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7 min read

COVID-19 HR Weekly Update #4

May 5, 2020 3:58:01 PM

Dovetail HR Question Type COVID-19 Week Ending 2nd May 2020

(Week-ending 05/02/2020 - week 9)

Employee Questions into HR Increase by 25% Within One Week, HR Continue to Work Overtime and Weekends

There’s no let up for HR, with employee questions rising by 25% last week. With close-rates continuing to decline, due to the complexity of employee coronavirus-related questions, there is an inevitable build up of Open cases for HR to deal with. The result is the continued accumulation of pressure on HR personnel as they endeavor to keep organizations moving in this time of crisis. The result is that HR is going above and beyond, working weekends to ensure their employees’ (and their respective company’s) needs are met. 

Continuing our analysis of the pandemic and how it is affecting HR we are providing 5 takeaways, or insights, to help you understand what is happening to HR functions, employees and companies in the ‘pandemic-induced’ new world of work.

(Note: Employee cases refer to Employee questions, inquiries and requests that are logged as “cases” in the Dovetail HR Case Management solution).

Insight 1 Employee Questions into HR Increase by 25% Compared With Previous Week

Insight 2 HR Continue Work Weekends to Deal with Extra Coronavirus-related Cases

Insight 3 Employee Question Close-rate Decreases from 90% to 85%

Insight 4 Email and Phone Remain the Dominant Channels of Communication for Employees with HR, Reflecting the Complexity of Employee Coronavirus-related Questions and Remote Working Behaviors

Insight 5 Top Coronavirus-related Case Type Descriptions Continue to Help Senior HR Management Understand the Impact of COVID-19 on Their Organizations, While Reflecting the New World Employees Are Living In

Insight 1 Employee Questions into HR Increase by 25% Compared With Previous Week

Employee questions into HR increased 25% on the previous week from 22,113 to  27,580. Our analysis reveals this is partly due to customers using Dovetail’s HR Case Management application to automatically log, track, and manage mass cases created due to employees accepting temporary changes in their working conditions. 

Volume of Employee Coronavirus-related Questions in HR by week

Significantly, employee questions and requests into HR in week 9 almost reached the peak of 28,616 that were recorded in Wk 3. Is this upwards trend set to continue, with HR facing ever-increasing workloads, with the associated strains that puts on HR teams to meet SLA and other service level performance metrics? We expect so, as the daily number of cases shows no signs of letting up. 

The chart below shows just how much additional work has been created for HR by the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of March 2020 with HR having received 180,173 coronavirus-related cases.

Total Accumulated Coronavirus-related Employee Questions in HR

Insight 2 HR Continue to Work Weekends to Deal with Extra Coronavirus-related Cases

Since week 8 there has been a clear increase in employee cases being created at the weekend, as indicated in yellow in the Chart below.

Weekend Coronavirus-related Employee Questions into HR by Channel

This shows how HR are doing their utmost to remain responsive to their employees and keep their respective organizations moving forward by working weekends. 

While this is a great indication of HR’s professionalism, companies will have to also ensure they have the right procedures in place to take care of their HR staff. 

Insight 3 Employee Question Close-rate Decreases From 90% to 85%Daily Open and Closed Employee Coronavirus-related Questions into HR

The daily Open/ Closed Chart reveals close-rates of employee cases continues to decrease, from 90% in week 8 to 85% last week (week 9), indicating employee questions into HR are more complex and time-consuming to resolve and that ‘unclosed’ cases are likely to build up as the weeks go by placing continual additional pressure on HR teams.

Also a significant number of cases were recorded at the end of April, due to customers mass emailing employees about changes to working conditions, that would take effect from the 1st May). Response from employees were automatically logged as cases in Dovetail’s HR Case Management application.

Insight 4 Email and Phone Remain the Dominant Forms of Communication with HR for Employees, Reflecting the Complexity of Employee Coronavirus-related Questions and Remote Working Behaviors

Coronavirus-related Employee Questions in HR by Communications Channel

There’s no doubt Email and Phone are the communication channels of choice for employees during the coronavirus crisis. Last week the majority of cases were created through the Email channel with channel usage increasing from 48% to 54% (of Total Employee Questions into HR). This most likely reflects employees, who are now working remotely, choosing to communicate via Email, signalling a change in behavior brought about by working from home. However, the Phone option is always there when employees have more complex questions. No doubt we will see these two channels continue to be the predominant channel for employees. However, companies should look to maximize the use of Live Chat with their Millennial audience, as it provides the quick response, multi-tasking capability and convenience that Millennials prefer to experience when communicating with their colleagues.

It should also be noted that we would expect less cases to be created through the Employee Portal channel. This is because the majority of employees will find answers to their questions on this platform, negating the need to create a case with HR. In doing so, the Employee Portal plays a significant role in reducing HR case workload while increasing employees’ satisfaction with the service they are receiving.

Insight 5 Top Coronavirus-related Case Type Descriptions Continue to Help Senior HR Management Understand the Impact of COVID-19 on Their Organizations, While Reflecting the New World Employees Are Living In

Top coronavirus-related case type descriptors for last week were Health Epidemics, COVID-19 Questions, COVID-19 Response, HR Policy, General COVID-19 Questions, Policy on National Emergency, and Contagious Diseases. 

The use of Case Types to accurately categorize and record COVID-19 cases is highly valued by HR Service Delivery personnel as it enables granular level reporting that can help HR and other executives make strategic level decisions. One of our customers, a VP of HR Shared Services Manager at Financial Services company told us:

“If I didn't have the Case Type feature it would have been such a manual process to capture all of the data for the Executive team, so it really helped to be able to break down those case types, because, ‘at the snap of a finger’, I can say ‘we had this many employee coronavirus-related questions of a certain type today’”

She also added:

“We are providing to our Executives, on a weekly basis, COVID-19 report updates. It helped tremendously to have all of the Case Types so that we could track and pull reporting for them. My company has done a lot to help colleagues through the current crisis and the executive team is able to track these enhancements, for example, uptake and usage rates. So I would say, I probably add at least one or two case types every week.” 

Dovetail’s Customer Case Type Word Cloud, which we update on a weekly basis, continues to reflect the new world employees and the rest of us are now living in.

Dovetail HR Question Type COVID-19 Week Ending 2nd May 2020

Conclusion 

Last week saw the continual ramping up of workload on HR, with employee cases (questions, inquiries and requests) into HR increasing by 25% compared with the previous week. The quantity of weekly cases created is almost as high as the peak we experienced in week 3 (15th - 21st March), demonstrating HR are still dealing with a tremendous amount of new COVID-19-related work. In the face of this mountain of work, HR teams are rolling up their sleeves, pulling out all the stops, and working extra hours and weekends to stay responsive to their employees and keep their companies working. They are also maximizing the value from their HR Services software by using Case Types to create highly granular reports for senior level executives, so that company leaders have the information at their fingertips to understand what is happening within their organizations and make the right strategic decisions for their businesses.

To stay updated on how COVID-19 is impacting HR teams, Click here to view Dovetail’s Daily Updates for HR on the coronavirus.

Please click here if you would like to find out more about how Dovetail can help you during the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to read last weeks COVID-19 HR Weekly Update #3

Kelly Frisby and Kane Frisby
Written by Kelly Frisby and Kane Frisby

Kelly Frisby, Marketing
Kane Frisby, Chief Operating Officer

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