When the Penn National Gaming opened Hollywood Casino Toledo in 2012, the entire HR department was paper-based. Pre-open hiring for Hollywood brought more than 1300 employees onto the team—each with 20-30 pieces of paperwork—resulting in tens of thousands of personnel documents.
The gaming industry has an exceptionally high turnover rate. An average of 30 employees are hired each month to replace those who have separated from the company. Like many HR departments, Hollywood Casino maintained a locked file room that housed the approximately 30,000 personnel forms and reams of other documentation. HR team members were scheduled for 3 to 4 hour stretches spent exclusively on filing. It was a waste of time and talent, and still resulted in incomplete files and missing information.
Within just a few months, Human Resources Director Jason Morris and his team of 10 HR professionals were buried in paper. “I asked the team what should have been a simple question: Do we have proper documentation for all our employees?” Morris recalls. “We didn’t know. And we couldn’t find out without going through every file and looking at every piece of paper. By hand. That was the turning point.”
However, their initial experiment with a standard paperless system was just short of a disaster. It consisted of transitioning existing electronic document management software they were using in the corporate accounting department into Hollywood’s HR department to help reduce the burden of physical documents. It wasn’t long before Morris realized the system just wasn’t a good fit. Documentation wasn’t easily accessible and employees weren’t comfortable with it so they were printing out files anyway.
“I asked the team what should have been a simple question: Do we have proper documentation for all our employees? We didn’t know. And we couldn’t find out without going through every file and looking at every piece of paper. By hand. That was the turning point.”
Morris immediately started looking for a new solution that could keep up with their large volume of employees, high turnover and high recruitment rates. He needed a system that would be readily adopted by his team and that would integrate seamlessly with their existing Human Resource Information System (HRIS.)
PSIsafe was not only HR-ready right out of the box, but the PSIGEN team was able to configure the software for Hollywood’s unique gaming industry needs. Both HR departments in general and Hollywood Casino’s HR department, specifically, have particular requirements outside of what many electronic content management systems provide.
For example, gaming employees need specific information recorded, such as gaming license numbers, but non-gaming employees don’t. PSIGEN incorporated gaming specific forms, fields and language into PSIsafe that ensured every detail was accurately captured. Then they built onboarding procedures that allowed the HR team to identify gaming or non-gaming employees with a single click, serving up only the forms and fields needed—nothing more.
Integration with UltiPro, Hollywood’s HRIS, was also a key requirement. Most document management systems Morris looked at required direct access to UltiPro, something that made Penn National corporate uncomfortable. PSIsafe, by contrast, established a secure, automated system for sharing predefined data with UltiPro—no backdoor required.
Although gaming is a 24/7 business and employee files need to be accessible at any time of day, the HR team works a normal 9-5 schedule. The fact that PSIsafe offers both an iPhone and Android mobile app was a huge bonus for Morris, especially considering many of the managers don’t have access to desktop computers while they’re working.
“I can’t tell you how many 2 a.m. calls I used to get from managers on the floor who were looking for employee information,” Morris says. “The PSIsafe apps let everyone securely access the info that is essential to their operations whenever and wherever they are.”
The mobility of PSIsafe also transformed their onboarding process. New employees fill out and sign hiring documents straight from an iPad. Those are then automatically sent to that employee’s electronic file, where the system flags any essentials that are missing.
“My team isn’t tied to their desks anymore,” Morris says. “If we’re slamming, onboarding can even happen in the hallway!”
“Rather than us changing how we worked to fit their software, they asked how we wanted to run our business and then configured features around that. I’ve never experienced that kind of customer service in my life.”
In 2016, Morris approached PSIGEN about incorporating attendance points tracking into their PSIsafe system. For Hollywood Casino, attendance points are a crucial part of the employee file, but they are constantly changing and difficult to keep up with. Initially, the company was using Excel sheets to keep track, which was cumbersome and incredibly inaccurate. Managers never knew how many attendance points their direct reports had, since the Excel sheets were inaccessible and not always up-to-date.
“My team was spending three hours a week just typing up attendance points, but no one could really understand what they were seeing on the Excel docs,” Morris says. “Plus, we had no way of auditing if there were errors—and we had employees contesting their points all the time.”
Within a month of reaching out to PSIGEN, Hollywood Casino had a working prototype. The cutting-edge solution works with a simple attendance module and tracks points instantly. Managers can access live, up-to-date information at a moment’s notice – even at 2 a.m.
“All the points-tracking software we reviewed required time clock integration and other complexities we just didn’t need or want,” Morris says.
Morris was able to turn around and sell the idea to seven other Penn National properties. The corporate team loved it so much that they kicked in funding to get it fully developed. By summer 2017, the system will be fully implemented on every single property.
“The PSIsafe module is straight-up effective and has saved us a ton of time and headaches.”