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Case Study on How to Improve HR Processes By Switching to Cloud

Graphic of a person thinking about how to improve HR processes

Have you ever heard the story about the process of cooking an Easter ham? It provides surprising insight on how to improve HR processes.

A woman was cooking an Easter ham for her family when her husband walked into the kitchen and noticed she sliced off both ends of the ham before placing it into the oven. Curious about the process, he asked his wife, “Why do you cut off the ends?” His wife looked confused and then replied, “Well, I’m not sure. That’s how my mom always did it. We can ask her when she arrives.”

Closer to dinner time, the wife’s mom arrived, and the wife asked, “Mom, why did you always cut off the ends of the ham?” To which the mother replied, “Well, I’m not quite sure. I’ve never wondered about it. It’s just what my mom always did.”

The wife and husband laughed and a few minutes later, the mother decided to call her mom, the grandmother of the wife, to see why she cut off the ends of the ham. When the grandmother was asked the question, she replied, “Oh, we didn’t have a pan large enough to fit the whole ham. That’s the only reason.”

In HR, it’s easy to fall into the trap of going through unnecessary processes just because they’ve been followed for a long time. We sometimes allow the systems and processes to tell us what to do.

How HR Is Spending Its Time

According to the Center for Effective Organizations, “Despite advancements in technology, information systems, shared services, outsourcing and constituent recognition of the strategic value of human capital, HR leaders continue to say that their actual work remains focused on administration and the delivery of HR services.”

In an article called How HR Spends Its Time, the Center reported the following percentages on how HR employees utilize their working hours:

  • 25 percent on strategic business partnerships
  • 50 percent on providing HR services and programs
  • 25 percent on recordkeeping and auditing

Wagstaff’s Strategy and Goals

Committed to managing people instead of processes, Dr. Wade Larsen of Wagstaff set out to transform his Learning Management System (LMS) and save HR hours by learning how to improve HR processes. What started as an LMS turned into an entire system overhaul with Oracle HCM Cloud.

Keeping the ham story in mind, he pursued these new systems with open hands on his old processes. The top priority was to give HR leaders and managers the chance to manage their people assets instead of staying bogged down in paperwork and outdated processes. According to Dr. Larsen, an automated bad process is still a bad process. Wagstaff adopted a strategy of continuous improvement.

His goals for the organization included:

  • Improving efficiency: He aimed to reduce HR admin action by 20 percent and reduce manager paperwork and admin by 10 percent.
  • Improve effectiveness: He wanted to reduce errors and redundancies in inputs.
  • Improve timeliness: Larsen also wanted to cut down processing time.
  • Improve overall user experience: Finally, he wanted to implement an easier UX for applicants and employees.

Stages of Wagstaff’s Strategy

Dr. Larsen chose to implement every change within a one-year span. The plan looked like this: Identify > Evaluate > Plan > Execute > Repeat.

In the identify stage, his team selected which HR functions to evaluate by asking 1) What? 2) How? and 3) Why?

As a result, the evaluation areas included:

  • Recruitment success
  • Hiring success/Conversion
  • Time to hire
  • Application
  • Applicant experience
  • Retention

For every area, his team analyzed what the system could do, whether or not the current processed worked, what specifically was wrong, and how to improve HR processes. Then, they moved forward based on an importance/urgency matrix. Important and urgent areas were immediately addressed. Important and non-urgent areas were scheduled, and anything else became a low priority—meaning implementation would be nice but not essential.

One example of improvement came in the New Employee area. The Wagstaff team learned the major three questions a new hire has for their first day, which included:

  1. What do I wear?
  2. Where do I park?
  3. Do I bring my lunch?

Impact of Leveraging Oracle HCM Cloud

Dr. Larsen’s team made a goal to provide the best first day experience ever. Knowing that a new employee determines how long they will stay at a company within their first five days of work, they learned how to improve HR processes related to onboarding to create a more positive experience.

The outcomes of this redesigned experience include:

  • Reduced time in the classroom
  • Improved learning
  • Greater satisfaction
  • Greater retention & engagement (anticipated)

For Performance initiatives, the process moved from papers to online systems. They incorporated a self-assessment, eliminated a rating system and routing of forms, moved to a simple question format, and equipped managers with iPads to host quarterly conversations with employees at their workspaces instead of calling them into offices.

In Workforce Compensation, the organization streamlined the pay increase process and already recaptured hundreds of HR hours. This involved annual raise recommender processes, eliminating retro-payment processing, automating bonus calculation, and creating a faster workflow through managers that saved payroll personnel at least two weeks per year.

In the Learning area, Wagstaff moved 80 percent of trainings to online learning, reducing redundancies, and streamlining mandatory project trainings.

Regarding Payroll, the team wanted to make the process less painful by internalizing services and improving functionality with NovaTime integration. This meant eliminating approval steps and unnecessary classifications, adding mobile access for employees, and enhancing self-service for payroll changes.

By utilizing Oracle HCM Cloud, Dr. Larsen and his team have completed an overhaul of processes and improved every area. To hear more how to improve HR processes in your own company, watch the full presentation attached below.

Additional Resources

To learn about more customer success stories with Oracle HCM Cloud, check out the additional Quest resource linked below: “Customers Who Succeeded with Oracle HCM Cloud.”