Modernising HR in the not-for-profit sector

How ELMO helped The Co-operative Life


The Co-operative Life is a not-for-profit cooperative organisation based in Sydney, New South Wales, that provides National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and aged care services. Since its formation in 2013, the organisation has been owned and self-managed by its members and is proud of its people-centric approach to the management of its workforce and clientele.

The Co-operative Life employs around 80 people – a large portion of whom work on a casual basis. The People and Culture team, however, consists of just one HR professional who handles all the organisation’s HR-related tasks: administration, recruitment, performance management, employee relations, industrial relations, and support.

Problems Experienced

" The biggest challenge was the absence of any systems in-house – there was no HRIS whatsoever. It wasn’t very modern."
Kseniya Ivanchyk - People and Culture Generalist at The Co-operative Life

One obstacle that was holding The Co-operative Life back from reaching its full potential was old-fashioned and inefficient HR processes. Kseniya Ivanchyk, People and Culture Generalist at The Co-operative Life, explains how the need to modernise processes was clear. “The biggest challenge was the absence of any systems in-house – there was no HRIS [Human Resources Information System] whatsoever,” says Ivanchyk. “It wasn’t very modern.”

The Co-operative Life also had specific people-related challenges to address, which were made harder due to the lack of dedicated software to facilitate streamlined processes. For example, without performance management software, performance appraisals and manager-employee check-ins were recorded manually, on paper.

In addition, being a not-for-profit organisation within the aged care and NDIS area meant there are certain compliance-related requirements and routine audits to participate in. However, without a learning management module, the organisation lacked easy access to crucial industry-specific training.

1 Old-fashioned and unsophisticated HR processes due to the absence of a HRIS.
2 Performance appraisals were completed on paper, which compromised professionalism and efficiency.
3 Compliance and training needs were challenging to meet due to the lack of a learning management system.


The urgency to update HR processes was immediately obvious to Ivanchyk. She recalls how her predecessors had no experience with an integrated HRIS and therefore did not appreciate the potential benefits. As such, she had her work cut out convincing the board that it was necessary to spend money modernising the HR function and centralising employee records.

After shopping around for the right provider, Ivanchyk discovered ELMO Software. She recognised that ELMO could address all of The Co-operative Life’s people-related challenges – one of which was performance management. “My primary goal is to make sure performance cycles and check-ins are streamlined and captured in a very sophisticated way,” explains Ivanchyk. The ELMO Performance Management module affords her this capability.

Ivanchyk also reiterates her desire to gather and monitor employee sentiment, which led to her decision to purchase ELMO Survey. “We wanted to know to what extent our workforce was happy with the services across the board – particularly the HR services,” she says. This became possible via ELMO’s dedicated Survey module.

The Co-operative Life also purchased ELMO Learning Management and ELMO Course Library to fulfil their training needs. Ivanchyk applauded the variety of courses on offer: “The fantastic Course Library includes technical courses such as Microsoft Office skills and soft skills for managers, as well as industry-specific courses about medication and manual handling.” In the end, it was clear that ELMO was the perfect fit for their organisation.

The Result

" The best thing about ELMO is their responsiveness, professionalism, approachability and ability – this is something I would like to personally thank them for!"
Kseniya Ivanchyk - People and Culture Generalist at The Co-operative Life

For Ivanchyk, the partnership with ELMO has been a great success. The Co-operative Life was able to launch HR Core in a short timeframe, enabling Ivanchyk to fulfil her mission of modernising the organisation’s HR function.

Through ELMO Survey, measuring workforce sentiment is now easy. The Co-operative Life was able to receive feedback from employees about their satisfaction with organisational processes. “We rolled out the survey and were pushy, giving the workforce a short time to respond,” explains Ivanchyk. “We received good feedback from the workforce – 40% of our workforce responded within the timeline and more than 80% across the board showed a positive result that the staff are generally happy with the HR services.” Ivanchyk was pleased with how the survey showed the organisation was on the right track.

Ivanchyk considers the partnership between ELMO and The Co-operative Life to be a successful match. “The ELMO team has been very responsive, and that starts with the business development manager with whom we finalised the contract, the level of cooperation with me and the rest of the team, and the consultant who picked up our enquiries,” explains Ivanchyk. “For me, being a fast operator, the best thing about ELMO is their responsiveness, professionalism, approachability and ability – this is something I would like to personally thank them for!”

Ivanchyk was particularly impressed by the support she received during the implementation process. “[The implementation team] has been extremely supportive,” she says. “They were very responsive, there were no delays whatsoever, and they went above and beyond our expectations.”

Ivanchyk is excited about what’s in store: “I am very positive that this is not the end – we have a bright future with ELMO!”

1 Ability to efficiently gather and measure workforce sentiment via ELMO Survey.
2 Access to a wide variety of technical and industry-specific professional development courses to help the organisation meet compliance requirements.
3 Reduction of manual processing due to modernising HR processes, resulting in more efficiency and professionalism.