Posted by EmployeeChannel on 10.26.2016
If you’re like many medium-to-large-size businesses, you have probably directed employees to the company intranet, benefits portal, or HR knowledge base, and instructed them to seek answers there before engaging HR.
Sure, this works some of the time, but it's likely that many employees choose to contact HR regardless, and typically for answers to the same routine questions around healthcare benefits, company policies, compensation, and vacation policies. The information is available to employees in one form or another, but they either can’t find it or choose not to search for it; we’ll explore why later on.
As a Human Resource professional, you are more than happy to serve employees and help them solve problems, but if that comes at the expense of other priorities or you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again, it’s important to re-evaluate the current systems and processes. Furthermore, if your staff is regularly handling inquiries they are over-qualified to accept, the system needs an update.
We challenge you to tally the total number of weekly hours spent answering employee requests from every member of your team. The answer might surprise you. Consider that, on average, there are 1.1 HR professionals for every 100 employees. There will never be enough time in the day to adequately serve each employee and complete other core responsibilities without adopting better tools and processes.
Before we can zero in on a solution, it’s important to understand why the problem exists.
Despite an organization’s best efforts to provide employees with the resources necessary for independent problem solving, employees still push for direct contact with HR staff. There are two reasons for this:
When people are dealing with questions that could impact their livelihood and their family’s health and wellbeing, they are understandably eager to receive personalized attention. They want a specific answer provided in the context of their unique problem or situation—not an impersonal mention of their problem in the benefits booklet.
Additionally, it may be downright difficult to find the answer they’re looking for. Scrolling through the employee handbook or intranet documentation can be time consuming and extremely frustrating if people are unable to find what they need. It may be a lot easier (and faster) to make a phone call to HR or send an email.
It’s also worth noting that employees, particularly younger employees, are increasingly mobile-focused and have a high standard for self-service apps and information availability. If you cannot provide employees with valuable, easy-to-use resources in their moment of need, you risk frustrating staff and developing a reputation as a backwards employer.
Employee demands, and the subsequent strain on HR teams, are driving the need for a mobile, self-service solution that provides immediate and personalized responses to employee inquiries.
Additionally, all employees, even those without a company-issued computer or corporate email, should be able to access the same valuable resources and information. Every employee, no matter where they're located or how they work, should feel taken care of. A mobile focus (in addition to web applications) can help promote a more universal, employee-centric culture.
Imagine that an employee needs to see a doctor. Using a mobile app like EmployeeChannel, she could ask the app how to find a physician in her network. The app would then direct her to her carrier's health professional directory, determine the associated office visit costs, and save her physician's phone number in the app for easier future access. She could view short, educational videos to help explain benefits concepts she may be unclear about and access an array of personal benefits information, such as her carrier's Group ID number, deductible, PTO balance, or most recent paystub. And all of this with just a few taps on her smartphone.
Would your employees find value in an app that provides immediate and personalized answers to the questions they're accustomed to asking HR staff? How much time could this app save you and your team?
Providing fast and reliable access to information results in happier employees, and that's an aim we are all striving to achieve. We invite you to consider how a mobile employee app can delight your workforce and drastically reduce your time spent resolving employee requests.
image attribution: guteksk7 / Shutterstock