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Centralize Your Decentralized HR Model with HR Case Management

HR Case Management

Centralize With HR Case Management

As we continue to truck along here at Dovetail by visiting with more and more new clients, patterns have definitely emerged.  Among these patterns is the consistency with which we see various moderations of HR centralization/decentralization.  In this post, we’ll concentrate on three common variations of decentralization and how a case management tool can actually accomplish a high degree of centralization, even if the organizational structure doesn’t best lend itself to doing so.

Typically, the three most often seen variations of decentralization go like this:

1.)    Lightly Decentralized: HR leaders and practitioners are predominately centrally-located at company headquarters with occasional field HR reps and/or work from home HR reps.  This is common in the retail industry.
2.)    Moderately Decentralized: HR leaders and practitioners are predominately centrally-located at company headquarters, but there are also many HR professionals sprinkled across regionally-located offices.  Common among any organization with larger offices, factories or operations geographically dispersed.
3.)    Heavily Decentralized:  HR leadership and practitioner roles are duplicated per business unit, geography, or in the case of education, per college (ie; Administration, Engineering, School of Business, etc.) Often times, their daily workflows and data capture lacks significant consistency across the organization though they are still ultimately led from a single entity.

HR Model Flavor?

Whatever the flavor of HR model a company or perhaps educational institution chooses to cook with, they can all essentially be rolled up under one umbrella easier than one might imagine by using a common tool for moderating workflow and data capture.

By using a common tool, like a HR case management application, many of the challenges that face organizations with varying degrees of decentralization can be alleviated.  Below are common ones we see often and how a tool can assist:

•    Single, easy-to-access and report from data repository.  This point will carry through all types of decentralization.  A modern HR case management tool tracks all employee interaction  an organization cares to capture and keeps it in one place for accurate reporting, trend analysis, and the ability to parse and/or lump large amounts of data for a holistic view.  It also allows for actual access to documentation like previous grievances or prior questions/issues that employee has had.  Mirroring the physical location of the center to senior HR leadership is of less importance if all of that data can be combed just the same from any location.  A good example is an international HR Shared Services center where employees of multiple countries/regions may be accessing HR practitioner assistance for example, yet the HR leadership may physically reside on another continent.

•    Standardized Workflows.  With the expansion of HR practitioners working from home for example, it can be difficult to duplicate common workflow and consistency.  Virtualized HR Help Desks can be assembled with far greater ease when working from a common tool that has the ability to be configured for each unique organization’s workflows and which essentially walks the HR advisor through common workflows.

•    Knowledge/Answer Consistency.  One of the most difficult things to monitor or insure is whether HR practitioners are providing employees with the right answer consistently.  Much of the fear around offering part time or full time work from home models for certain HR organizations is the fear of less experienced advisors not having the “right” answers within the close proximity an office setting provides.  It’s a common issue for HR advisors out in the field or any HR member who doesn’t have that consistent access to subject matter expert assistance.  A HR case management tool that is equipped with a knowledge base is a massive help in situations like these.  Advisors immediately have a place to go, 24/7 that can assist them with knowledge articles, policies, and see how other advisors worked similar cases. Really smart tools like Dovetail automatically start prepopulating similar cases and knowledge articles when key words are entered into the title of the case.  By assigning subject matter experts that create and publish the knowledge articles by which the advisors are getting many of their answers, leadership is able to better insure consistency of correct answers being given to employees.  If your tool is really smart like Dovetail’s is, leadership can even track which knowledge articles are being linked or used to answer which cases. It provides an extremely granular look from a reporting, consistency, and risk mitigation standpoint.

So, no matter what level of decentralization an organization employs, HR Case Management tools are able to greatly assist in centralizing that model while enjoying risk aversion, consistency, efficiency, and umbrella like reporting of all advisors no matter their location.

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