In a competitive job market, keeping employees happy is a big emphasis for HR. The way they provide services can have a direct impact on retaining employees, but this is dependent on how well these processes are implemented.
There are title changes, life events, and many other HR-related tasks employees need help with, which can be frustrating if there is little organization or process behind how these tasks get done.
It may be time to consider a new approach if these tasks aren’t being carried out efficiently—because employees will notice. Since IT has established itself as an expert in service delivery, it makes sense that HR could benefit from that expertise. Here are a few examples of how IT and HR are a perfect match for boosting the employee experience.
The Value of a Service Portal
When you think about the convergence of IT and HR in today’s office environment, the service portal is a good example of technology that can impact the employee experience for multiple service lines.
Whether that be accessing a service catalog for various requests, or searching a knowledge base of self-service solutions, the service portal serves as a one-stop shop for all the resources employees may need.
Use a Service Catalog to Streamline Onboarding
When you think about an employee’s first real introduction to your organization, the onboarding process is a crucial one to get right from the start. Onboarding is a new employee’s first true introduction to how efficiently your organization operates.
In many organizations, HR lets the hiring manager know when their new team member is starting. The hiring manager then coordinates with Finance, Facilities, and IT to make sure the new person has what they need. IT’s role is to make sure employees get acquainted with their new technology and how to use it. It’s easy to see how this entire process can get complicated without clear processes.
Employee onboarding can be overwhelming with so many steps and processes, and only gets worse as an organization grows. Getting to the point where employees can actually be productive often involves numerous interactions with multiple departments, not to mention a continuous stream of questions.
A study by Sapling indicates that the average new hire has 54 activities to complete during onboarding alone—an experience that can ultimately impact employee retention.
One of the strategies for improving the onboarding experience for employers and employees alike is aligning HR with IT to expand the service catalog to include HR services.
Create Efficiency for HR with Automated Workflows
The beauty of leveraging a service catalog with automated workflows is two-fold in this onboarding example. On the backend, workflows can be set up for each task, including exactly what departments are involved, who needs to do what, and in what order. On the front-end, managers can easily request these services for new employees by using pre-built forms created specifically for onboarding.
To further streamline processes, the service desk can integrate with other business applications. These integrations can plug into workflows, reducing the time it takes to onboard employees by having them automatically added to a number of systems they need access to. For example, when a new hire is created in the HRIS system, it could automatically trigger a Facilities request to generate a keycard for the new employee.
For even a simple name change, several tasks usually need to be completed by both parties for this to occur, like changing an email address, ordering new business cards, or updating health insurance records. No more endless email threads or messages reminding your team what needs to happen next… employees are notified automatically whenever they are needed.
Encourage Self-Service by Implementing a Knowledge Base
In addition to IT-specific use cases, a smart knowledge base is one of the most practical ways to provide HR-related resources to employees that need help, and can be accessed directly from the service portal IT may be already using. Providing employees with an easy-to-use portal where they can search for or browse any resources they may need can help eliminate frustration and reduce friction in their daily role.
A recent survey by Paychex revealed that a whopping 73% of full-time US workers expect employers to provide self-service solutions for completing HR-related tasks.
And while employees are expecting these self service solutions, IT pros are also understanding the value of making this information available. According to a recent survey* of IT professionals, 79% indicated knowledge sharing as the most critical feature for employee experience in the coming year.
A robust knowledge base can help facilitate and empower this type of self-service by providing employees with easy access to how-tos for tasks like adjusting 401(k) contributions, requesting PTO, and more.
By leveraging artificial intelligence in the service portal, employees can easily view automatically displayed knowledge base articles or guides based on a search query, eliminating the need to search for documents buried in an email inbox when life events happen. These resources can also be continually added to and updated by HR, so outdated documentation is never a problem.
Explore Other Ways to Align IT with HR
For even more inspiration for how HR and IT can work in harmony, we’ve outlined examples of how HR can follow the service desk model. To see these examples in action, request a free demo of SolarWinds® Service Desk today.
*ITSM Survey on THWACK.com of global SolarWinds customer base in September 2019; 215 total responses.
About Liz Beavers
Liz is a technical point of contact for SolarWinds Service Desk customers, providing expertise on ITSM best practices, APIs, integrations, and security. She's ITIL® 4 certified and has never met a dog she didn't want to adopt.
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