Employee relations case management continues to be one of the most complicated tasks that an HR expert has to tackle, and one of HR’s main objectives is to create a harmonious atmosphere within an organization while realizing its goals and juggling the myriad of day-to-day tasks that transpire at lightning speed. But when business came to a grinding halt when COVID-19 hit in 2020, it created an entirely new playing field. What has become clear as the pandemic dust continues to settle is the need for flexibility, adaptability, and accountability. This calls for a new HR approach beyond the latest technologies to handle people-centric issues at work.
As companies return to work, HR is scrambling and attempting to model how to acclimate to the post-pandemic workplace. What we can all agree on is how much has changed since March 2020, when all non-essential employees went home and stayed there for a year plus—juggling remote work, teaching or supporting their kids with remote school, taking care of the family members, all while attempting to keep loved ones and themselves healthy. This has left us with a new way of doing business — whether it involves a full-scale return to work, a hybrid approach, or a full remote (or WFH) model.
As a result, companies worldwide are expected to invest trillions of dollars in technology applications, VPNs, and Cloud-based platforms. In fact, Gartner has predicted around a $4.1 trillion spend in information technology; up 8.4 percent from 2020, the majority of which will be on devices (including mobile), and enterprise software. Robert Stokes, a faculty member and founder of the HR Analytics and Management Master’s program at American University, summarized, “Investing in more technology means that employees are actually getting more HR support through employee portals for self-service applications.” He also opined that with the hybrid or full WFH paradigm change, employers should keep a focus on applications that enhance employee engagement and software that drives communication and collaboration.
The All-in-One Employee Case Management Solution for One and All
One such employee portal is LaborSoft’s all-in-one employee case management platform, which has always provided one single place for the HR team to manage, document, and analyze all case management activity. With collaborative HR tools and seamless automation, tasks can get completed in a timely fashion with the utmost accuracy. Plus, HR analytics provide the business insights needed to make informed decisions; and the user-friendly interface makes it super easy to use! There is even a quick and painless implementation process that goes through to completion within mere weeks.
In the post-pandemic return to work, staying connected to your employees doesn’t mean that you should be remote from your coworkers. To improve the odds that your business will prevail in this dubious time, you must uphold your company’s labor relations policies in order to avoid lawsuits, complaints, litigation, and operational bottlenecks. To assist you in continuing to adapt to the current landscape, here are a few ways to maintain employee relations and ensure success with a dispersed workforce:
- COLLABORATE & COMMUNICATE: It is very important for all department members to keep the lines of communication open. Since face-to-face interaction is virtually removed with remote employees (pun intended!), it is key for you to be communicating with your employees and OFTEN. In a remote setting, MORE communication is best. An effective HR case management solution can provide your organization with a communication platform to ensure your workforce is always up to date.
- MAXIMIZE YOUR MANAGEMENT: It’s imperative that you stay connected with remote employees frequently, conveying expectations and tracking their progress. In addition to regular status meetings, a good way to stay on top of your staff is to have shared documents where projects can be tracked and accessed by all team members, despite their physical location. A Cloud-based, secure repository where managers can respond in a consistent and structured way and grant permissions to those who should get access to documents is needed to achieve full transparency and foster collaboration between employees and departments.
- FLEXIBILITY LEADS TO FUNCTIONALITY: In the pandemic climate, employees need more flexibility to work around home/family schedules and emergencies or sudden time off or leave in the event of illness. Consider taking the stance that it is less important WHEN employees get their work done, but that they GET it done. Plus, with new FMLA & FFCRA regulations, it behooves HR to take a closer look at compliance as it relates to family care. The last thing you need is operational bottlenecks and a lawsuit on your hands, simply because your company lacked the flexibility to evolve in the post-pandemic society.
- POLICIES ARE PARAMOUNT: Blink and you may have missed it—so much has changed in the corporate landscape since the pandemic started, that it can make your head spin! Since most of us are just trying to manage the new norm in our day-to-day lives (i.e. Did I remember to bring my mask with me?), the details of new corporate policies and government mandated regulations can easily get lost in the shuffle. Some of this can be avoided with a case management and employee relations system that has notification features enabled and can disseminate email reminders of case progress and upcoming deadlines.
- STAY VIRTUALLY VIGILANT: Lastly, remember that discrimination and harassment can still happen—in person OR virtually! It’s easy to lose sight of some issues that we tend to see more commonly when we’re in the office. . .Just because we are “home”, doesn’t mean that we are “home-free” of employee relations issues. A cohesive case management system can keep your focus on time-sensitive tasks to avoid having to go to court or into arbitration by managing, tracking, and monitoring the entire investigation process. It can also allow HR or department heads to inform their employees regularly of organizational policy changes related to dispute resolution, anti-discriminatory practices, anti-retaliation laws, or EEOC updates.
After a very unpredictable year in the business world, companies have to adopt new strategies to stand tall moving beyond the pandemic. Employee relations management stands out as one of the most important measures in nurturing a pleasant and satisfying working environment for all. With a safe and satisfied workforce, it is within your company’s reach to achieve goals, improve productivity, and surpass your competitors in the marketplace.
LaborSoft’s innovative technology is one of many integral solutions that keep your business, in business. Our employee relations analytics, case management workflows, and our central repository of documentation streamlines case management to mitigate risk of operational bottlenecks, costly lawsuits, and legal ramifications stemming from HR issues and complaints. This sensitive data requires that maximum security protocols are in place and that your information is protected at all times. Contact us for a customized demonstration and learn how LaborSoft can help you improve communications, build a more collaborative, safe, and supportive workplace, while reducing the likelihood of costly litigation.
Build a more collaborative, safe, and supportive workplace, while reducing the likelihood of costly litigation. Contact LaborSoft for a customized demo.