It goes without saying that HR teams operate in a fast-moving and ever-evolving space. The responsibilities of people management professionals are extremely broad in scope and often necessitate walking a tightrope between achieving core HR admin tasks and managing the demands of wider, more transformational goals.
Our latest Ebook took a deep dive into the need for people teams to “Do HR differently”. What we mean by this is doing away with the outdated notion that your core HR goals exist separately or as a barrier to broader, transformative change.
In the Ebook, we sat down with members Advanced's People Experience team in order to gain their insight into a few key areas where we feel Advanced has put our money where our mouth is and “done HR differently”. We focused on some common HR challenges such as diversity pay gap reporting, performance-based pay rewards, removing probation periods, improving your employer brand and building talent pipelines.
If you haven’t read the Ebook already, it's available for you to download right now. If you have read it however, no doubt you’re already chomping at the bit to make those key transformations a reality, but how exactly do you go about taking that next step and turning your vision or strategy into the real change your business needs?
As with almost every aspect of your organisation, a key element will be having the right tools at your disposal. In HR, having access to a comprehensive and easy-to-use solution is fundamental to helping make your transformational dreams a reality.
In this article, we wanted to explore how Advanced HR can help you not only hit those core HR goals but also actively make changes which help you do HR differently and enact meaningful people experience improvements.
Gender pay gap reporting
For some years now, it has been a legal requirement for businesses across UK and Ireland which comprise of 250+ employees, to disclose information detailing pay disparity between different genders within their organisation.
In our latest Ebook, Nicole Merriman from the Advanced People Experience team outlined the steps Advanced have taken to embed diversity pay gap reporting into our everyday working structure and the importance of focusing on asking the right questions in order to gain access to the key data metrics you need to drive success.
In her own words, here is the driving philosophy behind Advanced’s goals.
“Representation among genders and certain ethnicities has long been a challenge at senior levels-not just at Advanced but across larger organisations throughout the markets. For people teams, knowledge is power- you can’t be expected to make meaningful changes without understanding where gaps exist. This is the driving force behind collating data and one of the main reasons why we took the decision to broaden the scope to wider diversity pay gap reporting.”
How Advanced HR can help
Nicole emphasised that one of the key barriers to achieving excellence in pay gap reporting comes from roadblocks in accessing and pulling through accurate data needed to drive change. Knowledge is power after all and if your organisation is unable to understand where gaps exist, then any attempts at enacting transformation will be little more than shots in the dark.
In using Advanced HR, Nicole felt that the solution was invaluable in not only helping the team gain access to key data but also in shaping how the organisation utilised it. An area of concern Nicole highlighted for ongoing pay gap reporting was ensuring that the organisation was asking targeted questions which actively enriches and adds meaning to data collated.
Advanced HR not only holds your payroll data in a secure and easy-to-digest format, it also offers you the ability to customise question fields, pushing out focused, pointed questions to your people. The built-in diversity workflow also empowers you to engage with your people and gain a measure of sentiment as and when your needs dictate, instead of being restricted to a rigid, annual review process.
Improving employee engagement through data
Employee engagement is closely linked with levels of output and productivity. Against a backdrop of wider economic challenges, all organisations will be feeling under pressure to deliver positive results- goals that may necessitate asking their people to go the extra mile.
Reconciling the need to push for greater business success with the wider requirements of ensuring high levels of employee engagement and wellbeing is a challenge very much at the forefront for HR professionals across all organisations.
In our Ebook, Claire Ross from the People Experience team was very upfront about the challenges facing Advanced when it came to driving employee engagement. Claire identified that Advanced, like many organisations was guilty of sticking with a very old-fashioned and rigid annual review process. In short, this meant that there was a huge portion of the working year passing by with little attention being paid to employee sentiment or engagement levels, all of which were contributing towards hotspots of attrition.
How Advanced HR can help
Claire found the ability to drill down into specific data sets afforded by Advanced HR to be invaluable in helping the People Experience team gain a more authentic overview of employee sentiment and performance.
Advanced HR also works seamlessly alongside Advanced Clear Review- a performance management solution created to help organisations move away from the rigid, annual review models of old and instead, embed a system of continuous performance management which allows managers and their teams to engage with one another when needed.
This means saying goodbye to harmful performance blindspots and removing the risk of ongoing issues leading towards hotspots of employee attrition or downturn in performance. Advanced HR and Advanced Clear Review work in tandem to give you the organic, ever-evolving view of employee performance you need to build meaningful long-term strategy.
Talent Snapshots. Paying for performance.
We all like to be rewarded for a job well done. An issue organisations tend to face however is being able to gain a clear understanding of where those key performers who go above and beyond, exist within the business.
Furthermore, years of economic downturn have meant that many businesses are now simply unable to implement broad-scale pay-based rewards schemes. With pay still a dominant priority in terms of employee rewards, how do organisations strike a balance?
The answer seems to lie in focused approaches to pay bonuses- leveraging pay bonuses for top performers. Although this seems simple enough, a common hurdle facing businesses is the inability to easily determine those employees who have gone above and beyond.
How Advanced HR can help
Marianne West, Head of Talent Experience, from our People Experience team, felt that the main barrier to change facing the organisation, was the ability to build a comprehensive picture of performance across the scope of the business and to pick out those top performers deserving of reward.
Marianne found that by leaning on Advanced HR’s built-in functionality to run regular pay reviews, as well as bringing onboard integrated elements such as positive colleague feedback through Advanced Clear Review, or even pulling through records of rewards or certificates, she was able to leverage people data to identify those top performers quickly and effectively.
