Innovative HR system scoops national award for college

An innovative human resources system that has saved both time and money has seen Gower College Swansea scoop a prestigious national award from HR Magazine.

The ‘All About Me/All About My Staff’ system was recently named the Most Innovative Deployment of HR Technology at the HR Excellence Awards 2015 in London, beating stiff competition from national and international giants such as Santander, Monster and Nationwide Building Society.

The judges praised Gower College Swansea’s winning entry as ‘very innovative’ and were particularly impressed that so much had been achieved in-house on the relatively small budget of £25,000.

“This is where HR technology really works,” said one judge. “It’s about finding a solution to a problem that works for employees and managers and which doesn’t need to be expensive.”

When Gower College Swansea was formed in 2010 following the merger of Swansea College and Gorseinon College, it became clear that new technology was needed to streamline HR processes and to support the integration of the two workforces.

“As a result of the merger, we needed to give managers a tool to help support the introduction of new streamlined HR processes across a workforce of more than 1000, located across six campuses," says HR Director Nicola Perkins. "We recognised that managers needed to maximise their time to get to know new staff and help forge new relationships to build strong teams."

“In response to this, we wanted to develop a user friendly, online portal that would save the time spent by managers on HR related processes and we also wanted to encourage staff to take ownership for their personal data and ensure employment records were accurate and up to date.”

The portal - ‘All About Me’ for staff and a managers’ portal called ‘All About My Staff’ – means that key HR processes such as booking annual leave, recording qualifications and training are now automated and further developments have recently been launched to support online performance appraisals. The system also has a flexi-time system and an access point for electronic payslips.

The project was developed through the collaboration of the HR team and the in-house team within the college’s Integrated Systems unit.

Principal Mark Jones says: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have received national recognition for this collaborative project, particularly given the limited resources we’ve had to develop it and the stiff competition who were shortlisted within this category.”

Photo: A Frame Photograpy