• Industry: Education
  • Employees: 4,200
  • Customer since 2010

About the University of Lincoln

The University of Lincoln has established an international reputation based on high student satisfaction, excellent graduate employment and world-class research. It houses more than 14,000 undergraduates and postgraduates from over 100 countries. These students are supported by more than 2,000 core staff, 1,000 claims workers and 1,200 student part-time employees. The University has had a rapid rise through the league tables in recent years and is now firmly established as a Top 50 institution.

The University of Lincoln’s challenge

The University of Lincoln prides itself on being a third-generation university, built on technology. But, in reality, its HR and payroll services did not reflect that vision. Working on several outdated systems, with reams of paperwork to manage, the HR team desperately needed a new solution that could offer flexibility, as well as being able to improve the employee experience and reduce the risk of non-compliance in the face of constant legislation changes.

The Uni’s existing systems were struggling to cope with the pace of change, which included new requirements such as auto-enrollment and RTI compliance legislation. This inflexibility was also making it expensive and time consuming every time a modification needed to be made.

The team’s main aim was to have one integrated system with accurate and easily accessible data, self-service functionality for staff and reporting tools to help managers make more informed decisions.

As Ian Hodson, Rewards and Benefits Manager explains, “the lack of integration we had was incredibly inefficient. If we had a new starter, for example, we’d have to update multiple databases for pay, absences or training. And we didn’t have any self-service options for employees.

“But this was our first HR system upgrade for 12 years so we absolutely had to get it right. We also stuck our necks on the line by saying it would be cost neutral over a five-year period.”

The ResourceLink solution

The HR team wanted a long-term partner, not just a supplier. They selected Zellis as the company with which they felt they could have a ‘real relationship’.

The Uni is using ResourceLink to bring together HR, payroll, absence and training – along with data stored in spreadsheets, such as performance reviews. Self-service functionality is built-in via the MyView portal, so staff can log-in to change their personal details, view payslips, request annual leave and report absences.

Managers also have access to much broader reporting and analytics. “It’s made decision making and performance monitoring much more strategic”, adds Ian. “For example, rather than just having records for 50 interns we can look at patterns. How many of those went on to become managers? What percentage of interns are we managing to keep? We can also quickly see if people are being rewarded appropriately by comparing performance and pay records in one place and can identify whether our well-being initiatives are having a positive impact on absence rates.”

The results

As well as improving efficiency and strategic insight, using ResourceLink by Zellis has also delivered big financial benefits. “We developed a business case which projected that we would save half a million pounds”, says Ian. “With the project delivered on time, and without any hitches, we’re well on our way to achieving that.”

There have also been huge time savings. Payroll processing times have been reduced, the integration of systems has eliminated any duplication and all that time spent printing and distributing payslips and other materials has been cut.

“To say that ResourceLink has changed everything seems like an understatement”, says Ian. “We’ve moved from systems that were holding everybody back to a system that is driving everybody forward.”

The unexpected benefits are all part of the long-term relationship that has been built. Key for Ian and his team is for ResourceLink and MyView to be used across the organisation, so that everyone sees the value in it. Bespoke screens and processes have been developed for gathering and storing data on everything from language capabilities within the University to the issuing of new mobile phones and numbers – where details input directly into the system by the ICT team automatically populate every record for that individual. This alone has saved huge amounts of time and effort.

“The positive impact of ResourceLink has been felt across the University”, says Ian. “For me, the ultimate measure of success is how people have stopped calling it the HR system because they all see it as being their system. Our partnership with Zellis means we’re always moving forward and discovering new benefits for every single department and employee.”