Combining the 5 key tools in your Sage People toolbox for maximum effect banner


Combining the 5 key tools in your Sage People toolbox for maximum effect

  • Posted on
  • Author: Zoe van Lokven

Sage People Toolkit. Learn more more.Having an HRIS system with all the information on your staff in one controllable place is valuable, but what if you could also use that system to maximise their management?  To make sure that the information you have is correct and complete, in addition to meeting GDPR and policy requirements? To ensure that your managers are notified of anything important, sometimes before it’s even happened?

With the collective use of the tools available in the Sage People system, you can set reminders, trigger emails and issue contracts through automated processes to halve the time your HR team takes on administration. This includes sending business reports, full board report dashboards, and document completion and data management communications.

Here are some of the tools that you can apply singularly or in combination, to powerfully manage your workforce data and satisfy the HR strategic demands needed in the ever-changing world of HR.

Action Events

Action Event patterns are highly configurable and one of the simplest ways to trigger communications out to your users, managers and team members. The system comes with a library of standard Action Events, some of which will have been activated on implementation of the system.

However, as is often the way; once you start actively using the system in the day-to-day running of your business, another streamline arises, and Action Events remember events for you and action the email/form and documents that need to be communicated.

From something as simple as ensuring your managers are made aware of any requests, changes, deletions, sick note evidence for absence and vacation made by their teams and providing a link for them to access the system to approve directly…there’s an Action Event for each of these.

Ensuring that the key stakeholders and departments receive an email notification of that new starter next month/week for vital connection and equipment… there’s an Action Event for that!

Remembering to issue that exit interview form to a leaver a few weeks before they are due to leave… you’ve guessed it, there’s an Action Event for that too!

You can set alerts to trigger, based on key dates and changes that are made in the system, as part of other processes.  These triggers can also be set to begin before an event, say seven days prior to someones starting date, or in the case of leavers, a set number of days before their end date.  Post-event triggers are also useful, such as issuing a ‘How was your onboarding experience?”’ questionnaire form to a new start one month after their joining.

Issued through the Automated Action Events, or your team can trigger them manually, these little helpers can ensure that you and your team don’t miss a beat.

NOTE: If attaching PDF’s to Action Events, ensure that on one of each type of Action Event can contain a PDF, or none of them will trigger as expected.


Sage People Workflows. Learn more.

Workflows are used for automations that cannot be achieved via an Action Event. They look at fields within a single Object or Objects that are linked, such as the Absence and Employment Objects. A Workflow can be used for Field updates, Outbound Messages, Tasks, and to send Email Alerts. You can also set up Time-Based Workflows that allow the automation to happen a specified number or days/hours before or after an Event.

For example, you can set up an email notification to be sent a set number of days after the Employment Start Date if the rule criteria are met.

To reference other related Objects in your Rule Criteria, you need to select “formula evaluates to true” from the dropdown and enter your formula in the box below. It is advisable to do any Workflow testing in a Sandbox before applying this to Production to avoid any errors.

NOTE: If you wish to use Time-Based Workflows, you can’t choose the Evaluation Criteria “created, and every time it’s edited,” so you will need to keep this in mind when putting together the rule.

Process Builders

Sage People Process Builders. Learn more

A Process Builder should only be used as a last resort if the automation cannot be achieved via an Action Event or Workflow. A considerable number of Process Builders can cause issues and possible errors within the system, impacting other processes and stopping them from working. Therefore, it is advisable to have as few Process Builders per Object as possible.

A Process Builder can form links between objects to achieve more complex requirements, such as updating a field on one Object when a specific criteria is met in another Object. They can also be used to create Custom Action Events. As with Action Events and Workflows, you can also set the time (number of days/hours before or after a date field) you want the Actions to Execute. For example, update the Employment Status to “Left” one Day after the Employment End Date.

The criteria work on a True/False basis, so if the initial criteria are not met, you can set further criteria that will be followed unless the process reaches a stop. So, for example, if you wanted to update an email field based on a set of values across different fields, the first criteria would be to set one email address, the second to another, and so on, until there are no further email address options.

