University to switch to electronic time and attendance system
July 25, 2011Tweet
The days of math mistakes and miscalculated sick time will soon end for many employees, as the University prepares to implement an electronic time and attendance record-keeping system.
“I think that once (employees) see the time savings and ease of use, it will be easy for them,” said Jeff Hadley, Human Resources associate director of operations. “There has been a lot of positive feedback and it hasn’t even been implemented yet.”
In the new system that replaces paper, employees will enter the State University of New York website through a secure sign-in. They will see an electronic calendar that looks similar to the paper format. All attendance information is entered into the electronic system, which automatically adds, subtracts and adjusts accruals.
“That is a large benefit to anyone who has ever received correction notices from us,” said Victoria Metritikas, Human Resources systems coordinator.
A press of a key sends the electronic form to the employee’s supervisor, who approves the form and sends it to Human Resources with another press of a key.
The electronic format will not only save an employee’s history records, but allow time-off requests to be made.
“If you want to request time off, you can go in and use a request form,” said Sharon Woolever, Human Resources systems manager. “Say you want to take a vacation next summer and you want to see if have enough accruals. This will go in, adjust your accrual charges and (the system will) tell you if you have enough time.”
The project has been in the works for the past two years, as the University volunteered to serve as a pilot campus for SUNY. Binghamton is one of two pilot campuses for the system. SUNY Maritime also will test the system, enabling SUNY to see how the format works at a large and small campus.
“The advantages outweigh the disadvantages because you have a lot of say in the creation of (the system) when you are a pilot campus,” said Woolever, who Hadley called a “key player” in working with SUNY to get the system up and running. “You can get a feel for how it works and it gives you a lead in figuring out how to implement it on campus.”
The next step in that implementation is training, which has already started for the Human Resources staff. A few senior supervisors and those employees who will serve as the initial test users will be trained next. Mandatory training sessions will take place in the fall for professional staff members and will be conducted by the University Center for Training and Development. Professionals will transfer to the electronic format following fall training.
Faculty training and changeover will likely take place early in 2012.
“Our target is to bring the faculty on in January,” Woolever said. “Fall is a tough time to start something with the faculty.”
Other employees will eventually be phased in, Hadley said. The system will not affect employees who now use the Kronos time-keeping system, he added.
Human Resources officials emphasized that the electronic system will have many benefits, including accuracy, efficiency, timeliness and ease of use. HR now manually enters and files the submitted attendance information, keeping seven years of records on campus. Older records are shipped to an off-campus storage facility.
“This is going to be one large database,” Metritikas said of the electronic format. “We now have paper records that are in files by year. It’s a large effort just to keep it all organized. This will make it much easier to research somebody’s history.”
Transferring to the new format also will have an environmental impact on campus, as Hadley predicts that electronic record-keeping will eliminate 7,500-8,000 paper time records per year in the initial phase in the fall.
“This will save reams and reams of paper every month throughout all of the departments,” Hadley said.
Human Resources officials said that challenges will remain even after the system is implemented. For example, HR must stay up-to-date with supervising changes on campus, as it will affect the routing of the electronic forms. But HR officials are pleased that SUNY will still be able to tweak the system in the future based on employees’ suggestions and input.
“It’s exciting to see something you’ve been working on for years be put into actual operation,” Woolever said.