What’s the point of a Human Resource case management tool?
Your case management tool isn’t meant to create more work. The goal is to break down all the different types of cases you deal with to a level where reporting can provide meaningful information, ultimately making everyone’s job better.
What’s the best way to start? First, determine whether your electronic Employee Action Form (EAF) is simple, streamlined, and easy to maintain.
Too many organizations settle for the quick, easy approach to creating EAFs. They take an antiquated form and just plop it into an HR case management platform. Don’t be that HR department!
The power of the ServiceNow HR case management tool is the ability it provides to work out a set of cases that are just right for your organization. The case management tool will help you better manage and deliver your Human Resources services to employees, thereby enhancing the overall work experience.
1. Employee Action Forms by Another Name
At Cask, we’ve been privileged to work with some truly amazing HR organizations and help them on their ServiceNow journeys.
We’ve found that most Human Resource teams have an Employee Action Form of some kind, although some may use a different name. Here are a few variations we’ve heard:
- Action Request Form (ARF)
- Personnel Action Form (PAF)
- Human Resources Non-Employee Action Form
- Faculty and Staff Action Form
- Employee Action Request
- HR/Payroll Action Form
You get the idea. Every organization has a similar kind of form that serves a variety of functions.
2. Slaying the “Formenstein” Monster
Back in the day, a manager or employee would manually fill out the Employee Action Form and fax it to HR. Some forms are relics from that time. A few years back, many HR teams modernized their forms by turning them into fillable PDFs or Word documents.
As a result, HR teams seized the opportunity to add more options and fields. But what these teams didn’t realize at the time is that all those additions led to the creation of a “Formenstein” monster. When the monster came to life in a printout, it was more than five pages long, but only held about 16 fields of information needed to work the case.
3. HR Case Management ≠ One Big Electronic EAF
When you begin to implement ServiceNow, you may be tempted to recreate your EAF as a single form in HR Case Management. Don’t do it. Resist that urge! The ServiceNow platform will work best if you divide your EAF into its constituent use cases.
For instance, you could take your EAF and break out some use cases like this:
- Employee bonus request
- Employee promotion request
- Employee department transfer request (note: Consider ServiceNow enterprise onboarding and transitions here)
- Request for performance improvement plan
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) request
- Leave of absence request
Remember: Use cases aren’t just for IT. They describe the information you need and the order of the workflow.
4. For Those About to Implement
A tip for those about to implement ServiceNow: The more you can define use cases before you do the implementation, the better it will go. [For more on this topic, see our related post “Good, Fast or Cheap: Can ServiceNow HR Deliver it All?”]
If you have HRIS business analysts on staff, ask them to break out the use cases (this is a great job for them). If you lack this capability internally, your IT organization may have IT business analysts who can facilitate documenting your unique set of use cases. A mid-sized organization can have as many as 60 easily defined use cases for distinct HR cases.
5. Why Separate Use Cases?
Perhaps you’re wondering why we recommend breaking down your EAF into separate use cases, regardless of whether a case management tool like ServiceNow or a legacy case management solution is used.
There are a wide variety of reasons for making the shift to use case-based HR cases some of which we will discuss briefly here. One reason is based on a principal related to the cybersecurity work we do at Cask.
We’ve noticed that one of the challenges with big EAFs is that they often contain more personally identifiable information (PII) or personal health information (PHI) than necessary for the task at hand. This is especially problematic when forms are sent by email, uploaded to SharePoint sites, or worse—sitting in a fax machine. It’s critical to limit the PII and PHI data you include in a use case. Thank goodness it gets easier when you break the “Formenstein” monster down into individual cases.
The other reason is related to our management consulting work here at Cask. If you break your EAF down into use cases in an HR case management system like ServiceNow, you gain an ability to capture data around each of those case types. This enables data/evidence-based decision-making using analytical tools in place of the tried-and-true SWAG (scientific wild-*ss guess) method of decision-making. Regardless of tool, technology, or approach, it just makes sense to break down your EAF into multiple use cases.
When you look closer, you might see cases in your organization with identical workflows. This doesn’t mean you should create a single case to handle both. Rather, it’s a reason for your HRIS team (or the IT team that manages your ServiceNow instance) to turn around the second case in at least 25 percent less time.
An experienced ServiceNow engineer should be able to quickly and easily duplicate the basic workflow and restructure the form (along with the supporting data tables) to capture the data unique to that workflow.
6. Deconstruct Use Cases To Build a Better Experience
The more you deconstruct the use cases in your EAF into distinct tasks performed by HR generalists and specialists, the better off you’ll be.
Here are just eight of the ways you can build a better employee experience by breaking down use cases:
- Improve outcomes for employees
- Increase protection for employees’ PII and PHI
- Offer easier self-service capabilities
- Enable mobile-ready cases
- Reduce case follow-up calls for HR
- Streamline case workflows
- Simplify modification of workflows
- Improve your ability to scale services
Take advantage of this opportunity to deliver consumer-grade experiences for your employees, while also improving your ability to manage and decrease costs.
Talk to your Cask consultant to get the technical expertise necessary to complete your HR transformation.