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A long-term, trusted partnership for HRIS optimisation, management and support

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Journey with Sage People

Teach First initially implemented the Sage People HR System in January 2019, adopting the core HCM module and working directly with Sage People for this project phase. They were then referred to the professional services team at Tugela People to support them for the second implementation phase, Recruit, focusing on blind screening.

Sammy Baylis, HR Operation Manager at Teach First, said, "Aside from relying heavily on the recruit function for supporting frontline operations, the Sage People system is predominantly used to manage the internal side of the business from a people perspective. One area that the system does support our organisation is in managing absence. With Teach First being a very forward-thinking organisation, we are constantly trying to evolve and improve. An excellent example of this is bank holidays, where employees are allowed to nominate when they want to take these. In addition, Teach First has over 180 unique working patterns and offers many different types of absence, such as family leave, to support their inclusive culture.

The reporting features of Sage People is also very useful, in particular, snapshot reporting, which helps us to make and implement informed decisions when managing our people.

Moving to People Management workflows (a feature within the Sage People system) has helped tremendously when dealing with HR requests. The Tugela People Managed Services team worked closely with us on investigating the best ways to make this work before customising and implementing this functionality".

After establishing a good rapport with the team at Tugela People and having some team changes internally, in May 2020, Teach First signed up for the retained managed services with Tugela People to provide ongoing support for their HRIS.

Support with confidence

Teach First has an 8-hour-a-month Managed Service support contract with Tugela People, and Sammy, from Teach First, works closely with the team to ensure that their HRIS runs smoothly and enables them to optimise their use of the system.

Sammy said, "Having worked with Tugela People to implement specific projects around Performance and Recruit, we knew how professional and reliable they were to work with. After implementing our system, we had some fundamental data and system issues that were starting to impact our day-to-day work. We wanted to find a way to not only fix this but to continually evolve and improve the system. However, my role wasn't as a specialist HRIS expert, and as my knowledge of Salesforce was limited, there were times when we needed expert advice. A managed services support contract seemed the perfect way to bridge that gap.

From day one of working with Tugela People, it was clear they were complete Sage People experts. Key to this was their understanding of how the system fits in with the work an HR department does. They took the time to get to know our organisation, what we are trying to achieve and how we manage our system and data. This put us on a good starting point to work together. Tugela People did some initial housekeeping with us before diving straight into issue resolution, projects and brainstorming ideas.

 The 8-hour monthly support contract has been ideal for us. It relieves the pressure when something goes wrong or when I am on annual leave. I am confident that the Tugela People team can step in and resolve a matter quickly. For example, sometimes we want to implement a new idea or project but might not know if it is possible or how to achieve it. The managed services team have been able to advise us, guide us in the right direction and help us implement these solutions. These can be really small things, such as a field that tells us who is on long term leave, to the larger ticket items like moving your whole annual leave system from days to hours.

 Zoe Van Lokven, HRIS Business Analyst for Tugela People and a long-standing member of the Managed Services team, has worked with Sammy since they first signed up for support. Zoe said, "Working with Teach First (Sammy Baylis) has always been a pleasure. They are very confident and proactive with their use of the system and mainly require assistance with reports, pulling data and some system configuration. In October last year, we undertook a project with them to change HR requests to People Management workflows".

Other areas of support that the managed services team have provided include:

  • Implementing new system functionality,
  • Changing system configurations to meet new business requirements, such as absences and vacancy approval processes,
  • Adding flows, e.g., to identify team members on long term absence.


A safe pair of hands

 When asked to sum up her experience working with the Tugela People Managed Services team, Sammy said, " I really like the small attention to detail paid to their clients. From day one, when they checked over our workflows, process builders and action events (to see if there was any way we could be more efficient) to their quarterly newsletter (rounding up everything we need to know in one place), their commitment to monthly catch-up calls, their quest to ensure we are continually improving, and the time they take to work with Sage People to understand the new releases or updates everyone needs to be aware of. These may seem like small things, but they have a huge impact, and I know when it comes to our HR system, we are in a safe pair of hands. Zoe, in particular, is brilliant and patient, with a good knowledge of the system".

Teach First

About Teach First

Backing schools facing the toughest challenges

Teach First is a charitable organisation that develops and supports teachers and leaders who are determined to make a difference where it's needed. Underprivileged young people don't start with the same chances, and inequality continues throughout childhood. Schools and teachers can make the biggest difference. But they need champions. and that's why Teach First has been providing lasting solutions to schools serving disadvantaged communities for nearly 20 years. They have recruited thousands of people onto their teacher training programmes, placing them in schools that serve areas of high economic deprivation and connecting schools to networks of support to create a positive policy environment.

About Tugela People Managed Services for Sage People

Whether you require support on day-to-day administration, simple fixes or complex system configurations, our experienced team of consultants are here to help you take full advantage of Sage People's capabilities.

We act as an extension of your own team so that you can enjoy the benefits of your system with greater flexibility and less expense. And because we understand the people challenges that mid-range companies face especially high growth companies, we offer a range of services to enable you to select the right solution for you, your people, and your organisation.

You decide how much support you need and how you use it.

If you would like to learn more about the services offered or discuss your potential requirements, please reach out to us on tel +44(0)1908 030360 or email: info@tugelapeople.com. Alternatively, complete the ‘Get in touch’ form and a member of our team will contact you directly.

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