Measure employee engagement. Improve the employee experience. Find, hire, and onboard top talent. Design and manage your company’s benefits. And on top of that, manage the challenges—things like complying with various state and overseas regulations—created by ever-more distributed teams and the evolving makeup of the modern workforce.
These are just a few of the business-critical initiatives HR teams are responsible for, but few HR teams have the time they need to truly focus on these tasks. Why? They’re too tied up answering one-off questions and doing administrative work.
There is a category of products that helps reduce the amount of time HR teams spend on these administrative tasks: ticketing systems. In fact, HR teams that use the right
ticketing system report spending up to five more hours a week
on things like training, hiring, and people strategy.
However, because ticketing systems were traditionally designed for IT support and customer service teams, few think of an HR ticketing system as a solution to HR’s growing list of responsibilities.
Why HR teams need ticketing systems
If it feels like all you do at work is answer repetitive questions and get interrupted by requests to complete administrative tasks, it’s time to start thinking about how your team might benefit from adopting HR service desk software.
Here are five big reasons why HR teams need a ticketing system, along with how atSpoke
can help your team—and company—meet its biggest goals.
HR receives a ton of knowledge and service requests
If you had a dime for every time you answered one of the following questions, you’d probably have enough money to take a long and much-needed vacation:
- What holidays do we have off?
- How do I add a family member to my health insurance?
- When do we get paid?
- What expenses are covered when I’m traveling for work?
You’ve probably already documented all of the answers to these questions on your company’s internal wiki or shared drive, but no one ever looks there first
. As Forrester’s Principal Analyst Paul Hamerman says
“Employees won’t use [an HR tool] if it’s a typical in-house intranet and not user-friendly. The user experience has to be engaging.”
On top of that, HR teams also get tons of requests for tasks to complete, things like:
- adding job postings to your company website
- conducting exit interviews
- scheduling interviews with promising job candidates
- organizing orientations and trainings for employees
Even if you have a knowledge base (and even if people actually look for answers there first), it doesn’t help with requests because a person must handle requests manually.
A combined HR ticketing system and knowledge base
helps solve both of these problems.
A ticketing system creates a super-powered shared inbox for your team. It consolidates all questions and requests into a single queue, letting HR teams:
- close tickets so people don’t work on the same request twice
- prioritize all questions and requests against others
- easily assign tickets to specific team members
- collaborate on difficult-to-answer questions
- create a knowledge base just by answering questions
And with the right ticketing system—one that includes a knowledge base—it even answers frequently asked questions
for you. That means fewer calls, emails, and in-person interruptions, giving your team more time to focus on strategic work.
How atSpoke saved Evernote’s People Ops Manager five hours a week
The People Ops team at Evernote used to struggle with managing their most important responsibilities—things like benefits, wellness, onboarding, and offboarding. A steady stream of incoming questions created constant distractions, even though the team had documented and shared all of the answers to those questions in their Employee Navigator.
According to Chazlee Azevedo, Evernote’s People Ops Manager, adopting atSpoke gave her back as many as five hours of productive time
“I hardly ever get questions now,” she says. “Conversations that used to happen on Slack are now routed to atSpoke, which keeps me on track and in control of how I’m spending my time. What it’s done is give me my time back to do my job.”
The changing workforce is creating more work for HR
When everyone worked together in the same office, things were easier.
You held in-person orientations that ensured everyone got the same information and the right paperwork. Employees all lived locally, so there were a minimal number of state and federal payroll regulations to stay compliant with. When people were disengaged, you noticed the signs because you saw them in person every day.
But few teams today all sit in the office together Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Maybe you have employees in multiple offices around the world. Maybe your company has started hiring remote workers or supplementing full-time staff with independent contractors.
These employees don’t necessarily all get the same information, and they can’t just tap a coworker on the shoulder and ask for help. Instead, they turn to HR for answers, increasing the number of questions you have to answer over and over again.
Additionally, you have to figure out how to improve the employee experience and boost engagement among employees you’ve probably never even met in person. Beyond that, you have to get to know the employment regulations for every state and country your employees live in. But it’s hard to find time for any of these things due to constant interruptions.
Reducing the frequency of the number of questions and requests your HR team receives with a ticketing system makes adapting to the changing workforce more manageable.
“Even for employees in our Barcelona office, atSpoke is super useful because they can get the information they need now as opposed to having to wait until I get out of bed. It’s great that our employees can still get answers right away in spite of operating across multiple time zones.” – Stevie Burnich, Scoot
The increasing use of technology by HR teams creates knowledge fragmentation
In all likelihood, your HR team is using more technology than ever before. You probably have:
- an applicant tracking system (ATS) you use for recruiting
- an HRMS/HRIS for payroll and attendance tracking
- a wiki or shared drive for knowledge management
- an employee benefits management system
- one or more engagement monitoring and surveying tools
Each of these tools helps your HR team do their jobs better and faster, but one of the unexpected outcomes of having different tools for different tasks is knowledge fragmentation:
- FAQs are answered on the wiki.
- Payroll changes are requested in HRIS.
- Benefit changes are made in the benefits management system.
- Engagement survey results are housed in your survey tool.
