How Hershey delivered a personalized employee experience.
By Mike Yeagley
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) was founded in 1927 when Milton S. Hershey elected to separate his chocolate manufacturing operations from his other businesses. With more than 1,600 full-time and 6,300 part- time and seasonal employees, HE&R owns and operates brands such as Hersheypark, Hershey Theatre, and The Hotel Hershey located in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Hershey has been a long-time user of Infor Infinium for financials and human capital management (HCM). Decision-makers recognized the need for a portal through which employees could access Infor Infinium’s self-service functions. In order for employees to fully utilize the open enrollment capabilities of self-service, they would also need access to detailed information about their benefits options. HE&R began searching for a portal that would allow them to customize the type of data displayed on an individual user basis and provide access to human resources information and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We ultimately selected Infor Knowledgebase because the application allowed us to tailor the type of content presented based on the individual employee. Many other vendors claim the ability to do this, but the functionality relies on active directory accounts. We don’t have those for all of our employees, so this software gives us the ability to drive what each user sees without using an active directory process, which was important.
HE&R initially implemented the application in 2007 and upgraded to the latest version in 2013. The company wanted to remain current on the technology in order to leverage the latest developments and benefit from a new, cleaner look and feel. Using the module, HE&R now delivers anywhere, anytime access to critical human resources information, which is customized on an individual user basis. For example, a full-time employee would view different content than a part-time employee, as would a union employee versus a non-union employee. The software also provides HE&R human resources employees with pre-determined templates for how information can be presented, saving time and reducing the amount of development work required to disseminate the data.
Utilizing both Knowledgebase and Infinium gives us the opportunity to achieve seamless integration without the need to seek out a third-party middleware. This will help to further speed our human resources operations by unifying information in one database and reducing the need for manual information entry.
HE&R has also successfully reduced the number of calls to its human resources department by providing employees with direct access to time-sensitive benefits, personal, and payroll information. With one source of the truth for data on everything from insurance to available vacation days, employees no longer have to consult multiple resources and can quickly find answers to queries through the personalized, searchable tool, eliminating the need to directly connect with a human resources representative. HR employees are also encouraged to keep policies up-to-date and conduct reviews on a more regular basis to ensure that presented content is accurate.
After implementation in 2007, HE&R’s human resources department is now completely paperless. Employees can enroll in benefits plans, view payroll history, and update personal information directly through the portal. Managers can also submit promotions and salary changes without the need to fill out time-consuming paperwork. This has helped to significantly speed processes and improve payroll accuracy, as changes are instantaneous with the financials component of Infor Infinium.
Our ultimate goal was to deliver access to personalized HR information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we have successfully achieved that with these applications. Our financial processes have also improved due to the direct impact on payroll.
Moving forward, HE&R plans to implement a learning and training platform, Infor Certpoint Learning Management, to provide employees with access to applicable training alongside existing information in the self-service portal. Managers will also be able to assign and build individual training paths, and track the progress of employees.
Scheduled for completion in July, this latest project will allow HE&R to integrate all three systems, enabling a consistent look and feel, single sign-on access, and creating a complete solution suite that unifies human capital management, training, and financials across the organization.
Mike Yeagley is human resources technology manager for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.