Human Resources Director Jane Cheeks did not hold back her enthusiasm when she got on stage in front of the City of Houston Human Resources Department staff to make the following announcement.
“Good morning! HROne is live!!” she said to the applause of HR employees.
It took two years, but HROne … The City of Houston’s long-awaited plans to update its Human Resources systems … have finally arrived. As Cheeks explained, creating a digital transformation strategic plan aimed at modernizing our HR systems was a top priority.
“In other words, working smarter and not harder,” she said.
Speaking before a crowded room at the garden level auditorium at the Bob Lanier Public Building, Cheeks praised the team for their hard work and diligence in bringing the project to fruition.
“This has been over two years in the making and we are finally here. Each one of you all should be so happy that we are here,” she said. “This is a good thing.”
Under the new plan, Cheeks said the city will benefit from the transformation by using digital technologies to create new or modify existing business practices, culture and customer experiences to meet ever changing HR legal and compliance requirements.
As part of HROne, the city is implementing SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and Benefitplace. Employee Central enhances portal functionality and allows access to information from anywhere, on any device at any time.
Benefitplace streamlines the administration of employee and retiree benefits, making sign up easier and more convenient. Instead of coming in person and delivering your information, employees and retirees will be able to go online and make updates as needed.
BenefitPlace went live for employees and retirees Feb.27.
Together, both components replace the former Employee Self Service (ESS) and Managers Self Service (MSS) portals.
Lisa Kent, the city’s Chief Information Officer who leads the Houston Information Technology and Services Department, worked side by side with HR, Finance, and Administration and Regulatory Affairs departments to help make the plan a reality. Kent called the plan a gamechanger for the entire City of Houston’s more than 21,000 employees.
She also praised the collaboration, calling it a “winning team.”
“Winning teams communicate with each other, they make sure they have situational awareness of what’s going on, and they help share insights to solve problems. You guys did that throughout this entire project,” Kent said.
“Think about what you’ve done. You’ve made it so much easier for your colleagues to be able to go in and make changes to their configurations, and to do it when and where it’s convenient to them. Yay for mobility, and yay for a winning team,” she added.
Mayor Sylvester Turner stopped by the auditorium to also offer his praises for the HROne rollout, calling it “an exciting journey that continues to modernize the city’s HR systems and continues to keep us recognized as a city of excellence.”
“The City of Houston is the biggest corporation in the city. We just happen to be public,” he said. “And because of that, people see everything we do. People see the details of what we do. They see our mistakes, they see our successes, and if you want to get a story, you can get a story from the city of Houston every single day.”
“This Herculean task could not have been made possible without the dedication and partnership across the departments leading this up. I wanted to come here personally to congratulate each one of you. The City of Houston appreciates you and I want to say thank you for a job well done.”