Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of the Sports Direct retailers and Newcastle United Football Club, has been speaking in front of MPs in parliament today over the allegations that he offers staff poor working conditions and pays below minimum wage.
Workers have said that there was a culture of fear which came from the possibility of losing their job, especially under the uncertainty which comes from a zero-hour contract.
Many have complained that they have never felt like they were treated as equals and even one case of a member of staff giving birth in a bathroom as she felt that taking any sick days or maternity leave would hinder her ability to be given shifts and earn money.
Could having an HRIS have saved Mike Ashley? A few of the features of HRIS and HR software maybe could have. Features like; knowing the details of every employee, giving them the option to book their own time off in the time off manager and letting employees see who the relevant senior members of staff who they could speak to about any issues or qualms they have with the workplace.
Shares in Sports Direct have fallen 45% in the past 12 months amid falling sales and a barrage of negative publicity.
HRIS, as reputable as it is, can’t be used to paint over the cracks in the foundations of a bad culture. That has to be done by managers with good communication skills, empathy and HR staff who can identify trouble and act on it quickly.
Zero-hour contracts have shown that they can be mutually beneficial to both employer and employee but that is in a tiny minority of cases. For the majority of cases, zero-hour contracts are detrimental to staff who are trying to earn a consistent wage to support themselves and their family.
If your business has a bad culture and senior members of staff who do not want to change that, HRIS won’t do much for you. If you have all the right intentions, then HRIS software may be the perfect platform for your business to move on to the next level.