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Your trusted HR and Payroll software partner, delivering efficiency, employee engagement and legal compliance.

Back To School

But do they deserve £1.5 million a month? One Lincolnshire school employee was almost given that very pleasant surprise earlier this year when their outsourced payroll service delivered a string of errors. If overpaying some people to the tune of a lottery win is embarrassing, failing to pay others at all is shockingly negligent. With Britain’s teachers putting in typical working weeks of 55-65 hours, the idea of dedicated professionals somehow being forgotten on payday doesn’t bear thinking about.

So how can it be happening?

In April 2015 Lincolnshire County Council awarded a £70 million contract to a single HR and finance systems provider. The contract holder, an outsource giant with a global turnover in excess of £3 billion, seemed to have ample experience and resource for the task. But a succession of business-critical failures led to them marking the first anniversary of the partnership by issuing the Council with a £1.2 million service credit.

Such a costly embarrassment in year one should have provided the motivation to get things right, but years two and three don’t seem to have gone much better. Thousands of employees whose hard work keeps the lights on and the engines running for the county’s public services can’t be sure they’ll be paid accurately, if at all.

 

When an interactive HR system encourages people to take responsibility for their careers and have confidence in their professional development, just watch how quickly they begin to feel more valued.

When HR and payroll software meets every legislative standard and smooths the path towards accurate administration from recruitment to retirement, just watch your productivity rise and your staff turnover fall

When your system automates complex processes and allows you to run monthly, fortnightly and weekly payrolls with guaranteed […]

Everything Costs Something

When a fee-paying scheme was introduced for UK employment tribunals in 2013, it led to an estimated 70% cut in the number of cases. If that statistic was predictable, then it’s hardly a surprise that the recent decision to abolish those fees is set to open the floodgates.

What’s the emotional and professional cost to an individual of nursing a grievance? Even when a tribunal gives someone the opportunity to make themselves heard and gain compensation, restitution or closure, the road to that outcome can be hard and damaging. It’s difficult not to wonder what’s gone so badly wrong with HR procedure and practice that this is the long-drawn-out result.

Sometimes people and organisations just don’t fit, and the sooner they part ways the better it is for all concerned. But how often do relations between good employees and good employers reach breaking point for avoidable reasons?

In HR, as in all things, good practice is good business. When line managers are well versed in your company policies and procedures and follow them because they believe in them, results will follow.

Make those policies understandable and transparently fair. Not just following the letter of employment law but the spirit. Let your people know they really are your people, and see how that impacts on their loyalty and performance.

And have a system in place that smoothly converts your good intentions into good practice.

How much easier would it be for you to build on your people’s skills and motivation if their training needs could be logged via appraisals, business plans, project workflows or direct requests, and the training itself could be monitored at every stage, enabling you to audit and evaluate its […]

The Payroll Jungle

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here 2017 features one or two genuinely accomplished people, but there’s also a somebody’s father, a somebody’s wife, a somebody-from-Coronation-Street, a somebody-from-Hollyoaks, a footballer-who-was-quite-famous-20 years-ago and the usual quota of people appearing in a reality TV show who became famous by appearing in other reality TV shows.

This year’s most controversial jungle dweller may well be Kezia Dugdale, a Scottish politician who served as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland from August 2015 to August 2017. Controversial because some voters and political opponents have criticised her decision to seek TV fame while serving as a member of the Scottish Parliament. In fairness Dugdale has pledged to donate her TV fee to charity but it still begs the question, should a politician use their position as a platform to seek personal fame?

Appearing on a reality TV show is far from the worst thing a British politician can do to jeopardise public trust. When details of MP expenses claims were leaked in 2009, real anger swept the country over taxpayer money being used frivolously and fraudulently. Rebuilding public confidence was crucial to the newly formed Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). IPSA was given three major objectives: to regulate MPs expenses, to administer and pay those expenses and to pay the salaries of MPs and their staff. They needed to get things right. They needed to show people that things worked.

That’s why they turned to Jane Systems.

Since 2010, Jane HR and payroll software has managed the complexity of central government requirements, delivered accuracy and transparency and been a key element in rebuilding confidence. The bottom line? IPSA considers Jane a partner they can trust […]

By |November 22nd, 2017|News, Payroll|0 Comments|

Black and Gold

Every high street and shopping mall seems to have anecdotes of customers being trampled underfoot as retailers keep their doors open until midnight. But online shoppers are just as busy.

