As business owners and HR professionals struggle to determine the new normal for their company and employees, we will collectively be leaning toward more automation like employee relations case management tools and online resources to get our day-to-day work done. Many, or even most, companies have implemented some form of HR technology in their list of tools, but generally, these tools relate to payroll, time management, and HRIS systems. In this time of layoffs, staggered rehiring, and remote workers becoming the majority, technology must also come into play for even the more people-facing functions. As you’ll see in our free employee’s guide “Plan to Return Employees to Work” 95% of HR professionals believe that How HR communicates with employees during the pandemic will have a direct impact on how effectively we will be able to return employees work, whatever that new work life looks like. Many of our current processes for ensuring employee needs and concerns are heard will not work effectively moving forward, and we need new methods now or risk losing employees and liability exposure for non-compliance.
If you haven’t yet read Josh Bersin’s newest report “Why HR Technology Matters Now More Than Ever” I would highly suggest it. In the report he states:
“When combined with the support of an expert partner, HR tech can transform a SMB. The right tools can help HR grow into a true strategic partner and help employee relations become more transparent. When a crisis hits, HR technology gives leaders the data, tools, and support they need to make decisions quickly.”
Although it is no surprise to HR that technology can streamline many processes and day-to-day functions, it isn’t often that HR tech companies talk about the importance of automating employee relations. Today’s technology options allow HR to retain the interpersonal relations, while still reducing time and ensuring consistency across the company. Let’s take a look at a serious employee relations issue, and how the scenario will play out both with and without technology.
Jane’s video call
An employee (Jane) just had a video call with her Supervisor (Sarah). During the call, Sarah’s husband entered the room and seemed to be getting something from the closet behind Sarah. Sarah asked Jane to hold on a couple of times over the course of about 5 minutes and put Jane on hold while she turned around and said something to her husband. This happened 4 or 5 times, and each time Sarah came back to the call she was giggling. The last time that Sarah asked Jane to hold on a moment, she forgot to mute the microphone and said some inappropriate things to her husband. When she returned, she realized that she had not been on mute and she said to Jane, “Oh you know, we’re typical newlyweds. Maybe we should continue the call later”. And the call was ended.
|Jane was embarrassed and didn’t want to have to have any more conversations with her supervisor. But she didn’t think she had any choice.
|Jane thought she should let someone know, so she had a decision to make. Should she report this through the employee concern line?
|Jane decided that she would try to avoid video calls with her supervisor as much as possible. She told her supervisor that her laptop audio wasn’t working and asked if they could just do their updates by email.
|Jane decided that she had to anonymously report her concerns about company video calls and asked that there be tighter rules put in place and conveyed to everyone using them. She hoped that the new rules would make her supervisor realize her error and be more careful.
|Jane found that without these regular check-in discussions, she was missing out on critical information she needed to be successful in her job. She decided that it was time she considered a transfer to another department.
|HR received the complaint, and decided not only to create a strong policy, but also to conduct some training for all staff using video calls. They also contacted Jane through the anonymous reply feature and thanked Jane for her suggestion. Jane felt good knowing she had done the right thing.
|Within 8 weeks, Jane had heard of a similar position opening with another company and decided to leave her job.
|When Jane’s supervisor attended the training and received the new policy, she considered the fact that maybe she had made a big mistake. She decided to ensure that her door was closed and locked during calls and began to approach video calls in a more professional manner.
Using apps and software for employee communication, both the good and the bad is no longer nice to have, but something every company must have. I was recently on a webinar with Jason Averbook who very eloquently said, “We need to stop thinking the old world is coming back quickly. Stop waiting and do something.” with HR and managers must be prepared and equipped to handle these communications promptly and consistently to protect their organization. But even more importantly, this is critical to protecting the strong company culture that we have all worked so hard to establish and maintain.
If you are interested in learning more about the InvestiPro employee relations case management and investigation system schedule a brief 15-minute chat or a product demo below, or cruise around our website at thehrinvestigator.com.