Bulloch County Schools is based in Statesboro, Georgia, and serves the educational needs of approximately 12,000 students from five local communities. The district has 15 K-12 schools and two alternative education programs and employs about 1,800 people, including substitutes.
Tracking the time of Bulloch County School’s hourly employees was primarily a manual process, with employees marking their time on timesheets or using paper timecards at a time clock. A bookkeeper at each school gathered the information, which was sent to payroll for processing.
Principals have autonomy in determining how they utilize their school funding, and some elected to implement a timeclock system, but not all who did used the same system, creating a range of timekeeping systems. Principals at each school also manually tracked employees’ comp time on spreadsheets or in notebooks, which sometimes led to questions about the accuracy of comp time balances.
Wishing to improve its time and attendance process and reduce potential compliance issues, Bulloch County Schools implemented a UKG® solution that is designed for the specific needs of K-12 school districts. About 1,500 school district employees use the solution.
“It was a wonderful implementation process,” said Alli Baxter, Chief Human Resources Officer at the district, about the ease of getting the solution up and running. The UKG solution also integrates with the district’s substitute management and payroll systems.
“Our compliance is 100% better now. Compliance wise, we are leaps and bounds ahead of anywhere we ever were.”
Chief Human Resources Officer
All hourly employees clock in and out in the UKG solution, while teachers clock in only before school. This staffing visibility helps each school’s principal and bookkeeper know which teachers are in the building and whether all teacher absences have been filled with a substitute, to ensure classrooms are fully staffed and students are safe. If a teacher clocks in, the system automatically clocks the teacher out at the end of the school day.
Beyond helping employees understand the compliance benefits of using the UKG solution, the school district has supported solution adoption by providing packets with step-by-step instructions and screenshots to guide employees in their use of the solution. Employees enter their time on a PC or can do this using the solution’s mobile app on a mobile device. They quickly saw how easy and simple it was.
Mobile technology allows bus drivers to clock in and out from remote locations. In some cases, bus drivers begin their routes from their homes in rural areas and still need telephony functionality to do this. UKG partner Asher Group recognizes that technology still needs to be accessible to those in areas without reliable broadband and provides this additional functionality. Regardless of the process used, the district created business card-size laminated instructions for bus drivers to carry with them for reference.
The school district is making extensive use of the UKG solution’s reporting capabilities ― including creating custom reports ― for insight into workforce information. In the morning, each school’s bookkeeper checks the Detailed Hours Report to see if all staff members have clocked in. If a teacher hasn’t punched in and isn’t on leave, the bookkeeper calls the teacher’s room or sends an email reminding the teacher to clock in.
“For hourly employees, they ask them exactly what time they got in, so we have their true hours, since they are the ones earning comp time,” said Charlisa Osgood, HR Business Manager at the school district. “The Comp Time Report is one that we use all the time.”
Hourly employees earn comp time in lieu of overtime and can see their comp time balances in the UKG solution, which tracks this time. To take their comp time, employees must have at least two hours of comp time available and must take their comp time in two-hour increments and within the current or following pay period.
In assessing the improvements the district has made in tracking employee regular time and comp time, Baxter said school principals now have all the tools they need to make employees more accountable for their time. Employees can view and monitor their hours and comp time in the UKG solution, and can see their most recent timesheets.
These improvements have greatly increased the school district’s confidence in its compliance.
“Our compliance is 100% better now,” said Baxter. “Compliance wise, we are leaps and bounds ahead of anywhere we ever were, and I feel confident that I could pull any report that I needed for FMLA purposes or DOL purposes, and if they show up on my doorstep, we can easily pull some timesheets and I'm going to feel really good about it.”
She also feels confident in the support she receives from UKG. “I love customer service and, when we put in a ticket for service, I know we’re going to hear back soon.” This responsive support is part of UKG’s commitment to being a partner for life.