3 lessons HR Outsourcing can learn from Teleworking
Since the start of HR outsourcing services 30 years ago, a lot has been written on how to optimize the collaboration with vendors. As well as how to streamline the processes, how to maximize the efficiency ratios for your employees, and how to organize the communication with a remote HR help desk. All very valid questions.
Today we see that the home-office concept or teleworking has become a favorite formula for functions that don’t require to be on the workfloor every day. When looking back to the early days of HR outsourcing, business leaders had more or less the same questions on how to implement this efficiently. After all, it’s not only about working remotely with colleagues, it’s about optimizing and streamlining your business processes so your organization can continue to develop a business advantage in an cost-efficient way.
Based on discussions with HR leaders who implemented teleworking, we detected 3 key factors that are similar to the outsourcing project:
In the teleworking model, your employees are physically isolated from colleagues and make more use of phone and email to communicate. After all, these are the only tools they have to stay engaged with their employer.
Phone and email have always been the primary channels for interaction with a service center, complemented with self-service tools such as kiosks and mobile apps. In the beginning of an outsourcing project you also have to analyze the best way to establish the communication between the employees and the outsourced HR professionals. This was strongly linked to the function, type of work, frequency, and urgency of the request.
When implementing teleworking, make sure you create a platform for your employees that enables direct communication for any HR request. Also, based on the same principles as in an outsourcing model, ask yourself which channels are the most appropriate to support transactional tasks. The objective is to fully automate processes, reduce time spent, and improve employee experience. HR will have more time to spend on high-quality human interaction.
1 + 1 equals 3, right? That’s the sum of a successful working relationship. It’s not because you are isolated from your colleagues that you cannot collaborate on a project. The success of collaborations lies in the platform you use to share business tasks.
In an outsourcing model, this is purely the HR Information System containing all HR related data. Tier 1 & Tier 2 agents have access to key HR data in order to fulfil their tasks and to respond to employee needs. Also, a well-structured document management system helps to streamline the processes between all parties and to outline the rules in clear HR policies.
For teleworkers, it’s recommended to also have a company wide environment sharing the data for your employees. Gartner estimates that in 10 years from now, there will be 1.2 billion people using productivity suite services and more than 50% will be using a cloud-based productivity suite. After the CRM market, HR has been one of the early adopted processes for cloud-based solutions, we might even say that the HCM cloud is entering the early majority phase. The added value has been proven and illustrates to support the businesses of tomorrow.
A good teleworking relationship is built on trust and the quality of the output. Also the installation of a teleworking policy across the company containing clear rules might help to get the most out of teleworking.
In HR outsourcing this has been translated in to a clear Statement of Work, listing all the tasks that are included and/or excluded. This helps to define the responsibilities from each party involved.
In both situations, it’s important to quantify all the work in an objective and transparent way. Between service provider and employer, it’s no luxury to have a real-time monitoring tool in place that provides HR staff instant access to key HR information such as how many requests came in a month, which situations are unresolved, can we optimize the flow of requests, etc. Insight in this key data enables better output (read: efficiency increase and cost reduction).
Between employer and employee, the roll-out of a performance management process supports the teleworking model. It enables you to quantify the efforts of your employer and agree on the communication and actions. Both parties have a clear view on the regular status updates and can challenge the set objectives.
Bottom line is, if you have a structure and agreements installed, your employees will be productive and stay engaged.