Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

What the tech? 3 case studies of how companies are using HR technology

At the HR Game Changer Conference in March we had a great session on What the Tech? This explored how companies are using HR technology.

In this article I wanted to share 3 case studies about how real businesses are using HR technology – from our conference partners. Thank you to each of them for sharing and I hope this gives you some inspiration about how you might use HR technology in your business!

First I talked to Carol Brown, who is the Founder of RoleWorks.


Hi Carol – what does RoleWorks do? How does it work?

RoleWorks makes it easy to capture, analyse and act on role feedback from your employees, anywhere, anytime. In a world where organisations and roles are increasingly agile, having real time role data at your fingertips means you can act faster, make better people decisions, drive real engagement and stay ahead of the competition.

​We help you to drive productivity through meaningful conversations to design better organisations.

Can you tell me about a company using RoleWorks? How did they use it and what were the outcomes?
The Icehouse was looking for a platform that empowered their people to have meaningful conversations about performance, engagement levels, talent development and alignment with their core values. To encourage their Leaders to have quality and sometime courageous conversations it was important that they had access to up to date information and their people had a way of providing meaningful feedback.

They identified that they needed a platform that was easy to use, intuitive and felt engaging for our people. RoleWorks ticked these boxes and more by providing a wide range of added value insights to our people leaders.
RoleWorks provided The Icehouse with the ability to get an up to date view of people’s key tasks and responsibilities along with insights into how our people were feeling, identified roadblocks and engagement levels.

Scott Turner, Icehouse Head of Operations said:
“The insights provided though the RoleQ Strategic Workforce Map has allowed us to engage early with people that have identified they are ready for change, this has allowed us to talk through internal development opportunities rather than losing talented people.”

​Although it’s early days, RoleWorks has already provided The Icehouse with a valuable information that they have utilised to;

  • See what people are doing in the business right now – not what an outdated PD says they were doing 5 years ago
  • Have quality performance review discussions that are information driven
  • Identified an imbalance between high value activity compared to external benchmarks
  • Identify roadblocks, training needs and development gaps
  • Identify key internal relationships and the engagement our people have with external networks
  • Tracks our people’s performance against yearly KPI’s and key priorities
  • Conduct an external remuneration review with the help of the RoleQ profile data
  • Identify talent that may be looking for opportunities to grow

Next I talked to Amanda Hale and Campbell Fisher from enableHR.


Hi Amanda and Cam – what does enableHR do? How does it work?

enableHR is provider of workforce management solutions designed to ease the burden of day-to-day Human Resource management and ensure your business is compliant. With enableHR your business is afforded peace of mind that HR processes are being done correctly while your teams have more time to focus on strategy and people.

As an HRIS system, enableHR helps businesses from SME to Enterprise level to track and manage employee data in a centralised and accessible cloud based platform. The enableHR and employee self-service platforms harness the flexibility, scale and reach of the cloud platform, to deliver affordable best practice HR and H&S processes, support growth and boost efficiency. To support business compliance in a complex legal landscape, enableHR provides tools, templates and workflows, legally backed and maintained by our employment law specialist partners in New Zealand, Langton Hudson Butcher.

enableHR features include:

  • Pre-employment recruitment and position management
  • Training and Qualification management
  • Self-service
  • Online performance reviews
  • HR data and reporting
  • Centralised record keeping and comprehensive document management
  • Templates and workflows to support compliance
  • A Health and Safety management system

You can find out more from our video overview here.

Can you tell me about a client who has been using enableHR. How did they use it and what were the outcomes?

One of our fastest growing clients, a manufacturing and engineering business, has been using enableHR for 3 years and has the system well-and truly integrated into their HR and H&S processes. This business specialises in precision electromagnets and exp[orts 100 percent of their product. In the last 3-4 years the business has expanded to keep up with demand and enableHR has scaled with them – the business now has nearly 120 new employees supported in the system.

enableHR was first approached by the Client with the need for a Health and Safety system that could be linked with an employee self-service portal to minimize health and safety risks and improve reporting capabilities.  Today, reporting figures show that trends in injury rates have dropped significantly and a visibly strong health and safety culture.

