With operations around the world, PATRIZIA has been offering investment opportunities in real estate and infrastructure assets for institutional, semi-professional and private investors for the past 38 years. Committed to operating in a responsible manner, it works hard to improve environmental and social sustainability in the real estate sector, with the aim of reducing the very considerable carbon footprint and environmental impact within the industry and improving quality of life for future generations worldwide. This includes a strong commitment to global education initiatives. Through the PATRIZIA Foundation, it has established schools, daycare facilities and aftercare centres in countries such as Uganda, Peru, Kenya and Nepal.
PATRIZIA SE is a global organisation, with 28 locations in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. This international reach is constantly growing, for example through the recent acquisition of companies in the UK and Australia. The more global these operations become, the more important it is to have a modern HR system that incorporates all those international locations. In late 2021, PATRIZIA appointed UKG HR Service Delivery to digitalise its HR department.
Only a few months after launch, the HR department is already enjoying major improvements in its capability and global reach.
“In addition to having the access we were promised, our productivity has improved. Since all our documentation is stored and managed centrally, it’s now much quicker and easier to find the information we need easily. The valuable time our HR team used to spend on searches and requests can now be used for more important tasks.”
Associate Director HR
HR across multiple locations
HR records – for many, this evokes images of files stacked on shelves or in filing cabinets. Even in present times, this is still the reality in all too many organisations.
But PATRIZIA was committed to leaving that old system behind. Until late 2021, the HR files of all its employees in Germany were stored in paper form – some in Augsburg and some in Frankfurt. At the same time, the company’s HR department had to cover all locations. However, if for example an HR employee in Frankfurt wanted to access a file stored in Augsburg, they had to call the HR department in Augsburg, ask them to retrieve the file from storage, find the required information, and then communicate that information by phone or email.
“We’d known for a long time this situation wasn’t tenable,” says Kornelia Mayr, Associate Director of PATRIZIA SE. “Our process for accessing files wasn’t just time-consuming, it also impacted productivity because staff were always having to interrupt their other tasks.” In addition, it was almost impossible to access files at the company’s international locations. This was because these documents were either stored on local servers or in paper form in the respective countries. “We’d long planned to digitalise our HR files and thus improve this situation, but we always had to delay because of day-to-day demands,” explains Mayr.
Seamless collaboration and simple integration with existing systems
In autumn 2021, the company finally decided to tackle the project. “Our clear aim was to have a digital HR filing system across our locations, which would allow seamless international collaboration,” states Mayr.
“Another important factor for us was to make the master data from our Workday HCM system usable in these new digital HR files via an interface. We looked at solutions from multiple providers, but UKG HR Service Delivery stood out as the best option.”
With its flexible tools, which also comply with global laws and regulations, the platform provides perfect support for international use. It was also easy to integrate with Workday. The employee master data from our core HR system easily syncs with the UKG’s HR Service Delivery, so the system is always up-to-date. Between October 2021 and January 2022, 600 files were scanned in Germany and 150 in the UK. The remaining files from the other international locations are being digitialised gradually.
In addition, PATRIZIA is not only able to create intelligent templates on the basis of employee data by using UKG Smart Document Generation, but it can also generate automatically standardised work documents such as contract changes or parental leave documentation.
Current HR files: the new standard
“The results met all our expectations,” says Kornelia Mayr. There is now a clearly defined and consistent process to manage HR data. If a new employee is hired, the contract is created through the UKG platform and sent for signature electronically. If the contract is signed, it is forwarded via an inbox to the relevant payroll department. All necessary data is then entered in the payroll system. Using UKG Document Manager, the contract is then added to the digital HR file.
“This enables authorised HR business partners to access the files they need at any time and from any location. We also have full control over who can edit a file and who only has permission to view it,” adds Kornelia Mayr with satisfaction. “In addition to having the access we were promised, our productivity has improved. Since all our documentation is stored and managed centrally, it’s now much quicker and easier to find the information we need. The valuable time our HR team used to spend on searches and requests can now be used for more important tasks.” Thanks to the new system and digital processes, the HR files are always up-to-date. In the past, information and documents were routinely collected over the course of a month and then archived.
Now, any changes and additions are implemented immediately. “The system is also hugely beneficial with regard to compliance,” says Mayr. “Using the retention policies built into the system, documents expire after a relevant time period and are no longer accessible for HR users.”
The next step: HR document templates
The digitalisation of employee data with UKG HR Service Delivery not only provides a standardised data process and access across all locations, it also provides the basis for PATRIZIA to continue the optimisation of its HR processes, which it will do in upcoming projects. This includes the creation of additional templates to generate even more documents in a uniform process, including very frequently used documents such as supplemental agreements, confirmations, notifications and promotion letters. With the help of further user training, in addition to the standard training already carried out, employees will learn to configure templates in the system themselves. PATRIZIA may also use the system in the future for operational and financial audits, for example to provide a folder containing all necessary documents via a temporary link. “Investing in a digital HR system brings quick dividends,” says Mayr. “It opens up totally new opportunities that are worth their weight in gold for a global and rapidly growing company like PATRIZIA. We’re delighted we took this step with UKG.”