You might not be familiar with the term “case management,” especially if you are new to a shared services model or new to HR, but most likely you have seen it in action. Case management, put simply, is how organizations manage employee requests and inquiries. Case management technology simplifies this process for HR teams and employees. (You can view Gartner’s definition of case management here, though it’s not specific to HR.)
Historically, “cases” were managed by an employee physically finding an HR representative to ask a question or manually fill out a form. Another traditional way to manage this was via email distribution lists, like firstname.lastname@example.org. These methods can work well for smaller organizations, but in larger organizations they often lead to frustration on behalf of the employee, as well as confusion among HR. Employees want to know that someone has received their inquiry, and they want transparency into the status of the case. HR representatives need a way to identify who was handling something, collaborate when necessary, track notes/history, and to measure their own performance. HR leaders need to understand things like the volume of requests or how to optimize teams.
Case management technology provides a way for employees to submit requests or forms, which are then automatically routed to the right HR agent. This technology provides a way for HR to manage the request, as well as transparency to the employee. In this post, we’ll cover 5 basics of HR Case Management and why you need it.
HR Case Management tools automate workflows so that employee requests are routed to the right person. For example, maybe generic inquiries are sent to a shared service center for an HR agent to address. An employee might also have a specific request regarding payroll, and by submitting a particular form, the ticket can be sent straight to the payroll specialist. Perhaps an employee submits a form which actually automatically kicks off a process, so a series of tasks is generated and each person who needs to complete an action is notified. Automation can help HR to manage employee needs from routine forms to open-ended questions.
This level of automation increases efficiency for the HR organization and satisfaction for employees because cases are routed to the right person, which means they are resolved more accurately and faster than with manual processes.
A knowledgebase is a simple way to reduce the number of inquiries received by HR. This “Tier 0” support means employees can help themselves to information that previously they needed to contact HR to get. The knowledgebase works hand-in-hand with the case management system – when an employee searches for an article in the knowledgebase, suggested forms should be presented. For example, if they search for information regarding a pay advance, it makes sense to not only return the pay advance policy, but to include a form where the employee can actually request the advance.
Knowledgebase technology should be contextual – this means the articles and forms provided to employees should be relevant to that employee. Therefore, an employee in the UK won’t see articles about the US vacation policy for example. This type of personalization, along with the ability for self-service, provides a consumer-like experience, which today’s employees have come to expect.
While a knowledgebase helps to provide a consumer-grade experience, case management technology also meets employee expectations by providing transparency. Employees often perceive an email to the traditional HR distribution list as a black hole for requests. They have no idea if the request has been received or what the status is. With case management technology, employees and HR agents alike can monitor the progress of a case and ensure that needs are being met.
HR cases can be complex and sometimes require more than one person in order to resolve the case. It’s important to provide collaboration or “swarming” capabilities for HR teams. It can also be necessary to involve other individuals, like an employee’s manager. With case management, HR representatives can collaborate on cases, and they can initiate tasks for managers, HRBPs, and HR leadership. By tracking communication and task completion, case management technology makes it simple for teams to collaborate to resolve issues, inquiries, and requests.
5. Employee File Management
HR processes can generate a number of documents, which often live in different HR systems. To complete service delivery, it’s important to consider how these documents are managed and stored. By using a platform that integrates case management with employee file management, any documents that are generated as a result of a case can be automatically sent to and stored in the employee file. This way, you have a full view of the employee due to a fully integrated service delivery platform.
The Case for HR Case Management
Organizations need HR case management tools to manage employee needs. And IT case management tools won’t work for HR; there are fundamental differences between HR Case Management and IT Case Management. IT systems are built around the case, and how quickly it can be solved. HR case management tools are built with the employee as the cornerstone. After all, it’s quite different to manage a broken printer or lost password vs. the complexity of HR requests. For modern service delivery, you need HR Case Management.
Nicole Lindenbaum is the Director of Product Marketing at PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software. Nicole leads the global messaging strategy for PeopleDoc by translating technology into business benefits HR can actually understand. With significant experience in HR technology, Nicole writes and speaks about HR service delivery, employee experience, digital transformation, and the future of work. Nicole holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.