In turn, this has empowered the organisation to build a distribution curve for rewards based on output. This is a critical step in helping embed a culture of trust within an organisation, as employees are able to easily appreciate that rewards directly reflect their efforts.
Building talent pipelines
Recruitment and onboarding represent a huge part of the common demands on people teams and the search for viable talent is a huge investment of time and money from an organisation. When candidates don’t work out in the long run, these costs can quickly become inflated as businesses find themselves returning time and time again to the recruitment cycle.
Marianne West from our People Experience team was very frank in her belief that Advanced, like many organisations had fallen prey to relying too heavily on outdated and unsuitable recruitment ideology.
Marianne felt that businesses are often guilty of entering the recruitment cycle without a clear understanding of what they are looking for in a candidate. She pointed to the adoption of Advanced HR as a turning point for our organisation as the wealth of reporting at our fingertips means leadership teams have access to an unparalleled overview of company structure. This data is invaluable in helping identify gaps in your processes and in turn, being armed with that information is key in helping you determine what good looks like from a candidate perspective.
How Advanced HR can help
Advanced HR offers you a comprehensive database of candidate information you need to keep pace with today’s demanding recruitment cycles. Furthermore, the solution affords you the ability to send out focused surveys and pull reports across all levels of your organisation, giving you an authentic overview of where talent and skills gaps may be existing within your structure.
This granularity of data afforded to you through Advanced HR means that when you enter the recruitment cycle, you are able to tailor job descriptions and craft interview questions which cut to the heart of the matter- find candidates with the specific qualities you need to drive success.
Eliminating probation periods
If you asked most organisations if they had probationary periods in place for new hires, the chances are they’re going to say yes. Having a three-month, six- month or perhaps longer period whereby we judge the performance of new starters has been a long-embedded part of the recruitment and onboarding process.
A common, lingering worry with probation periods is that they don’t offer you an authentic overview of employee performance. Afterall, if there’s an established timeframe where an employee understands their performance is more heavily scrutinised, then why not put in specific effort for that period of time and then ease off once your employment status is confirmed?
What if employee performance was something you prioritised along every stage of a person’s journey with you? What if organisations across all sectors took a bold leap and explored the possibilities that came from removing probation periods entirely from their recruitment cycle?
How Advanced HR can help
Marianne West felt that Advanced HR was invaluable in helping the organisation take the bold step towards eliminating probation periods. This is a truly transformative shift but it’s one which also couldn’t have been made a reality without access to a set of comprehensive performance data.
Remember, just because your goal is to eliminate probation periods, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing of value to be gained from assessing the performance of new employees. There are valuable metrics to be pulled through regarding performance, we just believe that it should be an ongoing, continuous part of an employee’s lifecycle within your organisation and not just a condition of employment.
Advanced HR has empowered the team to focus on key metrics such as performance, attendance and engagement from day one of an employee’s journey. Not only does this bring individuals into the fold much sooner, it means the organisation is pulling through key information which helps give the people experience team a much clearer insight into the effectiveness of any recruitment drives.
Alongside Advanced Clear Review, Advanced HR gives you access to those key data points and metrics needed to build an organic overview of performance. This also allows you to build a culture based on trust and communicate to new starters that they are immediately being brought into the fold as full employees.
Building your employer brand
Today’s people teams are consistently finding themselves contending with the challenges presented by a working world which is undergoing near constant accelerated growth and change. This has most significantly been seen in a shift from employee values away from traditional metrics such as pay and office benefits, to broader concepts such as a focus on work-life balance and a commitment from their employers to act as responsible champions of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues.
What was once considered as a “nice to have” or vague, blue-sky concept is now forming a core component of how successful businesses not only think about how they distinguish themselves above their competitors when it comes to securing new talent, but also how they are able to retain the services of their most skilled and key people. Organisations and their HR teams cannot afford to wait around and find out passively what their people and the wider market think of them as an entity.
How Advanced HR can help
Our Employer Brand manager, Jordan Cooper, found that Advanced HR was invaluable in helping the people experience team build a complete picture of our workforce. They then used the data provided to identify populations of our employees at different levels in the organisation and then scheduled interviews and focus groups to understand what our Employee Value Proposition was, and how we should market it.
By understanding our strengths as an employer to our current people, we were empowered to articulate our values and ethos to the wider market- to help candidates understand why they should choose us.
The strength of Advanced HR working as a comprehensive solution which fully integrates with other areas of people management such as payroll, is that the team are constantly able to draw upon data which gives them an organic and honest overview of Advanced’s strengths and weaknesses as a brand. Information is power and organisations need the confidence to understand that they are able to reconcile key metrics in order to guide their strategy. Advanced HR working alongside our other solutions has given us that ability.
Getting core HR tasks right is a clear priority for organisations and the fear of errors fouling up processes can often act as a barrier to change. These worries are only compounded when organisations find themselves working with disparate, isolated systems- any number of which can throw up roadblocks and the potential for human error.
Our HR management software, Advanced HR, is designed to help people teams get the basics in HR done right. Our easy-to-use solution ensures HR teams have access to reliable people data, automated processes, and simple self-serve capabilities to drive success.
Advanced HR is designed to empower HR teams, managers and employees to get things done. And to say goodbye to the admin roadblocks which act as barriers to transformative change.
If you’d like to discover more about how Advanced HR can help you make your core HR tasks easier to get right and open the possibility for meaningful transformation of your people management experience, get in touch today.