Diabetes is one of the biggest health epidemics of the 21st century. More than 30 million Americans live with diabetes today, and that number continues to grow at an alarming rate. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) was founded 80 years ago to find a cure. Today, the organization is on a mission to help those living with diabetes thrive, while the quest for a cure continues.
Every single employee at the ADA, regardless of their role or background, is connected to the cause. “Everyone here is doing everything possible to help us fulfill our mission,” says CEO Tracey Brown, who has herself lived with diabetes for the last 14 years.
Armed with this first-hand experience, she speaks to the sense of urgency and energy that drives her organization’s culture. “We need people to understand that to bend the curve and stop the rise of those living with this disease, it’s going to take a collective ecosystem. My hope is that when you walk through our organization, you sense an energy and a drive within our workforce to not only awaken the world, but to help change behaviors.”
The ADA has approximately 500 employees, including 238 in the field, made up of full-time and part-time workers. In the summer it adds 1,000+ seasonal workers who run diabetes camps for children.
"Onboarding, especially during the summer season when camps are running, can be exhausting when you are doing it all on paper,” says Jeanine Jones, VP of Human Resources for the ADA. “On top of our normal workforce of 500, we have to get all the seasonal workers processed and their state taxes sorted to make sure we are taxing people based on where they are working. When you are processing things on paper there are inconsistencies and room for errors.”
Highly manual processes were further complicated by multiple systems, which meant the ADA HR team and leadership were forever pulling data from various places and jury-rigging information to build a complete picture of the organization’s workforce activities.
“It would take us a couple of days of manipulating spreadsheets to get our leadership any data they needed,” admits Jones. “Data drives everything these days. It helps you make informed decisions. We were hampered in our business decision-making because we had disparate systems that weren’t talking to each other.”
Jones freely admits she was dreading the Dayforce implementation. “It was causing me anxiety. At the time we signed on with Dayforce, the ADA was in the process of an implementation with another vendor that had gone on for two years. I’d been hearing horror stories from my colleagues about issues they encountered with files and training and the lack of materials required to get everyone up to speed."
She was very pleasantly surprised.
“The Dayforce implementation was the easiest I’ve done in my 20 years of working,” says Jones. “Ceridian and their implementation partner, Seequelle, just made it so easy. They surrounded us with a customer success manager, a project manager, and a technical expert. They walked us through what we should expect. They built a neatly organized project plan. It was almost too good to be true.”
Lia Yohannes, ADA's payroll manager agrees. “My favorite part of the Dayforce implementation was the training and our weekly status meetings. We were able to catch problems and fix them right away. Our implementation team was great. They gave us a workbook to follow and provided us with an update every week. And the Dayforce platform, well, I just love it. It is so easy to use. I can envision the ADA implementing more Dayforce capabilities such as Recruiting, Benefits, Time and Attendance, and Performance Management. That will allow us to centralize all employee information into a single system of record.”
Everything’s changed for the ADA since the implementation of Dayforce. Now, the organization has a single system to manage payroll and benefits administration, to drive greater visibility into workforce planning and administration, and to enable the business to move forward with greater speed and agility.
“We need to use innovation to create a new paradigm and to think about new ways of solving problems,” says Brown. “That means using data and technology as the disruptors. Our world is changing at a very fast pace, which means our people need to move at incredible speeds."
“We get a lot of requests for organizational data,” says Jones. “Before Dayforce, we used to keep big Excel spreadsheets. Now we’re able to pull information from Dayforce easily, in less than an hour.”
ADA’s payroll process is a critical HR function. But like other parts of HR, it was bogged down by manual data entry and paper-based methods. “Before Dayforce we’d have to go through multiple applications to process, run and transmit payroll. There were two of us in the payroll department and it used to take us one full day to review it, then another to transmit it, and we’d also have to manually calculate things like retro pay,” describes Yohannes.
Since Dayforce, payroll has become easier and more efficient. “What used to take a full day to review and finalize now takes 40 minutes, and it only takes 45 minutes to transmit payroll. As a result, we now manage the entire payroll process with just one person,” she notes.
Dayforce also helps the ADA stay in compliance with state-related tax requirements. With seasonal workers coming on and off payroll, the organization used to find itself frequently falling out of compliance with state tax reciprocal agreements, particularly when an employee was living in one state and working in another. The necessary adjustments cost the ADA’s payroll team time, and the organization money.
Dayforce solves that problem by categorizing employees by their work assignment location and their living location, which provides ADA payroll staff with the necessary information to stay compliant with state tax laws.
“Before Dayforce, it used to take time to update the self-service site where the employee would submit HR data and the payroll application because they were completely different applications,” says Yohannes. “Now, with Dayforce, the changes happen in real time. When an employee updates their HR information, it shows up on the payroll side. We can run the payroll at any time of day and fix errors to ensure our employees are paid correctly. It’s also easier for employees, who used to have to submit their state tax forms on paper. Now with Dayforce it’s all online and they can view their W-2’s electronically as well.”
As ADA's CEO, Tracy Brown aspires to transform the world as it relates to the diabetes epidemic. And she knows that to help people living with the disease thrive until a cure is found, she needs a highly engaged workforce to help realize her vision. This means deeper insight into the employees who make up the ADA.
“Do we understand what our associates need and want from our organization? Do we know what would make their lives better? What would make them more engaged? That body of knowledge comes out of HR,” says Brown. “So, the more we can use Dayforce to deliver the data we need to help us define our strategies and define our culture, the better.”