By Craig Mackie – Consultant.
Local HR Managers knew there were improvements to be made with their reporting processes, so one of them asked a couple of simple questions which reduced time, cost and improved efficiency, allowing their HR Business Partners to do what they do best – support their businesses.
The Telegraph recently held a poll to determine who are the friendliest people in Britain, northerners or those south of the borders; turns out it was the ‘northerners’ who are the friendliest!
I was very glad to hear of this fact as I had an engagement with a ‘northern’ company embarking on a new SAP HR implementation. The subject of data migration came up. We agreed who was doing what, what data had to be migrated and when it had to be done by, you know the usual tight budgetary timescales!
Their legacy Employee data was in reasonable shape. Although some Employee data was missing it wasn’t a massive showstopper to the project, they embarked on a quick data gathering exercise and the data migration work ended with a successful conclusion.
With Employee self-service in place, the plan was to empower their employees to keep their personal details up to date. John the Regional Director certainly didn’t want his benefit provider to send out letters to his ex-wife, so it was in his interest to make sure his marital status information was up to date!
With the aid of a quarterly email reminder sent out to employees and other communications posted on their local intranet, this provided the HR team with a quick win and confidence in Employee data.
After the implementation was complete, may I add very successful, continually improving efficiency and reducing cost further was high on their agenda.
The HR team focused more on their workforce analytics and wanted to come up with more quick wins when it came to making sure this was accurate. This non-static data such as new hires, secondments, transfers, leavers, leave of absence or sickness was reported on not only for HR process and policy compliance but to also show trends in talent and succession.
So what did they do? Spent less than a week, with the right people asking the right questions!
HR Manager: “How long does it take you to run this report?
MI Analyst: “Well currently it takes me 20 minutes a month”
HR Manager: “If you do the report like this or automate some of it, how long then?”
MI Analyst: “Actually I can make a few tweaks here and there and some of it I can automate using Excel, so probably in 10 minutes”
So this MI analyst went from spending 4hrs a year to 2hrs a year to produce this one report every month. This is such a small figure the senior management won’t care, but this MI analyst has over 30 different HR reports to run and as many HR dashboards to maintain on top. Now suddenly the MI Analyst is spending 15 days a year but with a few tweaks or automation, produces the same information in 7.5 days total!
Another question was asked:
HR Manager: “Is this report used by anyone else in the HR team?”
MI Analyst: “Oh sorry yes, our HR Business Partner runs this report and then runs another report and merges it altogether”
So how long does this HR Business Partner spend producing a similar report and could they create just one report which can be shared across the HR teams? The answer was yes.
Overall it took a small investment of time (just under a week) to review their current reporting requirements. The right questions were asked which reduced the time spent by 3 weeks allowing the HR Business Partner to focus more on strategic objectives. Crucially this left the MI Analysts to do what they do best – provide accurate and timely talent metrics to those that make decisions in the organisation.
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