NOTE: Sage People approvals are required when building a new Process Builder unless you are using them to create a custom Action Event. This is due to the possible complexity and potential to trip up other processes in the system. If something were to go wrong, it could become difficult to troubleshoot the issue without prior knowledge of the Process Builder.

These functions can be used together by having the resolution of one process trigger another, but having dependant functionality can bring its own issues. Therefore the recommendation is to use them singularly and only together if absolutely necessary.

Validation Rules

Sage People Validation Rules. Learn more.When using data in any system, ensuring uniformity for the purpose of reporting is always a minefield.  While picklists are suitable in some instances, such as country names or gender selectors, other times, this would not be an option. For example, National Insurance or Social Security numbers have a format that can create issues when this is applied through a payroll function if entered incorrectly. The Sage People system has the ability for you to set criteria for the various countries and the format for each. In addition, a Validation Rule can be put in place to stop a record from being saved if a field is populated in an incorrect format.

Another example might be ensuring that dates are always in the future for a particular field or ensuring that a field is completed.

This is a very powerful policing function that blocks undesired actions by users. When set up in the data object, you can also add a full explanatory error message in the back end of the system that will inform users of the issue and the remedy, ensuring that the required action can be immediately taken. The explanatory error message can be displayed at either the top of the page or by the field.

Reporting Tools and Dashboards

Sage People Reporting Tools and Dashboards. Learn more.Imagine being able to see your complete HR board report information at a click.  Or even better… being able to open your email and your latest report or entire reporting dashboard is sitting in your inbox, complete, up-to-date, and ready to distribute!

Or even better still, you can subscribe yourself and your company executive team directly to the monthly board report, and you know that if you’ve received it, so have they. So, you never miss that reporting deadline again, and you’ll know the information shown is bang up to date, straight out of the system.

The reporting possibilities and the translation into dashboard flash reporting (which can now be presented straight from your screen!) enables you to produce live, meaningful, and powerful information reporting to your business. In addition, the ability to present directly from the system dashboard screens enables you to interact and drill down on screen into the information detail, actively demonstrating value and delivering productive meetings with instant resolution to any arising issues.  Gone are the days of… “I’ll email you later,” when you can drill down straight to the point of issue.

The reporting and dashboard capabilities enable this pro-active working style, and the best thing is the ease at which these can be constructed.

Not only are you able to share this live reporting through your own HR portal access, but with the WX reporting tools, you can create a suite of information for your managers – unifying the data they use and report on throughout the business levels. This cuts down on variations and distortion of information and enables credible and reliable information to be applied in HR management, from completion of policy and compliance requirements; missing data management; to the statistical data your managers need to run their teams effectively.

Used independently or combining these tools as you apply your business processes can help your business manage the ever-growing to-do lists and stop items hitting them in the first place, as the system holds the reminders and triggers for you.  Configuring now empowers you, your team, and your business in the effective, timely and accurate HR information management from a single source of truth.

This article has been co-authored by Zoe van Lokven, HR Business Analyst, and Susan Martin, HRIS Technical Support Consultant, for the Tugela People Managed Services team.

Zoe van Lokven, HRIS Business Analyst , Tugela People Managed Services. Read more. Zoe is responsible for providing first-line support for our Managed Services clients, helping them with their Sage People queries, an expert in the Time Off migrations, troubleshooting, enhancements, coaching and ongoing support.


Susan Martin, Project Manager at Tugela People. Read more.Susan has over 15 years of experience in HR and in implementing and using Sage People. Susan is responsible for supporting the growth of our Managed Services division, as we take on new clients and offer additional services.  Sage People queries, Time Off migrations, troubleshooting, enhancements, coaching and ongoing support.


Find out more

The Tugela People Managed Services team has the expertise and experience to provide you and your business with the advice and support to maximise these tools across your Sage People System and benefit your HR team utilisation.

Contact us today and let us support your business to help you every step of the way.

You can reach us on tel: +44(0)1908 030368 or email: Alternatively, complete the ‘Get in touch form, and a member of our Managed Services team will contact you directly.

Further details can be found on the Tugela People website

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