of ownership to ensure that you maximise your return on your Sage People investment.

We are able to provide both individual and team training sessions on any aspect of Sage People. We also offer a combination upgrade/ training package, where we will manage the upgrade on your behalf. 

All training is provided remotely, overcoming the challenge in avoiding face-to-face meetings and accessing employees whom are home based due the current climate.

Ensure that your Sage People is up-to-date and providing you with all the support you require

With the uncertainty that the Corona virus has created, along with the need for more remote working, ensuring that your HR department is running optimally and able to support your colleagues efficiently and effectively is essential.

Your HRIS is fundamental to all of this.

Our popular Sage People health check is a useful way to ensure you are getting the most from your system. We can highlight  any inefficiencies, recommend upgrades and additional functionalities aligned with your requirements, and also help to ensure that user adoption is enhanced.

The health check will be undertaken remotely, so there is no requirement for face-to-face interaction, nor will it impede your day-to-day operations.

As the first Sage People preferred partner in the UK we empower mid-sized organisations to get the most from their Sage People technology investment so they can enjoy efficient people processes, workforce visibility and a great employee experience.

Contact us now to book your system health check

Managed Services department committed to providing continued HRIS admin support

Our Managed Services department is committed to providing continued HRIS admin support for Sage People during the Coronavirus crisis.

As the Coronavirus situation develops, we understand how much extra pressure is being exerted on the HR function, with colleagues required to work from home in addition to numerous new rules and requirements put in place to ensure limited exposure. 

The question that must be asked is whether your HR department is fully equipped and resourced to manage and support your increasing pool of remote workers?

Remote working has been on an upward trend in recent years, with a predicted 50% of employees working from home in 2020. However, the Coronavirus has accelerated the need for employees to work from home.

Maintaining collaborative communications and a positive culture is essential to ensuring that colleagues don’t feel isolated when working remotely.

With modern cloud-based HRIS, companies are now able to effect seamless homeworking  while ensuring that employees are kept up-to-date on any company announcements and feel supported. For example, through the use of Sage People’s “Internal Communications” capability.

Should your HR department be struggling with the increased demand from your employees, who are now home-based or lacking resource due to illness or self-isolation, then Tugela People can help by providing Sage People HRIS admin support and sharing some of this load.

Tugela People are an experienced HRIS consultancy who are experts in implementing and supporting Sage People. As the first Sage People Partner in the UK, we are authorized by Sage to provide a range of Sage People sales and support services across the globe. We have the international experience and expertise to help you harness the power of technology to better manage your people, so you get the most from your Sage People investment.

Coronavirus: A useful guide for HR

With the UK Government’s recent update on plans to cope with a potential increase in the spread of the coronavirus, it’s important for companies to be preparing for further challenges and impacts as a result. To date the UK has been fortunate compared to some other countries, but with so many people travelling globally for work and leisure, we can’t assume that will continue. The old maxim “hope for the best, and plan for the worst” seems especially appropriate now.

If the spread of COVID-19 continues to rise, employers face potentially serious staff and skills shortages. The wiser ones will be making contingency plans already, to try to maintain production and/or service levels.

As we have all seen in the press over the past few weeks, a number of organisations have already instructed their workforce to adjust their working arrangement in order to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.


1. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

By ensuring your colleagues are kept informed about the latest advice from the various health authorities about personal hygiene, typical early symptoms and any updates to high-risk destinations, you can increase awareness.

2. Embrace technology to update employees with advice and information

Empower your employees by utilising self-service technology, such as  your HR system’s Employee Self-service module or the company intranet. Using these tools will not only keep your employees informed, but also serve to reduce the amount of physical contact (and therefore the risk of further spread) required for answering questions.  This is especially important at a time when employees and workers are likely to have many questions around their entitlements with regard to areas such as sick pay, the implication of self-isolation on their salary and the practicality of working from home.

3. Collaborate with management

Work with management to identify areas of the business that would be most adversely affected by an increase in employees becoming unable to attend their place of work. Investigate what contingency plans might be realistic.

4. Clarify and explain your company’s position on work attendance

Inform your employees about the options available to them that might help minimise the spread of COVID-19. In cases where remote working is a practical option, decide whether that’s something you want to proactively encourage. Where it’s not, how best can you minimise the risk to those employees whose jobs demand their physical attendance?

5. Clarify and explain your company’s position on sick pay entitlement

There are several reasons why this is important – partly because I’ve seen several questions elsewhere along the lines of “do I still have to pay my employees if they self-isolate?”.  It’s also important for employees to understand how it affects them. One of the big risks is from employees who may have been exposed to or even show the initial symptoms of the virus, continuing to come to work because they can’t afford to lose the money.

Boris Johnson has just announced the introduction of Emergency Legislation to deal with the outbreak. This entitles employees to statutory sick pay (SSP) “from the very first day” they are signed off, for the duration of the epidemic. Current UK laws dictate workers are not entitled to minimum SSP of £94.25 a week until they have taken four or more days in a row off work.

There’s an excellent explanation of the legal position around the various possible scenarios from ACAS

If you’re looking for other resources, there’s a dedicated page on the Knowledge Centre at HR & Payroll experts Moorepay

If you would like to contact us directly with regard to any HRIS issues that have been raised in this article click here

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.