Process simplicity and data access is transformational for British Heart Foundation

“Because Workday removes time-consuming admin, our retail employees can now focus on what really matters—raising funds for critical cardiovascular research.”—Kerry Smith, Chief People Officer, British Heart Foundation

Easy access to real-time information and communications

Less admin means more customer interaction

A clear focus for developing talent and new capabilities

Ensures workforce benefits from digital flexibility

The British Heart Foundation is a major funder and authority in pioneering medical research, education and care related to heart and circulatory diseases. A large and widely respected UK charity, it funds well over £100m of research each year covering different heart diseases and related conditions such as strokes, vascular dementia and diabetes. It also provides an invaluable knowledge pool of research findings and statistics concerning the effects, prevention, treatment, costs and causes of heart and circulatory diseases.

The charity has continued to grow in stature and significance since its formation in 1961 and its research has had a profound impact on the lives of millions of people affected by heart and circulatory diseases. Today, it is funding over 1,000 research projects a year. It also has the UK’s largest network of charity shops, with three- quarters of the charity’s 4,000 staff working in over 750 High Street retail outlets around the country.

The success of the British Heart Foundation owes much to its dynamic culture and innovative fundraising activities. A comprehensive digital transformation program has added further impetus to this progressive approach. The introduction of Workday, for example, has simplified administrative tasks and provided the retail workforce with the convenience of fingertip access to real-time digital information.

Retailers now have all the information they need on their mobile phones 

Onerous administrative processes and procedures were proving to be problematic and very time-consuming for the British Heart Foundation’s retailers. The introduction of Workday has changed all of that.

“Delivering great customer service and enthusing and training staff to deliver effective great fundraising outcomes are what matter the most,” says Kerry Smith, the charity’s Chief People Officer. “Navigating different systems and completing a long list of administrative duties was not only compromising productivity and efficiencies, but also staff morale. Around 90% of our retailers are now using the mobile app to access the information they need and this really has made all the difference.”

Retailers are now using the mobile app to access real-time information such as timesheets, annual leave bookings and absence records whenever required. It is also providing finger-tip access to other important tools and communications to make their jobs easier and more effective. Retailers are now able to spend more time on the shop floor interacting with customers and raising funds for the charity rather than doing administration in the back office. And with insightful feedback from Peakon surveys, decisive steps have also been taken to give staff a real sense of belonging and to establish closer connection with colleagues in all areas of the organisation.

The impact of Workday has been quite phenomenal. It has made the working lives of our retailers so much easier, more fulfilling and far more productive.

Kerry Smith, Chief People Officer, British Heart Foundation

Rising to the challenges of a talent and skills scarcity with real confidence 

The British Heart Foundation is also using Workday to define and assess existing skills within its workforce as it fine tunes its talent strategy. This is enabling the charity to determine any current skills gaps within the organisation and to develop a clear plan of action for growing and developing the right skills and capabilities for the future.

“As we face up to the many challenges posed by a scarcity of talent and skills, we need to understand the capabilities we currently have in a much deeper way than we ever have before,” says Kerry Smith, the charity’s Chief People Officer. “That’s why we’re now using Workday to help us develop a comprehensive Skills Cloud where individuals can be really proud of the skills they upload, the skills they gain and have a clear view of the many opportunities for gaining new skills. I feel sure this will not only help to show all staff that we are committed to their skills and career development but will also help us to maximise staff retention in the years ahead.”

Having the right tools to move forward with purpose at all times

The potential benefits of AI are of great interest to the British Heart Foundation. Workday is helping the charity to elevate the quality, strength and value of its data so the charity can make full use of the software’s AI advancements.

A good example is the way the organisation is now looking to use Workday’s embedded AI and ML capabilities to connect and analyse skills data alongside performance data. In a similar way, AI will continue to enhance operational efficiencies by removing repetitive and time-consuming administrative tasks. This will free up even more time for staff to be innovative and creative when looking for future sources of funding and income.

“We want to ensure the quality of data in our performance reviews and performance conversations is aligned with skills and capabilities data,” adds Kerry Smith, the charity’s Chief People Officer. “This will pinpoint where future skills gaps may arise and what new training initiatives may be required. It will also help to identify those individuals who are ready for promotion, a new role or further skills development.”

“Having a single source of truth with such a depth of functionality opens so many new doors and opportunities. The additional insight and efficiency gains have been remarkable. Certainly, it has proved to be a game-changer for us. And giving digital flexibility to your people is a very positive and popular move for organisations of all types and sizes.”

Workday is an essential strategic partner for the British Heart Foundation. The software has proved transformational and it’s great to be working with a company that shares our future-focused philosophy.

Kerry Smith, Chief People Officer, British Heart Foundation

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