At UCCS, all Human Resources and Student Employment actions are completed in two separate but centralized offices. The Human Resources and Student Employment Offices recently began working very closely together to ensure a more efficient and organized process for employees of all types at our University. Within the last 3 years, the Student Employment Office was relocated to the same floor as Human Resources. Additionally, Student Employment and Human Resources began regularly meeting to allow for better communication and collaboration. The close proximity as well as the improved communication between the departments has allowed collaboration that improves the performance of both units, supporting customer and employee experiences as we more closely resemble a one-stop-shop. The Human Resources and Student Employment offices have collaborated on a number of significant projects which improve process, service delivery, and organizational performance and operation; these projects include the following:
Centralized One-Stop Services— Having both offices located on one floor has resulted in better customer interface and experience. Our physical proximity has significantly improved our ability to troubleshoot problems and work together for a quick resolution for the employee. A computer kiosk, located in the Student Employment Office has become a shared kiosk which is helpful to the Human Resources Office when faculty or staff have a need to log in and access timesheets, paystubs or need assistance setting up direct deposit.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)— When the need arose to define appropriate employment groups and employment policy in support of ACA compliance and reporting, the two offices worked collaboratively. We met in person with campus departments, student employees, staff, faculty, deans, directors, and campus leadership to align work groups. This allowed us to provide simple mechanisms for defining each employment group based on how they are paid and the ACA eligibility parameters that applied. We trained university departments on the appropriate use of Career Families and Job Codes. This work drove the implementation of a student employment policy, creating a clear hourly employment group that fell under the ACA’s “look-back period” model. It also accurately defined non-hourly positions under which a student might be employed. We were able to implement a pilot program a year before the required ACA implementation date. From that program we tracked and extracted real data to enhance our policy, processes, and outcomes. The campus community, and particularly the academic departments, have embraced our new model, ensuring a high level of efficiency and compliance that would not have been otherwise achieved. This has also saved countless work hours for our campus department liaisons as it has streamlined our student employee hire requirements.
Human Capital Management (HCM)— During the transition to the new HCM system, there were significant changes to business processes throughout the campus. The relationship between the Student Employment Office and Human Resources was considerably strengthened. This relationship allowed our offices to communicate system issues to the campus, and work to facilitate collaborative trainings. A number of campus-wide trainings were jointly facilitated by Human Resources and Student Employment. This ensured that HCM Community Members were fully aware of all business process changes, and were able to ask questions of both departments at the same time. It also allowed our offices the opportunity to collaborate and mirror our workflow and business processes. Additionally, important system experiences and work-arounds were shared between offices, ensuring that essential tasks were completed despite significant system issues.
Early in the HCM transition, our offices began sharing knowledge as we accessed test systems, and developed new business processes. Once the new system went live, we were able to mitigate user concerns and troubleshoot a number of issues at a campus level, rather than immediately asking individuals to escalate their issue to Employee Services. In one situation, MyLeave was giving all hourly employees an error when trying to enter time. Between the two offices, we were able to troubleshoot and find that the solution to the problem was resetting the employee’s preferences. Once we discovered the fix, our campus was able to share the solution with Employee Services to assist any others who may have had the same issue. In another instance, the HCM system was experiencing issues with the workflow. Both Human Resources and Student Employment were facing significant issues getting any sort of employee through the entire process. Knowing that employees need to be hired and paid, our offices worked together to develop a work-around to the workflow issues. We then ensured that all HR and Student Employment employees were trained on how to navigate the workaround efficiently until a system fix was identified and implemented. UCCS has been praised by members of the ELEVATE team for our ability to adapt quickly to changes, and move calmly through a stressful transition.
How does this impact the University?
The strengthened relationship between Human Resources and Student Employment has significantly enhanced human resources performance and operations as a whole. All new and current employees benefit from our cohesive and collaborative business processes, as they see improved communication, are able to utilize one-stop-shop services, and see timely and accurate solutions to problems. Both departments have seen better performance as a whole, as knowledge is shared freely between departments and duplicate work is no longer necessary. During the transition to HCM, UCCS Human Resources and Student Employment worked together to ensure that no employee would miss being paid and that all system knowledge was transferred to all staff in both areas as well as shared with any campus liaison that would benefit from the knowledge. Overall our continued collaboration creates a strong, compliant, cohesive human resources group that generates effective recruitment, hiring, training, processing, reporting, and payment for all UCCS employees.
A tangible example of this impact- After working on payroll issues together the offices found a trend of payments that seemed odd. Many employees were not receiving payment via paper check when the HCM system listed them as having been paid. After collecting many examples and reaching out multiple times to Employee Services with examples in multiple pay groups the two offices made a joint request for support and it was found that there was indeed an issue impacting payment for individuals. It turned out this issue was not just impacting UCCS but also other individuals in the system. Corrective action was put into motion at the system level.
This improved business process and enhanced performance has been implemented with close collaboration on essential tasks including the ongoing Human Capital Management transition, Affordable Care Act implementation, employment group strategy, and a commitment to constant communication and support. This collaboration has continued through the close working relationship that has been developed between members of both offices, and is translated to enhanced relationships across the campus community.
Submitter's Name: Rebecca Stephens
Submitter's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Team Members: Jeanne Durr, Shannon Cable