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Responses to DOCHROC Suggestion Link

The Department of Commerce Human Resources Operations Center (DOCHROC) implemented an electronic feedback link for all DOCHROC employees and serviced clients to submit suggestions. It is our hope that this feedback will lead to improved employee and client retention and satisfaction, problem identification and resolution, and overall improved DOCHROC services and functions. Below are the responses to the various suggestions/comments that have been received thus far.

Suggestion

A general overview/training course on WebTA should be offered -- when I was asked to take over timekeeping duties for our office, there was absolutely NO training offered, and I had to scramble around asking any timekeeper I could how to perform certain tasks, etc. The system is NOT user friendly, often confusing, and I would think that training should be offered to timekeepers on a system that handles your time and getting paid -- the reason we are all here every day. The lack of overall timekeeper training is really unacceptable.

The error training was OK, however, it hinged on errors that are on some sort of report that WE DON'T EVEN GET TO SEE. I don't receive anything except for those fixed error reports from NFC that are basically useless. I wouldn't recommend the training to anyone until those so-called "error reports" are made available. We can't fix or avoid errors when we don't even get to see the database/report in the first place.

Response

While we apologize that your had such difficulty with your first experience as a timekeeper, there is information available to assist you with your biweekly timekeeping duties. Specifically, the Departmental Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) website contains user guides for all roles in the timekeeping process; the timekeeper, the employee, the supervisor, master timekeepers and supervisors, and system administrators. The website also has other valuable information to assist you about the timekeeping process, such as bureau contacts and the codes used to record time worked and leave taken. (The web site is available at http://hr.commerce.gov/Practitioners/CompensationAndLeave/DEV01_006455) The webTA guides provide step-by-step guidance on how to use the webTA application. In addition, there is a hierarchical structure within each bureau of seasoned timekeepers (i.e., Time and Attendance (T&A) Contact Points and T&A Liaisons) that are available to provide guidance and assistance to new timekeepers. There is currently no formal timekeeper training offered because the webTA system is considered to be a very user-friendly application, step-by-step guidance is available in the manuals, and there is a cadre of seasoned timekeepers to assist.

The National Finance Center (NFC), the Department’s payroll/personnel system, generates Leave Error Reports (the “fixed error reports”) every odd pay period to T&A Contact Points when the leave balances in the NCF do not match the balances in webTA. The reports act as notifications of leave errors and also provide you with the information necessary to initiate the leave error correction process. The Leave Error Training is designed to offer assistance to timekeepers in understanding the Leave Error Report so they can reconcile leave errors. If you are not receiving the Leave Error Report, you should contact your T&A Contact Point or your bureau T&A Liaison who can assist in receiving the reports. However, it should be noted that you will not receive the reports IF you do not have leave errors for your employees.

Suggestion

Responsiveness is really bad. There are some HR people that I've called so many times. I've left voicemails, sent e-mails etc. and they never respond. This is especially disturbing because I'm calling about mistakes or errors in some important aspects of my file. I've been trying to get someone to fix these errors for over 1 year. I wish there were a way to report to a higher authority when someone does not respond to a inquiry.

Response

It is mandatory that all DOCHROC staff return phone calls and respond to emails within 24 hours of receipt. This is standard in all employee performance plans. However, if lack of timely responses continues, please notify the employee’s supervisor or direct your call to our main line, (202) 482-3827.

Suggestion:

Email confirmations of DOCHROC's receipt of submitted forms should be sent to customers to ensure that items have been logged in or noted as needing to be reviewed/processed. This would be especially helpful given DOCHROC's history of "misplacing" or, worse, claiming that an item was never received, when customers attempt to follow-up on items. It would also be appreciated if DOCHROC employees were provided training on customer-service skills to address items such the inappropriateness of attitudes and the need to remain flexible.

Response:

All documents that are received by DOCHROC are logged into an electronic tracking system and assigned to the appropriate DOCHROC staff. A DOCHROC staff representative now runs daily reports to review the status of submitted documents within the HEAT system; customers will be notified of their submitted documents’ status. In regards to training DOCHROC employees, all DOCHROC staff have independent development plans (IDPs) and other DOCHROC specific service training is being planned to further enhance our effectiveness. We have customer service standards that are continually reiterated to staff.

Suggestion:

Hello, my comment is why does it take so long before someone calls you back for a job interview? I know that I am qualified it's very discouraging this long process, please improve on it and call me in for an interview.

