(Week-ending 07/04/2020 - week 18)
Number of Employee Coronavirus Questions into HR Stabilizes Following Recent Increases
Last week employee coronavirus-related questions into HR teams plateaued at a total of 11,361 for the week, only a half-percent increase (56 cases) on the previous week. Considering only 8 weeks ago HR were experiencing employee case volumes over 30,000, this is obviously good news. However, it also shows that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees persists.
Dovetail customers, who have implemented HR Case Management, Employee Portal, HR Knowledge Management, and HR Reporting & Analytics software applications, have been able to exploit the advanced technical features of these technologies during this period. Optimizing automated workflow processes, communicating the most up to date information on the coronavirus to employees, squeezing value out of the system’s HR knowledge base, and generating insights out of deep analytics, to continually improve operations and service levels.
It is this last capability; the ability to use the output of analytics software to improve HR services, which inspired us to analyze our customers’ daily and weekly COVID-19 employee case data, so that we could generate insights that would be of value to HR teams.
Click the 5 Insights below to discover more about how HR teams are responding in a crisis.
(Note: Employee cases refer to employee questions, inquiries and requests that are logged as “cases” in the Dovetail HR Case Management solution).
Insight 1 - Number of Employee Coronavirus Questions into HR Stabilizes Following Recent Increases
There was practically no increase in employee questions into HR last week compared with the previous week. This is a positive sign for HR, employees and organizations. However, over 11,000 questions were logged by HR, indicating that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on employees persist. Building emergency response tools into HR planning and operations is one way for HR to respond.
The burden on HR in recent months, in terms of sheer workload, has been huge, as can be seen in the chart below, that shows the total accumulated volume of employee questions into HR since the beginning of March stands at 377,966.
In light of this, Dovetail has developed emergency response tools such as Dovetail Check Track Trace that integrate with HR Service Delivery software applications such as HR Case Management, Employee Portal, HR knowledge Management, and HR Reporting & Analytics to help HR manage in a crisis. We've also developed The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Contact Tracing that helps HR understand how the effective deployment of a contact tracing solution can limit the spread of COVID-19 among employees and their colleagues, as well as their respective families communities.
Insight 2 - Employee Questions into HR at Weekend Remain Stable
It's good to see that HR resource has been less stretched over the last few weekends, due to a lower number of employee questions coming into HR. However, perhaps what the Weekend data stats (see chart above) really express, is the likelihood that the way we work, will be forever changed as a result of COVID-19. Deloitte's report, COVID-19’s impact on the workforce - Insight for HR teams, goes into more detail on this topic.
HR teams now need to be pandemic-ready, or we could broaden this to 'global crisis ready', adapting fast in order to be in a position to respond to emergencies. One area where technology can help is in its intrinsic capability to increase efficiency and, as a result, productivity; getting more done in the same amount of time. HR Case Management, for example, can reduce handle times for employee questions, inquiries and requests. An online Employee Portal platform can speed up the process of communicating with employees. An HR Knowledge Base means the same problem never needs to be solved twice. HR Reporting & Analytics enables organizations to unearth insights that lead to continual improvement of processes. The net result of adopting these types of technologies, is that HR has the capacity to more effectively respond to large scale negative impacts, such as a global virus pandemic.
Insight 3 - Rate of Closing Employee Coronavirus-related Questions Remains Lower Than Average at 72%
Last week we suggested that the complexity of employee coronavirus-related questions was behind the fall in close rates, as complex questions require more time to resolve. And clearly HR are being inundated with questions that have never been asked before, and are not always straightforward to answer. Often these questions require legal advice before answering.
Having efficient processes and practices in place, supported by enabling HR Services technology, is of paramount importance if HR teams and their organizations want to keep case resolution times down and service levels high. The adoption of HR Service Level Agreements using advanced HR Case Management technology is becoming a 'must' for organizations that want to future-proof the delivery of their HR Services to employees.
Insight 4 - Employee Cases Created Via Email and Phone Remains high at 92%
There was a further increase (up 3%) in the use of Phone and Email channels last week, compared with the previous week. Even if Phone and Email are the preferred channels of communication for employees when seeking assistance from HR, it is worth pointing out the value of offering more communications channels to employees, such as an Employee Portal, Live Chat, Phone and Email, is that it provides an omnichannel solution that enhances the employee's experience of HR services.
With each channel having its own distinct advantages (for both employees and HR), organizations that deploy multiple communication paths between employees and HR, are likely to see the additional benefit of strong employee/HR relationships.
Insight 5 - COVID-19 Case-Type Word Cloud Depicts Our New Reality
"It does not require many words to speak the truth."
Dovetail's COVID-19 Case Type Word cloud (below), lets float to the surface the words that describe the most frequent employee question case types.
A few words like COVID, response, App, policy, contagious and epidemics are undoubtedly expressing the truth we are all living with today.
Note: Case Types categorize employee coronavirus questions and are used in advanced HR Reporting & Analytics to help HR understand employees' needs and behaviors better, while providing additional insight into what is happening in their organization.
Last week was a story of stability or COVID-19 persistence, depending on your point of view. While employee questions into HR remain lower than in previous weeks, the effects of the coronavirus are still being felt by employees, which is resulting in them still needing assistance from HR to answer their coronavirus-related questions, more than 11,000 of which were created last week.
However, HR teams are still closing the majority of daily cases, optimizing their own abilities, resources, and HR Services technology to do so. New emergency response tools, such as Dovetail Check Track Trace, have recently been launched, that are designed to help organizations limit the spread of COVID-19 among the workforce, particularly, as lockdown is eased, and employees return to the office.
Dovetail has also developed an educational guide on contact tracing, The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Contact Tracing, which helps HR understand what contact tracing is, and how it can be applied to safeguarding employees while they are at work.
To stay updated on how COVID-19 is impacting HR teams, Click here to view Dovetail’s Daily Updates for HR on the coronavirus.