Yorkshire’s most renowned shopping centre prides itself on its quality customer service. It attributes its success to the commitment of the 300+ workforce, so investing in HR Software for managing personnel and staff development was a high priority.
"In the past, every issue related remotely to HR had to come through ourselves, now the line managers can authorise holidays, input any absence, in fact, anything that we authorise them to deal with."
Since opening in 1990, Meadowhall has continued to show strong growth and deliver top commercial results. The entire site, including car parks, covers an area of 2,000 acres within Sheffield’s Lower Don Valley. Within Meadowhall, you can find over 270 stores, restaurants, fast food kiosks and an 11-screen Warner Village Cinema. Meadowhall is within a 60 minute drive time of a staggering 7,500,000 people – equivalent to 1 in 8 of the population of Great Britain. With extended trading hours, and around 300 employees, it is not surprising that the shopping centre seeks to create and implement quality IT systems in support of its HR activities.
Employing in excess of 300 employees over the site in many roles from cleaners to senior management, Meadowhall prides itself on its quality customer service. Over the years, Meadowhall has received numerous national and international awards for excellence in many areas. The organisation recognises that only motivated, trained and well-managed staff can achieve this quality service. For this reason, Meadowhall employs a human resource management team, which looks after everything from attendance through to appraisal and employee development. Meadowhall had a bespoke Microsoft Access management system in place, which the HR team found difficult to use, out of date and limiting in its ability to easily deliver information in the formats required.
Meadowhall had a series of demonstrations from potential suppliers, including Cascade. As an Investor in People, Meadowhall was looking for a complete HR system, with training functionality a key component. All the software systems held the same personnel details, but when it came to the training side, they found that other vendors did not even entertain the idea of a training module. It was only Cascade that could help.
After conducting an initial search, Meadowhall drew up a detailed ‘problem’ specification sheet and also a draft requirements criteria sheet. This included items such as watertight security, easily maintainable data, entry of equal opportunities information, absence entry, the set-up of training needs for each individual and an auto-reminder email to check everything had been established for training and meetings etc. The facility to print full data to comply with the Data Protection Act was also important, as individual employees made frequent requests for information.
All four core modules were purchased, consisting of Personnel, Training, Recruitment and the intranet.
Initially, Meadowhall piloted the intranet within the IT team but the personnel system ran from day one. Once any little issues had been ironed out, the intranet was rolled out operationally to one team at a time.
The implementation and training was adapted to Meadowhall’s requirements. The shopping centre had a lot of ongoing projects and so the training was delivered at various times to accommodate Meadowhall’s HR and organisational needs.
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