Humankind is an HR consultancy that focuses on building excellent employee experiences. They deeply believe that great employee experiences help people thrive, and lead to better customer experiences and ultimately better business outcomes. So it’s no wonder they sought out technology that would improve job management for their own team. We recently caught up with Samantha Gadd, founder and CEO and Kalyn Ponti, COO, to find out more about their business and how WorkflowMax and Xero make a difference to their every day.
Samantha Gadd, Humankind’s founder and CEO, says that WorkflowMax and Xero are a great combination for them because the two work so well together for professional services companies. In fact, Humankind was one of the first-ever customers of both Xero and WorkflowMax almost 10 years ago.
When it comes to the human side of things, Sam explains what it takes to create great client experiences. “We define employee experience as being what goes on in your head, in your heart, and in the interactions around you,” she says. And that translates to four types of experiences that Humankind helps its clients establish or improve.
Purpose experiences - This is about how an organisation’s leaders connect with its employees. And how everyone connects to the organisation’s purpose and what it’s trying to achieve. It’s also about the communication between leaders and employees.
Relationship experiences - As its name says, these experiences are all about relationships between individuals and their leaders and peers. Making sure that people get the feedback they need and that conversations are really constructive.
Enabling experiences - These relate to tools, technologies and great physical workspaces. Does everyone have the flexibility they need? And do they have the data to make good decisions?
Performance experiences - This one’s related to role clarity and making sure that individuals know what success looks like for them in their role and whether reward and recognition are linked.
While Sam and the Humankind team help organisations embed all of these experiences, Sam says she’s got one tip for every business leader.
“When it comes to employee experience, leadership has the most profound impact. So level up your leaders and make sure that you have the skills, capabilities and confidence to have the right conversations with your people. Set really clear context for the decisions that they need to make every day. And lead with purpose and with heart.”
“When it comes to employee experience, leadership has the most profound impact. So level up your leaders and make sure that you have the skills, capabilities and confidence to have the right conversations with your people."- Samantha Gadd, CEO Humankind
Kalyn Ponti, Humankind’s COO, is responsible for the general management of the company. She says that WorkflowMax is a key tool for both managing jobs successfully and getting the financial insights they want on a daily basis.
One thing Kalyn really likes about WorkflowMax is how it can be customised. “We’ve set it up to reflect the way we work with our clients. For example, we have four main billing types – retainer basis, hourly basis, fixed-price projects, and estimated projects. When we start a new job, we choose the pricing arrangement we’re using and go from there. And we have different templates depending on the service we’re offering,” Kalyn says.
It’s a quick process for staff to set up their jobs in WorkflowMax and then share timelines with clients to set realistic expectations from the start.
As each job progresses, WorkflowMax gives the team near real-time data so they can make sure that they’re delivering on time and on budget. Kalyn says, “We can see total hours, billable hours, non-billable hours, leave, write-ups, write-offs, net revenue, revenue per hour per employee, gross profitability and more.”
They’ve customised reports to see this data the way they want and they look at these numbers to see where they might further optimise the business and help the team do their jobs even more efficiently.
This customisation has even led to fewer invoice queries from clients. “We did some configuration work with WorkflowMax and our invoicing process because we used to get five or six queries from clients out of the hundreds of invoices we send each month. Now Steve, who does our invoicing, says he can’t remember the last time an invoice was questioned. WorkflowMax has been a big part of that,” says Kalyn. This accuracy builds even greater trust between Humankind and its clients.
We can see total hours, billable hours, non-billable hours, leave, write-ups, write-offs, net revenue, revenue per hour per employee, gross profitability and more."- Kayln Ponti, COO, Humankind
“The accuracy that WorkflowMax offers helps Humankind build greater trust and transparency with their clients.”
In terms of establishing new ways of working, setting up new features and customising reports, set up partner Will McTavish, from Link Solutions, has been instrumental because he deeply knows WorkflowMax and its capabilities.
“You do want to work with an implementation partner to get the most out of WorkflowMax,” says Kalyn. “We’ve been able to say to Will, ‘We want X, Y and Z outcomes for our clients and our teams, so we need A, B and C insights. Please set things up so we can get that information.’ Having an expert with that knowledge who can give us that detail has been a game changer.”
Sam adds, “When you first start a business, you don’t even know how to read a P&L. You don’t know about profitability. Using tools like WorkflowMax and Xero, along with the expertise from Link Solutions has enabled us to run a successful business and really understand our information and our data.”
With a solid foundation of working with small, medium and growth companies for the last nine years, Humankind is now beginning to work with some of New Zealand’s largest organisations.
“That means we’re impacting far more employees and being able to lead humanity at work in a much bigger way,” says Sam. “We’ve also recently launched something called Employee Experience Design School where we’ll teach and share our methodology so people can become EX designers in their own organisation.”
She adds, “These are exciting times for our team and I’m glad we have a tool like WorkflowMax behind the scenes to help us do our best for our clients and the business.”
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