La Crosse County, the largest county in western Wisconsin, employs approximately 1,400 FTEs across 26 departments spread out across the county. Timesheets were delivered weekly by hand or courier or were faxed to payroll for processing. A payroll staff person spent one-and-a-half days each week entering employee time, which had been approved by supervisors who weren't always familiar with the pay rules. A one-foot high stack of timesheets waited each week to be boxed and then stored for three years. An audit showed timesheets without employee signatures, creating compliance issues for the county. Without access to current accruals information, supervisors sometimes approved unearned time off for employees. The sheriff's office also had a need for a new scheduling system to accurately reflect overtime and 24/7 schedules.
What La Crosse County needed was a solution that could:
- Automate payroll processing to improve efficiencies and staff productivity
- Eliminate the need for paper timesheet storage and automate the audit process
- Help ensure the county pays all employees correctly for all time worked and consistently according to county and union pay rules
- Provide real-time accrual balances so supervisors can see if employees have time available
- Create fair and balanced schedules and overtime assignments for sheriff's deputies
"We definitely are being good stewards of county taxpayer dollars by implementing this [Kronos] system so that we are being efficient in how we process payroll, and we are paying people properly and correctly."
Human Resources Director
La Crosse County implemented Kronos workforce management solutions, including scheduling and shift notifications for sheriff's office staff and time and attendance and leave for all other county staff. The solutions interface with the county's New World solution, which handles HR, payroll, and finance tasks.
- Create schedules that comply with union, HR, and other department rules and policies
- Ensure employees are scheduled based on certification requirements
- Apply rules-based overtime assignments in order of entitlement and provide audit tracking
- Make outbound calls to fill open shifts — according to each position's required qualifications — in minutes instead of hours
- Relay scheduling communications and document all communications
- Track and manage employee time and attendance to reduce payroll manual errors within payroll
- Gain insight into approaching overtime to better control labor costs
- Minimize compliance risk by enforcing and tracking complex compliance requirements
- Control labor costs by accurately calculating and tracking time-off accruals
- Automatically enforce organization-specific accrual policies to support compliance and impartial treatment of employees
- Speed and simplify time-off requests and approvals with visibility into each employee's current accrual balance
Using the scheduling solution, the sheriff's office has automated schedules and detailed reporting on overtime — and can easily calculate charge backs for time spent working events. Nursing home employees can work at more than one facility, and their time is automatically charged to the correct facility. Automated supervisor approval and transfer of employee time has streamlined payroll processing, eliminating hours of data entry and boxes of paper timesheets. An audit can now be performed with the click of a button instead of searches through paper files. With pay and work rules built into the solution, the county is confident that employees are being paid correctly, and employees know they are paid for all time worked, improving their engagement. Access to real-time accruals balances, by employees and supervisors, has eliminated granting of unearned time. Using technology also has enabled La Crosse County to be good stewards of taxpayer funds and has positioned the county to attract and retain quality staff.