At a Glance:
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
K-12 Enrollment 19,081
• Certified staff: 1,098
• Support staff: 1,006
• Administrators: 100
• Frontline Absence & Time:
— Absence Management
— Time & Attendance
• Frontline Recruiting & Hiring:
— Applicant Tracking
— Proactive Recruiting
Time & Attendance Management at Broken Arrow Public Schools
Broken Arrow Public Schools, a large urban-suburban district with deep roots in the community, serves more than 19,000 students. Recognized as one of the top districts in the state, BAPS values relationships both within the district and with the community at large. Following a simple plan — that literacy and engagement will lead to graduation — there is a strong sense that everyone is working together to provide all students with opportunities for success.
The Challenge: Running Payroll for 2,000+ Employees
With customer service a top priority, the HR team was determined to meet the needs of every employee. But as a large district with over 2,000 employees, it was a tough goal to achieve, and stress levels were high. It was a constant struggle to keep up with the demands of a wide range of tasks for payroll and benefits. The staff frequently worked late in the evenings and on weekends to complete payroll accounting records on time, leading to frustration and fatigue. Clearly, there had to be a better way.
The Results: No More Manual Calculations
After a thorough review of current practices, the HR team identified specific strategies to revamp the way they did business. The first thing that had to change was the current payroll and benefits model. Rather than rely on five different components for payroll and benefits, the HR team decided to streamline their processes by adding Time & Attendance. It was the logical choice, as they were already comfortable with Absence Management after using it for years.
It was definitely the right choice for BAPS. The automated system changed the culture for employees and empowered the HR team to focus on customer service, instead of spending all their time on manual recordkeeping.
- Automated systems eliminated the need to hand-calculate gap time and improved the process for tracking hours worked.
- Moving support staff from a biweekly to an annualized pay schedule saved time and avoided the challenge of having to calculate benefits differently during the summer months.
- By implementing Time & Attendance, the payroll team saved 36 hours of work during each two-week payroll period — about a day and a half per person.
The Solution: Time & Attendance
In an effort to provide the best customer service to district employees, different payroll models had evolved over the years to meet the needs of each employee group. The number of hours worked and benefits earned varied, depending on whether employees were salaried or hourly and if they worked on school holidays or during the summer months. Because the district is so large, the payroll and benefits staff had to complete complicated and time-consuming calculations each pay period.
When he first took on the role of Executive Director of Human Resources, Rusty spent months observing and studying the existing payroll and benefits processes. With a strong background in business and finance, he relied on his experience as a teacher and coach to truly understand the daily operations of the HR department from multiple perspectives. All of the evidence pointed to a need to streamline everything into a single system: Frontline Absence & Time.
Choosing Time & Attendance
Rusty and the HR team researched vendors, watched demos and met with committees and user groups across the district. Making the right decision was critical, not only because of the financial investment, but also the time that would have to be dedicated to the implementation process.
Familiarity with Frontline was ultimately the clincher, along with knowing that the system would integrate easily with the absence management and accounting programs already in use.
“We started looking and talking to Frontline just because we’d been so successful with Absence Management. After we went through three or four vendors and different presentations, we really were most comfortable with Frontline.” – Rusty Stecker
Launching the New System
As the HR Specialist in charge of making sure teacher absences are filled by qualified substitutes, Rachel Reece was the resident expert on Absence Management. Kelli Hutchins, Payroll Coordinator, depended on Frontline’s system to track employee leave balances. They teamed up to launch the implementation of Time & Attendance.
At times it seemed like a challenge to set up a new system and learn how to use it, but in the long run, the process helped the HR staff thoroughly understand the system. Frontline’s implementation team was easy to work with, offering support and guidance along the way as they developed new skills. By using the software to create, adjust, and edit reports, Rachel and Kelli are now able to quickly access all the data they need to support each employee group.
“Frontline’s system made us evaluate our processes, give more detail than before and be really, really accurate. The positive is that we know the system pretty much inside and out. We have a lot of confidence that we know how to set things up and how to manage it. We know how to make edits and changes and how the system really works. That’s made our HR department stronger as we move forward.” – Rusty Stecker
Saving Time & Transforming the Work Environment
“The Frontline systems are integrated. Our payroll is all streamlined, all done the same way. In the past, we had to do a lot of updates for each employee’s time on the absence side in order for them to coordinate with hours worked. Now, what is being put in for leave is being populated into each timesheet. They are basically two different applications talking to each other to make each of them fit each other’s puzzle.“ – Kelli Hutchins, Payroll Coordinator
Beyond the incredible time savings, the work environment has been totally transformed. The pressure to manually calculate payroll and check for accuracy is gone. There is no longer a need for payroll staff to work evenings and weekends. Since the paperwork has been eliminated and the system is streamlined, records are more accurate. If one of the coordinators is absent, another staff member can easily step in to complete tasks.
Not only has the stress level in the HR department been dramatically reduced, but all of the BAPS employees have access to their own payroll records. They can view their timesheets electronically, see their leave banks and check for accuracy without having to call the payroll department. Each campus has a designated user to oversee the system on-site and provide support to employees when needed.
With several more hours available in their schedules each day, the HR staff is able to focus on providing better customer service to all district employees.
“It’s been dramatic, the amount of time that we have gained through using Frontline. We have time to be people of excellence in the job that we’re actually doing. Now we have the opportunity to spend more time with employees who may need our time and to be a part of looking at even newer and better ways to use the system. It’s just been tremendous.” – Kelli Hutchins
Customizing Time & Attendance to meet the district’s needs has helped make the HR team stronger, more knowledgeable and certainly more efficient. Streamlining the payroll systems eliminated hours of work and manual data entry.
Along with improved payroll and benefits processes, the fact that all Frontline systems communicate with each other is a major advantage. With Absence Management, substitutes accept jobs electronically and are in classrooms so instruction can continue when teachers are out. On the flip side, teachers and support staff can monitor their own leave balances without having to contact HR. The improvements are evident throughout the district and have made a positive impact on the overall culture.