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Employee Relations (ER) cases can be complex. Tracking, recording and monitoring all activity relating to an ER Case can be tricky to store and manage effectively within spreadsheets and inboxes. Spreadsheets also leave an employer at risk of leaking sensitive data and information being lost via email inboxes. In this blog, we’re going to take you through the three key bugbears of using spreadsheets compared to a bespoke case management system.  

1. Storing information in different locations

The initial referral to HR, to the final steps of an ER case can take time, weeks, sometimes months. It can create a lot of paperwork, admin and require data to track, which can be incredibly difficult if you’re using spreadsheets and inboxes. Having a bespoke ER system can help keep all details, documentation, and emails associated with a specific case in one place, making it easy to locate as, and when needed.  

Whilst there is no legal requirement for an organisation to record and keep data on employee relations cases, it is highly recommended that they do so – should an employee be dismissed and there is no record of the case, companies could be at the mercy of employment tribunals. Keeping all evidence, documentation and communication of each of the stages of the ER case also helps ensure employees are all treated fairly, equally and consistently. 

2. Manual tracking of cases

Simply keeping track of all open and closed cases can be a burden, let alone trying to keep pace with what stage each case is at. Spreadsheets are simply not designed to be able to provide alerts and proactive reminders. A bespoke, automated system such as Assure HRCase will help manage cases through each stage with reminders for key dates and when deadlines are approaching. A system like this can help notify managers when cases are breaching the deadlines or close to doing so.  

An automated system with built in automatic policy reminders can help inform the case handler how long they have for each stage within their company policy – a breach of timeframes without justification can lead to some cases to collapse if an Employment Tribunal was to take place. Having each step broken down into workflows for every case type and stage within your policy timeframe, provides you confidence that cases are being dealt with in an efficient and compliant way.  

East Kent Hospital NHS Trust used a ticketing software that was also used by the IT Department before implementing Assure HRCase. The team found it challenging to monitor cases and they lacked the level of case visibility and reporting capabilities that they desired. “Built around our HR policies, Assure HRCase is standardising the way we manage our cases. We’ve been able to tailor our workflows and create the visible stages and steps we need,” Jamie Disney, Employee Relations Advisor, East Kent Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.  

3. Data, Data, Data

Whilst spreadsheets have their place in many organisations, managing ER cases shouldn’t be one of them. Spreadsheets cannot provide meaningful data to help your team identify common characteristics within cases, typical hold-ups or delays, understand the root cause of why cases are occurring and when to intervene to reduce further cases. This data can also level the playing field for your employees – ensuring that all employees follow the same stages, steps and procedures and are treated equally.  

Moving beyond spreadsheets can be a straightforward process and one that can be helped using an automated case management system, like Assure HRCase.  

Lucy Owers, Employee Relations Officer at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust  explains:

“The biggest problem that the team encountered was that the excel file often became corrupt resulting in loss of data. Using spreadsheets made it complicated to add information in different formats and particularly difficult when using mandatory fields. Fields were often left empty which made it hard to filter and segment data concerning a particular case. During the filtering process it only came up with half of the information, making the data unreliable with formatting issues. This meant we had to manually generate reports, which was a complicated and inefficient process.”   

What is HRCase?

Assure HRCase turns your case management into collaborative and visible steps to improve compliance, and visibility of caseloads and dramatically reduce the time taken on each case. In addition, with proactive management of cases, Assure HRCase reduces the cost per case and absence rates.  

The bespoke, cloud-based system is built on your policies and processes, to give you confidence that everything in your case remains compliant and on track, so you can solve cases quicker, reduce the risk of tribunals and have more time to manage relationships.  

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