How Chester Zoo is designing an employee-centric future with SD Worx
Chester Zoo is the UK’s most visited zoo. Home to 35,000 extraordinary animals and over 500 members of staff who share one thing in common - working all hours of the day and night to ensure the zoo is an inspirational and enjoyable place to be and to work in.
Chester Zoo is no stranger to fluid working, they are proficient in balancing full-time permanent staff with seasonal and contingent workers, students and a variety of shift patterns. This means they need tight controls over time and attendance for accurate pay data and reporting, but they wanted a solution that would empower their managers to have more control and to be able to make employee changes more easily.
Designing the right in-person experience is imperative when visitors come for a day out, but Chester Zoo also understands the importance of cultivating a unique digital experience for its employees too. That's why they are dedicated to developing their employee experience through their digital HR solutions.
In 2020 Chester Zoo started the transition from Kronos to SD Worx Workforce Management. Chester Zoo had already been using SD Worx’s Payroll and HR solution and were looking for a workforce management offering that would easily integrate.
As SD Worx was developing its workforce management solution, Chester Zoo had the opportunity to shape the implementation process which took 6 months in total.
“It was a learning curve for us all.” Chester Zoo’s Payroll Manager Andrew Williams commented. “We did lots of testing and got to the bottom of any issues before we went live. We asked the team questions and they’d either have the answers, and if they didn’t, they’d find an answer. This helped them create a template for the next customer in the UK.”
Chester Zoo worked in an agile environment with the SD Worx team and their implementation consultant. Even after the solution was live, Chester Zoo and SD Worx had regular conversations to ensure the solution was tailored to them. “We have a good relationship and work with SD Worx to adapt the solution to our needs. In fact, we even spoke about absence calculations and average holiday pay changes just today.” Andrew said.
Benefits & Impact
The integration with Workforce Management, HR and Payroll from SD Worx has reduced data duplication and human errors caused by manual inputting. But it’s also driving the employee experience. We live in a digital world where employees are used to high levels of digital maturity throughout their personal lives – and expect the same from their working lives too.
“Before we used paper for annual leave forms, but now staff can submit absences on their desktop computer or mobiles. They can clock in and clock out on their phones. They have different options to suit them.” Andrew said.
“It’s our goal to make managers more autonomous and allow them to manage their team without intervention from Payroll or HR. Visibility of the staff you manage is very important, and a digital solution has really helped that.” Andrew continued.
As Chester Zoo prepare to bring staff back to work after flexi-furlough, they are in a strong position with more accurate data and reporting and an improved digital experience for their employees.