What would happen if your Board asked you this:
“What ER issues are going on across the business right now? What are the key trends and training needs we need to address?”
How quickly and easily would you be able to answer this question? Would you need a few days or even a few weeks to pull together everything you need from existing systems and processes to give a complete picture of what your team is dealing with right now?
Or do you have a current system that is manual and spreadsheet based, or a self-built ER system that gives you the basics, but is ‘creaking at the seams’ a bit and not as responsive as you would like?
How about investigating a cloud-based solution that allows you to instantly pull up a snapshot of the exact problems and ER issues your department is handling – as well as immediately understanding where they’re originating from and why?
When you’re managing a team dealing with ER issues across an organisation, it’s difficult to stay in touch with the key issues – constantly. That immediate picture of all the ER issues being handled right now (and in the past) is sometimes difficult to instantly grasp – never mind analyse and investigate key trends as quickly as you would like. In a larger business it’s almost impossible to keep track of everyone’s needs. Things get missed and problems get swept under the carpet at times. It is sometimes easier to constantly ‘firefight’ than really get beneath the root causes as to why the same issues crop up time and time again.
But, it’s often hard to identify the source of your ER problems. Taking a look at the big picture needs a quick and easy method of isolating HR trends so that niggling issues don’t become big legal stains on your business’ record.
What your business may be lacking is an ER case management and tracking system...
What is an ER case management tracking system? (And why don’t you have one? Or at least one that gives you everything you need…when you need it?)
Put simply, an ER tracking system is an online management system that records all past and current ER issues and displays instantaneous key information, provides comprehensive reports and trends and enables you to better control legal spend – amongst many other things.
This means every single communication with your legal advisor is logged, so if a similar issue arises – or, worse, if a case goes to tribunal – there is a clear paper trail which gives your company the security of knowing everything has been dealt with correctly.
Within large businesses it’s difficult to keep track of every interaction and it’s even harder to take a bird’s eye perspective to spot trends and problem points within specific departments.
Ideally you want to stop ER problems before they even exist but with so many employees it’s impossible to keep track of everything without a strong system in place.
Why do you need an ER tracking system?
- Find out what is happening with your ER
Having an ER tracking system means you can identify what recurring problems are hampering the smooth running of your organisation. This informs development plans so that you can stop similar issues arising in future.
This also allows you to redirect resources to tackle issues in specific departments or with individual line managers.
- See which HR team members are relying on the legal advice service most
As well as tracking patterns of the type of ER issues being handled by your HR team, an ER tracking system also allows you to identify who is using the service most within your team and on what particular issues. If certain team members are using legal advice more than others, this may be a line manager issue (see above) or a development issue with the team member, which can be dealt with through upskilling.
- See the big picture and recapture control of your ER
Having a dashboard where everything you need to know is in full view, in real time, makes directing your ER team that much easier.
You’ll have a top down view of your business with the ability to zoom in and pinpoint problems at an individual level. This saves a lot of time trying to recount past meetings and researching possible fixes.
Also, if your company has multiple locations, you can quickly identify where resources are needed and direct them to those offices.
- Everything is audited
Having a time and date stamp put on every interaction, every bit of advice given and every problem voiced is a powerful means of staying ahead.
It provides the security your company needs to deal with even the most delicate matter and makes the paper trail far easier to navigate to sort problems quickly.
- Your competitors don’t have it yet
It’s such a simple concept, but very few law firms think to offer anything like it. A good ER tracking system gives your organisation a competitive advantage by reducing time, energy and wasted effort in getting a grip on ER issues as quickly as possible. And, of course, the biggest gain from nipping ER issues in the bud before they become a problem is better staff engagement, a reduction in legal spend, significant time savings to focus on the projects that really matter and a better equped HR team that are constantly developing their skills in this hugely important area of focus.
I am the Founder of ESP Group, a very different employment law firm and HR consultancy business, with our own in-house legal and HR experts. The vision for our business was to deliver an exceptionally personal, yet cost-effective service that truly meets the evolving needs of modern and forward thinking HR teams and their organisations. We’ve recruited some of the very best employment lawyers to make this vision a reality.
I have over 30 years' experience in designing and building specialist service-based businesses and products for the corporate market. At the same time as developing our own fast-growing consultancy business, one of my key roles is to ensure we help busy Human Resources professionals make a real commercial difference to their organisations.
Ours is a notoriously fragmented industry, renowned for being somewhat archaic in its approach to providing customer-focussed, innovative, straight-talking and affordable services. But the legal services market landscape is changing and we truly believe that our integrated ABS law firm and HR consultancy business is at the forefront of this movement.