In 2018, caring members of Nashville’s nationally acclaimed youth crisis and intervention organization, Oasis Center, served 3,500 area youth, ages 13-24.
Their “whole self” services range from engaging these young people in college prep, theater and physical fitness to providing moment-in-need support around homelessness, substance abuse, violence, recidivism and self-harm. Nearly 100 full and part-time staff and an additional 100 volunteers bring their collective interest, passion, expertise and care to this next generation. Shanda Hampton, the Vice President of Human Resources at Oasis Center, in turn, ensures there are programs in place to also care for the caregivers.
Oasis Center ensures it funders—federal, state, local and charitable organizations and individuals—that it will invest at least 75% of its proceeds directly into its programs. So, it is a balancing act to make those programs and their staff do more with less and also meet various employer compliance requirements. In 2014, as the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) was coming into effect, Shanda realized that she needed ACA counsel and coverage to meet new regulations—within her budget.
Oasis Center had a long and trusted relationship with their local benefits broker. Beyond payroll, Shanda had previously shelved any plans for technology to support HR or onboarding because she knew she didn’t have the budget. So, when she found out that she could have benefits consulting, ACA compliance and HR technology all from one source with Zenefits, she was sold.
Shanda has worked for Oasis Center for her entire 22-year career and understands the stress involved in caring for Nashville’s at-risk youth. Shanda wanted to ensure that her work not only paid-it-forward to troubled teens, but also to the people putting themselves on the front lines for their care and development. As a team of one, her biggest challenge became the mountain of administration involved in even the baseline activity required for recruiting, hiring, paying and ensuring benefits for the Oasis staff.
Now, Zenefits is my assistant. So, I have the time to strategically improve training, performance management and recruiting and stay abreast of new trends and best practices. Zenefits, in effect, helped me get promoted!
VIce President of HR
For example, beyond the huge HR time commitments, Shanda also works with third-party regulatory monitors who need to ensure the staff is up to date on TB tests, doctor’s orders, diplomas, Title 6 signatures, drug-free policy, etc. And many times, those monitors lose or misfile the information she provides them in the process. Now all if this information, from employee profiles, tax and benefits selections and supporting paperwork is always there, online, in the Zenefits system.
Evolution from “feel good” to data-proven success
Today, Oasis Center runs on a strategic three-year plan, reviewing growth, operating expenditures and the data to prove its impact in the communities it serves.
“In order to satisfy existing donors and help us apply for new grant money in needed areas like homelessness, we have moved from a ‘feel good’ resource helping our community youth to an entity that can show the impact we are having through data,” adds Shanda.
Shanda plans to use Zenefits to help provide some of that insight, like the staffing used to provide support for each funded program, and the cost/benefit analysis of new programs.
Five years ago, with access to only one technology, ADP, reporting was cumbersome and would have taken her hours or days, if she could do it at all. Today Shanda uses Zenefits to report—in seconds—on agency-wide metrics like part-time staff retention and fair pay, and she can also report on programs within programs like staffing to support an LGBTQ program. “All that data is good to have and easy to get in Zenefits. How did we live without it?”
“A sales phone call from Zenefits changed my life,” adds Shanda. “After we saw the demo, we took a leap of faith and—5 years later—haven’t looked back.”