- Why are HR systems like PeopleSoft, HR Digiforms, Webforms, the salary payment system and the Individueel Keuzemodel Arbeidsvoorwaarden (employment conditions selection model) being done away with?
The contract with the current salary payment system provider NorthgateArinso expired in January 2020 (with a two-year extension period). A new European tender was needed and the Executive Board decided that it would be a good time to integrate the different systems into one overarching system. The choice fell on AFAS’ MyHR. According to Annemieke Zonneveld, Head of Human Resources, TU Delft employees expect to use just one portal for all services. “We need to comply with their wish. HR systems need to be efficient and digitised. HR tasks need to be done quickly as they are subordinate to the primary activities of staff members or supervisors.”
- MyHR should have been introduced a year ago (for tax reasons the introduction can only be done on 1 January), but the coronavirus meant that it did not go ahead. How has the extra year helped in the preparations?
Zonneveld explains that last year TU Delft had planned to start with a ‘basic set’ and build on it over time. “In terms of functionality, a lot more is ready now. The test group of 40 TU Delft employees have tested and adjusted more things, we were able to train and inform more people, and we have all the instructions ready for use online,” said Zonneveld. One thing that remains is that not all HR systems can be transferred at the same time. The leave registration and personnel files (not to be confused with the R&D files which will be kept separately) will be done later.
- Other universities that introduced MyHR experienced problems with it. Why was the decision still taken to go ahead with it?
The University of Groningen was the first to start using the software in January 2020. The software had been used by companies for a lot longer. The introduction did have problems. Employees could not find or delegate tasks; their questions were not always answered quickly; HR tasks piled up; and employees lost the overview. A year later the introduction at the Universities of Eindhoven and Twente went more smoothly, even though Eindhoven ‘experienced initial bugs’ and Twente had ‘a lot of questions from staff’ (in Dutch).
Zonneveld sees the benefits to TU Delft of these experiences as the three forerunners “removed a lot of teething problems from the system”. She says that TU Delft has close contact with the universities of Groningen, Twente and Eindhoven to learn from the mistakes made. One example that TU Delft has learnt from them is to give supervisors access to the so-called MyHR assistants. These are management assistants (or secretaries) who now run the personnel affairs in a department. They can agree with the supervisors on issues such as who arranges things like onboarding of new staff members. While one of the reasons for having a system like MyHR is to allow employees to carry out tasks themselves, TU Delft has also learned that supervisors still need to delegate to secretariats.
- It is often said that any change is difficult. What is HR doing to make the changes as easy as possible for employees?
After years of preparation, about 50 people from various TU Delft services will input HR information in the new system between Christmas and the new year. A team will be available from Monday 3 January onwards to help supervisors and other staff members with any questions they may have. Further, there are manuals and answers to question on the intranet.
Zonneveld asks for patience. “We are asking the entire community to let us know if anything does not go well and not to moan about the system. More than 100 people have gone through a highly complicated process of preparation and testing behind the scenes so I hope supervisors carry out their roles constructively. After all, nobody wants to go back to a decentralised, inefficient and paper-based administration system, do they?”