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Submitted by US101 on


What's my change visual for HR going to a self-service model with less HR people, but trying to still provide good service?

Managers and employees are use to getting face-to-face or at least over the phone. HR will be pushing people to get help through online documents, email, and using the 800# help line. It's like HR is becoming an IT Help Desk, with IT people saying "...just put in a ticket..."

tlhausmann's picture
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Hmm, that's a tough one. How about  Smörgåsbord? (Swedish buffet)

At least that's what we called it growing up in small town Minnesota. Get in line, grab a plate, politely chat with the good folks who layed out the food, enjoy the great dishes and NEVER complain. After all, you're all in the same boat.

wendii's picture
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To follow on the swedish theme?

Ok, so for those of you haven't been to ikea - upstairs are room sets showing how you can fit lots of things into teeny tiny spaces, and big sections for sofas and beds and things.. there's a line on the floor that you can follow to take the optimum route, and then every now and again there's a short cut.. so you can short cut from beds to kitchens for example. Downstairs is all the the small things you need for a home, rugs, lights, 10,000 other things you never knew you needed but they are cheap so you put them in the trolley. Finally, just before the checkout is where you pick up your flatpack bed or shelves that you wrote the number of when you saw them upstairs.

Ok, so if you had a website with the HR info on, upstairs policies and procedures arranged by the employee lifecycle: recruitment, onboarding, performance management short cut to firing, promotion etc. Downstairs you could have all the helpful little things like the interviewing matrix, performance management forms and IT requests.. then before the checkout the big stuff.. so all the recruitment policies and the all the forms you need in one big zip file. Every now and again in Ikea you come to a little station and there's a couple of people there to help, and you can call them too...



stephenbooth_uk's picture

 There has been a move of late to move towards a single service desk for an entire organisation based around ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) principles, plus a website.  The idea is that  whatever your issue there's a single number to call and your issue is either dealt with by the desk or routed to an appropriate service team.  So if you just need to get a form or book a meeting room you can do that from the website but for something like get a password changed that's handled by the desk.  Anything that needs specialist knowledge or access (setting up an appointment with the inhouse Occupational Health section might be simple enough for the service desk to do but you might not be comfortable telling a general service desk why you need the appointment) gets routed to the appropriate specialist service team.  Somethings might need routing to a number of service teams (e.g. you've just recruited some to your team so you give the details to the service desk who then notify HR to set up their record, Payroll to link to the HR record and get ready to pay them, IT to set up their systems access, Security to issue their access card, Training to book them onto a corporate induction &c).

The visual I have there is of a library.  There are notice boards for information and the open shelves where you can browse for a book (the website) but if you need help or want to do something interactive like log a change of address or borrow a book there are staff at various desks who can help you (the Service Desk).  If your query is complex or requires specialist knowledge the front line staff can direct you to a librarian who specialises in that area (the specialist service teams).



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US101's picture
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tlhausmann - ha, I like the never complain cuz were all in the same boat

Wendii - love the IKEA image, combined with the employee lifecycle as an organizing concept

stephenbooth - I like the contiuum of self-service to more support given the type of transaction your doing

Thanks for your help.

lmacrae's picture

I think you need to tap into the emotion again - get to the root.  Why would people be resistant to self service, or resistant to give up the phone?  Is it individulaized attention or speed?  Find a visual to address whatever you think the resistance is rooted in, hopefully one that your solution will address. 

I'm picturing long phone queues, slow returns on voicemail, burried HR people who have no time to improve the way HR is "done" because they're doing something so mundane, that people will say "geesh, I could do that myself and be done already" - can't you just post a form online?