Conair Corporation began in 1959 as a small hair appliance and hair care company. Today, Conair is one of the largest and most diversified consumer corporations worldwide. It is a global leader in manufacturing and distribution of personal care, health and beauty products, premium kitchen electrics, tools and cookware and has offices around the world.
Winning the ADP People at Work award this year is a validation for all of us, for the tough job that we undertook over the last couple of years. It's always nice to have people recognize that you've done a good job and having this additional validation has just been the icing on the cake.
Senior HR director
- Manual, paper-heavy processes were taking a lot of valuable time away from strategic initiatives. These processes were also frustrating and cumbersome for employees when onboarding, requesting time off, setting up benefits, etc.
How ADP helped
- With the help of ADP, Conair was able to digitize many of its manual processes, removing much of the paper trail and adding more security. ADP also helped Conair help its employees take more ownership of their data in areas such as performance, payroll, benefits and compensation.
Meet the senior HR director and HR generalist
Mary: I'm Mary Tyrone and I'm the senior HR director for Conair Corporation. I have a dual role; I am the lead HR person for the employee population at a location based in New Jersey, and I also play the role of the HR process and technology expert at the company. It's my job to make sure there's consistency on the policy side and bring the technology to our employee base in the hopes of making all our jobs more efficient. We’ve been family owned for most of our 60-year history, and it’s still a family-type environment. We have employees with very long service, people who have grown up here, who have known the family that owns us for many, many years. We are a changing culture right now, bringing in things like technology and more of an employee focus, which is something new to the organization. We're all working toward that new common goal.
Misti: I started at Conair about two and a half years ago, and I've been in HR for 10 years before coming aboard here. It’s exciting to be part of a company with such a big name and that really owns the industry of beauty and hair products. One of the things I like most about the culture of Conair is the people. We have lots of generations of family members. We're like a big community, like a family. It's very normal to see people who have 40 years of service here. We even have some instances where someone’s father worked here and retired, and then they came onboard because they saw their father enjoy this great career at Conair.
Time for change
Mary: Over the last few years, we've had a major change in how our human resources department looked within the organization. We brought our very first CHRO on board in 2019 and I came in shortly after that. Our main focus was to try to bring to life human resources, make it a bit more of a modern space with technology and consistency that hadn’t really existed before. Each location operated a little differently, and we found that our employees were actually looking for consistency. We really put a lot of stake in moving the company forward in the HR space.
Misti: In our previous systems, we had very little functionality to be able to run reports to look at labor costs and analyze how many people were scheduled to be off/how many people we needed to schedule. By going digital, we opened this whole new world of analytics that we can transfer and be able to pull for our leaders. Now they can look at the hours worked and compare that to the business output and make sure they're running an effective business that still makes sense and is still profitable. We didn't have those reports before.
Losing the paper to gain efficiencies
Mary: When I joined Conair just a couple of years ago, we were still very manually focused—lots and lots of paper, lots of cumbersome processes. Everything was done at an HR level, as opposed to giving employees ownership of their own data and their own destiny. Over the last couple of years, we've been trying to make that whole piece more efficient and even a bit greener without paper.
One of the first things we tried to do when starting this technology journey with Conair was to take a look at the redundancy of paper. We are great at keeping documentation, so that was one of the first areas we looked at. Do we still need to take this piece of paper, which is a printout of the email that was sent, and put it in a file somewhere? We started small then moved more and more of what had been paper into digital storage. We are moving continually toward online personnel files, online processing and onboarding so all that paperwork isn't in a file somewhere in somebody's desk.
Another paper-heavy area we looked at was onboarding. My onboarding process when I started with Conair was on paper. Reams and reams of paper were sent to me to read and to fill out. And then, someone else had the pleasure of having to input all that data into the system we were using. Now, we have an onboarding technology function, which allows a lot of that paperwork to be done even before the employee starts. They're able to read our policies and handbooks and complete many of their documents online. By allowing them to learn about the company and their job before they actually walk into the organization for the first time makes it a much smoother transition.
Misti: When I started at Conair, we still hadn’t made these upgrades to a digital process. The first day I came in, I had a stack of new hire paperwork. It was paper, upon paper, upon paper for me to sign. It was a huge, manual, paper process. I remember being shocked because I thought, "Wow, Conair is a very innovative company, and we're still behind the times with all this paper."
Now that we’ve started working through some of these digital improvements, we’ve really improved the onboarding experience.
Mary: When there’s a lot of paper involved and a lot of manual input, it does take up a lot of the HR team's time. As we've moved toward a digitalized HR functionality, it's really allowed us to be more of that business partner and shift attention to employee engagement. Now instead of pushing paper, we can be more visible in the HR space, more visible in our distribution centers, on the floor, talking to employees and working with our business partners on more strategic goals.
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