Why You Spend 70% of Your Time Processing the Same Request

In my conversations over the past 22 months with organizations around the globe and across all industries, I have discovered that most HR leaders share two common objectives: They want to provide their employees with services that are consistent, reliable and modern, and they want their employees to get the information and support that they need when they need it.

The problem holding HR leaders back is that HR teams spend more than 70% of their time responding to the same requests over and over again. Not only does this drive up costs and lengthen the time it takes to close the support loop, but it leads to little time left over for strategic activities and employee engagement.


Not surprisingly, many HR organizations struggle to consistently achieve the two objectives I mentioned above, and here’s why: Employees often lack a single place to go to get the answers they need to questions like, “Where can I find the company time-off policy?”, “What is the process for reporting a harassment concern?”, or “Who can help me with a tuition reimbursement request?”

Without a single place to go, employees need to chose from various channels to get help:

  • Make a phone call
  • Send an email
  • Walk into the HR department (unless they are remote)
  • Search a SharePoint site.

In some cases, they may use more than one channel for the same issue in an effort to quickly get a response.

For HR, the challenges are clear:

  • How do you effectively manage all of these incoming channels?
  • How do you ensure each issue gets to the correct person or team for follow-up?
  • How do you know when an issue has been resolved and how can you ensure resolutions are accurate?

And because employees do not have any way of knowing how long it will take to get an answer to their question, they may need to follow-up continuously until they get a response.  This follow-up adds to the already significant HR workload.

In this environment, employee satisfaction with HR is often low, which can have a negative impact on employee engagement.  And without a strong service framework, costs and support time are often much higher than desired.jen-stroud-qutoe-image-blog-3With HR Service Management, organizations are able to provide a solid service framework that eliminates the guesswork for their employees.  Employees are now directed to a central HR portal where they can:

  • Make requests that are managed via service level agreements and have these requests go to the most qualified person for response.  It is important to note that many of these requests can be completely automated thus eliminating the need for HR intervention.  A good example would be Employment Verification Letters.  These letters can be automated with workflow and an integration to the system of record so that HR no longer needs to spend their valuable time on this administrative activity.
  • Get Information they need directly from an HR Knowledge Base and without intervention from HR.
  • Chat with an HR representative real-time who is available and qualified to respond to their question.
  • Track the status of their requests at all times eliminating the need for constant follow-up resulting in a better user experience and a reduced HR workload.

As a result, customer satisfaction increases as employees are empowered to take control of routine transactions; and the cost and time to support basic HR needs is reduced, often dramatically.  Employees become more self reliant and less dependent on HR.

As HR progresses from the back room to the boardroom, from tactics to strategy, HR teams can now take greater ownership of the business and its outcomes.  Time spent on administrative work is often reduced to less than 20%.  Developing people, engaging employees and retaining top talent now replace the repetitive, administrative work of the past.

Check out this interesting read, “HR Unleashed”, for more on how Service Management can help HR escape from time-consuming, manual activities that prevent strategic, high-value business service.

Jen Stroud
Jen Stroud is passionate about inspiring HR leaders to transform the employee experience and how work gets done in HR. She comes to ServiceNow from TeleTech where she spent the past 10 years in HR and most recently was the Executive Director of Human Capital Services. In this role, Jen led an enterprise HR transformation initiative, transitioning the company from a decentralized HR support model to a Shared Services operating model.

One Response to “Why You Spend 70% of Your Time Processing the Same Request

  • Well, This is very helped us and useful to all. I am very happy to get this and very impressive thing that you mentioned in the article. Thanks for sharing this post.

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