In recent years we’ve seen the websites of UK retailers such as Argos, Currys, Tesco Direct and John Lewis almost grind to a halt on the day after Thanksgiving, with buyers stuck in endless virtual queues. But the biggest lesson of November 24th won’t be how long people have to wait in virtual queues but how many of them are lining up to do it. Retail analysts are forecasting that year on year online trade will increase by as much as 500%. We’re not just showing our appreciation of technology in the way we shop; this appreciation extends to what we’re actually buying. Giants such as Amazon have begun cutting prices of flagship products early, whipping up consumer excitement for the big day. Anyone waiting for the right moment to buy a Fire Stick or Kindle may be tempted by what’s on offer, and the Amazon Echo line looks like being a huge Autumn seller.

Does your current HR software

• Enable creation of employee records from any source?
• Allow you to design user-defined fields to suit your needs?
• Show you the big picture with performance monitoring, absence monitoring, holiday allowance calculation and pension contribution analysis?
• Interface with existing payroll systems efficiently and securely?
• HR query tool selects and filters your data and delivers the report you want
• Deliver advanced data filtering to generate exactly the reports you want?

We believe the surest way to stay ahead of the curve is to seek out reliable partners whose values […]

Wishing Well

Over the closing weeks of 2017 Jane Systems will share our thoughts on HR and systems development trends, and as always we’ll be here to help our clients and partners stay ahead of the curve.

When we began our journey as a HR software provider at the turn of the 21st century the phrase “employee wellness” wasn’t in common usage. But we did start out a firm grasp of the concept of engaging staff, catering for their best interests and making them happier and more productive. That’s why from our earliest days in business Jane software has focused on delivering interaction, communication and quality of experience in the workplace. Today, with wellness rightly high on most corporate agendas, that’s proving to be a wise choice. When analysts tell us the employee wellness market could be the next big thing for 2018 we politely remind them that for us, it’s always been a big thing.

Wellness initiatives may have started out with a focus on health and ways of stopping employee burnout, but as valuable as preventative measures are the focus for today and tomorrow is more on enhancing performance. Put simply, it’s not just about stopping your people collapsing in a heap when issues come to a head. It’s about delivering a working environment where they never get close to that level of disenchantment and distress. It’s about helping them deliver optimum performance.

In Britain in 2016/17, a staggering 25,700,000 sick days were lost to work-related ill-health. Not all of those absences could have been avoided, of course, but how many of them could? Without an effective HR system in place that becomes a far more difficult question, because you can’t manage what […]

One Giant Leap

And we did. The 2017 Azzure IT Customer Day used technology as a starting point for a day of discussion that gave attendees an insight not only into advances in key Microsoft products but into the innovative thinking that moves industries and economies forward.

Craig Such set the tone for the day with a reminder that technology and box-checking for their own sake benefit no one.

The select group of partners and customers in attendance were updated on Microsoft Dynamics 365, with a big-picture view of the ways these smart applications will add value. Game-changing GDPR legislation was discussed not as a threat to business but as an opportunity to build trust with employees and customers by respecting their right to data privacy. Every seminar followed the same theme.

How can we add value to your business?

The setting for this event, the National Space Centre in Leicester, was an appropriate one. If we want, we can coldly break down space travel into a series of technical developments. In July 1969 an aerodynamically efficient object was launched from a site in Texas and eight and a half days later it landed in the North Pacific Ocean. But that’s not quite as inspiring as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” is it?

Thank you to everyone involved with the organisation of this excellent event. If you want to know more about Azzure’s thriving partnership with Microsoft and their commitment to making this technology work for your benefit, contact them today.

Azzure IT is the leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 Support Partner


Tel: 0345 467 9950
Email: sales@azzure-it.com

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Part of the Team

The World of Learning conference is an annual highlight, not only for education professionals but for anyone with an interest in staff development. Among the themes of this year’s event at the NEC, one stood out:

An alarming number of people quit new jobs within the first week, and many more decide very quickly that their new company isn’t a long-term option. To quote the CIPD:
“Even when people stay for a year or more, it is often the case that their decision to leave sooner rather than later is taken in the first weeks of employment”

Sometimes people just don’t fit. It’s nobody’s fault, and the sooner a square peg is prised out of a round hole, the better it is for all concerned. But how many people walk away from something that could have developed into a rewarding personal and professional experience simply because they weren’t made to feel welcome?

