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NZ DOC uses HRSD on the Now Platform
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Transforming employee experience to deliver better outcomes


Productivity increase in payroll case allocation


Improvement in time for first contact resolution


Hours saved in administration time over the next 12 months


Ensuring staff wellbeing is top priority
With 17 prisons and 100 community sites spread across various geographic locations, New Zealand’s Department of Corrections (Corrections) focuses on helping 8,000 prisoners and 30,000 offenders reintegrate into the community through rehabilitation programs. Corrections works with a massive variety of organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in New Zealand, to help offenders find work when they leave the prison and successfully reintegrate back into society.

To achieve this, Corrections needed a strong human resource strategy to deliver fast and safe practices that ensured the wellbeing of staff, so they could focus their time and energy on the individuals they manage.

Corrections manages 17 prisons as well as probation and rehabilitation services, and employs around 10,000 people – including nurses, psychologists, case managers, corrections officers, and probation specialists – to work with people serving sentences. It is essential that staff members have the time and capacity to focus on their critically important work: changing the lives of people in their management by putting them on a better trajectory for their future.

Deirdre Monaghan, People Operations Director at Corrections who is responsible for payroll, HR, assessment qualification, and service improvement, says, “Staff should not be worried about the HR process or if their HR needs are being met. Our strategy is to free up employees’ time to focus on the things that really matter and deliver high value for New Zealand as a whole.”

Delivering a consistent and transparent employee lifecycle experience
Previously, Corrections had several challenges in managing HR processes with extensive use of emails and spreadsheets. With such manual processes, it was difficult for the HR team to predict demand, analyze the types of queries employees made, and see how well they were responding to them. Employees were also unclear of where to go or what they needed to do if they had HR issues like payroll or expense claims. Prisons and community sites across regions also operated with slightly different HR models, creating inconsistencies across Corrections.

Deirdre elaborates, “One site might have filled in a specific paper form whereas another site used email instead. That could lead to five or six back and forth correspondences to capture the right information.”

With improving employee experience a top priority for Corrections, it implemented ServiceNow HR Service Delivery and Automation Engine while combining eight teams into one People Hub. ServiceNow helped digitalize ten core processes across the employee lifecycle – including internal staff movements, payroll, learning administration, onboarding, and offboarding – to provide the efficiency, consistency, and visibility needed to improve services so employees can focus on what matters most: helping people in Corrections’ management.

HR Service Delivery also provides employees an intuitive platform named Awhina via Employee Center, for employees to reach out to the HR team and receive faster responses.

“By digitalizing 70% of the lower complexity, higher volume HR transactions with ServiceNow, we can process 60 payroll cases in 20 minutes instead of just 20 cases. That’s a massive 200% increase in the productivity of case allocation,” says Deirdre. “In addition, the case completion rate for payroll queries has increased to 94% from 68% before implementation.

“If we hadn’t moved our payroll team to ServiceNow it would have been very difficult to manage remote payroll without the visibility and understanding of who’s got each case,” Deirdre explains. “This has resolved the communication issue that we had around who has what information. With ServiceNow, we are able to triage it through a central point.”

Knowledge articles also enable employees to quickly find the answers they need, deflecting potential calls or emails to the HR team. In just a few months, Corrections had 705 views of knowledge articles with 96% of employees finding them helpful. This has resulted in a 75% improvement in first contact resolution rates. Regional HR teams now have more time to focus on strategic tasks like talent mapping and succession planning, rather than administration work.

Greater visibility and a seamless agent experience is also reducing the time needed to manage end-to-end claims. In the past, employees spent on average almost 15 minutes per mileage claim request and then it took 16 days to complete the request. With ServiceNow, it only takes two minutes per request, and it is completed within six days. Duration for eyewear expense claims was also reduced from 11 days to five.

Deirdre explains that previously, a huge number of forms were repeatedly being scanned, sent, and printed. As many of these forms could contain personal details, Corrections needed to improve the security of this sensitive information.

“Using case management within ServiceNow HR Service Delivery helps us ensure the right documents are filed correctly for employee records and comply with Personnel Security requirements.”

NZ DOC logo right
New Zealand Department of Corrections
New Zealand Department of Corrections
Wellington, New Zealand

Our strategy is to free up staff time so they can focus on the things that really matter.

