Clemson University Improves Efficiency and Reduces Overtime Costs Using Kronos Solution
Ranked 25th among national public universities, Clemson University is a major land-grant, science- and engineering-oriented research university that maintains a strong commitment to teaching and student success. Clemson is an inclusive, student-centered community characterized by high academic standards, a culture of collaboration, school spirit, and a competitive drive to excel.
- Manual weekly tallying of hours worked created challenges in calculating time for public safety personnel on 14-day and 21-day schedules
- Paper timesheets didn’t always reflect actual “real-time” employee punches
- Supervisors spent extra time tracking down missing timesheets and additional time with re-calculations
- Leave information was manually entered into a university system that couldn’t communicate with the university’s PeopleSoft solution for payroll purposes
- Storage requirements of seven years for paper timesheets required considerable space
- An automated timekeeping and workforce management solution that easily integrates with the university’s PeopleSoft solution
- Managers have accurate real-time data on employees’ actual hours worked, leave time, overtime, and comp time for improved decision making and compliance
- Employees’ actual time worked is tracked by pay period, reducing overtime
- Rounding rules are automatically and consistently applied, improving compliance
- Leave and work time are accurately tracked and now integrated within one system
- Shifting from paper to electronic timekeeping supports the university’s green initiative
- Complete records of time worked and time off are all in one timesheet within a system that exports to PeopleSoft
THE STORY – Clemson University
Using a paper-based timekeeping system, Clemson University faced challenges in accurately tracking the time of its hourly student employees and nonexempt salaried employees. Making this more difficult were the 14-day schedules of its police officers and 21-day schedules of fire and EMS employees.
Nonexempt salaried employees often listed the same work times each day and didn’t always note leave time taken, creating overpayment and compliance issues. In addition, supervisors spent time each pay period gathering student timesheets and rechecking student calculations.
Improved compliance and smooth integration
The university realized it needed to track real time worked by hourly and nonexempt salaried employees and accurately capture overtime and leave time. A new automated workforce management solution would also need time clock, web, and mobile device time-capture capabilities and need to work seamlessly with the university’s PeopleSoft solution. Following an RFP process, Clemson University selected the Kronos® Workforce Central® suite for its Student Affairs division. The result has been the capture of actual time worked, accurate overtime calculations and leave time records, paper and time savings, and the ability to export information straight to pay lines and leave records.
“We wanted audit compliance and needed to capture actual time worked,” says Kathi Shivar, HR manager and Kronos administrator for Student Affairs. “The ability to capture real time was a big factor in our choosing Kronos, and Kronos is compatible with PeopleSoft.”
Overpaid overtime reduced 40 percent
Clemson University can now track employee time by pay period, improving compliance with FLSA regulations. Employees are paid through the PeopleSoft solution, and the university exports exceptions via Kronos for its nonexempt salaried employees every two weeks. A second payroll export was created for the 21-day schedule of fire and EMS staff. For both hourly and nonexempt salaried employees, the Kronos solution captures actual hours worked, leave time, overtime, and comp time earned.
“Much of our 40 percent reduction in overtime costs is due to overtime now being tracked by pay period and not payroll work week,” notes Shivar. Additional overtime cuts have been realized with rounding rules applied automatically and consistently.
FLSA compliance issues and leave liability mitigated
The automated timekeeping system has mitigated potential compliance issues. With the tracking of employees’ actual time, timesheets are accurate to the minute — helpful information in the event of an audit. Unrecorded shift swaps and changes no longer occur, improving compliance with FLSA regulations. Previously, if a university employee was working but not officially clocked in and got injured, the employee would have been ineligible for workers’ compensation.
Leave liability also has been reduced with leave time accurately tracked and consistently applied. When employees request leave time in the university’s Kronos solution, managers now have the tools to easily determine if they have available leave time. When approving employee time each pay period, managers can see if an employee has the correct number of hours worked or leave time available to reach the required total. The automated solution has eliminated employees’ taking time off without submitting leave.
“The system’s capability to tell managers how much employees have worked, minute by minute, day by day, has given them a better tool to anticipate employee work schedules and control costs,” explains Stephen Robbins, associate vice president of student affairs.
Paper savings support green initiative
Clemson University also has seen significant paper savings with electronic timekeeping, supporting its environmental focus. Timekeeping records must be kept for seven years, which created considerable space requirements and associated costs with paper timesheets.
Advice for other universities
Shivar recommends other universities not wait to automate timekeeping. “You will save time and money in the long run,” she says. “Just make sure you have the right players at the table.” The Student Affairs division involved staff from across the university. Upper administration support is also key, shares Robbins. Despite challenging economic times, a compelling case helped administrators support the investment.
“Following presentations, people were eager to get on board,” adds Shivar. “This shortened the learning curve and helped management to be on board, which helped reduce change management issues.”
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