Customer Story

NRG Riverside Streamlines and Improves Its People Management with UKG Ready

  • Simplifies onboarding, reducing onboarding time per new hire from 30 minutes to just a few minutes

  • Provides access to real-time workforce data and streamlines gathering data for KPIs, reducing this time from three days to only 30 minutes

  • Enhances the employee, manager, and HR experience by improving the onboarding process, providing mobile access, and supporting efficient people management processes

NRG Riverside

NRG Riverside is the largest municipal and specialist fleet company in the UK, with a fleet of 2,000 vehicles for short- and long-term rental and contract hire, and specialises in the municipal waste industry. The company also offers heavy goods vehicle and light commercial vehicle fleet repair and maintenance services, including roadside repairs. In business for nearly 30 years, NRG Riverside has experienced teams dedicated to delivering excellent customer service around the country from its 11 depots and on-road service vehicles.

By partnering with UKG, the NRG Riverside has achieved remarkable results, including:

reduction in time onboarding new hires
reduction in time needed to gather KPI data

In hiring and managing its employees, NRG Riverside had been using paper-based processes and spreadsheets, which required considerable time and effort to manage and provided no timely access to workforce data. With approximately 250 part-time and full-time employees based in depots, vehicles, offices, or at home, the company operates 24/7 and sees significant overtime and employee absence. Tracking employee time and overtime on spreadsheets created opportunities for error and unnecessary overtime costs, if numbers were not accurate or keyed in correctly. Onboarding new hires also required managing up to 30 sheets of paper for each new employee. Company leaders increasingly could see that using manual processes for workforce management was inefficient.


Seeking to update the company’s culture from paper-based processes to automation and digitalisation, NRG Riverside implemented the UKG Ready® suite of solutions to improve its people management processes. 

“We had a couple of other systems in place, but it was the complexity of our operations that UKG could handle,” said Jenny Cook, Chief People Officer at NRG Riverside, recognising the company’s different schedules, pay rules, work rules, and contracts that the solution could accommodate, in addition to accurately tracking time and attendance. 

The company began rollout with the time and attendance solution, and as employees got comfortable, additional modules ― from recruitment to scheduling to talent management ― were added. Cook says the change management process was easier because HR introduced employees to the solution a bit at a time, focused on keeping them engaged, and communicated with them, including initially hosting a weekly call-in time to answer managers’ questions. 

The HR team also created solution guides and videos for its Glove Box intranet to show all staff how to use the UKG Ready modules. Although HR anticipated potential buy-in issues from some of the older depot managers, Cook said they have embraced the solution and have found it simple to use. 

Employees working at depot locations clock in and out using a timeclock or the solution’s mobile app, those working from their vehicles track their time using a mobile device, and those working from home or the office check in online or with the mobile app.

“In the world we live in, data is power, so you need data quite freely available. Bringing in the UKG solution has allowed us to have data that we now use in other departments that we probably never would have in the past.”


Chief People Officer


The UKG Ready recruitment portal is connecting job candidates to NRG Riverside through job boards. “Once they apply through the system, it’s so simple to onboard them,” said Cook. “You just click a few buttons to move them and it’s done. It’s so easy, it takes minutes rather than half an hour or so to onboard someone.” 

Instead of an HR staffer printing, and a new hire filling out, 30 pages of onboarding paperwork, all HR forms ― including offer letter, employment contract, and pay information ― are in the customisable onboarding portal for new employees to view and complete electronically. The NRG Riverside portal also includes a welcome video, location maps, answers to frequently asked questions by location, and a “recommend a friend” option, which pays new hires up to £2,000 over 12 months if they successfully recommend an HBD technician for employment. 

“So there is the return on investment from saving time and paper, and the accuracy of information, but there’s the added benefit of the employee experience, which you can’t measure,” said Cook about the onboarding portal. 

Digitalisation of workforce data has delivered time savings in collecting data for reporting and provides more accurate data, because it’s captured and available in real time. A business report on workforce data is automatically generated each week, and up-to-date information can be accessed at any time, giving the company fast access to insights it couldn’t easily access previously. 

“In the world we live in, data is power, so you need data quite freely available,” said Cook. “Bringing in the UKG solution has allowed us to have data that we now use in other departments that we probably never would have in the past. The financial reporting that we do midweek or midmonth is more accurate because data is from UKG. It’s accurate because it’s in the moment, and it has freed up people to work differently.” 

She said she can use this additional time to focus on value-added activities, such as changing the company culture and developing new initiatives. The time she needs to complete her KPIs, primarily on absence and attrition, has dropped from three days to 30 minutes. Before, she would have spent days gathering absence information from multiple pieces of paper and spreadsheets, and hoped that an absent employee’s manager had completed a return-to-work form. Now, the company can run an absence report daily to see who is out, and return-to-work information is built into the solution.

 To measure absenteeism, NRG Riverside also has implemented the Bradford Factor, which the solution calculates. Information is available at the click of a button, enabling the company to better manage absence and link it to performance, as well as gain a more accurate view of each depot’s productive hours and ensure employees are paid only for hours actually worked. 

“UKG Ready has exceeded our expectations because we thought we were getting an HR system, but so much more has been built into it,” said Cook. “We’re about to start doing employee surveys and use it as a communication tool with employees.” 

NRG Riverside looks forward to taking advantage of additional solution functionally as it continues to transform its people management processes.

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