During our recent visit to Coleg Cambria we were delighted to see the benefits they’d been able to realise from using Active Dashboards within their Curriculum areas. We were even more thrilled with the results they were seeing from using Active Dashboards within their HR function.
Julie Davies, Human Resources and Organisational Development Director explained: “Two of the key challenges we’re facing in HR at the moment are around workforce planning – skills, knowledge and experience that we’re going to need in the future; and sickness absence- a significant cost for any organisation”.
The College uses a variety of HR systems and databases: Carvel is their HR management system; they use Passport for Professional Development and another database for Staff Utilisation. Each system has its own reporting capability but they all vary in terms how easy they are to use. So if a manager needed a specific report, they would have had to submit a request to HR, and the separate reports would need to be run and the data collated accordingly.
“I saw the dashboard that had been developed for student data, for the wider college data and I thought instantly that it was something that would lend itself really well to HR information” said Julie. “Like most organisations we’ve got a range of databases, tools, systems and portals in place, all holding our employee data so what we needed was to bring all of that together in one location for managers to access immediately”.
So how did they find working with Active Dashboards?
“It’s extremely easy to use” said Julie. “I found Active Dashboards very intuitive and the feedback from all our managers is that they found the same. Unlike most other systems that we’ve rolled out, we haven’t needed to accompany it with a large scale training and development exercise for managers.”
How has using Active Dashboards effected workforce planning?
“Because Active Dashboards can pull together a range of data from all our different databases it’s been a great asset to our strategic workforce planning” said Julie. “We can pull our workforce profile information from Carval and combine that with our professional development information through Passport to enable us to not only use that data to inform our day to day workforce planning in terms of operational decision making, but also to strategically plan for the year –even three – years ahead in terms of how we invest and prioritise our spend around Continuous Professional Development”. Julie explained.
And staff utilisation?
“In the past we’ve struggled to get data on staff utilisation in HR because we don’t store that in our Carval database. With Active Dashboards we’ve not got a ‘marrying up’ of the information around staff, the hours that they’re contracted for, the hours that they’re being used, and being a college we have a lot of hourly paid and casual staff so it’s perfect for bringing together that information”. Said Julie.
What benefits did they gain?
“The biggest impact we’ve seen after bringing in Active Dashboards has really been around our sickness absence” Julie explained. “It’s been a big priority for us in terms of both managing sickness absence but also understanding the causes of sickness absence. We’ve RAG rated staff absence and because the data is now live, accurate, current and easily accessible we can look at sickness absence as a whole college, broken down by department or broken down by area. Active Dashboards gives us the powerful information we need to help support our managers and staff in addressing sickness absence – and we’ve seen a significant reduction as a result”. She added.
“We’re not report writers in HR; it isn’t where we are best utilised so Active Dashboards has saved us a great deal of time in terms of data crunching. We don’t need to spend half as long preparing reports for our management team meetings; and its enabling our HR advisors to work much more effectively as business partners – we’re spending less time reporting issues and more time actually doing something about it. We are so much more effective. Active Dashboards has transformed the way we work”.