(Week-ending 4/25/2020 - week 8)
HR Working Overtime and Weekends to Catch up on Coronavirus-related Employee Questions
The story this week is one of HR dealing with a relentless increase in workload, both in terms of quantity of cases (employee questions, inquiries and requests) and complexity of questions (as indicated by increased Phone usage at the expense of other communication channels).
Our analysis of coronavirus-related employee cases coming into HR for last week (19th - 25th April) reveal 5 key insights:
Insight 1 Weekly HR Workload Continues to Increase Spilling into HR Personal Time
Insight 2 Employee Coronavirus-related Case Close-Rate Drops from 89% to 75% Indicating Growing Complexity of Employee Questions
Insight 3 Daily Employee Coronavirus-related Questions Grow Exponentially Throughout Working Week and Increase Significantly at Weekend, Indicating HR Working in Their Own Time to Deal with Extraordinary Levels of Work
Insight 4 HR Continue to Recognize Value in Classifying Employee Questions by Using More Case Types
Insight 5 HR Continue to Feel Increasing Pressure on Their Resource and Time as Phone Usage Increases
Insight 1: Weekly HR Workload Continues to Increase Spilling into HR Personal Time
Total new weekly coronavirus-related employee questions increased by 2.3%, from 21,231 to 21,721, showing that HR continues to experience sustained and extraordinary levels of workload, with the total number of cases created for the period at 152,159 (see chart below)!
Insight 2: Employee Coronavirus-related Case Close-Rate Drops from 89% to 75% Indicating Growing Complexity of Employee Questions
Last week saw a significant drop in the rate at which HR is closing cases, from 89% in week 7 to 75% last week (Week 8). Note: Blue represents how many of the days’ cases have been closed, while orange represents how many remain open at the end of the day.
Feedback from our customers suggests this is because employees’ questions have become more complex, requiring more time (and resources) to close. This places a strain on HR’s ability to meet Service Level Agreements (SLA), which we believe is being met by HR working longer hours during the week and at weekends.
Insight 3: Daily Employee Coronavirus-related Questions Grow Exponentially Throughout Working Week and Increase Significantly at Weekend, Indicating HR are Working in Their Own Time to Deal with Extraordinary Levels of Work
Daily number of cases increased exponentially for the whole of last week (Wk 8), showing employees still having ever increasing numbers of new questions for HR.
Nearly 3.6 times as many cases were created on Saturday 25th April (2,170 cases) compared with an average Saturday (601) for the period analyzed. Based on speaking with several customers, the cause is HR Advisers catching up with workload at the weekend.
Insight 4: HR Continue to Recognize Value in Classifying Employee Questions by Using More Case Types
Classifying coronavirus-related employee questions is creating improvements in case handling, resolution times, and response rates, by automatically routing cases to the appropriate teams, highlighting hot spots, and applying appropriate Service Level Agreements (SLA). This ultimately results in improved employee experience, that is key during this pandemic.
Insight 5: HR Continue to Feel Increasing Pressure on Their Resource and Time as Phone Usage Increases
The sharp increase in the use of the Phone channel by employees to ask HR questions, is an indication that employees feel their question, or inquiry, is too complex to be answered satisfactorily via online channels. While the Phone may be a better channel for complex questions, it also requires more of HR’s time than other communication channels. This means HR find themselves under more pressure as they are unable to answer as many questions in the same amount of time.
The picture for last week is one of continued increase in workload for HR managers and their teams. Increases in Phone usage, most likely brought about by the complexity of employee coronavirus-related questions, has increased pressure on HR’s time and resources. The impact of this may explain why case creation is spilling over into the weekend, as HR teams catch up with 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.