Restaurant Equipment Manufacturer Saves More Than 2,000 Hours By Modernizing HR and Payroll With PaylocityAugust 31, 2021
When Wood Stone implemented remote clock-in and clock-out capabilities, added Community to keep everybody connected, and optimized their data, they were able to maintain their growth curve during a challenging time.
Founded in 1990, Wood Stone Corporation manufactures stone hearth and specialty commercial cooking equipment. To date, they’ve completed 18,000 installations in 80 countries worldwide and maintain a workforce 89 strong. Wood Stone spent decades cultivating a company culture where leadership is accessible and open doors are the norm. However, behind the scenes of this thriving, three-decades-old business, HR protocols and people management couldn’t keep up.
VP of HR, Jane Weston, explains, “When I got here, I realized that managers weren't approving their employees’ time cards. Employees didn't have a way to request time off. They used a public calendar, which was exposed to everyone in the company. So everybody knew that Sally was at the dentist’s office, or Matt was at the doctor's today. The HR department would also hand out physical paychecks on Fridays.”
A few accidentally deleted spreadsheet cells and hundreds of hours of manual clean-up amounted to a wake-up call for them. And when COVID-19 hit, the need for streamlined communication in a centralized location would be more than just helpful, it would be critical to this team of essential workers. Nearly every HR process was manual before Jane championed a switch to Paylocity in November 2019. From physical punch cards to spreadsheets for 401k deductions, Wood Stone needed a modernized HR and payroll solution to match their evolving business and preserve functionality when the unexpected hits.
When Wood Stone decided to modernize their people management processes, Jane focused on three priorities: modernizing time tracking and attendance, centralizing communication, and monitoring data to improve hiring processes and retention. Implementation with Paylocity was a breeze, as Jane explains, “I've been in the HR world my whole working career. I've implemented other systems and this one was the most seamless.”
Clock-in and clock-out from anywhere
By granting employees the ability to clock in and clock out from their shifts anywhere, from the car door to the shop floor, Wood Stone reduced physical touchpoints and increased flexibility for their employees, whether on-site or working remotely during COVID-19. Jane adds, “Employees can clock in and out from anywhere making it significantly easier and streamlined. Their managers still approve time cards, but the process is so much simpler.” By giving employees this level of autonomy using Paylocity’s solutions, workflow improved.
A communication hub to increase connection
Before adding Community, communication was a challenge for Wood Stone. Without a centralized system and old-school methods, it was a tall order to ensure every employee could access important policy information, get real-time company announcements, and stay up-to-date on valuable company-wide metrics. With Community available to every employee, including new employees and seasoned staff, using the mobile app to connect, leadership can get their message across quickly without hitting walls.
“Our experience with 401(k) contributions is night and day—for the first time, there are zero errors. Our team has renewed confidence in the integrity of the data and can spend their time on strategic initiatives like improving turnover.”
Jane reflects on the change, “We can communicate with our employees about anything at the drop of a hat.” She explains one of the key benefits is, “empowering people because now they've got the information at their fingertips rather than having to come and ask for it.”
When COVID-19 hit, quick access to timely information became even more critical. Jane shares, “At the beginning of the pandemic, I was sending out almost daily updates on what was happening to keep people apprised. There was a lot of anxiety. We're an essential employer, so we had a lot of nervous people around. They wanted to know what was happening and what we were going to do to protect them? And so we used Community as a tool to engage with employees and keep them up to date.”
Data at everyone’s fingertips
With endless spreadsheets and disconnected HR documentation, it was a challenge to track data and gain meaningful insights at Wood Stone. By incorporating Data Insights, Jane and her team can quickly access and track vital data about turnover rates, time to fill a position, demographics, and Community engagement. She explains, “It's all been helping us build a robust knowledge of our people. I can quickly look at what our average salary is. I can run reports on all of the demographics for people. That would have taken a long time in the previous system or we would have had to call the payroll company to run it for us. We didn’t have the ability to easily create reports or have any canned reports.” And it’s not just the HR department capitalizing on Data Insights. Jane notes, “I've noticed that our operations manager, who probably has the largest number of employees, in there running his own reports, which is really exciting.”
“Employees can clock in and out from anywhere making it significantly easier and streamlined. Their managers still approve timecards, but the process is so much simpler."
It didn’t take long for Wood Stone to start saving time and increasing satisfaction with a modernized HR and payroll solution in place. Switching to a more efficient time and attendance tracking process saved the company over 1,000 hours a year. Jane notes the employees no longer have to stand in line, waiting to punch in and out, ensuring employees can get to work on time, and HR personnel can transition away from approving timecards.
HR saved 1,000 hours a year by implementing Community. Communication before Paylocity went through phone calls and bulletin boards, but with most employees on the app now, the HR personnel can focus on leadership messaging and analyzing metrics. The ability to share key data insights with employees has reinforced a transparent work culture. Jane notes, “We know we have data integrity with Paylocity, and that’s helped us gain trust with our employees.”
The days of manual repairs of 401k spreadsheets are long gone; the 401k integration and automation saved HR 100 hours per year that would otherwise be spent cross-checking and correcting data. Wood Stone effectively leveled up their accuracy. Jane says, “Our experience with 401(k) contributions is night and day—for the first time, there are zero errors. Our team has renewed confidence in the integrity of the data and can spend their time on strategic initiatives like improving turnover.”
By partnering with Paylocity, Wood Stone created a people management infrastructure primed for success. That infrastructure also played a pivotal role in connecting, informing, and communicating with employees through a pandemic. “Paylocity has opened doors for us, while saving us thousands of hours, and that’s priceless,” says Jane.
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