CFO On-Call, a franchise organisation with 10 staff, 40 partners and a turnover of approximately $3.5 million, needed a better way to manage employees and stay on top of ever-changing workplace legislation.
COO Sue Hirst had been managing HR issues herself with a manual management system that made reviewing past decisions and maintaining a consistent approach to staff cumbersome.
“To go back and see what happened last time and see records and conversations and what things were agreed upon; it was a bit more difficult to do that with a manual system,” Hirst says. “We had to flick back through bits of paper, trying to remember how we did things last time and trying to keep records of documents.”
Another concern was that the manual system was falling out of step with workplace requirements. Hirst was concerned the business could face fines for non-compliance.
“Nowadays, you are not just open to fines and penalties if there is a problem or an accident. You are open to fines and penalties if you do not have a work health and safety (WHS) process in place,” Hirst says.
The business couldn’t afford to hire an HR administrator and Hirst had little time to research best practices.
- Paper-based system cumbersome and difficult to record and manage HR agreements
- Risk of penalties from employment authority due to outdated contracts and policies
- Lack of consistency with employment contracts and staffing arrangements
- No standard process for reviewing staff performance
- No budget for an HR administrator or time to research best practices in HR
HR administrator in the cloud
Hirst came across the cloud-based service enableHR at an accounting conference. An online HR, work health and safety, and contractor management solution, EnableHR contains practical tools, guides, templates and workflows to manage day-to-day workplace challenges.
The service is constantly updated to meet changes to industrial relations law by FCB Workplace Law, a national legal firm specialising in employment, workplace relations and safety. The system acts as a default HR administrator for your business.
enableHR is priced according to the number of employees; it starts at $49 per month or $540 per year for up to 10 employees. The software can be accessed from any web-enabled browser, including on a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
“We reviewed enableHR and really liked the look and simplicity of it. We really felt it would be a terrific efficiency tool for our clients,” Hirst says.
Hirst briefly researched other options but was attracted to the simplicity, cleanness and thoroughness of the enableHR system. Hirst and her administration assistant use the enableHR system within the business, and find it very simple to navigate through and helpful in relation to daily activities.
The set up for enableHR was quick and easy. “We basically just chucked out our old system and started using enableHR. The material in enableHR was just so far superior it wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to integrate the old system,” Hirst says.
Hirst paid $400 for a training session with an enableHR consultant to get her up to speed with the system.
Forms and documentation provided by enableHR are “much better” than what Hirst and her team had been using in the past. For example, staff fill in a new form for performance reviews which has lead to “better quality conversations”, and Hirst says this has improved staff satisfaction.
“I think it helps us be more consistent in the way that we do things. With enableHR, it’s just all there and it’s in the same place every time,” she says.
This consistency has improved the quality of HR management within Hirst’s business and made her feel “more confident” because she has a much clearer methodology to follow.
“You’ve got all the templates there and it gives you guidance on what questions to ask and how to run an interview and templates of communication with potential candidates,” says Hirst.
CFO On-Call has had a valuable jump in productivity as a result of using enableHR. When staff are unhappy because of poor management it undoubtedly costs productivity, Hirst says. “People aren’t working to optimum capacity because they are not being managed correctly.
“As a small business owner, if you are not managing people properly and compliantly, you are leaving yourself very exposed,” says Hirst.
She also stresses the importance of having a mechanism in place for managing work, health and safety within a business, and says she is constantly using enableHR for assistance in this area.
EnableHR is constantly updated by FCB Workplace Law every time there is a change to industrial relations or workplace safety legislation. As an online service there is no need to download updates so businesses using EnableHR are always compliant with Fair Work Australia.
In Hirst’s opinion, the best feature is the comprehensive layout of all the HR documentation. EnableHR includes 100 Q&A based templates, workflows, policies, guides and tools for HR management, WHS and contractor management.
“For any small business that doesn’t have any kind of HR management in place, enableHR basically does it all for you,” she says.
Hirst estimates that the software has saved her 10 hours a year in managing biannual HR reviews, although the benefits are far broader.
“I’ve always done the HR management myself, but for many business owners, if they’re not that way inclined or not that comfortable with the HR management side of things, they have to employ somebody else to do it, or employ a consultant to do it,” Hirst says.
“You still do need a person to drive it, but it certainly reduces the amount of somebody’s time that is required because it’s so easy to follow and so consistent.”
- High-quality forms, templates make HR tasks easier
- All contracts and policies automatically updated to latest legislation
- Standardised processes improve staff management and performance
- Templates for fully compliant work health and safety policies
- Slashed time required to manage HR issues at work
A new service for clients
When engaging with a new client, Hirst and her team at CFO On-Call ask about the client’s main business challenges, with one of the options being staff management.
“Clients often tell us that staff management is one of their key business challenges. If that is a true indication of the issues facing the wider community of small businesses, then using a system like enableHR is a really fantastic and efficient way of overcoming that issue,” she says.
CFO On-Call has also put their CFO partners in Australia and New Zealand in touch with enableHR consultants. If a client has a problem with HR, they put the client in touch with an HR consultant to find ways to improve their workflow.
“I think that any business that employs even one person needs it,” Hirst says.
Digital First case studies are vendor-independent interviews with business owners and are provided to readers as a free service. If you found the information in this case study useful please share it with colleagues and others.