Vertas tackles absence with Honeydew – client interview
We recently interviewed HR Business Partner, Kate Harrison, and Senior HR Adviser, Linda Marsh, from Vertas about their experience working with Honeydew.
Vertas is the fastest growing multi-service facilities management company in the eastern region. They have been using Honeydew’s system since November 2014.
Before using Honeydew what were your biggest absence management challenges?
We had no management information from our HR payroll system, so the managers were really working blind. We were actually working six weeks in arrears. The managers didn’t actually have any live data to challenge employees on, and they were challenging on the previous six weeks. It was a bit of a disaster, and we as a business were not providing the right management information for the managers to manage their absence.
Another issue was that we weren’t able to know from the HR payroll system the true cost of absence. We had an estimate of what we thought it was costing the business, but going over to Honeydew we can actually track it all live and come up with the natural costs.
Do you feel absence is being managed better now?
Yes. We’ve got the visibility, it’s live and current, and the managers have access to all of it. Also, it’s made it easier for the managers because the return to work interviews are online. It’s proactive absence management – it’s easy to do, you go online, the data is there, you fill out the form, and then it instantly files it. It’s made the manager’s lives easier than when they were using the more traditional methods.
The triggers and reminders are also great for keeping absence management at the top of mind of the managers. There is no excuse for them not to do it. You’re reminded about it, it’s on your dashboard, it’s easy to do it by going online.
Was the implementation difficult?
Implementation was as smooth as anything. We have experience of other systems, which were very cumbersome to roll out, but the implementation with Honeydew went very very smoothly. You supported us fully and did everything to help us.
LM: I was away on annual leave when we went live and it was seamless. It was fantastic.
Are line managers now more engaged in absence management?
When we did the training sessions, the managers were very receptive to the fact that they were going to be getting live data. Probably the only hindrance is the managers’ familiarity with new IT and the willingness to be prepared to sit down and play with the system. It’s a cultural thing moving away from paper to an online tool. But we think they’ve embraced it, and an absolute selling point of this system is its ease of use. The system makes paper more cumbersome.
How would you rate Honeydew’s service on a scale from 1 to 10?
We’d rate it quite high.
KH: I have to say we’ve been quite demanding and you’ve always been able to come back to us with an answer. We think the system itself is brilliant so we’re going to give it a 9. With minor tweaks to the reports we’ll be ready to give it a 10!