How to Provide the Same Level of Service to On-site and Remote Employees
Est. Read Time: 2 min.
Willard Marriott, founder of Marriott International, is famously quoted as saying “Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.” It makes a lot of business sense. But it raises the question, what does “take good care of your employees” mean?
If we asked employees, chances are that they would define “taking care of employees” as designing work that’s interesting so people will want to do it. It means paying employees a fair wage and providing competitive benefits. It includes managers recognizing employees for a job well done. And lastly, it embraces the organization making ongoing investments in an employee’s career. All of these activities are expected when it comes to taking care of employees and HR plays a role in all of them.
Right now is a perfect time for HR departments to consider how they can plan to provide an exceptional level of service to employees.
HR departments are managing employees returning to the workplace as well as developing strategies for employees who will continue working remotely. It’s a natural conversation for them to consider, leading to actionable decisions.
While HR’s goal to provide service is the same for both groups (on-site and remote employees), it’s important to design a process where both groups receive the same level of service. Think of this as being similar to when you have to contact a company you’ve purchased something from. And you know that, if you call, you will be on a really long wait. But if you do the online chat feature, it will take only minutes.
Same applies here. Employees who work remotely can’t feel like their questions aren’t receiving the same priority. As HR is planning their hybrid workforce strategies, here are three employee service-related things to consider:
1. Use FAQs for common questions and information
As individuals, we’ve become very accustomed to searching for our own answers. For regularly asked questions, HR can compile an FAQ and post it within a cloud-based platform so all employees have access. This is very helpful for recurring activities such as annual benefits enrollment, paycheck questions, and inclement weather procedures.
2. Give employees multiple points of contact
Each of us has our preferred methods of communication: phone, email, chat, etc. The first rule of effective communication is to deliver information in the way that the receiver wants to process it. Practically speaking, this might not always be possible in an organization. However, if organizations offer multiple points of contact most of the time, then on those rare occasions when they can’t, employees might find it more palatable.
3. Use technology to provide more efficient service.
Organizations should move past the notion that using technology eliminates and/or reduces the human factor. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Technology can allow HR departments to respond faster. It can also allow them to use video software (like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Facetime) with remote employees so they can find out how the employee is doing and how they can be of more service.
What’s great about these three considerations is the level of service they provide when combined. If HR departments employed all three strategies, then employees would know to check their knowledgebase or company intranet for FAQs to see if the answer to their question already exists. If it doesn’t, the employee could HR (or a designated person) for a response using a method that works for them. And they could receive a reply quickly and effectively using technology.
That’s service. It’s what we expect as consumers and deserve as employees.
Providing a consistent employee experience across a hybrid workforce is exponentially easier when HR has case management technology. In our upcoming webinar with Sarah Brennan, founder of Accelir Insights, find out more about what case management is and how it works.
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About Sharlyn Lauby
Sharlyn Lauby is the HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc., a Florida based training and human resources consulting firm focused on helping companies retain and engage talent. Sharlyn sees human resources as a strategic partner - the marketing department for a company’s internal clients rather as administrative. During her 20+ years in the profession, she has earned a reputation for bringing business solutions to reality. Prior to starting ITM Group, Sharlyn was vice president of human resources for Right Management Consultants, one of the world’s largest organizational consulting firms. She has designed and implemented highly successful programs for employee retention, internal and external customer satisfaction, and leadership development. Publications such as Reuters, The New York Times, ABC News, TODAY, Readers Digest, Men’s Health and The Wall Street Journal have sought out her expertise on topics related to human resources and workplace issues.