As of the end of March 2020, more than 846,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 200 countries and territories, resulting in approximately 41,000 deaths.
At Dovetail we have continued to monitor events closely, determining how the pandemic is impacting our customers, their HR teams, and their workforce. As a result, we know our customers have experienced a sharp rise in coronavirus-related questions, from employees, managers, and HR business partners flooding into HR.
We wanted to share with you insights that we generated from analysis of Dovetail customer case data, over a four week period from the 2nd March to 29th March, which we carried out in order to gain an understanding of how the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic is affecting HR teams and their employees.
Chart 1 shows the sharp increase in daily coronavirus-related case volume for the period and is a visual representation of additional workload HR are facing.
Chart 1: Accumulated Number of Coronavirus-related Cases from the 2nd - 29th March
Chart 2 - Coronavirus-related HR Cases by Channel
What can be seen here is that in week 1, the majority of employees who had a coronavirus-related question were emailing into HR, with zero chat conversations, with phone calls and Employee Portal activity present too.
Starting in week 2, we now see more employees going to the Employee Portal, having conversations with HR over Live Chat, and less questions are being generated over email.
In week 3, we start to see an even larger shift to Live Chat and the Employee Portal usage. This ties in with what one would expect (and what our customers have told us). The influx of cases was a new type of issue in the past two weeks, and therefore takes HR a week or two before there is a known ongoing impact to their team. HR reacts by publishing more content on the Employee Portal, such as adding dedicated content, FAQ’s and help for employees. HR were also announcing to their workforce via the Employee Portal and Broadcasts over email to head off questions. We also connect this with a COVID-19 Guide book we published for Dovetail customers at the end of week 2, that provided 18 suggestions a customer could use to help alleviate the growing number of COVID-19 related-questions coming into HR.
By week 4, we now see the Employee Portal usage growing along with more case deflection via portal content. The Email and Phone channels are now aligned, as employees have started to understand the route to advice and guidance from their HR teams, along with external help from government and international health agencies.
Finally, in Chart 3 we look at the case volume over the 4 weeks and can see that the volume increases and then peaks at the end of week 3, when it starts to dip into week 4.
Chart 3 - Coronavirus Case Volume by Week
This is consistent with our research among our customers and what we discussed in Chart 2 - where the HR teams have managed to deflect more cases by utilizing the Employee Portal and outbound employee Broadcasts within Dovetail.
March has been dominated by the global coronavirus pandemic spreading throughout the world and taking hold in the United States, Western Europe and the rest of the world. Dovetail’s customer research shows how employees are using Dovetail’s communication channels, including Live Chat and Employee Portal, to contact HR with their coronavirus-related questions, inquiries and requests. What we have discovered is that by enabling employees to communicate with them via these channels, HR have a platform for deflecting calls, taking the pressure off their teams, while continuing to meet the expectations of their employees.
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