Busy events company uses Cezanne HR to make their employees’ lives easier, through People, Absence and Performance modules

Speaking with John and Kerry from Aztec Event Services, it’s clear that Cezanne HR is much more than an HR administration tool for their business – having the system is an important way for them to invest in their people. Aztec is committed to making the working lives of their employees as easy as possible; Cezanne HR’s Cloud-based self-service HR system aligns well with this goal.

aztec events sound

Aztec is in the events industry, supplying audio-visual equipment and other services out of their London and Barcelona offices. John, the Managing Director and Kerry, the Financial Controller explained how Aztec has been using Cezanne HR to help with general HR administration, as well as absence and performance management.

Aztec has been working with Cezanne HR since 2014 – why did you choose Cezanne HR?

We didn’t have an HR system before Cezanne HR. We were using spreadsheets and saving documents in shared files; but this became unmanageable as our business grew. We also didn’t have a centralised process for HR administration.

So, in 2014 we spoke to Cezanne HR and a few other providers. We liked Cezanne HR systems and their flexibility, and we got a great vibe from the people, too, so we signed up for Cezanne HR’s People, Performance and Absence modules. We created Aztec’s first dedicated HR position around this time, too.

How does Cezanne HR help you with employee engagement?

A lot of our people have very mobile jobs – especially during the busy season for events. So, an HR system that connects our workforce back to ‘home-base’ is really helpful. As a business, we are very committed to finding ways of using IT to help our employees and to make working at Aztec a great experience.

Cezanne HR gives us a repository for our HR-related information. We didn’t want to have to search through documents for data such as contact details – we needed it to all be in one place and easy to find. Using Cezanne HR to solve this need has been revolutionary for us.

The Absence module has transformed how we manage absence in the business. Our employees needed an easy – online – way to see their holiday balances, and to log and request their time off in lieu (TOIL). We previously had a lot of paperwork, with every holiday request on its own paper form and held in a physical folder, and TOIL wasn’t always properly recorded. When employees had a leave query, we used to have to share spreadsheets which wasn’t ideal. Now, it’s all there in the Absence module, making it much easier for staff to view leave, and to query it if they have any concerns. The system’s transparency and ‘ease of use’ is very important to us. We’ve also been able to implement our own TOIL scheme which is great.

We’re very happy with the Performance module, too. When we were ready to set up the appraisals, the Cezanne HR customer support team assisted us in building appraisal forms and training us in how to use the module – this helped us to get our heads around it all very quickly. We now select the relevant appraisal, the appraisee fills in their part, submitting it for their manager’s review, and then it’s considered by both employee and manager and input into the system. As we understood the module more, we were able to use it better, and we’ve ramped up our use accordingly.

COVID-19 has been a very challenging time for the events industry, have you used the system to manage furloughing staff?

We’re hoping to restart face-to-face events in October. But, yes, it’s been a tough time for the industry, and we have had to furlough most of our staff.

We’ve used Cezanne HR a lot for furlough administration. At the beginning of the furlough scheme, we were able to do furlough letters in batches, with a link to the document sent out through the system to our employees. Our employees would download the letter, read it and then e-sign it through Cezanne HR.

As furlough has become more nuanced – with employees furloughed at different times, and flexibility being introduced with part-time furlough, or on/off furlough, over the past months we’ve had to send different letters to different people. This does take longer to manage, but having the system has been and continues to be a godsend in managing the furlough process.

We’ve also found that being able to delegate absence sign-off in Cezanne HR has been really helpful throughout this period. If an employee’s absence needs to be signed off and their usual approver is on furlough, the system allows us to delegate the approval to someone else.

How has the customer support team helped with implementation and ongoing support?

At the point of implementation, Cezanne HR’s customer support team sorted everything out very quickly for us. We were pleased to be able to just get going with the software. The service was always very prompt and helpful when we needed customer support for appraisals.

Whenever we’ve needed help, Cezanne HR has jumped all over it. Email queries are responded to quickly and accurately, and any additional training that we’ve needed on the system has been happily done on the go.

What would you say to someone currently considering Cezanne HR?

When you take on a system that does everything Cezanne HR can do, you achieve a big win! Most businesses are motivated by reducing HR administration and saving time, but the true win with a system like Cezanne HR is that your employees will find it really helpful. Don’t underestimate this as it’s a really big tick for your company.

We’ve found Cezanne HR very easy to use, and if there is ever a concern, the Cezanne HR team take it seriously and are very helpful in resolving it. We also enjoy the annual user group meeting – especially learning about upcoming improvements to the system.

We’re currently looking at the Time module. We’ve been using a standalone product that we then download into spreadsheet reports. We spend a lot of time understanding these spreadsheets alongside other systems including Cezanne HR. We have an office in Barcelona, so complying with Spanish laws concerning working time and lieu days makes managing ‘time’ even more critical for us. We’re looking forward to having time-related admin all in one place with Cezanne HR’s Time module – it will save us many hours of admin work.

Our modus operandi is to use IT to make things easier and more transparent for our employees – having Cezanne HR as our HR system fits in really well with that ethos. We really like the system and we wouldn’t want to be without it now.