Employees now expect far more than just good pay, or even a nice working environment. They also want a good company culture and fair work policies. An important part of that is how you treat them when career issues hit – long term sickness, child-related leave, grievances, performance etc.
But there comes a point when there are too many employees, too many issues, too many regulations. You can’t keep track of every case in email inboxes, folders and spreadsheets.
Organisations with more than a thousand employees, and certainly those with over three thousand, will see big benefits, fast, from adopting an online system for ER case management.
Organisations with union rules, or similarly tightly managed working arrangements (production, call centres, healthcare, government) will also favour a more structured approach to casework.
So, what is the measure of a good employee relations case management system? The following is a summary of what HR professionals have told us they need, want and like:
1. Management information (MI)
How many cases do we have in total? How many on a specific topic? How many by manager, by region, by time period? Is this a blip or a trend, and is it rising or falling? What stage is each case at, and who needs to do what next?
These answers and more are readily to hand in an online system. Easy to use dashboards and reports mean no more hours spent collating data from various sources to produce reports. Highly informative reporting is highly rated by budget holders too. With data now collected in a more consistent way, you can be assured of reliable, up-to-date MI.
2. Consistency and compliance
Where there’s a rule, is it being followed? Where there is discretion, are people with similar issues being treated in similar ways? Are contractors following policy as well as employees?
A good system will “hard wire” rules that must be followed (timescales or procedures), while leaving the professional leeway to keep the personal touch. Alerts and reminders will prompt when timescales are running on, either passing statutory response times or what you might see as courtesy limits.
HR holds sensitive data. Home address, bank account, salary, any medical or even criminal issues. All this “stuff” is in emails, on laptops and PCs, or in filing cabinets. How do you achieve the balance between security and access? It usually all works out ok, until it doesn’t.
ISO27001 accredited is as good a measure as any, for the system and for the chosen hosting environment. Encryption and robust user authentication are essential. Two Factor Authentication and Single Sign On options are desirable. And the flexibility to grant and deny access to individual cases according to role is a “must”.
4. Convenience and confidence
How do we share casework with authorised stakeholders? What about if a caseworker is absent? How do I quickly keep all case parties up to date?
Template letters and e-mails, reference documents, landmark cases, time-controlled action lists. Casework sharing with (only) those who are authorised, and the ability to reassign or escalate cases if needed. It all adds up to efficiency and control. While a complete case summary and audit trail keeps everything visible and accountable.
5. Connectivity and accessibility
Most organisations of any size need to connect to payroll and/or a wider HR system.
“APIs” and easy-but-secure information exchange capabilities are therefore key. The ability to receive and send e-mails into and from the system keeps all correspondence together. The system needs to be easy to use, robust and reliable. And accessible where you are, on the device you have.
If you’ve read this far you may have some special requirements (must haves/likes) of your own.
See how Workpro measures up for you.
Workpro provides clear workflows, out of the box (with room to make modest tweaks). This makes for a great starting point – you are busy and don’t need yet another project. Our proven, simple deployment process will have you up and running fast.