Real benefits of proper workforce management for OnSide Youth Zones

OnSide Youth Zones is the charity behind a network of 21st century youth centres called Youth Zones that are designed to give young people living in some of the U.K.’s most disadvantaged areas somewhere to go, something to do, and someone to talk to in their leisure time. In order to continue its focus on social good, OnSide Youth Zones partnered with UKG to modernise workforce management processes across its network of Youth Zones and streamline critical HR tasks so employees can do what they do best – serve their communities.


There was a huge need for greater efficiency, consistency, and insight around recording worked hours, absences, and overtime details across the 14 Youth Zones. Paper timesheets were relied upon, leaving administrators with the burden of manual tabulation of data to prepare for payroll – which was referred to as “a mammoth, often four-day task” by Duncan Hall, systems implementation manager at OnSide Youth Zones. It was clear that the Youth Zone managers were desperate for a solution that would free them from administrative burden and improve time and attendance tracking for employees to allow both parties to focus on an even greater task—serving their community.

Solution and Key Benefits

UKG’s automated workforce management solution made an impact throughout the organisation introducing a modern, digital experience. The administration team was liberated by simplifying time, attendance, and absences management, and streamlining payroll processing. Employee empowerment and engagement is seen via mobile-based, self-service functionality, and managers are now empowered to approve team-specific timesheets as they are closest to the activities accomplished.

The key benefits include:

  • 60% reduction in manager time spent on payroll related tasks
  • Time spent preparing payroll reduced from several days to several minutes
  • More accurate and on-time payroll
  • Improved employee engagement & accountability through self-service functionality
  • Greater visibility of Youth Zone expenditure
  • Rapid and accurate reporting to stakeholders on fund allocation

Community Impact

Speaking further about how UKG solutions helped to transform OnSide’s network, Hall says: “With OnSide’s growth plans, a solution was needed that could scale as well as provide value for the investment. With each Youth Zone operating as an independent charity with much of its funding coming from local businesses and councils, there was a big need for accountability. We also get funding from different avenues for specific projects. It becomes all the more important that we know exactly where we’re spending that money. We’re required to report back where the hours have been spent and separate them out from the budget. This is where the UKG reporting tool comes in handy and gives us a clear visibility of employee allocation by project.”

Duncan continues: “Unplanned absences can impact the services we are able to deliver. Although absence tracking was possible before UKG, it was often difficult and time consuming to collate the right data. The use of UKG has helped OnSide gain visibility and control of absences and enable our absence policies to be followed and applied consistently.”

“Worker accountability has improved with the accuracy of time capture, and this greater sense of trust and transparency has reflected positively on employee morale. With a technology partner like UKG on board, it is much easier to manage the workforce and their expectations now, meaning that we have happier people for the long term,” Duncan concludes.

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