Improving remuneration accuracy, efficiency and consistency

How ELMO helped Meridian Energy

Introduction

Meridian Energy is New Zealand’s largest electricity generator, supplying power to around 200,000 residential and business customers throughout the country. Meridian is committed to being carbon neutral; their new office in Wellington was New Zealand’s first certified five-star green building to be constructed. This culture of innovation permeates the business and the company is an early adopter of technologies that aid in achieving strategic goals.

Over an eight-year period, Meridian Energy has grown from a staff of 50 to more than 500, and today it is considered a leading employer in the New Zealand market.

Problems Experienced

" The Human Resource team's credibility is strongly influenced by the efficiency, accuracy and timeliness of the annual remuneration review process."
Andrew McLachlan - Performance and Capability Manager at Meridian Energy

As a fast-growing organisation, some of Meridian’s remuneration management processes required improvement, especially as the remuneration review process is a critical people management procedure involving many stakeholders.

“The Board and Senior Management expect accurate, well analysed information. [They want] to be able to trust that agreed budgets and policies have been adhered to,” says the Manager of the People and Performance team.

Efficient, timely and accurate remuneration processes are a key foundation of the Meridian HR team’s mission to provide value-adding Human Resource initiatives to the company. However, there were several issues hampering those efforts. “We had problems with data integrity and version control, which is often apparent when using spreadsheets for this process. As the workflow was manual, approvals, changes and updates were difficult to control.”

Meridian’s Performance and Capability Manager believes that employees need to see that what they are “sold” at the recruitment stage is operating in practice after they join the company.

1 Issues with data integrity and version control due to use of spreadsheets and manual data handling
2 A need for accurate, well analysed information to ensure that agreed budgets and policies have been adhered to
3 A desire to bring people management policies to life through consistent and efficient remuneration processes

Solution

Having knowledge and experience with a wide range of web-based solutions, Meridian’s Performance and Capability Manager was aware of what was possible. After considering several options including customising Meridian’s existing payroll and HR Information systems, the Performance and Capability Manager chose Pivot Remuneration for several reasons.

“Pivot Remuneration provided us with a best of breed solution, completely configured to our needs whilst giving us connectivity to other systems we already had in place. All other remuneration solutions we looked at involved customisations that added risk and cost to the exercise.”

The Result

" This year’s review has been commented on by the Chief Executive and other senior managers as the most professional in the short history of the company."
Andrew McLachlan - Performance and Capability Manager at Meridian Energy

Pivot Remuneration’s secure database allowed for the provision of permission-based access to relevant and appropriate data. This eliminated errors associated with the previous spreadsheets and the need for re-work. As Pivot Remuneration manages the workflow process, all decisions are auditable.

Through pre-defined templates, board reporting was completed two weeks ahead of schedule at the push of a button, resulting in 100% accuracy and a focused professional board report.

In addition, pre-defined letter templates are now used to automatically create accurate and professional employee communications while still allowing managers to add personal comments.

All stakeholders have seen significant improvements.

“Much of the positive feedback we received related to the simplified review process, to the robustness and transparency of decision-making and the clarity and simplicity of reporting, which the company had not experienced previously. The Pivot Remuneration tool was responsible for much of this feedback,” says the Performance and Capability Manager.

1 Pivot’s secure database helped eliminate errors associated with spreadsheets by providing permission-based access to the data and making all decisions auditable
2 Pre-defined templates resulted in board reporting being completed two weeks ahead of schedule at the push of a button, with 100% accuracy
3 Stakeholders highlighted the simplified review and reporting process, and robust and transparent decision-making, which the company had not experienced before