Staff Services Analyst Cecilia Laxton spoke with Inside CDCR about her career and her work with Human Resources (HR). She’s also been involved with CDCR’s efforts to re-brand and enhance its Human Resources offerings to better serve current and retired employees.
Laxton’s state career began in 2014 at CalSTRS (California State Teachers Retirement System) as a seasonal clerk assisting with preparing legal documents to be formatted as a PDF.
After completing that project, she joined the Department of Motor Vehicles in their Records and Reception unit. There she learned about personnel files, Live Scanning, new employee appointments, and how to handle confidential and time-sensitive documents. It was there Laxton developed a passion for being a Personnel Specialist, and started applying for positions.
“What intrigued me the most was the impact the Personnel Specialist has on employees,” she shared. “It’s priceless. Specialists handle employees’ livelihoods and you also gain relationships with your employees on a very real level.”
Laxton joined CDCR in 2018 and in 2020 promoted to Staff Services Analyst in the Personnel Statewide Resources unit, now known as the Training and Change Management unit.
In February 2022, Laxton was officially brought over to the HR Customer Connect unit, where she is tasked with helping develop the new Customer Connect platform. Employees will utilize the Remedy system to submit HR-related requests, and the HR team can track their responses and any trending issues.
What was your role in the HR re-branding and why is it important to you?
My role in the HR re-branding has been to create and mitigate a new process that will provide excellent customer service to both our internal and external customers through the HR Customer Connect portal. It’s important to me to assist with the morale and to leave customers satisfied when communicating with CDCR representatives. It will give CDCR a new look and new image.
What is Customer Connect?
HR Customer Connect is a new way of connecting customers to professionals to meet their Customer Service needs. HR Customer Connect is a new HR Remedy Ticketing system that will improve communication to provide a positive employee experience. It is a confidential and trusted environment to serve the current and former employees of CDCR in a manner they deserve.
What is something about HR that CDCR employees might find surprising?
HR consists of many units needed to ensure HR operates daily. These units range from Exams/Hiring, Special Projects, Position Control to Classification is pay. HR works with several control agencies in determining policy and procedures, calculating pay, and interpreting contracts. However, in the end of the day, HR follows the rules as negotiated in bargaining unit contracts, represented by respective unions.
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