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As a Food Manufacturing employer and someone overseeing the magnitude of HR activities, you’ll know how challenging this can be on a day-to-day basis. There is an endless list of tasks that need to be fulfilled, with most just as important as the next. Enter the nimble and agile plate spinner, otherwise known as Head of HR or equivalent title.

Everyday tasks can be very time consuming, from inputting new starter data, adjusting work rotas, handling holiday and absence requests, along with the supporting health and safety and training which is essential for staff and for the business. HR self-service is saving time for Food Manufacturing employers, where staff do a little of their own plate spinning. And your HR team, who are time poor, win some time back to focus on other priorities.

Scientists and researchers all agree…

Often referred to as employee self-service (ESS), ESS allows employees to securely access their own documents and details directly without recourse to their HR administration team. It lets employees take responsibility and more ownership of their data, development and job-related tasks.

Research from the likes of Harvard Business Review as well as other scholars such as behavioural scientists and psychologists who all highlight the direct link between employees feeling empowered at work and the associated stronger job performance, job satisfaction and commitment to the organisation. This includes equipping your talent to make decisions in the moment, which is a rarity amongst Food Manufacturers.

A vision of any future normal for this sector is a digitally equipped and empowered workforce.

Improving the lives of your people with HR self-service

So often when you read this type of article its all about the employer, the organisation, the business and not enough focus given to the lives of the employee. So, what’s in it for me… as an employee? Of course business decisions need be made for the business, but when it comes to employee self-service decisions, think employee first. If you do that all the other business benefits will neatly drop into place.

1. Work-life balance:

Flexible working hours is one of the key drivers for improving the lives of your people. Shift workers are frequently negatively impacted and have no control over their work-life balance due to unpredictable scheduling. Fix this with technology and give them a better work-life balance

2. Health and wellbeing hub:

Immediate access to a full range of videos, features and tools that aid the personal health and wellbeing of the staff, addressing issues such as mental health, bereavement, child care etc – not a corporate dictate

3. Rotas, shift management and shift swap:

Deliver complete transparency on rotas. Give staff the ability to request shifts, show availability and swap. All done easily through an intuitive interface that’s accessible 24/7

4. Empower staff to manage their time off:

The entire workforce will benefit from being empowered to manage their own time off, book holidays, request absences

5. Provide direct and immediate access to records:

Provide easy and secure access to all individual records such as employment contracts, appraisals, personal data, training completed or booked. Access any time on any device, but always secure

6. Timesheets and clocking in:

Enable workers to clock-in and out through ipad. Enable all workers, whatever contract they hold to access timesheets

7. Payroll accuracy and payslips:

There is nothing worse than employees being paid incorrectly. ESS provides accurate data for payroll, reducing errors and gives staff access to payslips. Over 20% of workers will look to change jobs if they are paid late or inaccurately paid

8. Get rid of redundant process and annoying questions:

Workers get frustrated if they cannot easily access what they want, including convoluted and non-essential processes. Conversely, an intuitive process ensures happy staff. Eliminate questions where the answers can be self-driven by employees (no need to ask HR), such as “what is my holiday balance?”, “has my holiday been approved?”, ‘has my shift swap been approved?”

9. Self-drive learning and development:

Digital learning allows staff to access self-drive learning tools such as videos, questionnaires, multiple choice at a time that best suits them. The power of delivering learning at the point of need is very powerful. Immediacy is what staff want

10. Compliance:

Automation and tools that ensure that staff don’t work too long, too many shifts, are qualified for the roles scheduled for. Health and Safety, food safety and other qualifications. RTW and working time directive, anti-discrimination laws. Enable staff to conduct their own health and safety assessments on anything from home – ‘work-safe, home-safe’

11. Communication:

People like to feel part of the team and included; shift work can be a barrier to achieving this. Overcome this with streamlined, real-time communication with digital tools

12. Benefits administration:

Allow staff to self-manage benefits such as health, dental, life, disability insurance, tuition reimbursement and child care etc

13. Onboarding:

Is faster and more efficient, reducing time for staff to feel fulfilled and become a fully contributing member of the team in their new roles.

14. Less admin:

This is a plus for everyone spending less time handling repetitive tasks, utilising digital tools that deliver a single source of truth for everyone. And removes frustrations.

Control gives a greater sense of responsibility and trust for staff. Gone are the days of filling out a form, it’s all about putting the power in the hands of the individual employee. The higher the morale, the higher the productivity rate.

 

Streamlining processes for the business

One of the biggest challenges for HR professionals is an overwhelming amount of admin. In Food Manufacturing there is added pressures from workforce management and scheduling along with health and safety.

Significant time can be saved by enabling staff to self-serve and manage more of the process themselves, from updating personal details and changes to shifts rather than the HR team doing this.

Too many businesses still rely on paper as a primary source of capturing information, when digital tools ensure a single source of truth across all data points and greater security. Employee self-service tools enable workers to populate and update relevant information and eliminates the need for bulky filing and wasted paper. And potential security issues.

Key benefits for Food Manufacturing of employee self-service at a glance

  • Optimised and time-saving processes
  • 24/7 access to information across the business. Great for staff, great for HR
  • Lift the admin burden across human resources
  • Happy staff
  • Improved data accuracy
  • Improved payroll processes, with a significant reduction in errors
  • Dynamic and digital workforce management, rota management and rota swaps that meet all health and safety and related rules and regulations
  • Improved health and wellness
  • More engaged staff
  • Increased staff retention rates
  • Reduced friction between staff and Human Resources by removing the manual processes. Staff can easily find answers to what they want to know in just a couple of clicks
  • Single-central platform where everyone can make changes easily and quickly, delivering time savings and efficiencies
  • Data, data data. Enable data driven decisions, real-time dashboards and insights that improve operational efficiency and highlight potential risk areas for the business
  • Decreased costs

Do you really need employee self-service?

In an increasingly competitive employee talent environment, employee self-service technology helps to create a positive work culture. But its more than that, as humans, consumers and workers we have come to expect immediacy. If we seek information we turn to our phones and internet searches to find the answers. Workers expect the same in their working environment to give them more ownership and more control.

If your HR team struggles to manage annual leave, management of rotas and shifts and answer all the incoming emails, phone calls and requests, then the simple answer is YES. When implementing employee self-service systems into a Food Manufacturing environment you can expect to enjoy increase productivity, improved efficiency, happier staff and lower staff turnover.

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