With the success of the Health and Safety module, our client moved their focus to HR management, realising that there was more value to be gained from their HRIS investment. The team set to the task of working with enableHR client experience to upload and establish their HR information and employee data in the system. This included building a training and qualifications library to align with required skills of the varied and highly technical workforce. One of the key outcomes for the HR team was the ease of tracking and visibility over employee skills with the streamlined functionality of enableHR’s training administration. With the customised agreement templates and online onboarding workflows, the business experienced a drop in manual processing and chasing of files. ­ Now, the HR team is looking at ways to increase engagement, introduce new ways to manage training and development to support their workforce to become the best they can be.

What’s next for our client? We recently caught up with the HR team who are feeling excited about leading engagement and meaningful performance conversations with the roll out of enableHR’s online performance reviews this month!

What do you see as the future of HRIS systems?
The digital transformation that is taking over the world is challenging workplaces to keep up and provide the new and engaging employee experiences. People professionals have a main role to play in the organization of the future work place and the impact on workers. Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital trends report refer to the current age of HR as “Digital HR” where teams, productivity and empowerment are the main focus. This marks a shift from previous focus on process design and implementing standard HR practice.

Call us biased but in the space of “Digital HR” having an HRIS framework to support HR operations is no longer a nice to have, it is a need to have. An HRIS becomes the foundational tool from which innovative ideas for enhancing productivity and elevating employee experiences can grow. As people analytic tools become more sophisticated, HRIS technology will be the number one driver of innovative strategies in employee performance and agile team structuring by providing visibility over organizational network and employee data. It’s an exciting future that lies ahead.

Last but definitely not least, I talked to Inel Peacock from PlanPro.


Hi Inel – what does PlanPro do? How does it work?

PlanPro helps you add more science to your gut feel by combining psychology with technology

planpro model

We simplify the consumption of IT orientated third party solutions, like competency frameworks, org charts and assessments, enriching traditional HR systems and processes with new generation capability.  Our aim is to provide leaders and people managers with robust data to inform decision making and business improvement.

How important do you think HR Analytics and data is for HR?

Understanding how to analyse, interpret and leverage your people related data is critical to achieving organisational goals.  With an average of 50-80% of the budget going towards people costs the way this investment is managed and optimised has a substantial impact on the sustainability of an organisation.  Yet often the method used to recruit, appoint, promote and train staff, and structure incentives is largely based on human judgement, rather than facts, creating a need for HR Analytics.  The goal is to reveal the correlation between business data and people data. This provides an organisation with insights to effectively managing employees to reach business goals quickly and efficiently.

Can you tell me about a company using PlanPro? How did they use it and what were the outcomes?

Yes we helped a large education sector client implement competency frameworks.

The challenge:

Our client was looking to use competency frameworks to accelerate and streamline some of their current HR processes.  To build competency frameworks from the ground up would take years to complete, which was not a realistic option.  They needed rich content, ability to tailor and implement within a tight timeframe.

The solution:

The initial discussions were around the rich content for competency frameworks that are available through IBM Kenexa Talent Frameworks, specifically for the education industry and general corporate functions.  To meet the client’s need to quickly edit and collaborate on content we used our PeoplePro platform.  The quality of the content and the ease of use of PeoplePro resulted in our client purchasing the first library of IBM Kenexa Talent Frameworks, consisting of approximately 400 jobs, with the expectation for more jobs to follow.  We then worked with the client to match jobs within the framework and tailor where required to align with internal terminology and culture Our approach was to combine the best of breed software and content with a local, simple approach to get things done.

The outcome:

The first jobs were finalised within a few days after the project started. The PlanPro team combined with two non-technical HR staff members to form the implementation team for the first phase of deploying these competencies. There were very tight time lines to meet because this project was part of a larger HR programme of work, and the first 20 jobs were successfully delivered within a week. The PlanPro approach of “start small, grow big” minimised the business risk, reducing the barrier for entry and made it possible to get this project off the ground in a short time frame.


Thank you to Carol, Amanda, Cam and Inel for sharing their case studies! For more about Roleworks click here. For more about enableHR click here. For more about PlanPro click here.


Angela Atkins is the Chief Executive of APPNZ – The Association of People Professionals. She is passionate about supporting all the people professions (HR, Learning, Payroll and Talent) and is also the best selling author Management Bites and the bites series of books.





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This entry was posted on May 8, 2018 by in human resources and tagged , .
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