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January 31, 2023
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Stonewater completes HR and payroll project with MHR

National social housing provider Stonewater has undertaken extensive revisions of the company’s HR and payroll functions together with Nottingham-based MHR.

Since its creation from the merger of housing associations Raglan and Jephson in 2015, Stonewater, which employs over 750 people and supports over 65,000 customers coping with 31,500 homes, has embarked for an extensive programme of change to drive its business performance and deliver value for money to aid its ambitious programme of providing 2,765 new homes by 2021.

Jenny Sawyer, HR Director at Stonewater says: “Confronted with an approximate economy plus the pressures of continuing welfare reform, it is very important that we maximise the price of our resources and adopt more digital techniques of getting work done in order to drive efficiency savings which we could reinvest in customer services and our housing development programme.

“We inherited multiple legacy systems pursuing the merger, and then to meet our company needs that it was clear we required an important overhaul of the HR ways to support our short and long-term strategic aims. We have been hoping to improve our digital functionality, with greater efficiency, and systems that had been less labour intensive and dear to maintain and support.”

MHR carried out a wide strategic writeup on Stonewater’s HR and Payroll systems to spot regions of the in-house HR function that is optimised via its hosted iTrent and outsourced payroll services.

This included the digitalisation and automation of core work streams as an element of Stonewater’s move towards a ‘digital by default’ model and ‘always on’ culture.

Following the review, MHR started a three-phase transformation programme in November 2015.

Phase among the implementation project, which went are in 2016, included the migration of employees with the existing legacy system to iTrent as well as a single payroll solution, together with the introduction of latest costing rules to compliment the implementation of MS Dynamics for that finance department, along with the introduction of the new reporting system, Business Objects.

Phase a couple Stonewater’s transformation programme went live throughout 2017 and centred on improving data security and digitising employee-centric functions including online recruitment, employee on-boarding and Learning & Development.

The phase included as well the adoption of Enable Now – a wide tool that gives the benefit to develop bespoke training materials to compliment the change in system upgrades, enabling employees to access learning modules anytime.

The third and final phase within the development, to generally be introduced later this season as well as in 2019, includes improvement best practice for Contract Variations plus the automation of key HR methodologies for Absence & Attendance and Discipline & Grievance.

Jenny Sawyer adds: “The iTrent device is the engine on the HR department, enabling colleagues and managers to offer the management control, accurate reporting as well as visibility we’d like while empowering our workforce to look at ownership within their deal with self-service functionality.

“Consistent and streamlined digital processes across all aspects of HR and Payroll has cut down tremendously how much labour intensive workloads producing more value-added work. Automation with the payroll process, in particular, has reduced how many people instructed to undertake manual corrections and calculate costing post payroll runs.

“Meanwhile, the adoption of recent recruitment and methods of training means we’re able to boost the experience of applicants and employees, increasing our ability to attract and offer the best talent. This supports our resolve for delivering exceptional customer care as well as a ‘first choice’ employer.

“MHR’s strategic knowledge and technical expertise has become invaluable, and their support helps fast-track the ‘development’ and transition individuals HR and Payroll services to your digital delivery system that benefits all stakeholders.”

Anton Roe, Founder at MHR comments: “We’re delighted to have supported Stonewater through their transformation journey.

“The transformation project at Stonewater is a perfect instance of how getting work done in collaboration with your strategic team, organisations can adopt new ways of working and innovate their HR strategies to deliver business improvements, keep costs down and meet the expectations of their people and customers.”

MHR can be a specialist provider of integrated HR and Payroll services to your great number of housing associations through the UK, who collectively employ over 70,000 employees, helping these to boost their internal people processes to allow them to focus on delivering high quality housing services to customers.

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