Oklahoma City, the capital of Oklahoma, has a metro population of 1.4 million people. A thriving community, Oklahoma City is home to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma Thunder professional basketball team, and the new 40-acre Scissortail Park outdoor recreation area.
Oklahoma City had been using UKG Workforce Central™ for more than 15 years and wanted additional functionality. The solution operated in a closed environment, so users had to be on the City’s network to access it.
Even though the City had an automated workforce management solution for its 5,500 employees, departments still employed some manual practices. Unapproved employee timecards were printed, the employees were tracked down, and they had to sign the paper timecards, which were scanned by multiple departments and uploaded into the system ― a time-consuming and redundant process undertaken every pay period. Typically, only about 60% of employees approved their timecards, creating an onerous task for payroll staff in each department.
In addition, determining which employees hadn’t worked the required 80 hours each pay period required use of multiple solution hyperfinds, another time-consuming process.
As a decentralized entity, with each department responsible for processing its own payroll, Oklahoma City wanted to standardize its operations and migrated to UKG Dimensions™.
“Dimensions gave us a way to reinvent our business,” said Stephen Fuller, Program Manager for the City’s Enterprise Section. “We took things that had been set up forever, a nearly 20-year-old configuration, and streamlined and standardized it. It also helped our HR director make sure we are following our policies.”
He added that the configurability of the solution has helped the City seamlessly incorporate extensive Families First Coronavirus Response Act leave regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the “scalability of Dimensions has helped us push these changes out.”
The solution’s single sign-on has been a benefit to employees, who just log in on their computers and are immediately in Dimensions. Previously, Fuller received numerous emails with password reset requests from employees who had forgotten their Workforce Central password. Now, once employees are in Dimensions, they have a central source of truth for all workforce-related information.
“If our applications are easy and intuitive for users, they’re going to have more confidence in them,” said Fuller. “And so that’s our philosophy at the City, making sure that what we’re doing in IT empowers the business and users to have the easiest experience they can.”
“We tried to put humanity back in the data and make sure our employees are really the focus of everything we’re doing.”
Program Manager of Enterprise Section
Oklahoma City is taking full advantage of attestation functionality in Dimensions, requiring that employees approve their timecards in the solution. Fuller says they told employees that this process ensures they are being paid correctly for their time worked. With employees using attestation, the timecard approval rate has jumped from 60% to nearly 100%, saving payroll staff significant time.
With timecard approvals, the identification of missed punches, and other payroll tasks now fully automated, Fuller estimated that each of the City’s nearly 150 payroll officers is saving three to four hours a week, a time savings of 450 to 600 hours each week for payroll staff citywide.
“This has allowed them to be less reactive and more proactive,” he sajd. “It’s allowed them to do more analysis, instead of just data entry. In the system, they can use dataviews to see metrics or take the data out and put it into a Power BI application. It’s given a more sophisticated level to the job and taken away the basic entry-level business that was taking up so much of their time.”
One of the biggest benefits Oklahoma City has seen with Dimensions is reporting. Some departments filter or schedule data to be extracted from the solution, and many schedule reports on a recurring basis. They also can use their Power BI process to further analyze the data. Fuller said the easy access to data has brought a level of transparency and empowerment that didn’t exist before.
“We tried to put humanity back in the data and make sure our employees are really the focus of everything we’re doing,” he added.
He noted that one positive outcome of the pandemic was the City discovering the value of having remote access to Dimensions. He says employees have been able to “work remotely and dynamically” even though their buildings have been closed.
Using the mobile app, hourly employees can track their time on their mobile devices instead of using the biometric timeclocks, reducing the spread of germs. Some departments are moving from desktop computers to tablets as their primary device. For example, building code inspectors visiting job sites or residents’ homes can clock in and out and access information from their tablets. And supervisors are able to review and approve employee timecards and review data from anywhere using the mobile app.
Oklahoma City has four unions and has found Dimensions very helpful in ensuring compliance with bargaining agreement rules. “It’s easily configurable, so if there is a widespread union [rule] change, it’s very easy for us to implement that,” said Fuller.
He shares that during the pandemic, the City was proactive and created a policy allowing employees to borrow leave from their future work to cover when they needed to be out on quarantine. This new policy was easy to set up in Dimensions.
The solution also has been very helpful in tracking employee time spent on federal grant-funded projects and on FEMA-related work, such as when Oklahoma City firefighters have fought fires in other states. With specific job codes assigned to these types of activities in Dimensions, the reporting and reimbursement process is streamlined. The upcoming addition of UKG Dimensions Activities will further enhance these capabilities.
Oklahoma City is in the process of implementing UKG TeleStaff™ in its police department, which will improve the department’s complex scheduling process and enable officers to easily approve their timecards in the solution.
In looking back at the migration process, Fuller said that when they first told payroll and HR leads in each department that the City was moving to Dimensions, they shared solution screenshots and the benefits of this new solution.
“We built it as a way to look at every department and how they do business and then as a way to streamline and standardize it,” he explained . “We sold it as we’re making your lives easier, and that’s actually what has ended up happening.”