For many years, employee relations (ER) has been dismissed by some organisations as a tactical, operational necessity that isn’t given the gravitas that it deserves.

However, what these businesses are not factoring in is that ER is a strategic must for every HR department. It can drive meaningful change throughout the company.

That’s because when employees feel seen, heard, and appreciated, the relationship between employer and employee is strengthened — resulting in a more loyal and engaged workforce who work more efficiently, while becoming increasingly aligned with a business’ goals.

Thankfully, many forward-thinking HR leaders understand that ER should be at the core of everything they do, informing their overall business strategy.

And this is a key driver as to why there is an even greater demand for ER technology from savvy industry professionals who are driven by people, processes, and intuitive tools.

They understand that ER is no longer a ‘necessary evil’ and in fact centres on positive transformation within their businesses. So, how is ER technology truly shaking up the HR industry? Here are six ways…

  1. These savvy solutions enhance efficiency

Traditionally, HR teams have used a combination of manually intensive processes to log, manage and track case progression. Overwhelmed by complex spreadsheets and with no way of stemming the tidal wave of rising caseloads, this has made matters difficult to monitor and keep on top of.

However, armed with ER focused technology, HR leaders can benefit from having access to real-time visibility of cases – allowing them to understand the progress of each ER matter, monitor capacity among team members and assign tasks appropriately. Should a colleague be tasked with a big case for example, extra support can be allocated to help, while incoming matters can be assigned elsewhere.

Helping to balance workloads among team members also alleviates unnecessary pressure for colleagues, while providing a more rounded picture of capacity and recruitment needs.

  1. HR professionals are able to escalate complex ER cases to their employment lawyers

Previously, using external law firms for more complex cases has proven costly for businesses who were charged ‘on-the-clock’ rates, leading to fragmented, inefficient, and expensive ways of working for HR teams.

But having dedicated legal advisors who can be plugged in at the simple click of a button, ideally via savvy ER case management technology, not only means that more complex ER matters are handled effectively, but also that these specialists become engrained within the organisation — rather than being just another voice with no background information.

This understanding of how a business operates, coupled with a higher level of insight, could prove critical for each case moving forward. Plus, when HR professionals have the advantage of specialist guidance available at the click of a button, it not only offers peace of mind, but it becomes a far more cost-effective way of dealing with complex cases.

  1. HR teams can be upskilled in ER

A further advantage of employment lawyers who become an extension of the team, is that when they work in partnership with HR departments, colleagues gain access to a wealth of legal knowledge — with specialist advisors on hand to talk them through every element of a case.

With exposure to this additional expertise, junior members of the team can be quickly upskilled so that they too become knowledgeable in more complex ER matters. And where additional legal expertise is still required, cases can be escalated and dealt with appropriately.

  1. HR leaders are able to drive meaningful change via intuitive reporting

There’s no question that data-driven decisions are critical for organisations when it comes to making key, commercially focused judgments. And when HR teams are armed with intuitive reporting capabilities, the resulting insight can be collated quicker, and shared with ease.

Utilising ER case management technology, this detail can also help to identify employee trends, and legal costs, all of which can be presented back via advanced reports that senior management wants to see, and with insight that the organisation can act upon – giving HR leaders a stronger seat at the boardroom table too.

  1. Offering a secure solution

With the nature of HR and employment law, and the frequent handling of confidential data, it is vital that any data is stored securely – and all in one place.

Having access to a secure case management system, HR leaders have peace of mind knowing they’re able to instantly transfer sensitive information safely, meaning that individuals are not placed at risk and important cases are not jeopardised by unintentional breaches.

  1. An online portal of resources for every eventuality

For any forward-thinking HR leader, there is not a moment to miss a beat. And if their HR resources are out of date or irrelevant, this can lead to costly legal amends of existing documents – not to mention the additional time and inconvenience.

Industry professionals need a breadth of legally compliant ER and employment law templates – including letters, forms and policies – to ensure they are following the correct guidance.

Without access to an online portal, organisations risk offering poor ER support which could lead to larger – and more costly – issues. Whereas with savvy ER technology, HR leaders can access a relevant library of HR documentation, safe in the knowledge that everything is in one place.

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