Customer Stories

Power Construction builds an empowered workforce

With Ceridian’s Dayforce, Chicago’s number one contractor gains more than a new HCM solution. It finds a partner that shares its values and keeps it on the cutting edge of technology.

Founded in 1926, Power Construction originated as a family-owned and operated company. Today, Power Construction is the number one general/commercial contractor in the Chicago area, and the company has been voted as a top workplace for the past three years by the Chicago Tribune.

Employees from the founder down are committed to building strong relationships and to bringing personal attention to every client and project.

“One great thing about Power is that so much of our company is based on family values. We approach our business very much like we would a relationship, which explains why 90% of our work is with repeat clients. We hold a reputation of doing the right thing for an owner and a client every time,” says Shahara Byford, Power Construction’s Director of Human Resources.

“We really take pride in our reputation and feel that it is the foundation of our culture. It’s important to enjoy the place you work and the people you work with, because you've got to believe in the company you work for.”

Power Construction achieves its success by following its beliefs – that relationships matter, being a people-driven company is key, finding a better way is possible, and that the long term counts. These beliefs, coupled will Power’s strongly held family values, make the company extremely selective when it comes to hiring, and highly committed to its employees and clients.

“We are people-driven and have approachable attitudes. It’s our company culture. Our typical Power employee does everything and then some,” says Mary Sandner, Power’s HR Manager. “We're also on the cutting edge of technology and construction, so I think it’s very important for our HR professionals to also be on the cutting edge of technology.”

Inefficient HR systems inhibited growth

Power Construction has grown significantly over the last four years. The company currently employs 330 office and salaried employees and around 300 trade and craft employees. Staff numbers can swell from 450 to 600 employees depending on the projects underway and how many union and trades are employed.

“With the growth comes the challenge of trying to maintain our culture, because we really pride ourselves on it,” says Shahara. “We began as a small family company. Sometimes it gets hard to maintain a personal touch when you grow to more than 600 employees.”

No company wants to be held back during growth, and especially not because of a dated payroll system. Power Construction began experiencing problems with its existing, dated system. HR was continuously fielding questions from staff on how to reset passwords or access certain information. While each question would only take a few seconds to respond to, with 20 employees asking multiple times a day, the time drain added up quickly.

“We knew that we weren't going to get any more enhancements from our current system. Customer support was even slowly being pulled back. So we thought, ‘Why would we add another module from that vendor?’ We were no longer getting the help we needed, which was frustrating at times when we couldn’t find any answers. That’s when we realized that we needed to start shopping for a new solution,” says Dhara Thakkar, Power Construction’s HR Generalist.

Power Construction became a Ceridian customer in December 2015, and went live with Dayforce HCM in October 2016.

“I can honestly and confidently say most people didn't know what HR payroll system we used before Dayforce HCM. People didn't know how to access it and even if they knew, there wasn't much they could do in the system outside of seeing their earning statements. Even encouraging our employees to go into their portals within that old system was impossible to do because nobody knew where to go to login. It really impacted employees because they couldn’t be self-sufficient,” explains Dhara.

One system fixing multiple problems

“Dayforce’s integration of all of the various modules was a major reason we chose the solution. Everything from the candidate resume in the Recruiting module, to onboarding, to having the HR payroll process all on the same platform makes everyday tasks so much easier,” says Dhara.

The centralized model also allows Power Construction to gather better data and more easily report on the HR function.

“Dayforce enabled us to put everything in one easily accessible database. We did build in some feeds where we can communicate with other programs that we used prior to Dayforce but we’ve been continuously evaluating our productivity and are putting more and more into Dayforce because it's working so well,” adds Shahara.

“The biggest differentiator has been getting data and getting reporting done easily instead of using four or five spreadsheets. We are able to produce reports on a regular basis and get them over to executives quickly so that they can make the necessary decisions for the company.”

Prior to Dayforce, Power Construction used three separate systems for recruiting. The recruitment process required entering the new hire’s name and address into all three systems, and it could take anywhere from half an hour to a full hour to set up a new employee’s profile. Now, the HR team has a streamlined hiring process.

“All I need now is the new hire’s resume and application. All their forms from the onboarding, to the HR hire form, to the payroll information are now all housed in Dayforce. I just have to click through the tabs, update the small bits of information that may not have been captured in a form, and I'm done. It’s now a 15-minute process versus an hour. It’s a huge time saver and makes a big difference,” says Dhara.

A true partner with common values

While Dayforce was implemented to organize Power Construction’s HR processes and to put all the information employees need right at their fingertips, Ceridian also won the hearts of the people at Power Construction. It was clear from the outset the two companies shared a common set of values, built around personal attention and great customer service.

“I feel that our values and the things that we're working towards align with Ceridian. Dayforce keeps us on the edge of technology, but the team at Ceridian also makes sure that we’re not becoming lost in the implementation,” says Mary.

Beyond all the benefits that come from streamlined processes, self-service access and better reporting, Dayforce delivers probably the most important benefit of all. It allows Power Construction’s HR team to put the company’s people first – even in the middle of the night.

Mary recounts a personal story: “One of our employees and his wife recently had a baby. He called us around midnight wondering about his family’s coverage. There were some health concerns and the baby was going to have to remain in hospital for a while. Our employee was looking to resubmit all of his claims and to add the newborn to the benefits. I told him not to worry and that all he had to do was get on his phone, login to Dayforce and click ‘Life Event.’ I received the request from my phone, hit accept and he was granted access to the system to add the baby’s name, date of birth, and select all of the important benefits he needed right away. Dayforce made it incredibly easy for everything to come together. This solution impacts our families every day.”

“Dayforce is such a great partner for us because it helps us be the best we can be, and that is something Power has always been committed to. We’re no longer held back – we’re empowered. We’re going to stay on the cutting edge and continue our legacy of delivering great customer service and building outstanding projects,” says Shahara.

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