Two leading wild animal parks in Kent, set up by the late John Aspinall are a home to rare and endangered species. Among the animals which they look after are the magnificent Atlas Lion (now extinct in the wild), the endangered black rhinoceros and the UK’s largest herd of African elephants.
Whilst nobody would ever dare to try persuading a lion to clock in, or allow him to clock out of the park (!) different rules apply to the park workforce.
Back in 2009, their HR team were growing increasingly frustrated with their existing clock-in, HR and payroll applications. These dated and cumbersome systems were struggling to cope with the 350 keepers, service and support staff employed at the parks. Crucially, the fact that these systems were separate led to hours of unnecessary entry and re-entry of data for the HR team. In addition, the ‘staff had really lost faith’ in the setup. For these reasons, the HR department started looking for an integrated employee management solution that would allow them to ‘track attendance, cut down on the time consuming data entry and dispense with the handwritten reports.’
Eventually, they opted for our integrated T&A, HR and Payroll system, along with the Mitrefinch Time Allocation System (TAS), which allowed them to allocate workers against tasks and track costs. The new system proved immediately effective, reducing staff lateness and needless administration almost overnight. The TAS allowed the HR team to plan future rosters in line with staffing needs.
A year on from the installation, the park management is in a far better situation as regards keeping track of staff hours, wages and leave – either annual or lieu. Most Managers have embraced the changes and are using the system to keep track of staff movements and budgets. With so many departments and two parks to keep track of, this system has made a positive difference to those in HR and wages.
A spokesperson for the parks, Annaliese Bush commented: ‘Whatever I am requested to do on the system, I know that I can always call the Helpdesk team and receive a solution to my problems. They never leave a problem unresolved, even calling long after the initial phone call to ensure that everything is working properly.’