Analyzing HR Helpdesk Traffic to Identify Corporate Policy Needs
Identifying potential critical HR issues to effectively manage your workforce
The corporate HR function has gone through many changes with the adoption of new technologies and ERP software solutions. The influx of high tech solutions has created a virtual HR environment and has enabled companies to build databases of company and employee data. While data mining is new to the HR environment, the practice of data mining has been successfully employed in more traditional corporate areas for trending business activities and fine tuning business processes. With the adoption of Automated HR Helpdesk solutions, the opportunity to fine tune the HR function through data mining and the analysis of helpdesk data has arrived.
HR Helpdesk Overview
The Automated HR helpdesk solutions available in the marketplace, like LBi HR HelpDesk, extend the access and reach of HR by utilizing existing technologies to create a virtual HR environment. Employees can enter the system through the corporate portal and perform a variety of tasks including:
- Searching HR guides
- Reviewing common problem databases
- Submitting questions and problems to HR
- Checking status on open questions
- Checking on resolved issues
Employee queries can be resolved by a generalist or routed to a specialist as required. The employee also has the option of searching within the helpdesk databases for answers and similar situations raised by other employees. The HR helpdesk software is fully integrated to the HR systems, and utilizes corporate systems such as e-mail and voice systems to communicate in a secure environment.
LBi HR HelpDesk will also perform automatic escalations of unresolved cases and will maintain a complete case history for each employee.
Data Analysis of Helpdesk Traffic
Data Mining is relatively new in the data analysis field but is readily gaining acceptance in the world of business analytics. It allows for the analysis of data to extract patterns from a larger set of data. With data mining techniques we can go beyond the tracking of policy and guideline concerns and search for patterns showing repeated issues with specific employees or managers. Companies can find patterns that would not have become apparent in a manual system.
Analysis of the accumulated data from the HR helpdesk activity can help to highlight trends and patterns where employees experience difficulty in understanding policies or in understanding how benefits are applied. Armed with this new information, the company can then decide on how to address the issue, clarify the policies and avoid the confusion going forward.
These techniques combined with the helpdesk data can help assess the impact of new or modified company processes such as implementing Six Sigma or lean manufacturing disciplines. While employees may not report concerns to their line managers, there may be patterns in the data that can lead back to these changes. Stress felt by employees can be both a satisfaction issue and a retention problem for the company.
According to the EEOC, there were over 32,000 reported incidents of workplace harassment which cost businesses $98,500,000 in settlement costs. Data Mining of helpdesk data can highlight potential issues, provide direction in seeking appropriate solutions, and assist in the timely response to these situations. Additionally, Data Mining can help evaluate corporate policies and their impact on specific employee demographics. For instance, are men complaining more than women about specific policies? Is there a prevalence of religious issues?
Employee satisfaction can be gauged from data in helpdesk surveys and through data patterns revealed in the analysis. A good helpdesk solution will provide for employee surveys to gauge the effectiveness of the helpdesk and the HR process.
Summary and Conclusion
Helpdesk solutions, like LBi HR HelpDesk, extend the reach and accessibility of the HR department. Additionally, the data accumulated and stored can be used as a basis for highlighting potential problems and concerns. Analyzing the data and the trending of employees’ queries and concerns can highlight corporate policies that are confusing, complex or poorly written.
Reviewing the volume of queries by area and drilling down into specific issues can help identify potential problems and address these issues to reduce the traffic into the HR helpdesk. Issues that are identified can then be reviewed by management and may be addressed with a clarifying memo, additional training or other actions as required.
With time and experience in leveraging the available data, correlating information from the various HR systems with other critical Key Performance Indicators (i.e. corporate revenue/profitability performance, customer satisfaction, employee retention and turnover), becomes a viable possibility.
In the end, there is a true relationship between performance in every discrete area of any organization, from Finance to HR to Manufacturing to Sales, etc. Employee performance in any one business unit may ultimately impact performance in every other department. A comprehensive HR Help Desk solution with intelligent analytics capability will help identify potential critical issues in each department and become the centerpiece of a total solution to effectively managing your workforce.