Fosters Family Funeral Directors logo

Fosters Family Funeral Directors

100 to 200 employees

Funeral services

“Natural HR is on my screen from 9 to 5, all day, every day! Basically, everything you need as an HR professional is within the system.”

Chloe Jordan, HR AdvisorFosters Family Funeral Directors

Introduction

Fosters Family Funeral Directors provides assistance to families that are arranging a funeral for a loved one. Priding themselves on their personalised, award-winning services; Fosters has parlours throughout Scotland.

As part of the Independent Family Funeral Directors group of companies, Fosters is just one of the three businesses that sit under the umbrella of Independent Family Funeral Directors. This also includes Paisley Woodside Crematoria with two chapels and peaceful gardens for families to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones.

With 108 employees based in funeral parlours across the Scottish mainland, the company has ambitious growth plans for the year ahead.

The Challenge

Chloe Jordan is the HR Advisor at Fosters Funeral Directors and joined the business as its first HR employee in 2018. With over a hundred employees across 18 locations throughout Scotland and no incumbent HR system, the lack of a central location for all employee records and files became increasingly challenging.

She explains: “We have sites all over Scotland, and there wasn’t one central location for all of our HR files. At the time, each company had one location where everything was stored so that involved the HR team collating all the data that we could find. A lot of it was kept in filing cabinets.

“The struggle that we had was that we didn’t know if that was all of the data, it was a paper-based system, and things go missing. We didn’t know what we had and what we didn’t have. We weren’t up to speed with the terms and conditions that applied to each different employee, including roles, locations and salaries.

“From a legal perspective, we weren’t actually sure how legally compliant the company was at that point.”

As the team battled through the arduous task of collating all of their HR data from across multiple sites, they quickly looked to software to streamline and facilitate the simple management of their employees: “We wanted something that would bring everything together and one system that did it all.”

The Solution

As the HR team grew, the need for a system became increasingly apparent. Chloe explains how their search for an HR system began in earnest: “We started looking at all the products and services that were in the market that we could potentially use and matching one to our business. It was almost like we were doing an interview with each company!

“We sifted through which system was best for us, what suited us, the technicalities it could provide us with and gradually shortened our list down to three providers, including Natural HR.”

Conscious of their lofty growth plans, the team at Fosters looked for a system that could grow as they did: “If you’re going to scale and grow the business, the system has to grow with you, and this was one of the main factors that we had in mind when choosing a system.”

In the final throes of their decision-making process, a few key factors contributed to their decision to purchase Natural HR: “Picking the right system was critical for our business. Knowing that Natural HR was in the UK, we’d have round the clock support and we were given so much information about what the system could offer us were some of the main factors we had in mind when selecting a system.”

The Benefits

Having made their decision to introduce Natural HR into the business, the HR team at Fosters Funeral Directors enlisted the help of an internal project manager to help with the implementation process. “Our project manager dealt with a lot of the timescales and worked alongside Natural HR’s implementation manager to make sure we were submitting all the data as and when required. As an HR team, we worked on the collation of the data to upload into the system. We gathered all of the data together and worked through it in a logical sequence to collate and upload all of the personal information first into the system and get it up and running.”

Since introducing Natural HR in the summer of 2019, Chloe and the HR team have hailed the system as the ‘Holy Grail’ of their HR department!

“Natural HR is on my screen from 9 to 5, all day, every day! We use it for such a wide range of activities. The reporting function is one of the main things that we use the system for, whether that’s downloading reports that our executive team require or whether it is for my own knowledge. But also documents, recruitment, expenses and mileage. Basically, everything you need as an HR professional is within the system.”

Having come from an HR department that was 100% paper-based, Chloe has found the document management capabilities of Natural HR invaluable: “The company documents module is an area that removes the need for paper entirely. We were able to standardise our employee handbooks across the group and renew our policies to make sure there was consistency in all of our companies.”

With employees spread across such a vast geographic area, the electronic signatures have been incredibly useful as Chloe explains: “We provide them with the information that they need as an employee and to know that the support is there. We use electronic signatures to get people to sign and say that they fully understand our policies.”

As the company approaches its second year using Natural HR, Chloe and her team have found the forms in Natural HR instrumental in their transition to a streamlined HR department. “Forms and workflows are two of the main features we use consistently  – plus we’re working on more! Being able to build your own bespoke forms to what the company needs was one of the main things that attracted us to Natural HR. We have rolled out everything from accident reporting forms to grievance forms, whistleblowing forms and wellness action plans and probationary forms.

“For us, it is having that electronic platform where we aren’t dealing with paper-based forms that can get lost and are all in the system. This is critical to us as a business, as it removes the need to go through an email trail trying to find all the information – it is there in black and white and there is a process within the system. It just makes life a lot simpler, not only for HR but our managers too.”

With the system by their side, the HR team is now able to focus on tasks that add tangible value to their business, rather than on record-keeping and admin. “It’s not taking an hour or two out of our day to do the basic tasks that shouldn’t take long anymore – but without the system, it would take long!”

The Future

With a backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and big plans for the year ahead, Natural HR has become a platform that will support the team at Fosters Family Funeral Directors to achieve their goals.

“We do have growth plans for the company, and Natural HR will be a big part of that. As an HR Advisor, I know that the processes are now in place to support that and they are going to be effective for everybody.”

When asked for her advice for those considering an HR system like Natural HR, Chloe added: “I would definitely say to go with Natural HR! It covers absolutely everything that you need as an HR team. We wanted a provider that could do it all and that is exactly what Natural HR offers.

“The support is second to none. We were constantly supported throughout the implementation process and to this day, I still get follow up calls from our implementation manager to make sure everything is going the way it should be or if there is any support we need – we’ve built up such a good relationship with the team.

“To anyone considering NHR, I’d absolutely say 100% go for it because it is one of the best decisions we have ever made as a business!”

To find out more about Fosters Family Funeral Directors, please visit fostersfuneraldirectors.com