As we kick off 2018, companies continue to face the challenge of ensuring a safe and constructive work environment. In an effort to put an end to harassing, discriminatory and predatory behaviors in the workplace, HR and Employee Relations teams across the country are being asked to review policies, tighten protocols and revamp trainings. The task is overwhelming, no doubt, and delicate to put it lightly. Finding ways to pre-empt bad behavior is only part of the equation. To truly ensure your employees’ well-being, an organization needs to think about not only preventing incidents but how they will confidentially, quickly and holistically address incidents once they occur.
Organizations of every size need to leverage best in class processes and technology to address confidential and sensitive employee issues. Many have turned to the ServiceNow HR Service Delivery suite as the solution. The ServiceNow HR product line allows for the flexibility necessary to address the ever-changing and complex employee needs that Human Resource teams are being asked to serve. This consistent and compliant platform has been proven to educate and enable expedited responses to sensitive issues impacting the global workforce today. As a trusted partner in the HR landscape, the ThinkTalent team addresses some common questions to provide insights in to how the ServiceNow HR Service Delivery suite and a thoughtful implementation can address the sensitive realities that organizations need to solve for today and tomorrow.
Part of an effective Human Resource/Employee Relations strategy is ensuring that employees who have an issue to report can to do so in a safe and secure way. How have you been able to leverage the ServiceNow HR products/functionality for organizations to ensure that issues that need to remain confidential truly are?
In discussing this issue with clients, in the absence of a communicated confidential reporting avenue, many feel that a 1-800 anonymous tip line is the preferred method for employees to submit complaints. Employees who fear retribution may feel that a system can track their user id/IP and therefore know who submitted the tip. Reinforcing the safety of reporting and educating on the investigative process through knowledge type articles can be the difference maker in a person’s life. With this in mind, ServiceNow can be configured to omit storing who submitted an issue/tip to ER. Anonymous submissions, with consistent format and necessary questions are enabled with the form method. Once a complaint or tip is recorded in ServiceNow, Employee Relations is the only HR group that would have access to the case(s) for investigation purposes keeping the issue safe and secure.
What portion of these options are available out of the box?
The new HR Scoped Module contains standard forms for Employee Relations to request for help on a disciplinary issue or policy, performance improvement plan notes, 90 day assessment, and tracking a disciplinary issue out of the box. Custom Forms can also be created as needed for your organization. We could create a custom form to you to track all aspects of an investigation such as complaining party and assumed violators along with notes for people that witnessed the event at the beginning of the investigation so that Employee Relations talks to the appropriate people in an investigation.
One of the unfortunate realities for organizations is that investigations into issues need to be documented, yet kept private. How are Employee Relations cases kept secure?
ServiceNow enables documentation and work notes for the ER team, that are not viewable to anyone outside of ER in the ServiceNow case. If a submission is made via form, we can ensure that the submitter does not have further access to the case after submitting. ER can document notes on their investigation as far as this person said this or that as well as store and retrieve documents as needed that are attached to the case as determined by your internal legal department. We can also ensure that you can report on any details you think are necessary such as department, employee, manager, location, comparable and statistics for protective categories.
The issue reporter is not able to see the notes. It is important to note that information stored in a system is discoverable in litigation scenarios and you should confer with your legal department on best practice. When subpoenaed for information in a litigation scenario reporting can separate out complaints received by manager, department, location, cost center as required by your legal department to limit discovery in these scenarios.
How long will the information be retained in the system?
Your legal department can decide what information is to be stored, how it is to be used, and how long it is retained for your business.
As a trusted expert in the HR space, what do you consider to be the most valuable functionalities from the HR Service Delivery suite for those organizations on the fence about leveraging the tool for sensitive material?
The most valuable functionality that the scoped HR suite delivers is the case security. The COE group assigned the case is the only group within HR that would be able to access case information submitted by the manager or employee. In the new scoped application for HR, IT administrators cannot access HR data enabling more security to the HR case details. This is a great improvement in keeping HR confidentiality while ensuring a safe and compliant way for employees to alert the organization of an issue.
Beyond creating a healthy culture, HR is often measured on how we manage and respond when an issue arises. If you would like to discuss how to transform the way ER issues are addressed in your organization, reach out to ThinkTalent today to start the conversation.