Recruitment and Training

Case Study | Pegasus

(provides a suite of professional services including contract employment, training, safety and technical advice to businesses in the mining, transport, construction, retail and manufacturing industries)

Not enough time for people management? You need smart Human Resources tools.

The essence of good human resources management (HRM) is excellent leadership – moulding individual staff members into a team, encouraging initiative and rewarding success – as long as you’ve got the time.

Larger businesses can afford a full-time human resources manager to deal with employee data ranging from pay details to performance review and OHS, but in smaller companies it’s a task that is often distributed among team leaders or department heads as one more job to do. The upshot is, HRM tends to be low on the list of priorities.

What companies without a full-time HR manager need is a data management system designed to take care of those people-related issues. Efficient, intelligent HRM tools mean management has more time to deal directly with staff, because the data is always up to date, and the system can issue alerts if it’s not.

“As an organisation grows, managing staff becomes a lot harder, so it’s imperative that you have proper systems in place that staff feel comfortable using,” says Scott Graham, Director of  Kinetic Information Systems.

Who controls the data?

“One of the biggest problems with HR data is that you’re reliant on both management and staff themselves keeping their records up to date,’ Scott says.

“If it’s difficult or time-consuming, requiring a lot of forms to be filled out, then it’s likely to go on the back burner.”

If an organisation depends on the employee providing information, such as change of address, altered bank account or new emergency contact phone numbers, then records will inevitably lapse if someone is too busy to make the changes.

Then there’s the issue of job description and responsibilities. Jobs evolve over time, and if the changes are significant enough, the employer needs to know whether the incumbent in the role is qualified for the changed task, would be able to perform it with training or should be replaced by someone else.

Greentree’s HRM captures a comprehensive range of information for each employee, including contact details, next of kin, leave balances, medical history, staff development, payroll, allocated roles, curriculum vitae plus all events that are relevant to employee.

It also allows job functions to be defined and allocated to employees as they take on new roles and responsibilities. Users can view the employee’s tenure in each job function and which ones they are currently performing.

The Skill Search allows perform powerful searches to be performed on the employee database, based on each employee’s CV details. HRM is supplied with a range of standard reports that provide insight and breakdowns required by most organisations.

In addition, HRM integrates with Payroll and also with Greentree Workflow. This means that data entered in either HR or Payroll is automatically updated in the other module.

Workflow’s Approvals & Alerts can be set up to ensure that employee records are kept up to date. It can even set up a rules-backed form for new employees to fill in, guiding them through the signing-on process.

“In some respects Greentree’s HRM modules are a bit like a database,” Scott says. “You can go in and build your own lists of valid things that are pertinent to your organisation, so it doesn’t make any assumptions about your business.

What it’s saying is: here are a set of rules; you set all of those things up, and on top of that apply all this Workflow and BPM process to really home in on how you want to work as an organisation.”

A world of hurt

Regulatory compliance is another issue that often confronts managers, especially when it comes to OHS. If an employee is injured in the workplace, WorkCover can become involved, and proper documentation is a must.

Like many other industrialised countries, Australia is adopting strict OHS laws that put the onus on employers to ensure their records are always up to date.

Pegasus is a recruitment and training organisation and one of their biggest clients is Australia’s mining industry.

Greentree HRM enabled Pegasus to standardise job descriptions, eliminating inequities in pay and conditions, and to better manage training requirements. But more importantly, it created a single point of entry for incident reporting.

Mining sites are remote and hazardous workplaces. When an incident happens, not only do various managers need to be informed to take action, but the records of the incident have to be maintained for inspection by WorkCover.

“In Australia today, under the OHS legislation you have to show the officials what you did, not tell them what you did, and you never know when you’re going to be called to do that,” says Pegasus’ Chief Financial Officer, Phil Stalker.

“Armed with Greentree, we can capture the information, report it out to managers, and get them to start taking action. It’s not so much the urgency of action, but to start the document flow, which is all-important.”

Greentree ensures that actions required in the wake of an incident are taken by those responsible, that reports are delivered to those who need them, and that ongoing hazardous, environmental or training issues are also addressed.

“The interconnectedness is important too,” Phil adds. “We can generate statistical reports on certain types of incidents or frequency rates, which is important to mine sites, and in fact becomes a contractual obligation because your injury rates are part of your tender process. There’s now broader visibility for all incidents and the better documentation on the processing of an incident report.

Under the new system being introduced in 2012,the burden of proof is placed upon management, and if you haven’t got documents to back it up, you’re in a world of hurt. We‘re talking jail time.”

Good Practice

Good HRM is therefore crucial to a company’s performance. It can ensure that training and certification are kept up to date, that safety requirements are observed (it can schedule random mandatory drug and alcohol tests for machinery or vehicle operators, for instance), that there are no gaps in skills requirements, and that company policies and procedures are both correct and followed, and that staff are fully aware of them.

However, the greatest benefit to a business of good HRM is stability – ensuring that staff are happy in their work and not constantly checking the job sites.

“High staff turnover is not good for business,” Scott says. “You never get anybody who is experienced, who understands how you work as an organisation.”

“You get no traction for your projects if you always have to train up new staff, and then you have to bear those added training costs as well.”

If your HR data management is up to scratch, your team leaders can spend less time managing, and more time leading.

“Whilst human capital is arguably the most valuable asset to a business, we also acknowledge that human error can occur,” says Scott, “Greentree HRM means that human error is eliminated.”

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