ReproMed Ireland is a leading fertility clinic and has been supporting patients on their journey to parenthood for 13 years. With clinics across Ireland, they are dedicated to delivering world-class and compassionate care.
The ReproMed team consists of doctors, nurses, embryologists and laboratory workers along with supporting teams such as Finance, HR and Administration. The company recently completed the configuration of its brand-new Softworks Workforce Management System which will be used by employees across 3 of its clinic locations. We caught up with ReproMed Group HR Director, Shane Nugent to review the project to date and discuss expectations of the system as it goes live within the group.
ReproMed went to market for a Workforce Management Solution to help reduce the administrative burden involved in employee management and to allow them to more easily demonstrate compliance with the Working Time Directive.
With the implementation of a new Workforce Management Solution ReproMed wanted to achieve the following:
Elimination of manual processes
The company wanted to move away from spreadsheet-based management and tracking of employee time and attendance, leave and other HR administrative tasks.
ReproMed Group HR Director, Shane Nugent explained:
“The manual processes were time-consuming. It wasn’t an efficient use of our time. And I also wanted to make sure that we had really good records in one place that we could easily refer back to.“
ReproMed was looking for a more efficient solution for tracking employee working time to ensure it could demonstrate compliance with working time regulations.
“Our system was paper-based and it was a concern to ensure we were staying on top of time tracking in case of an inspection. This becomes very onerous when you’re trying to do your day-to-day job. Using Softworks to record employee time and attendance makes sense and takes this pressure off.”
More time for HR
One of the key motivations for adopting a Workforce Management System was to reduce HR administration and to allow the HR team to focus on more strategic activities.
“For me, HR is about making sure that we look after our people and bring out the best in them. Administration is very important, but it’s only a certain aspect of HR’s role and it can take up a serious amount of time.“
“A system like Softworks is very efficient in saving us time and making sure we have everything in one place. Softworks also allows HR the time to do what they’re supposed to do, which is to bring out the best in our people.”
After a competitive tender process, ReproMed selected Softworks cloud-based Workforce Management Solution.
“We went to tender and Softworks was the best system for what we wanted. It was the most efficient and easiest to implement.”
ReproMed selected the following Softworks modules:
• Time and Attendance
• Employee Self-Service
• Skills Tracking
• Expense Tracking
The Softworks Project Manager worked together with ReproMed to create a master document detailing its organisational structure, HR rules, processes and schedules. This information was used by Softworks to configure the new Workforce Management System to reflect ReproMed’s unique work rules and processes.
Commenting on the rules-gathering process, Group HR Director, Shane Nugent explained:
“It’s important to understand that the workforce management system is only as good as the information going into it. We worked really hard to ensure this information was correct. It’s a major part of it.”
“Our Softworks project manager was unbelievably efficient and worked really well with our team. She gave us very clear direction which worked well for us. She is very good at what she does.”
ReproMed’s HR team then tested the system extensively to ensure the system was working according to their specifications before it was released for go live.
The Softworks training team has provided the first in a series of training sessions for managers, walking them through the types of activities they’ll be carrying out in the system. Once managers have more experience using the system, additional training will deal with follow-up queries and anything that needs clarification based on their experience to date.
“We understand that managers may be nervous about the change from paper-based to cloud-based processes. It’s really important to us to give them the training and confidence to make sure they understand what exactly is expected of them.”
“Softworks comes into its own in the training, the Softworks trainer understood our system very well and was very clear.”
As ReproMed starts using the new Workforce Management System, Group HR Director, Shane Nugent is looking forward to positive changes in the following areas:
Reduction in HR administration
One of the main benefits anticipated is the reduction of the administrative burden on the HR department.
“Where we will massively see the benefits will be in annual leave, sickness, return to work interviews and appraisals all being in one area. Managers will be able to deal with all of this, taking a huge amount of admin away from HR.”
Having a central cloud-based system for workforce management will ensure standardised processes are being followed across the organisation.
“Softworks removes the paper, everything will be done electronically and it will make sure we’re going through the correct processes.”
ReproMed employees will clock in to record their working time using either employee self-service on a desktop or biometric clocking terminals. This will feed into employee attendance tracking as well as enabling ReproMed to demonstrate Working Time Directive compliance.
“For the Working Time Directive, we have to ensure we’re recording working time accurately and Softworks will be really efficient for this.”
Employees will apply for leave of all types through their Softworks system. For employees, the elimination of paper-based leave application forms will remove ambiguity around when leave requests were submitted or received. Managers will be better able to ensure leave protocols are being adhered to and that they have adequate cover in place.
“A big focus for us will be in the area of annual leave. In many of our departments, we can only have one or two people off at a time. Managers will now be able to check the system to see this. It gets rid of any ambiguity so they can more quickly understand if they can grant leave.”
In line with ReproMed’s ethos of facilitating a culture of excellence, HR will be able to use the reports in the Softworks system to measure and monitor HR metrics.
“I like the reports, there are so many in the system and you can also build your own. They allow you to track and report on everything.”
The company is looking forward to making the performance appraisal process more efficient through the use of timed alerts to notify managers when appraisals are due.
“Appraisals will be stored on the system, with triggers for one month, six months, twelve months and then yearly allowing the manager to get the notifications of when the appraisal is due.”
The employee scheduling features will allow managers to schedule and plan ahead for public holidays, weekend work, and annual leave and to track and review who’s working when.
Expenses are currently managed through spreadsheets. The company will transition to manage expenses through the Softworks system removing the dependency on shared spreadsheets between HR and Finance and simplifying and improving the expense tracking and reimbursement process.
ReproMed hopes to facilitate manager independence and strengthen relationships between managers and their direct reports by providing managers with the tools they need to manage more effectively.
“We want to give managers the tools to perform and I think Softworks is a good system to allow that. It makes the company more efficient and more importantly, it builds the relationship between managers and employees, allowing them to track and give feedback.”