Toorak College was established as a boys’ school in 1874 in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak. In 1897 it was converted to a girls’ school and, in 1928 the school moved to Mount Eliza. Today, Toorak College is a day and boarding school that educates girls and boys up to year four and girls only from year five to year 12. With a commitment to small class sizes and a future-looking ethos, Toorak College ranks in the Top 50 schools in Victoria.
Like most schools, Toorak College used a series of manual processes for tasks such as Working with Children Checks (WWCC), professional development, and recruitment and onboarding. However, the college recognised that conducting these processes manually was enormously costly in terms of time and the opportunity cost of having qualified staff members focused on mechanical, administrative tasks when they could have been focusing on more strategic initiatives.
For example, the college ran time-intensive manual checks on each staff member to ensure their WWCC and Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registrations were valid and up to date. This process was essential to ensure ongoing safety and compliance but consumed many hours of staff time and was an inefficient way of gathering simple (but vital) information. The college needed to find a way to automate this process so it could be performed more efficiently, effectively and timely.
Professional development was similarly managed using a manual, paper-based process. The college has professional growth plans for both teaching and operations staff as part of its commitment to excellence. The manual process required staff members to fill in forms, hand them to their manager who would then fill in their part of the forms and hand them back, then finalise the actions relating to the plan.
Georgia Musgrove, Director of Human Resources, Toorak College, said, “The staff were spending an extraordinary amount of time on manual tasks, which left little time for them to focus on strategic goals. For example, the manual process around managing the professional growth plans meant there was very little transparency into the plans and their progress, which made it difficult to ensure that everyone was receiving the training, assistance, and opportunities they needed.”
The third manual process that was time-consuming and expensive was recruitment and onboarding. For each advertised role, the college would receive tens or even hundreds of applications. The three-member selection panel would review these applications in hardcopy, which meant each application was printed three times. The panel would meet to discuss the applicants and develop a shortlist. Then, the shortlisted applicants would be contacted for interviews.
Georgia Musgrove said, “This process meant that panel members had to take stacks of paper to review, and handwrite their impressions on each application. As well as the inordinate amount of time this took, the college was also aware of the cost of so much printing as well as the environmental impact.
“It was clear that the college needed to find a solution that would reduce the time spent on these manual processes and improve the outcomes.”
Toorak College had worked with Konica Minolta for its printers and print-related solutions, so it made sense to discuss the challenge of manual workflows with the Konica Minolta team.
Georgia Musgrove said, “As a relatively small organisation, an enterprise-level HR solution wouldn’t be right. Instead, we needed a solution that could turn our manual processes into digitised workflows, automating parts of the workflow where appropriate.
“Konica Minolta recommended a solution from its partner, FileBound, which was designed to achieve exactly that purpose.”
Konica Minolta developed a FileBound solution for Toorak College that addressed each of the three challenges directly.
For the WWCC and VIT, the solution automatically compares the list of Toorak College employees to the online registers every 24 hours and confirms that each staff member holds a valid check or registration. This saved the college a significant amount of time and vastly improved transparency.
Georgia Musgrove said, “As well as being a big time-saver, more importantly, this workflow provided enormous comfort in that records were being checked daily and any invalid registrations would be detected straight away.
The professional growth plans have also been largely automated using the FileBound solution developed by Konica Minolta. With all forms and paperwork managed within FileBound, staff members no longer have to print and manually complete those forms, and the program is now more transparent.
Georgia Musgrove said, “In the past, there was no easy way to check where employees were up to with their professional growth plans. Now, it’s a simple matter of checking in FileBound to see where people are at and what conversations team leaders are having with their staff. This saves time and lets us manage those plans far more strategically.”
“It also solves another challenge around the professional growth plans which is making sure every employee understands their purpose. For example, a teacher or manager at the school can easily see the purpose of ongoing development but for some of the operations staff, it was harder to see a benefit. A cleaner, for example, would be forgiven for wondering how a professional growth plan could help them. Now that we aren’t spending so much time on the mechanics of measuring these plans, we can take the time to demonstrate to all staff members just how important their role is to the school, and how crucial it is for them to continue to perform that role to a high standard.”
One of the processes that has been most significantly transformed is recruitment. Using FileBound, all applications for a role remain in digital form. The selection panel members can log into FileBound at any point to review the applications and, using the solution, can add their comments and provide a score for each applicant. Those scores are then tallied to automatically derive a shortlist based on each panel member’s input; all without a single piece of paper being printed out.
Georgia Musgrove said, “Not having to manually sift through so many pieces of paper means the selection panel can think more strategically about each applicant and ensure that each one is scored fairly. Once the shortlist has been created, candidates are called and automatic invites are sent out to panel members and they can access applications at any point throughout the recruitment campaign.”
Toorak College’s key aim for this project was to drive efficiency into various manual time-intensive (but crucial) workflows so that more time could be spent on strategic and value add activities within the School, and the college has achieved that aim convincingly. The hours that are no longer spent on manually chasing up information or completing tasks can now be spent on more valuable and strategic activities.
Georgia Musgrove said, “As Director of HR, I now have a lot more time to invest thinking about what sort of candidates are appropriate for each role in the context of our teams, their strengths and development needs and our talent pool moving forward, rather than simply managing a plethora of applications through each recruitment campaign.
“It’s now easier to get the college’s diverse workforce on the same page regarding the importance and value of the professional growth plans. Each individual is working through their plan more effectively because the manual part of that process has been eliminated. Staff members can now see that the college is willing and eager to invest in their professional growth regardless of their role. The level of transparency and active involvement in professional growth across the college has vastly improved within the Operations Team.”
Toorak College found that working with Konica Minolta offered a collaborative approach that led to the right solution for the college.
Georgia Musgrove said, “Toorak College and Konica Minolta worked very closely together from the beginning of this process. We started with a brain dump of processes, then worked together to refine them into workflows in FileBound. Often, the Konica Minolta team suggested ways to improve existing processes, which contributed to further time savings and improved efficiencies. This approach was instrumental in the success of the solution.”
In the future, Toorak College will continue to improve its existing workflows to find even more improvements. At the same time, the college is on the lookout for more processes that can be improved by applying digital workflows.
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