As a charitable membership organisation dedicated to improving child health in the UK, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) works closely within the paediatric community to improve services, activities, policies, and funding.
RCPCH face numerous challenges in common with many charitable organisations: competition for talent, changing legislative and immigration pressures, technological disruption, and changing attitudes to the workplace.
Responding to these challenges, RCPCH have built a comprehensive strategy for HR and organisational development. This strategy is focused on empowering employees across several key themes, including skills, performance, leadership, talent, diversity, and engagement. This supports the core tenet for RCPCH: that everyone is instrumental, irrespective of grade or role, in achieving the vision to transform child health.
Unfortunately, as is the case with many organisations, the People Services Team at RCPCH found themselves hampered by poor technology, with a patchwork of different HR applications suffering from limited integration and a lack of cloud access. The latter issue proved to be particularly damaging, as any updates or maintenance to the system required it to be shut down and left inaccessible, sometimes for a full day or even longer.
For Louise Beauchamp, Director of People at RCPCH, the problems went even deeper: “The user experience was poor: it was clunky and difficult to use, particularly in terms of performance management. The data coming out of it was unreliable – and it would often lose data – it was just not fit for purpose”.
Critically, the system’s poor reliability was undermining employee trust in critical processes.
If RCPCH were going to realise their ambitions and objectives relating to their staff, they would need a solution that could provide accurate data and reporting – a single source of truth for HR, Payroll, and Finance teams, with the flexibility to match their ambitions.
Going out to tender for a new solution, RCPCH had a very clear set of criteria for what they wanted with a new solution.
As Louise Beauchamp recalls, “We were looking for a system that was clear and user-friendly, and it needed to be cloud-based”.
Crucially, they were also looking to partner with an organisation that could build a strong relationship with RCPCH and to develop the system to suit their needs.
“We needed a solution where we could customise the workflows. Key to our ROI was being able to release capacity within our People team, so it was integral that we could make changes to improve our administration.”
With XCD, RCPCH were able to find a customisable solution to fit their needs:
“We asked if there were any limitations to the changes we could make to the system, and the answer from XCD was ‘no’ – none whatsoever”.
XCD pledged to work with RCPCH to make the requisite changes to help ease the burden on their staff. Our specialist consultants worked with the team to understand the nature and objective of their people processes.
This, along with the ease of use of the solution, and the clarity of the data and reporting, saw RCPCH choose to work with XCD following the tendering process, implementing a full digital employee relationship management overhaul, incorporating XCD’s core HR functions, Payroll, Learning, Performance Management and Recruitment through a phased approach.
Improving Diversity & Inclusivity
The people-centric nature of RCPCH’s approach to HR has allowed the team to leverage the data and reporting elements of our employee relationship management solution with great effectiveness, building custom dashboards with over 52 performance indicators being tracked to improve the way RCPCH operate.
Through this, they were able to identify a key area for improvement around diversity and inclusivity:
“We noticed that while we had a lot of staff from black, Asian, and other ethnic minorities in junior roles, we weren’t seeing that mirrored across middle management and senior management positions,” says Louise Beauchamp, “This was clearly an issue; we realised we just weren’t attracting applicants from all backgrounds for these positions. Being able to see this clearly meant that we could tailor our recruitment campaigns specifically to be more inclusive”.
Correcting this over the last 18 months, RCPCH have been proactive in filling more than 25% of their middle management roles with candidates from diverse backgrounds, far exceeding their target for 2022 which stood at 15%.
Surviving the Pandemic
Meanwhile, cloud-based access has proved more important that anyone could have foreseen, with the global pandemic striking during the implementation process.
“If we hadn’t gone with XCD, Covid-19 might have had a much bigger impact on us,” Louise Beauchamp notes, “Having that remote access and self-service for people working from home made a huge difference. Beyond that, being able to report on how long people were out with COVID and whether staff were suffering from long-COVID allowed us to support them much better.”
Another huge benefit was the ability to automate much of the communications and processes around bringing in new staff: “one of the biggest challenges during the lockdown periods was onboarding new joiners. But with XCD automatically sending out emails, making documentation and relevant training materials readily accessible to new staff, and helping us to track what equipment new members would need, it really made it a seamless experience for people joining the organisation.”
The ease of onboarding new staff has also seen RCPCH record steady retention rates during this difficult time: “I think we have had around 85 new members of staff over the last two years, and 99% of those joiners are still with us”.
Transparency is Key
For Louise Beauchamp, one of the key benefits of working with XCD has been transparency, not only in terms of data and reporting, but in terms of working together:
“One of the key advantages to us is working with the Customer Success managers – Emma and Christina – having such close working relationships with both has proved invaluable. We have weekly meetings where we can talk through our issues and work through how to tackle them.”
“The other thing is the customer support in India – people like Imran, Balaji, Deepak – we can raise a ticket and see how it is being progressed.”
“That level of transparency – you just don’t get that with other HR providers.”
For the team at XCD, RCPCH has been an inspirational customer to support. An organisation with a clear core mission and a dynamic, forward-thinking people team, keen to collaborate and feed into our software’s development roadmap.