Deirdre Monaghan

People Operations Director


Bringing business and technology together seamlessly
Together with ServiceNow, Corrections undertook a product review on various factors including ease of use, visibility, security, and efficiency, and ServiceNow scored many positive use cases and met most of its business requirements. “Many of our colleagues across government reported a great deal of value using ServiceNow HR Service Delivery,” says Deirdre.

Corrections started off with payroll and then moved other HR functions, such as expense claims, learning and development, and onboarding and offboarding in stages to ServiceNow. The initial implementation was completed on time and within budget.

“Our partners know what they are doing. We were impressed with their skills of bringing the business and the technology together,” says Deirdre. “They also guided us to deliver best practice and become more sustainable, we are so glad that they were our chosen partner.

“We were also impressed with ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box features and configurability, enabling us to avoid a lot of customization. ServiceNow has been great to work with. That is critically important because there is a safety component in the nature of the work we do.”

Corrections has also upgraded to ServiceNow HR Service Delivery Enterprise to leverage some of the advanced feature sets, such as analyzing trends across case management, tasking for workflows, digitalizing letter and signature processes, and using Lifecycle Event Builder to continually drive better experiences for staff.

“Having ServiceNow HR Service Delivery on the same platform with IT Service Management (ITSM) gives us the agility to continuously improve what we do and meet changing business demands,” says Deirdre.

Managing COVID response quick and effectively
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic was complex for Corrections due to the nature of its work and the relatively small prison spaces. Corrections needed an environment that staff could easily ask questions or make requests for leave or personal protective equipment.

With assistance from Deloitte, Corrections deployed a product called ‘DeloitteRESOLVE’ on the ServiceNow platform in just four days, where employees can submit COVID-19 related requests via the portal. This allows the HR team to take in all requests and triage them to the relevant parts of the organization. The portal enables Corrections to track which requests have been responded to, how many need to be completed the next day, or any urgent input required. During the pandemic, Corrections was able to manage around 800 inquiries effectively and the service for COVID-19 response continues to be available today.

Digitalizing end-to-end assessment and qualification processes
Learning and development also play a vital role for Corrections. They design and provide training programs such as the Certificate in Offender Management to new hires working in the prison environment. To ensure the training is aligned to the standards of New Zealand Qualification Authority, a team of assessors needs to sign off the readiness and capability of up to 700 employees at any one time.

 By digitalizing the end-to-end assessment and qualification process with ServiceNow HR Service Delivery, Corrections can easily map the right training unit against individuals and track their qualification progress, such as how many assessments are scheduled or overdue. It also provides the insight to HR teams about the workload for assessors to determine if additional support is required. This visibility helps ensure employees can complete their assessments in a timely manner. For example, if a learner is not progressing through their qualification pathway, Corrections can reallocate resources to support that learner in a more effective way. 

“Qualifications are linked to people's pay rises and at the same time ServiceNow HR Service Delivery is helping to lift capability faster across Corrections. This means our staff are able to demonstrate their capabilities and skills which in turn ensures safety and productivity in their workplaces,” explains Deirdre.

With ServiceNow, Corrections can also quickly generate and deliver reports to the industry training organization that helps to process qualifications, and ServiceNow workflows have replaced the previously manual process of entering training details into spreadsheets and sharing them via email.  

Corrections has also just started using ServiceNow HR Service Delivery to manage its Accident Compensation and Claims (ACC) process through the payroll system. Historically, the calculation for each claim involved up to 25 steps. With ServiceNow HR Service Delivery, Corrections can now bulk upload claims to Access and automatically kick off calculations, driving efficiency and minimizing the risk of human error.

Slashing over 10,000 hours in administration time
Typically, on-premises software can be expensive and time consuming to configure, which prevents agility and continuous improvement. However, with ServiceNow, Corrections can easily configure applications to meet their unique and critical needs.

 “We knew that we needed a technological solution to make our processes easier.  We just needed to be clear on what we want to achieve,” Deirdre explains.

 Through automating key steps on the employee lifecycle, Corrections expects to save almost 10,500 hours – or 438 days – in administration time over the next 12 months alone. This includes 6,500 hours in onboarding and offboarding requests and almost 4,000 hours in processing other requests, such as resignation, secondments or position management.

 Deirdre concludes, “Corrections will be adding lots of feature sets and we are continuing to improve the process of delivering those self-service moments that we must get right for our people. That is absolutely where ServiceNow can help us.”

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