Enable Process Standardization through HRS

The Human Resources Service Center, a key part of the newly created University of Wisconsin Shared Services unit, provides a wide array of payroll and benefit services to UW System Administration and the academic institutions that comprise UW System. This project is designed to identify common processes for UW System institutions to manage their employee related data and processes, creating efficiencies in key human resources functions including hiring, payroll and benefits management. It aligns specifically to one of CORE’s four central principles: business process standardization.

Since the beginning of fiscal year 2018, the Service Center has standardized its processing of COBRA requests from former UW System employees who have requested a continuation of health care coverage after leaving the organization. Also in FY2018, the Service Center rolled out a dashboard to assist managers in approving time and absence requests.

During fiscal year 2019, additional processes will be targeted for standardization, including:

  • The application of the payroll tax for foreign nationals working for UW System
  • The deployment of more online self-service functionality to help UW System employees file and update their federal W-2 and W-4 tax forms.
  • Developing easier-to-use electronic timesheets

To track and quantify the impact of these business process improvements, the Service Center has been using a tool called the Process Improvement Evaluator (PIE). HRS employees can use PIE to document the number of work hours saved by specific process improvements. In Fiscal Year 2018 alone, Service Center employees documented over 2,000 hours saved.

“To me, that’s the essence of CORE,” said Diann Sypula, HRS Service Center Director.  “The time and effort saved through these improvements is spread out across the operation. It doesn’t replace a person, but instead allows existing teams to do other things.”

Support implementation of BI Reporting Tool (OBIEE)

The Human Resources Service Center made the decision to replace its legacy human resources reporting system with the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) tool, a platform that allows HRS to collect more accurate and consistent human resources data, leading to improved analysis and reporting. As of July 2018, one of the core elements of OBIEE, the Human Resources Shared Queries module, was up and running. For the remainder of the year, UW System campuses will be migrating legacy reports to the new system.

Expand Institutional Service and Support

In the fall of 2017, the UW System Office of Human Resources debuted Ask Alex, an online tool to help UW System employees get answers to their questions about benefits during the Annual Benefit Enrollment period. Nearly 15,000 UW employees visited and made use of the tool to get information about their medical, dental and vision benefits, as well as their flexible and health savings accounts. Nearly 74 percent of users who responded to a survey about Ask Alex indicated that they had a better understanding of their benefits package after using it. Ask Alex is the first of several planned online improvements to employee benefits administration. Tools like this redirect HR staff time from explaining benefits to other tasks.

In 2018, the UW System Office of Human Resources also launched a new professional development program, UW-LEaD (Learning Education and Development). This 8 session, 2 track program is designed to enhance communication skills, influence collaboration and deepen employee engagement of UWSA employees. The first cohorts of the “Organizational Contributors” track and the “People Managers” track began in September 2018.  UW System President Cross said of the new offering, “This leadership development program will help to develop our talent, and encourage our leaders to be engaging, strategic and influential in creating a positive and sustainable future.”

Other service expansions currently in progress include the streamlining of TSA administration, the provision of centralized H1B expertise, and growth of training resources such as LawRoom.

Roll out improved talent management tool

Through a strategic analysis of the current state of talent management, this project aims to develop a long-term plan that includes new guidelines, efficient processes and cutting-edge tools to manage, retain and develop UW System employee talent.

Conduct a Title and Total Compensation Project

In late 2017, UW System Administration’s Human Resources partnered with Mercer Consulting to launch a multi-year, system-wide Title and Total Compensation (TTC) Project. The effort has several goals, including standardizing job descriptions and re-organizing 1,800 job titles into a simplified and structured framework of job families. The TTC Project also includes a benchmarking component, comparing UW System’s benefits package against its peers and competitors. The overarching goal is the recruitment and retention of top employee talent.

The job framework has been created, and efforts are currently focused on creating new, function-based job descriptions to populate it. In addition, an employee benefits preferences survey is being conducted, one of several points at which employee input will be incorporated into the process.


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