Baptist Community Services (BCS) in Amarillo, Texas, operates a senior retirement community that includes independent-living apartments as well as facilities that provide assisted living, long-term care, memory care, skilled nursing, and short-term rehabilitation services. BCS also has a fitness facility that offers fitness, health, and aquatics services and operates the Snack Pack 4 Kids program to feed children experiencing food insecurity.
Baptist Community Services first implemented Workforce Central® nearly 20 years ago when the organization was experiencing rapid growth and needed a human resources information system as well as a payroll solution. During the ensuing years, BCS completed a full upgrade of Workforce Central and determined more recently that the organization needed the added benefits that UKG Dimensions™ delivers.
Reduced cost was a major reason BCS implemented Workforce Central and then moved to UKG Dimensions for its 520 full-time and 70 seasonal employees. “The way that we have realized this [cost savings], not only from Workforce Central but also with Dimensions, is through automated processes,” said Jeri Hamilton-Tyler, HR Director. “And Dimensions is able to automate more of the processes.”
In evaluating the cost savings that BCS has realized with UKG Dimensions, Hamilton-Tyler says their “return on investment has been very good.”
New hires are immediately added to the solution, and all employees can use solution self-service tools on a PC or mobile device to update their personal information, including for direct deposits; view their timecards, pay statements, accrual balances, and schedules; and correct missed punches. Giving employees this autonomy and accountability has freed up HR staff for other tasks.
Creating employee accountability was another major reason for the move to UKG Dimensions, noted Hamilton-Tyler. “Previously, we did not have an avenue to allow our nonexempt hourly employees to access the system without being on the clock. UKG Dimensions gives us that capability, which was one of the big selling points.”
Managers have greater accountability for their staff too, with mobile access giving them visibility into employees’ schedules and locations, no matter where managers are.
“The way that we have realized this [cost savings], not only from Workforce Central but also with Dimensions, is through automated processes. And Dimensions is able to automate more of the processes.”
BCS is using the UKG Dimensions Advanced Scheduling solution to schedule nursing and food service staff. “Scheduling is much easier in Dimensions,” said Hamilton-Tyler. “Nurse managers really appreciate the way it works.” Soon nursing departments will allow staff to request open shifts and swap shifts in the solution.
Using solution self-service tools at work or at home, employees can check their schedules and accrual balances and request time off. “That’s been one of the biggest morale boosters, employees being able to see their time and request time off right then,” said Hamilton-Tyler. “And they get a notification back that their request has been received and approved, or if not approved, why not.”
All employee time-off requests are now made electronically instead of on paper forms. In the future, BCS plans to automate time-off request approvals according to schedule and coverage parameters configured in the solution, saving managers additional time.
In UKG Dimensions, employees must attest to their time each pay period, mitigating potential compliance issues and employees later claiming they weren’t paid correctly. Employees also can upload their documents for HR’s reference. Hamilton-Tyler said her goal is to maintain all employee records electronically and have limited paper personnel files.
The solution also supports enhanced communication. During the pandemic, BCS used UKG Dimensions to send emails to staff and add announcements to the login screen to keep staff informed about COVID-19 protocols.
When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services required staff to work at only one facility to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, BCS employees who worked more than one job had to choose between employers. This created a financial hardship for some. As Workforce Central does, UKG Dimensions integrates with PayActiv, a solution that provides financial wellness, earned wage access, and payroll cards. More than 140 BCS employees used the service during the pandemic to access their earned wages between paydays to purchase items and services and pay their bills.
Recruiting and retaining employees can be challenging in the post-acute space, a challenge made more difficult during the pandemic. Already utilizing much of the expanded functionality that UKG Dimensions offers, BCS is looking forward to deploying additional functionality, including leveraging the solution to support staff recruitment and retainment as BCS continues its commitment to delivering high-quality services and care.
BSC will soon embark on the next phase of its UKG journey by implementing UKG Employee Voice™, an advanced workplace survey tool that leverages natural language processing and machine-learning technology to collect, measure, and analyze employee feedback.
“We are very excited about Employee Voice,” said Hamilton-Tyler. “With it, we plan to launch our first employee engagement survey in nearly four years. After that, we’ll do regular pulse surveys to keep an eye on how our employees are feeling.”
“It’s critical that our workforce feels energized and supported,” she added, “and Employee Voice will give our people a platform to voice their feedback while helping to ensure we are providing an engaging work environment and maintaining a culture of excellence.”