- Prospective employee resumes live in the ATS.
This makes it harder for employees and managers to know where to go for what types of questions, information, and requests. And sometimes, it’s even hard for HR teams to keep up with what’s saved where.
The right HR ticketing system helps to defragment your team’s knowledge
. When you use the ticketing system to accept requests and document knowledge, you can link to assets in various tools, letting your team and your company’s employees discover all of the information they need from a single, central source.
How atSpoke helped Scoot’s People team get more organized
Though the People team at Scoot
spent a lot of time documenting the answers to their frequently-asked questions, it didn’t prevent people from interrupting them with constant questions and requests. They were interrupted frequently on Slack, over email, and in-person for answers that were already documented.
The problem: “There was no centralized location for our employee resources. A lot of stuff was in Google Drive. We had Google Sites, which was like a company intranet, but it was seldom looked at. And it was difficult for people find the information there.”
After adopting atSpoke, the People team had a central source to point to when employees had questions. “It’s a huge time saver,” says Stevie Burnich, Scoot’s office manager. “I don’t need to answer a question 20 times, like when people are wondering, Do we have Presidents Day off?”
Ticketing systems can make it easier to highlight your team’s responsibilities and successes
HR ticketing systems have one key feature that you don’t get from accepting questions and requests by email, phone, Slack, or in person: metrics. Metrics provide a historical record of things like what’s being asked, how often certain questions are being asked, and how many questions your team is getting every day, week, or month.
According to Gretchen Alarcon
, Group Vice President of HCM Strategy at Oracle:
“If you have an HR help desk, you have better visibility of what was asked and when, and you can track trends, such as people asking about vacation policy.”
Ticketing system metrics are helpful because they highlight problems. If you get the same questions over and over again even though you’ve already documented the answer in your knowledge base, it’s a sign that the answer provided isn’t clear or what people are looking for. Noticing the issue and making a change improves the employee experience.
Additionally, ticketing system metrics can help you show leadership proof that you need to hire additional HR staff. Saying you need help just isn’t as impactful as taking your leader a report that shows your team is getting 500 requests from employees every day.
How atSpoke helped charity:water improve the employee experience
Jordan Hunter, the Office Experience Manager at charity:water, initially adopted atSpoke to make it easier for employees to self-service and find quick answers to simple questions. However, after using atSpoke for a while, she discovered an unexpected benefit: improving the employee experience
“As an admin, I’m looking at all these requests. I’m like, why do people keep asking questions about this particular thing? Maybe we need to be better at communicating that.” By identifying patterns in the questions employees were asking, she was able to provide better and clearer answers, helping both herself and charity:water’s employees save time.
A ticketing system actually makes interactions with HR more personal
Having people submit their requests to and get answers from a machine seems impersonal at first glance. But it actually increases your ability to add a human touch to the most important employee-HR interactions.
For example, if someone is looking for a pay date schedule, they don’t really care where it comes from. They’re just looking for a quick answer to a simple question.
But there are matters that demand HR’s full and sympathetic attention: reports of toxic coworkers or sexual harassment, the death of an employee, requests for leadership training, gathering key insights from exit interviews. These tasks all require a personal touch, but it’s hard to devote as much time as you need to in resolving these issues if you’re busy answering the same questions over and over again all day.
A ticketing system actually lets you focus on the responsibilities that truly matter by giving you back the time you would have otherwise wasted on less impactful questions and requests.
“Now that people know atSpoke exists and that they can get their answers from there, I get a lot fewer walk-ups. That’s extremely helpful considering I’m the only person doing my job here. It’s given me a lot of time back to be able to take on bigger projects. People know that they’re going to get answers immediately.” – Steven Juanes, Pantheon
The benefits of using atSpoke as your HR ticketing system
atSpoke is an innovative and integrated ticketing and knowledge management system that’s designed for the whole company—including HR. atSpoke helps HR teams:
- Improve the employee experience. Employees self-service, don’t need to perform complex searches to find what they’re looking for, ask questions where they’re already working, and get answers instantly without interrupting HR. Plus, HR teams can use reports to find areas for improvement and determine when they need more help.
- Build a knowledge base organically. HR builds its knowledge base as it answers questions, and can even link to existing resources—no need to recreate information. Plus, atSpoke is designed to be used by the whole company, so it helps you collect, optimize, and distribute knowledge as your company grows.
- Boost productivity and stay organized. Because atSpoke answers questions for you, HR teams spend less time answering repetitive questions and referring people to existing documentation in the KB. It also helps other teams because they don’t have to wait on HR for answers. Keep requests organized, and assign/reassign them easily.
- Keep private data confidential. If you handle questions and requests that should only be viewable by the HR team and requestor, atSpoke gives you the ability to create private teams as well as mark specific requests as private.
In other words, atSpoke’s not your typical ticketing system. It doesn’t require technical expertise to set up and operate like most IT ticketing systems, and it’s not a repurposed customer service solution with too many features that HR teams don’t need.
Instead, atSpoke was designed with simplicity and efficiency in mind. It’s not only accessible to everyone at your company, but it also provides an effortless way to streamline getting knowledge to those who need it, freeing HR up to focus on tasks that truly make a difference.
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