What is HR case management?

HR case management describes processes and tools used within Human Resources departments to track, address and resolve employee-submitted inquiries.

Your employees are components of your company machine that must be capable of operating collaboratively. HR, therefore, takes the role of the engineer, identifying and addressing personal and interpersonal issues within the system that relate to human resource management functions. A major aspect of this responsibility is providing the right employee services.

HR case management exists to improve the quality of these services while allowing HR teams and service centres to accomplish more, more effectively.

HR case management software (also called HR and employee relations investigation software) is a class of digital tools that assists HR personnel in organising, managing and resolving employee relations cases. It does this by standardising and automating complex HR processes through the introduction of customised HR workflows.

Additionally, HR case management software offers a centralised dashboard for HR professionals, as well as self-service portals employees may use to find solutions and track the progress of their open cases.

More specifically, the functionality of HR case management software includes:

  • Supporting management for cases involving employee grievances, disciplinary actions and long-term disability leave.
  • Assisting in the creation of customer automated workflows.
  • Providing detailed reports and other analytical features.
  • Consolidating control into a single, centralised dashboard.
  • Offering intuitive employee-self-service options.
  • Converting analogue (paper) HR files and forms into digital versions.
  • Assisting wherever possible in the tasks associated with submitting, reviewing and responding to employee requests.

In most businesses, the overarching mandate of every department is to provide a satisfying experience for their customers. HR takes a round-about approach to this objective, focusing instead on supporting employees. Unfortunately, employee relations can be just as complicated as customer relations. HR case management helps organisations better manage employee-support tasks, resulting in the following benefits.

Faster issue resolution

Sometimes, the biggest hurdle standing in the way of resolving employee issues is the hand-off. Not every case can be managed by the same individual, but passing cases between teams or managers takes time. HR case management creates a single, centralised source of truth for case details and employee information. This helps ensure that the HR professional who takes the case has everything they need to resolve it quickly and amicably.

More effective case investigation

Resolving a case demands understanding the context and details behind it. HR case management provides a location where handlers can gather, store and analyse case details, uncovering any necessary insights to help them come to an informed decision.

Better self-service

When employees choose to involve HR, it is often because they are dealing with some very pressing issues. As such, creating a case and then sending it off without any idea of its status can be stressful. HR case management systems that incorporate self-service options give employees their own portals to follow up and check in on all current cases. Self-service options also often include a knowledge base or other educational resources, so employees don't have to wait on HR for answers to common questions.

Improved workflow efficiency

Even the most basic case may include any number of different steps that must be completed before it can be resolved. Often, these involve time-consuming, manual tasks. Advanced workflow automation through HR case management takes charge of these important-yet-tedious steps, enabling HR professionals to accomplish more and focus more of their attention on the workforce.

Increased awareness of workplace issues

Effective HR case management not only helps ensure that individual cases are being managed correctly and in a timely manner, but also provides a complete, big-picture view of the state of the workplace and its employees. HR can use this improved visibility to develop a more complete understanding of the state of the company and the issues facing its workforce. They can then create a proactive strategy for improving the employee experience.

HR case management solutions are a major boon to any organisation that needs to be able to manage employee services with accuracy and efficiency. But it is not without its challenges. These include:

Effective workforce training

HR case management isn’t only for HR professionals. Because these case management systems are also employee-facing (in the form of portals and self-service options), it is imperative that everyone in the company be fully skilled in how to use them. This may require a shift in current processes and demand some company-wide training to help get everyone up to speed.

Software compatibility issues

Modern systems and tools don’t operate in a vacuum; they become part of a tech stack and interact with the other digital solutions companies rely on. Any HR case management system you bring into your organisation must be able to integrate seamlessly with the rest of your IT environment and incorporate smoothly into your workflow.

Data security

There are few types of information that are more sensitive than employee information. Everything from incident reports to personal data must be maintained within your HR case management system. This makes it a tempting target for threat actors. As you consider various HR case management options, make sure that security is one of your top priorities.

To address the challenges listed above and ensure that your HR case management solution is worth your investment, consider the following best practices:

Stick with a tried-and-true solution

There is no shortage of HR case management solutions and options available on the market. Unfortunately, not all these solutions are created equal. Demos and free trials can help you get a feel for what any specific option may bring to the table. Still, if you want additional assurance, it may be advisable to first consider those solutions that have already proven themselves among users. Check out online reviews and pay special attention to ease of use and scalability.

Fully onboard your workforce

Even the best case management system may fail to provide any noticeable benefits if your people do not know how to use it correctly. Make education and training your top concern as you roll out your HR case management solution. Make sure that employees and HR personnel are aware of what the system can do, what their responsibilities and privileges are and how to best utilise available functionality to accomplish their tasks

Establish an audit trail

Sensitive HR cases may carry with them certain legal or regulatory elements and thus demand clear documentation ensuring transparency and compliance. Make sure that your HR case management processes are fully aligned to all established government regulations and policies and that corroborating documentation is accessible when needed.

Enable various levels of access

HR systems work with extremely confidential data and if you aren’t careful, you could find yourself in a situation where users end up gaining access to sensitive information they do not need. Take the time to clearly establish which users have which levels of access, even among your HR department.

Identify and remediate recurring issues

As previously mentioned, a major advantage of HR case management is that it allows you to see the full picture. As you track trends and spot patterns in the types and frequency of cases, you will likely encounter recurring issues. Don't let these insights pass you by. Follow up on potential causes and commit to using your HR case management solution to optimise your workplace interactions.

Your employees are essential components in the machine that is your company. But they are also so much more. HR case management exists to provide those employees with streamlined support options and reliable case resolutions, so they can apply their unique insights to your shared success. But to make all this possible, businesses in every industry need powerful HR tools and solutions. HR Service Delivery from ServiceNow is the answer.

Built on the Now Platform® (the definitive solution to IT and service management), HR Service Delivery applies advanced automation and AI-driven solutions to help you give your people the support they need to excel. Create detailed, automated workflows. Deliver targeted communications and resources customised to individual workers. Personalise employee journeys with AI recommendations. Scale service delivery solutions across every relevant department. And through it all, maintain a single view of every case and employee interaction. ServiceNow makes it all possible.

Streamline employee interactions while providing every individual in your business with personalised HR support. Learn more about employee services from ServiceNow and make success a part of the job.

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