Goodbye Paper, Hello Web: Employee History Reports Now Online

The days of having to use paper file cards or search through multiple computer windows to get employee history information are rapidly fading. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of several groups, campus departments can now quickly review online reports detailing the hire, separation, leave of absence, and salary changes of their employees. This new business tool saves significant amounts of time for both the central offices producing the reports and for staff who need to access the data found within them.

The online Employee History reports, initially developed for Human Resources by the Payroll/Personnel Decision Support team, were tested in January 2004 by representatives from the campus central offices, deans? offices, and departments. Following a period of review and refinement, the history reports were opened in June 2004 to all approved representatives on campus and at the UC Davis Medical Center.

The Way It Used to Be

In the past, department staff members had to rely upon their manually maintained paper files of record changes. Although some Employee History information was online via the Payroll/Personnel System (PPS), there was no simple way to reconstruct this data. Linda Durst, Project Manager for Payroll/Personnel Decision Support explains: ?If a staff member or administrator were interested in learning the job history of a staff employee (e.g. dates, job titles, and amounts of merit increases), she would have to go through multiple files and screens and piece together the information on paper.?

For Human Resources, the old process also required significant resources. To ensure that employees were compensated properly and that changes were handled according to policy, procedure and/or union contract, compiled history data for each employee was kept primarily on paper file cards (called ?cardineers?). These cardineers then had to be verified and updated each time employee information was modified in the Payroll/Personne l System. As can be imagined, the sheer number of these modifications (called ?Post Authorization Notifications?) created a logistical logjam.

Faster, Easier, More Precise

To deal with this challenge, Human Resources worked with the Payroll/Personnel System Decision Support team to develop a series of Employee History reports that allow both Human Resources and individual departments to easily access and verify this information online. Staff now no longer need to dig through marked-up report hardcopies or scroll through multiple screens to track down the exact information they needed. ?Using these pre-formatted PPS reports, authorized staff can now pull up a vast selection of information on an as-needed basis,? says Kim Osmonson, an Analyst with Human Resources in the Office of Administration.

Future Sees Increased Use of Online Reports, UC Campuses Sharing Knowledge

According to Durst, these Employee History reports are only the latest example of the usefulness of online reports. Several existing monthly reports detailing personnel actions and payroll expenses have been moved online. While comprehensive and accurate, these previously printed reports were often unwieldy (some approached 1000 pages) and required significant parsing to find specific data. Online access has also allowed the campus to cut back on the printing and mailing of reports, conserving large amounts of paper and other resources. ?We are very fortunate to have IET's technical expertise at our disposal,? shares Osmonson.

As staff usage of such reports continues to increase, the shift toward online access is well on its way. More than 20 additional related reports have already been targeted to move from print to online. ?Over the last two years, there has been a 15% average growth rate in both the number of active users as well as report usage,? says Durst. ?This past fiscal year, over 1100 campus and medical center employees ran more than 243,000 online reports, many of which would previously have been printed.?

Several UC campuses are now working together to share code for creating these useful reports. ?We can collaborate because all the campuses use the same Payroll/Personnel System,? relays Durst. ?We've' shared code with UC San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz, and plan to assist UC Merced as it continues to develop.?

These reports and many others are available to authorized users through MyUCDavis, the campus Web portal (click on the ?MyOffice? tab). Staff members are encouraged to email report suggestions to