Benefiting From Hr Best Practices: No Longer An Exclusive Club
HR departments are benefiting a great deal from modern technology these days. An example is harnessing AI/ML and other smart technologies across the HCM value chain to predict, personalize and prescribe, all of which drive organizational agility and business resilience – key business imperatives.
Another noteworthy HR trend is the widespread recognition that achieving HR best practices are no longer confined to companies with large budgets to scale HR-related infrastructure (people, process, data insights, and technology). In the HR service desk arena, these two trends intersect and cannot be separated.
How Traditional Service Desks Worked for Employees
Getting specific, let's start with the fact that it's only been about 18 months since SMBs (i.e., 500 to 2,500 employees) started considering emulating the best practices of Fortune 1,000 companies in how they provide administrative and technical support to employees. Historically, smaller HR departments such as those staffed with less than a dozen team members (size of HR rarely exceeds 1.5% of the total workforce and is usually closer to a 1% ratio), had to rely on a generally low-tech approach to responding to incoming queries and issues from employees, line managers and HR-relevant suppliers. This could mean occasional real-time responses, more frequent escalations to a specialist or manager, or handling the issue or case with appropriate research at some point.
Naturally, this model frequently led to frustrated employees and, ultimately, negatively impacted the employer brand. Additionally, the pandemic has taught us that HR departments must assist employees and managers more and do so reliably, consistently, and with agility. Unpredictable events and challenging business conditions have raised questions and concerns about changing policies and practices, administrative errors, and even health and safety in recent times.
Fortunately for smaller and mid-size entities that usually don't enjoy the luxury of flexible knowledge base tools and rules-based, automated ticketing systems, this type of infrastructure is now very much within reach. These enterprises can now quickly deploy low-cost, innovative solutions that allow HR to provide a high employee service standard, even during challenging times. They can also take part in the "AI in HR revolution" through this. In fact, more HR service desk teams are using technology to respond to employee questions and issues in real-time, a strategy typically employed only by large players.
What is the Modern HR Service Desk Blueprint?
There is a half dozen primary elements or attributes to highlight with these emerging HR service desk technologies; below are a few:
- They are genuinely conversational, where virtual assistants' interactions are readily understood in both directions most of the time.
- They allow employees to stay in the flow of work, which is to say that they won't disrupt their daily working life. Tools such as Microsoft Teams are recognized as the best way to achieve this.
- Knowledge management functions are built-in, so all documents and policies reside within the system, thus significantly reducing administration time. The combination of MS Teams collaboration and updated knowledge and guidance in the interaction is one that will help many more HR departments achieve "Upper quartile effectiveness."
- They integrate with all leading HR technology and record-keeping platforms, reducing the time spent researching information.
- Embedded, intuitive analytics allow for deeper insight into employee issues, best resolution paths, and service desk usage patterns.
- Finally, automation and smart technology capabilities go beyond auto-resolving issues wherever possible to micro-content for "learning in minutes." In my experience, one of the biggest obstacles to change management is not necessarily the lack of support, but instead not being aware of it and how it affects one.
The Final Word:
The bottom line is that change is more frequent in today's operating environment and that there is a greater degree of assistance needed by employees, managers, and suppliers. The HR service desk is ushering in the democratic.