Friday, 6 May 2016

Staff Contract Changes Event

We've just run a three day process improvement event reviewing the process for staff contract changes. In scope for this project was:
  • staff moving from fixed term contracts to open ended contracts
  • extensions to fixed term contracts
  • changes to the number of contracted hours
The main process problems were faced with were many sources of which required manual input, this resulted in inputting and formatting errors and resulted in lots of time being spent checking documents against computer systems and comparing spreadsheets.

When we carried out our baseline data analysis we were interested to hear that people did not have too many problems with the process, the repeated checking was stopping output errors occurring and on the whole people in faculties and departments were generally satisfied with the process. We discovered that it was the staff in HR, Payroll and Pensions that were bearing the brunt of the pain of this process: they put a lot of time and energy into making sure that accurate contracts are produced, staff are paid correctly and on the correct pension scheme. In short, it was a lot of processing for a small change.

What changes were made?
A number of improvements have been identified with the aim of implementing the changes by 31 July 2016.
  • Good practice for departments when initiating the contract change process. Standard outputs with appropriate flexibility of practice for departments.
  • Fewer approvals and greater clarity of the role of each approver.
  • Removing some of the process from academic staff to administrative staff.
  • Better use of the existing system - system generated letters and emails.
  • Removal of need for printing documents.
  • Reducing need for manual input into different systems and spreadsheets.
  • Greater sharing of information between key departments (via the use of google sheets).
  • Reduction in process steps from 41 to 24.
We will continue working with the team throughout the implementation part of the project and will report back on changes to process time and staff satisfaction with the process.

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