Without a tailored induction, new employees can find themselves in a position where they never fully understand the business they’re working for or their role within it. They may never fully integrate into their team or the wider company, they may never reach the level of creativity or productivity they’re capable of, and as frustration mounts they may well put down their tools, switch off their computer and walk out of the door, never to return.

What are we hoping to gain from an employee induction? The best HR and training practitioners we’ve worked with all say the same thing.

That’s a lot easier to accomplish when the hiring process is seamless and transparently fair, and employee onboarding is swift. Jane’s recruitment software actively supports more efficient onboarding. To take one example, new employee records […]

Actual Reality

Three years ago, during a trip to Beijing, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously reached out to potential customers in China by conducting a public question and answer session entirely in Mandarin. Zuckerberg is by any standard a capable person, and having a Chinese speaking wife gave him a useful head start in learning this complex language, but his error-strewn effort was met with scorn. Unfair perhaps, but it was no surprise to see a public figure get a roasting for attempting something difficult and falling short.

This week Zuckerberg put his head above the parapet again, and once more he found himself under fire. His response to the damage caused to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria was to create a cartoon version of himself and take a virtual reality tour of the devastated island.

There’s ample evidence of Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy, but for many people this latest incident showed a disconnect from the reality of how people live their lives and cope with problems. Zuckerberg himself has expressed a preference for virtual reality over the real world problems we all have to face. Again, that certainly doesn’t make him a bad person but for most employers, even those at the cutting edge of technical development, dealing with these everyday problems is part of the routine. For employers who go out of their way to help their people resolve issues it’s not a chore but something to be proud of. Actual reality – working hard every day to create a positive, supportive environment where people can thrive – is actually pretty terrific.

At Jane Systems we’re proud to work hand in glove with public and private sector leaders who take every opportunity to make […]

Thirtysomething

Research published this week by Vorwerk suggests that thirty is a landmark age for employee restlessness. It’s understandable. Crossing into the fourth decade gives us plenty to think about, and any appraisal of our achievements, status and general well-being should naturally include a good hard look at what we do with each working day.
Vorwerk’s research paints a picture of general dissatisfaction with working life in Britain. Just 13% of responders said they enjoyed their jobs, while 9% went so far as to say they hated them. Those are unsettling figures, but are employees really that disenchanted or are they merely taking the opportunity to blow off steam without consequences? We all get days when we’d rather be elsewhere and we’ve all heard colleagues say they “hate” a job or an employer in the heat of the moment but then display ample evidence to the contrary. We may choose not to take everything said in surveys literally, but we’d be unwise to ignore negative findings altogether.

Talking to them is a good start, and encouraging them to communicate interactively in the workplace is even better. The lack of suitable skills training and career development is a major factor in employee dissatisfaction, and one way to deliver a career path that people will find satisfying is to put them in charge of their own development. The Jane Self-Service portal does exactly that, giving your people access to their own records and encouraging them to shape their own training programmes. Managers stay in control of the process, with a “big picture” view of staff activity and the authority to sign off on and contribute to development plans.

Hitting a landmark age – whether it’s […]

If It Matters To You, It Matters To Us

Jane Systems stays on the cutting edge of HR and payroll software service by asking customers what they think. When we ask you for feedback that includes any suggestions you have for ways that we can make your working lives easier and more productive. Today’s article is a summary of the feedback we’ve received in recent months. If you’re a Jane customer you may well recognise some of these points, and please feel free to add to them. If you’re not a Jane customer, we welcome any thoughts you’d like to share.

What are your biggest concerns as a HR manager?

I’m constantly trying to balance efficiency with concern for people’s welfare. It’s not easy.

No it isn’t, which is why HR management is such a specialised role, and it helps when you have specialised support. At Jane Systems we believe efficient systems can deliver a platform for greater interpersonal contact and cooperation

I seem to be seen as the “bad guy” when it comes to disciplinary issues. I don’t care about personal popularity but I don’t want employees to feel like they’re in an “us and them” situation with management.

Antagonism between staff and management can cause lasting damage. We believe a HR system should help you monitor potential disciplinary issues, flag up patterns that may become an issue and enable you to nip these problems in the bud. It’s not enough just to make a note of what’s wrong. Jane gives you the tools to put things right.

How do you believe GDPR will affect your day to day working life, and what steps are you taking to stay compliant?

It will affect us in a range […]