Thanks

Response:

It is at the discretion of the hiring manager to conduct interviews, although they are not mandatory and depends on the bureau/office policy. The President’s Hiring Initiative mandates that this step in the hiring process is not to exceed 15 days. Our goal is to ensure candidates know their status in a timely manner, and we are continually updating our automated staffing solutions, which uploads to USAJobs. We encourage you to continue to apply for positions of interest, and that you check your status on USAJobs.

Suggestion:

If a DOCROC HR Employee has been listed as the contact for questions you may have concerning a position which has been posted on the USAJobs site, this individual should be available to either return an email or a phone call especially when the attempt to contact them drags on for 2 or 3 weeks. And, it would really be great if you did need to go to their supervisor in order to get the individual to respond to many attempts to contact them.

Response:

It is mandatory that all DOCHROC staff return phone calls and respond to emails within 24 hours of receipt. This is standard in all employee performance plans. However, if lack of timely responses continues, please notify the employee’s supervisor or direct your call to our main line, (202) 482-3827.

Suggestion:

The contact information listed under the signature box on e-mails should include a front desk number as well as the direct number for the individual - that way if the person sending the e-mail is not available for a call, there is information on how to get in touch with someone else who may be able to answer a question

Response:

It is set in all employee performance plans to provide the appropriate contact information for customer communication; therefore we are hopeful that this is not a reoccurring theme. It is also mandatory for all staff to provide a back-up point of contact and office director name for extended leave absences (e.g. training, leave, etc.).

Suggestion:

There seems to be a breakdown, or bottleneck in communications between applicants and DOCHROC. Once a hiring decision has been made, system updates should follow shortly thereafter. The last application update I received was from Jan 6th 2010, about a job I learned today that had already been filled. We have shorten the time of communication between a hiring decision has been made, and when that decision is communicated to other applicants. There is no reasonable excuse for this amount of lag time. The technology and training is available to resolve this issue.

Response:

Applicants have a right to know the status of their application and of the vacancy. OPM requires agencies to notify applicants at four stages of the vacancy process:

    1) When the application is received

    2) Minimum Qualification Determination

    3) Referred to Selecting Official or Not Eligible

    4) Selected or Not Selected

While we do our best to update the system in a timely manner there have been occasions we fall behind. We have made using this tool a priority to better communicate with our customers. In addition, as an applicant you must go to your USAJobs account to view updates/notifications we are mandated to provide.

Suggestion:

I am a new employee in the Import Administration and I started my job on April 12th. I am enjoying my new job now that I'm settled, but I wanted to offer some feedback on my experience with HR on my first day.

On our first day, the new employees were flooded with paperwork and presentations - some were important and some were not. I believe this process needs to be streamlined. Perhaps HR could send non-essential documents to the new employees via email prior to their first day and then present paperwork that requires a signature on the first day. The HR members were very helpful, but it was difficult to keep track of what was important and what was superfluous.

In addition, my HR contact is Veronica Caalim. I am particularly impressed with her. She has been very helpful and she is an asset to your team.

Response:

We have been looking at our orientation process for sometime and have recently implemented changes based on customer feedback such as this. We have split the orientation into two segments which consists of first day basics and a follow-up session the following week.

Suggestion:

When there are questions and assistance needed to resolve time and attendance situations, more cooperation is needed from headquarters staff that is in charge of helping regional offices with time and attendance problems. Usually there is NO response from anyone that works with time and attendance in headquarters not even when you e-mail and call and leave messages. Makes you wonder who those people are working for. I don't even think their supervisors can get them to assist regional offices with time and attendance problems.

Response:

The main points of contact for operational time and attendance questions are Ronnie Quzack and Terrine Flythe. Sheila Fleishell is the Director for Office of Compensation and Benefits. We have started to provide lunch n’ learn sessions on time and attendance, and are planning to publish FAQs to address employees’ questions on time and attendance (we provide service to the Office of the Secretary, BIS, NTIA, ITA, EDA, and MBDA). Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Suggestion:

It’s nice that you have the forums; recently you had one on temporary service which I was not able to attend due to schedule conflicts. If there is any information that can be obtained from these forums, it would be nice to be able to view it on your website. Thanks.

Response:

We will upload materials from the forums, so you will have access to the materials even if you were unable to attend.

Job Well Done!!!

The following are a list of DOCHROC employees that have been thanked for their outstanding customer service and assistance to DCOHROC customers.

Karen Brown

Veronica Caalim

Rhoda Chilcoat

Diane Evans

Sheila Fleishell

Tawana Fonseca

Tamica Link

Anesia Robinson

Kelly Spence

Sonita Stacker

Kimberly Woods