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Creating the Workplace of Tomorrow: Sydney Swans’ Journey with ELMO Software to Overcome Frustrating HR User Experience.

The Challenges

Manual onboarding processes were time-consuming and inefficient

The onboarding journey for new employees involved too many administrative tasks

The leave request system was outdated and clunky for users, creating queries for the payroll & finance team

Off-the-shelf learning and development wasn’t engaging for employees

Prior to the implementation of ELMO Software, Sydney Swans relied on manual HR processes. There was a lack of synchronicity between the various systems in place, resulting in a frustrating user experience for HR.

For new recruits, their initial onboarding experience was bogged down with administrative tasks and paperwork. The processes created a similar headache for the payroll team, who were on the receiving end of separate forms and reams of data to input into the system.

Scott Dalby, the Swans’ Head of People & Culture, said the prospect of one convergent and streamlined solution to house all their HR and payroll needs was a game-changer.

“One key reason driving us to implement ELMO was trying to create a one-stop shop with all of those various aspects of the employee experience,” he says. “Being able to jump in, to be proactive in staff management, and not have to jump around from system to system.”

From a payroll perspective, Leigh Taylor, Executive General Manager – Finance, said the disjointed nature of their manual processes was adding to his team’s workload.

“Using ELMO has taken away a lot of the inefficiencies in the past where staff would need to come up to the payroll or the finance team to help them with solutions,” he says. “The cloud-based solution lets them do it online 24/7 themselves which makes things a lot more efficient.”

The Benefits

Allowed for tailored learning & development to suit specific needs and drive better engagement

Streamlined the administrative tasks of onboarding which are now completed before a new employee’s first day, freeing up time for more engaging activities such as meeting their team and learning their role

Greatly improved internal controls by completing payroll securely within the ELMO system

Removed inefficiencies for staff needing to amend their personal details or submit leave requests

ELMO’s given us the ability to streamline not only the people and culture and traditional HR elements, but also align those with payroll and bring all of that together.
Scott Dalby
Head of People & Culture at The Sydney Swans

For the Swans, onboarding every recruit into the ethos and feel of the club is crucial. For some players, it’s their first taste of playing at a professional level and that pressure, combined with the expectations of a new team, can be daunting. Dalby says that’s why onboarding, and learning and development, are two key focuses for the HR team.

“From the player wellbeing and development perspective, a really important aspect is making those players, who are often from interstate, feel comfortable in our environment as they become professional athletes for the first time,” he says. “It’s also about ensuring they are developing their skillset outside of football so when their playing days end, they’re able to pursue other careers and interests.”

This belief in continual learning and development helps to nurture staff and players to perform at their very best. But to deliver engaging L&D, the Swans required more than a ready-made package.

“The learning module that we’ve got with ELMO has allowed us to completely brand and tailor the learning product,” Dalby explains. “So rather than having to rely on picking something off the shelf, we’re able to give it a real Swans feel and also tailor the content itself to make sure it’s as relevant as it possibly can be and therefore more engaging for employees.”

Beyond L&D, implementing ELMO has resulted in a more streamlined onboarding process, for both employees and users in the backend. Employees have far greater autonomy to edit their personal information and requesting leave is now a straight-forward, user-friendly process. On the payroll end, the safe and secure ELMO Payroll system has resulted in key internal control improvements, something Taylor says has kept their audit and risk committee “very happy”.

Reflecting on their experience with ELMO, Swans’ CEO Tom Dalby says it’s been a successful venture between the two brands and there’s plenty more to come.

“One of the really exciting things about partnering with ELMO is that it’s a vibrant company that is clearly growing,” he says.

“We transitioned to those platforms through HR and payroll this year to great effect, and we’re looking forward to working with ELMO on whatever the future looks like. I’m sure it’ll be exciting, and we’ll continue to be great advocates for the product.”