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About Jane Systems

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

No Fairy Tale

Like many leaders in retail and distribution, Amazon rely on temporary, seasonal staff. People taken on to cover the busy Christmas period know very well that their employment comes with an expiry date. The disputes we’ve seen this week centred on how much human consideration, if any, is given when that date comes up.

Reports in national newspapers gave unpleasant examples of temp staff at Amazon distribution centres being sacked part of the way through night shifts and ordered off the premises at midnight. In addition to being given zero notice and no opportunity to line up alternative employment, some have told of being left to wait outside warehouses in the biting cold for up to six hours until public transport services were available again.

At the time of these people’s sackings their seasonal employment contracts, via an intermediary recruitment agency, still had a month still to run. The agency has attracted as much criticism as Amazon, who stated in their defence that when staff are let go outside public transport hours, they are prepared to offer bus and taxi transport to get them home.

When a major employer sets up shop at a new site, optimism and expectation among the local workforce is often very high. Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain those levels of positivity, but there are steps we can all take to maintain goodwill. Firstly and obviously, we can communicate.

If contracts are about to come to an end a month early, then surely employers and agencies can communicate with each other and with staff in a way that gives notice and softens the blow. If transport is available to get people safely home instead of literally leaving them out in the cold, then surely […]

Through The Keyhole

With many of us spending as much time at work as at home, is the office now a place for creature comforts?

We personalize desks.

We arrange furniture for comfort and familiarity.

Some of us even bring our pets to work.

When we look through the keyhole into the modern British workplace, what do we learn about individuals and the organisations they serve?

Commercial property specialists LondonOffices.com have researched 2018 trends and the results give us plenty of clues.

We’re prioritising adaptability and collaboration, with flexible office set-ups that encourage colleagues to interact, share ideas and create a motivation culture.

We’re not only aware of the need to be tech-savvy, we’re eager to keep our organisations on the cutting edge of sector-specific developments

The concern for employee well-being is real, and it’s being actioned in measurable ways.

For those of us whose working lives have included spells in miserable, claustrophobic cubicles this is a welcome development. As a graduate I worked at the Head Office of a major retail plc and saw both sides of corporate life. When I had to deliver a report to directors, I took the elevator to a higher floor with plush carpets I was not permitted to walk on and penthouse-like offices where I was not permitted to sit. Descending back to my own floor, I would contort myself into a cubicle the size of a large dog kennel and settle down for a day’s work that might feature little or no human contact.

According to LondonOffices.com the fashionable 2018 office will free us from any sense of confinement by bathing us in sunlight, it will encourage interaction with open plan seating and support remote working to accommodate our lifestyle choices.

At Jane Systems we have high hopes […]

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Knowing Me, Knowing You

There are many things a recruiter looks for in a job applicant, and one thing that consistently impresses interviewers is evidence that the person in front of them has done their homework. Not just on the specifics of a job role but also on the wider organisation.

And, frankly, it’s negligent when they don’t.

In a sense, every job is a customer service job and every employee is an ambassador for the organisation that pays their wages. It’s a lot easier to positively represent your employer when you understand what they do, where they are heading and how they plan to get there.

It’s also a lot easier to motivate and engage a workforce when you understand what makes them tick. A thorough recruitment process will paint a useful picture of the person you’re hiring, not just the skillset they bring. Following through with smooth onboarding and tailored training and development brings your people closer to the heart of your business. It brings them closer not just to understanding your core values but embodying them.

Jane Systems take pride in knowing our clients and our markets. Last month we carried out a survey of target clients in the public and private sectors; organisations we don’t currently work with but hope to be supporting in 2018.

73% of employees didn’t know what was in their employer’s mission statement, or if they had one

55% of employees weren’t able to name three of their employer’s core values

42% of employees didn’t know if their organisation had offices in other countries

68% of managers didn’t know for sure what motivated the people in their teams, either personally or professionally

61% of managers didn’t consider reviewing the skills of internal candidates before placing a vacancy with a […]

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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