Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen digitizes its employee data in one easy-to-manage digital personnel file

Jul 08, 2021
  • Microsoft
  • SAP

Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen falls under the umbrella of the Belgian Red Cross, which is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. As an independent voluntary-sector organization, it’s their mission to defend the interests of vulnerable people at home and abroad, be proactive in emergency-management, most notably by organizing blood supplies, and care for vulnerable individuals in general. In order to make their HR processes more efficient and streamline their mix of activities, regions and employee profiles, Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen partnered with delaware to create a centralized and easy-to-manage digital personnel file.

A diverse and ever-changing health care organization

In general, the health sector has to deal with a number of challenges on a daily basis, apart from dealing with global pandemic. Talent shortages, the generally low appeal and the high work pressure pose some difficult obstacles to overcome for many health care organizations. This is also the case for Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen, as it combines operational excellence with innovative scientific research in a continuously changing environment.

In this context, Wouter Verheyden, HR project manager at Rode Kruis-Vlaanderen, tries to anticipate the HR situation of tomorrow: “The evolving needs of our employees and volunteers, the complexity of our company structure and the diversifying of our employee profiles make our HR work circumstances very challenging. That is why we were looking for a better way to digitally manage our personnel files so we could focus on our core tasks and care responsibilities.”

Increased efficiency through automation of HR processes

The first main challenge for Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen was to increase the efficiency of its HR processes. Due to the varying nature of their employee base, the classic front and back office was insufficient to follow-up on recruitment, onboarding, career guidance, performance flows and many other tasks. “This was our main driver to develop an integrated system to oversee all these HR efforts, manage them online ourselves or give our colleagues access to deal with these tasks themselves”, Lien Cools, Payroll Administrator at Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen, explains.

Another goal was to streamline the filing of HR documents and personnel files and avoid manual errors. “This would improve the quality of our documentation”, Wouter mentions, “and result in an automatic filing system, which would contain any necessary documents for the GDPR-mandated period of 10 years.” This automatic system would then replace all the different HR portals of Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen with one central platform that would house all the personnel information in one place.

The digital personnel file: automatic integration between SuccessFactors and SharePoint Online

The solution for these challenges was developed in a close colaboration between the HR and IT teams at Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen and the delaware Digital Workplace team. An integration between SuccessFactors and SharePoint Online was chosen as the preferred technology for the digital personnel file. The main reason for this was that the existing SharePoint platform could be leveraged with minimized costs. Together, the teams created one SharePoint page per employee and linked it automatically to all the personnel data in SuccessFactors.

This SharePoint and SuccessFactors hybrid page acts as a hub for multiple HR processes. It performs six essential HR tasks:

  1. It automatically creates a structured employee file, with the correct access rights, when a new employee is onboarded in SuccessFactors.
  2. It automatically transfers uploaded documents in SuccessFactors to the employee file, even those that were added during the recruitment phase.
  3. It automatically files documents generated in SuccessFactors, e.g. when a contract is signed manually, scanned and uploaded to SuccessFactors. The implementation also includes the option to add barcodes to specific types of documents, so they can be recognized and filed more easily.
  4. It collects non-identified scanned/digital personnel documents in a centralized drop-off folder where HR colleagues can review and assign them to a specific employee. Afterwards, these documents are also automatically added to the digital employee file.
  5. It manages the lifecycle of personnel data with respect to GDPR-compliance and controls which manager has access to these documents.
  6. And finally, it offers easy search and filter options so the employee, HR or the manager can quickly track down the HR documents they’re looking for.

“The implementation of the SharePoint-based employee file went quite smoothly and was delivered on time and within budget,” Lien recounts, “even though the integration with SuccessFactors was very complex. But thanks to frequent testing and feedback exercises, we managed to solve any errors fast and efficiently.” Wouter agrees: “I was positively surprised by the broad SharePoint knowledge of the delaware consultants, who understood our business requirements completely, and could offer us great ad hoc solutions when we were stuck on a problem.”

Improved employee experience

As luck would have it, the implementation of the digital employee file at Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen was finished right before the pandemic of 2020 hit. And so, it could immediately prove its worth as the HR-department and many other of the organization’s 1,500 employees had to start working from home full-time. Lien: “Especially assigning documents from home was a real time-saver, just as the possibility to access your personnel file from anywhere, at any time.”

“The ease-of-use of the digital employee file was an important step for Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen in improving their employee experience”, clarifies Serge Desaranno, Manager of the Digital Workplace team at delaware. “It also proved to be a great advantage for the HR department, as they could now consult employee files, attachments and comments from their home work space.” Filing contracts has become more efficient as well. Since the go-live, more than 400 new employees have received a new contract, and an equal amount of contracts of existing employees have been easily changed through this new platform.

Serge: “These benefits already saved a lot of time and effort for the HR department at Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen. When you compare the current workload with the situation before, we have increased the HR’s efficiency with 0.25 FTE, resulting in a full return of investment in five years.” Lien and Wouter are equally pleased with these numbers and hope to get everyone at Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen on board soon: “We even received positive feedback from a colleague in Africa, who was delighted that they could access their digital employee file abroad as well.”

What’s next?

“Our next step is to educate our colleagues and managers on how to use the new personnel file to its full potential”, Wouter explains. “We are currently looking to create various e-learnings to inform and engage at Rode Kruis - Vlaanderen. Next on the technological agenda is the addition of barcodes to even more of our templates, and the introduction of a digital signature to further streamline our signing process."

“In the near future, we would also like to add an onboarding module to SuccessFactors and link it with SharePoint Online as well”, Lien adds. “Now, recruitment documents such as application letters and resumes are manually added to SuccessFactors and linked to SharePoint. When this integration is complete, we should be able to file every onboarding document, from train pass applications to company phone choices. Then we will truly have a complete overview of all our employee data in one place.”

Looking streamline your HR processes and manage your personnel files from one central and easy-to-manage portal? Contact Serge Desaranno for more information.

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