McGee's Food is an Irish-based independent butchers providing quality beef to ASDA shoppers throughout Northern Ireland.  McGee's Food employs 206 members of staff. Before using breatheHR, McGee's Food struggled to communicate effectively with their employees and managers, who are located at 18 different locations. McGee's Food has plans for extensive growth over the next five years, so it was essential they find an effective HR solution. 

HR Manager at McGee's Food, Caroline Heagney, told us they needed a central location that was easily accessible to everyone within the company. As Caroline explained, "With employees spread across all of these locations it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is being communicated with effectively, that everyone has access to the most up to date policies and that performance is being managed appropriately by managers in line with the company schedule." She also highlighted, "It can also be difficult to ensure holidays are planned in line with business needs therefore we needed greater visibility of what was happening in each location and ensuring changes were authorised appropriately."

McGee's Food started using breatheHR in January 2015 in preparation for their 5 year growth plan. We decided to get in touch with McGee's Food to see how the HR system has provided the simplicity and transparency they were searching for.  


Why McGee's Food chose breatheHR

After having looked at a number of HR software solutions, Caroline told us, "breatheHR was most suitable for our business." What appealed to Caroline most was how easily accessible the system was to everyone at McGee's Food. She especially appreciated the simplicity of the system for managers. According to Caroline, "[The system is] quite straightforward for line managers which ensures their 'buy in' as it reduces paperwork, keeps them on track with performance management, policy info is easily accessible and it means employees have greater responsibility for managing their own holiday bookings, training requests etc."  


Main benefits McGee's Food has experienced since using breatheHR

Caroline told us that breatheHR has proved incredibly benificial to McGee's Food. She highlighted the fact that breatheHR has greatly reduced the need for paperwork, has simplified direct communication with employees, and has boosted visibility across the company's multiple locations  especially in terms of absence, holidays, training and performance issues.  McGee's also recently had an audit and Caroline said the system "has proven very useful when auditors are on site with visibility of employee ID, training records and company policies."

Communication is important to McGee's Food, and Caroline told us that breatheHR has really enabled them to make sure information and recognition is relayed to employees. Caroline explained, "We love the kudos tool as it allows management to recognise individual success in a public forum.  We also make great use of the Grapevine, which avoids overuse of emails and again means the message goes directly to each employee rather than over reliance on managers cascading the message." She also explained that if any document or policy is updated, she is "confident that these are accessible to all."


Employees at McGee's Food reaction to breatheHR was positive

Caroline explained that there was some initial hestitation to the introduction of breatheHR among the older generations working at McGee's Foods, but the reaction was really positive overall. As all members of staff came to learn the system, Caroline noticed that they really appreciate having an inuitive, HR system that is easy to use and access. She told us that "Employees find it very easy to use, like the visibility it gives them in terms of policies and holiday position etc, as well as keeping them informed through the grapevine and company announcements, they no longer miss important information because the manager 'forgot' to pass something on or they were on holidays, etc." She also highlighted, "Our managers find it a fantastic tool for updating notes, feedback and keeping everything on track.  It has reduced the paperwork for them."


In summary, Caroline has been thrilled with breatheHR. The system has cut down paperwork significantly and promoted communication and recognition throughout the company. Caroline informed us, "We have recently achieved our Investors in People Accreditation and breatheHR contributed significantly to this process."


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About The Author

Kelsie is the Digital Marketing Assistant at breatheHR. She regularly contributes insights into current SME and HR trends as well as reporting on breatheHR news and updates.