Time & Attendance
Ranch Ehrlo Society, a non-profit for youth and family developmental services, partnered with Workforce.com to better serve its community by implementing reliable, mobile-first scheduling.
In 1966, Dr. Geoff Pawson saw six boys who needed a chance – a chance to be understood, counseled, and supported. Dr. Pawson took this chance by opening a single group home in Saskatchewan, Canada. Over the next several decades, that home expanded to other homes, campuses and programs, which became Ranch Ehrlo Society, a non-profit agency providing developmental services for 260 struggling families, youth, and adults. Today, it offers a wide range of programs, including group living services, family treatment, foster care, affordable housing, counseling services, inner-city recreation, and independent education. "Most people come to the Ranch with a history of complex trauma, including abuse, neglect, violence, addiction, and poverty," says Malcolm Neill, Vice President of Strategy & Organizational Development. Since starting with Ranch Ehrlo in 1988, Malcolm has played an instrumental role in shaping the organization to its current state. "People do as well as they can," adds Malcolm. "And if they can't do well, part of our treatment goal is to change the environment, work on the relationships, and get them involved in positive activities so they can succeed."
Ranch Ehrlo's workforce of nearly 1,000 dedicated employees fuels its renowned level of care and support. But managing a workforce of this size is challenging, especially while wrestling with antiquated scheduling and time-tracking software. "Our major challenge is one of labor and human resources," says Malcolm. "It's about making sure we have enough staff with the right skills to work with a young person."Their old system made finding these optimal staffing levels and reliably adjusting coverage exceedingly difficult. The society’s former user interface, an unreliable backfilling process, and a lack of mobile schedule accessibility led to many short-staffed situations. "Somebody wouldn't show up for a night shift, and we couldn’t easily replace them in the old system, so another staff member or the manager would need to stay behind – and now we owe overtime," Kayleen Nemanishen, a configuration analyst for the Ranch, reflects in frustration. After seven years of unsuccessful negotiations and configurations, Ranch Ehrlo knew it was time to find a different workforce management solution. "It's better for the staff, but it's also better for the kids," says Malcolm. "When staff don’t have to focus on scheduling errors and issues, they are freed to spend their time and energy where is matters- building relationships with our youth and families."
Since workforce management issues plagued the entire organization from the bottom up, Ranch Ehrlo's decision came down to what its direct care employees valued most.
"They wanted to be able to flip into an app, ask for time off, switch shifts, and adjust things in a much more intuitive way with their thumbs," shares Malcolm.
More than just mobile self-service features, Ranch Ehrlo also needed to streamline scheduling and timesheet approvals for managers. Managers wanted to build and edit shifts quickly and required access to live employee data on labor costs, work hours, variances, and qualifications.
The final but most important requirement was that their new system had to integrate with UKG (formerly known as UltiPro), which they used for HR (Human Resources) and payroll. Any scheduling improvements would mean nothing if they existed in a vacuum - management wanted user and timesheet data to flow perfectly between all systems.
Before supporting people in need, those who provide the support need to be supported. Ranch Ehrlo recognized this and partnered with Workforce.com to elevate its operations at every level.
"We're much nimbler now in making sure that if children need more support, we know how to allocate staff to help them," says Malcolm.
Since implementing Workforce.com, Ranch Ehrlo has continued to serve its community as well as it always has – only now without the administrative pains of the past. Here are a few of the critical areas where Ranch Ehrlo has seen the most benefit from choosing Workforce.com:
Workforce.com wrapped up implementation with Ranch Ehrlo in just 12 weeks. "It was a quick turnaround from when we first met to finally going live – we didn't waste much time, and we didn't lose momentum," shares Kayleen.
The Ranch Ehrlo team saw value every step of the way, quickly developing confidence in the system as features were configured and integrations were built. "It was really nice to feel like there was a knowledge transfer going on during implementation," Kayleen reflects. "I felt confident going into the launch date, knowing I could make any changes I needed."
After the complexity of their last system, Ranch Ehrlo knew they needed a simple interface – and Workforce.com fit that bill. From executives down to direct care staff, the platform delivers a user-friendly experience designed to simplify operations.
"I've heard from several staff since we've started how easy [Workforce.com] is to use, how easy it is to schedule staff, how clear it is to see if you have the right coverage, and how simple it is for staff to submit their time," says Kayleen.
Workforce.com fits into Ranch Ehrlo's software stack at a critical mid-point. It pulls user data directly from UKG for scheduling and tracking time, and it also exports timesheets to UKG's payroll system via a custom-built integration. These systems work in unison, ensuring employees are scheduled and paid accurately.
Scheduling managers have a wealth of shift planning tools and live metrics at their disposal to get staff where they need to be. Features like schedule filtering, best-fit sorting, and shift bidding make determining staffing needs for every team at every location simple. "It's very clear if we need to find additional coverage to fill a vacant shift," says Kayleen. "We have the security of knowing that no matter where, we're going to have proper coverage to take care of people."
Ranch Ehrlo can now easily track discrepancies between scheduled and actual hours worked, helping them pinpoint where and when they overspend on labor. "There was no real way with our old system to compare variance," says Kayleen. "With Workforce.com, it's super apparent – if somebody works 30 minutes longer than scheduled, it shows right on their timesheet."
For over 50 years, Ranch Ehrlo has worked to strengthen families across Saskatchewan. Over these years, they have seen tremendous growth and countless success stories – but most impressively, their goal remains the same.
"We strive to help our youth, adults, and families live their best lives by reaching their full potential and we continue to make improvements, so we deliver the most effective programs and services," says Malcolm. To continue leading the way in this effort, the Ranch took time to reinforce every part of its operations, including its business systems like workforce management.
"You could look at Workforce.com as just a scheduling app. But I think when you zoom out, what it ensures is that we are providing care and services for people in a reliable way," reflects Kayleen.
For many more years to come, Ranch Ehrlo will continue to provide services that lay a foundation for future generations to make the most of life.