In the third of our Employee Spotlight series, we talk to Chris Deegan, Softworks Chief Technology Officer. Chris talks to us about which elements of the Softworks Workforce Management Software customers are finding especially beneficial to help manage challenges created by Covid-19. We also discuss employee engagement, and what his team is doing to keep their spirits high whilst working from home.
Chris, What are you doing to keep yourself happy and motivated right now?
I read every day and exercise every morning. Each evening I look forward to family meals which are eaten around the table and then we enjoy a daily walk, secretly planned in advance to discuss my weekend to-do list!
Has Covid-19 changed the way you work?
Yes, it has! I now work full time in my home office and clock using the softworks Employee Self Service App. Traveling for me is now non-existent for the most part, which has allowed me to dedicate more time to our Quality and Development team. Team meetings are now conducted through video conferencing software and chat groups, with work discussions and also some daily banter.
I believe staff engagement is so important at the moment. I am very lucky because my team is excellent and very professional, they have coped incredibly well. It does help that we all have different personalities which is a great balancer within the team.
What has stayed the same for you?
My work routine has for the most part remained consistent. My alarm still goes off at the same time in the morning and I am at my home desk by 7:30. My personal calendar and the Softworks Project Tracker have been the key to managing all of my tasks with daily team meetings, management meetings, strategy sessions, and product change requests meetings still attended by everyone, albeit now via video conferencing. I am finding meetings to be more frequent but more efficient.
What new challenges are your customers facing during this time?
Customers have found that maintaining engagement and managing their workforce from home have been the greatest challenges. Many of our customers have not previously managed a remote workforce before, and so this has introduced a range of new requirements, including compliance, staff wellbeing, and staff scheduling.
How are our solutions helping them with this?
Customers have found Softworks invaluable and have found many new ways to use the system to suit their requirements. Using Softworks Time and Attendance Software they have been able to effectively manage Flexible and Remote Working within their teams, using the Employee Self Service app to clock in and out. Many businesses have recently begun to reopen and with employees returning to work the ability to trigger ‘return to work’ interviews or notifications to complete COVID Screening Forms has become invaluable. Customers have been able to set up new absence types using Softworks Leave Management Software to account for COVID related absences or for employees that must isolate. On our end, the majority of requests can and have been configured to suit customer’s needs, and then we have provided extra training to ensure they can fully utilize the system.
I have found that the ability to safely store employee personnel information and track data such as skills and training through Softworks HR Management Software has enabled customers to simplify processes and remain compliant while working from home. It has also made filling employment gaps or absences a breeze for customers, as they could quickly find staff with the matching skills for that shift.
Customers have also utilised other areas of the product that they may not have previously, such as granting employees access to the status panel screen to view the who in their team was working and when.
What have you learned from your customers during this time?
Customers have remained extremely busy and I have found that everyone has different time management processes in order to remain as efficient as possible. Everyone, including myself, has been trying to refigure current processes by introducing new ones with reduced touchpoints to increase efficiency. Softworks is a key tool in our customer’s armory and we are always adapting the system to ensure the product assists clients and users in all job positions to ensure they are as efficient and productive as possible.
What are you most grateful for right now? (work or outside work)?
From a work perspective, I am grateful that we are still fully operational and that we have remained healthy, following the government guidelines. I am delighted to be a part of a company that makes a difference to many front-line workers in a variety of sectors. It’s a great feeling that we are contributing something to our society during this time.
Outside work I am grateful for the time I am spending with my family and how we are working together to ensure we have an excellent work-life balance. For example, every day my wife brings me a flask to my office – I am unsure if that’s love or if to keep me locked away for three hours – let’s all agree on love!! My son delivers me half a bowl of something – apple chips or watermelon every afternoon but I am positive that bowl was nearly full when it initially left the kitchen!