Falling short on employee on and offboarding can be damaging to mining companies

14-Mar-2013 13:22:28

With the South African mining industry so tightly-regulated, particularly in terms of Health and Safety, controlling the onboarding and offboarding of employees and suppliers is a critical business need.

Yet, while all mining companies have well-thought out and documented processes for managing employee and supplier lifecycles, many don’t have the controls in place to ensure that these processes are strictly adhered to.

“The consequences of ineffective management of employee and supplier lifecycles can be hugely-damaging for mining companies. Consider the impact of equipment not being serviced when they should be, people operating machines they aren’t correctly trained or licensed to use, or personnel not being informed and obligated to follow the safety procedures associated with their jobs.

“The best way to ensure that policy and processes pertaining to the onboarding and offboarding of people are enforced is to use technology,” says Jacques Wessels, the CEO of FlowCentric technologies which develops agile Business Process Management (BPM) solutions for companies in various industries, including the mining sector.

For companies in a lot of industries, onboarding extends beyond the recruitment process and offboarding goes beyond resignation procedures. The mining sector is one of them.

Onboarding for a mining company goes beyond recruitment and giving the new employee an access card to the premises. Every new employee must be evaluated against the company’s requirements for the position they’re employed for. For instance, do they have the appropriate certification or qualifications? Have their qualifications expired? Are they skilled to operate the machinery they are going to be required to use?

Various documents must also be submitted or filled in for company records. Are there processes in place to ensure that the all the relevant documentation is in place?

Criteria not met must be addressed through necessary actions, such as whether employees need to undergo training or medical testing. The employee’s level of access to equipment and assets, company systems and IT must also be established and the necessary passwords, access cards and other authentication systems must be authorised. Then, if orientation or induction to the business is a requisite, are there processes in place to ensure that the new employee has undergone the necessary programmes? What checks are in place to ensure that due diligence when welcoming a new employee has been followed?

“With most positions, there are also key performance indicators and personal development plans that must be established and the employee’s performance and development must be continuously measured against these. Trying to manage the entire lifecycle of thousands of employees manually is open to neglect or error, which in turn opens up the company to a host of risks, including legal liability,” says Wessels.

According to him, companies in all sectors are losing money through inadequate offboarding of employees. Without controls in place to guide the process, former employees leave the premises on their last day of work in possession of company assets such as laptops and phones, keys, access cards, credit cards and company information.

By automating the offboarding process, he says companies in all sectors, including mining, can have the necessary checks in place to ensure that loss of revenue doesn’t occur when an employee resigns.

“Our solution ensures all assets are returned, email accounts cancelled, logins and various methods of access to company information and premises are terminated on the required date. Escalations and notifications are triggered when tasks fall behind their due date,” he says.

Wessels explains that FlowCentric’s Human Resources solution and Extended Business Solutions Pack are flexible tools for assisting mining companies in managing both employees and contractors lifecycles. They can be easily tailored to specific company rules and requirements, and to comply with legislation pertaining to the mining industry.

Automating onboarding and offboarding processes has numerous benefits including:

  • Ability to enforce company policies that were previously neglected.
  • Ability to enforce compliance with processes around employee induction, training, KPIs, personal development plans, systems permissions and access to assets.
  • Ability to check and enforce compliance with certification and qualification specifications.
  • Automated routing of leave application to the correct supervisor and manager for approval and recommendation.
  • Increased management control over company leaver policies.
  • Reduced security risks surrounding employee exit processes.
  • Significant time saving resulting from completed and non-duplicated information, with the necessary authorisation checks.
  • System-based enforcement of business rules, including governmental leave policies such as PILIR (Policy and Procedure on Incapacity Leave and Ill-Health Retirement).
  • The automation of a unique process requiring signing off employees leaving the company.

Topics: Insider

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