ITSM

Using Data to Improve Employee Services (Part 2)

April 17, 2018

Using Data to Improve Employee Services (Part 2)

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Data has opened a world of service possibilities, as Part 1 of this blog post outlines. In fact, if you haven’t read the first part, it might be worth a quick summary of how you’ve experienced the benefits of service through data as a customer. You’ll also learn two ways you can bring this experience to employees in your organization. Either way, this post will outline two more ways to leverage data in employee service.

The idea here is to view everything through the lens of the individual employee. It could be a hiring manager, an account executive, a marketing ops manager, a receptionist… whoever. They all have roles and skills that the team needs, or they wouldn’t be there. As an internal service provider, your job is to give them everything they need to perform at the highest level, with as little friction as possible. This is employee service, and you can apply many of the same principles of customer service. You want to track their needs, measure your successes, make adjustments, and build a strategy around this data to deliver the most effective services.

Here are two more ways to do that:

1. Drive Service Through an Employee Portal

There are a number of reasons organizations choose to drive internal service through the employee service portal. The obvious benefit is that it connects employees to all of the available functions of the service desk. They can submit incidents, browse the menu of service requests, search the knowledge base, and look at any pending service they’re waiting for.

In this context, the service portal is crucial because it allows the service provider to collect the data it needs to deliver the best possible service. This separates the portal from other methods of submitting tickets and/or service requests.

There is no workflow built into an email. It lands in a service provider’s inbox in whatever format the employee types it up.

You can get John Smith ready, but you’ll need a lot more information. What kind of computer does he need? What software and applications should be on it? Does he get a company phone?

You’ll need IT to set up his assets and put that information into the system. You’ll need facilities to set up a workspace, and, by the way, where will John sit? The People Team needs to schedule his training and bootcamp sessions, not to mention the paperwork.

Luckily you’ve created a service catalog item that collects all that information from the requester. There are required fields for the computer, company phone, necessary applications, workspace requirements, etc. There are automated tasks and approvals to schedule training sessions and complete paperwork and background checks.

But what good are all of those data collection methods if your employees send that inefficient email instead of accessing the service request through the portal?

If you can create service portal adoption throughout your organization, you know where employees will go with their requests, and you can use technology to meet them there with solutions. You’ve built an entire knowledge base of solutions to incidents, and this is the place you can create access for your employees. AI and machine learning can help suggest solutions or particular service requests based on the keywords that an employee types in, but only when they look for service through the portal.

As you can see, all of this data that we’ve collected throughout the organization is just a few clicks away for employees. You can use it to lead them to self-service. You can collect necessary data from them to expedite services. You can pull from all of the applications they use to get a better understanding of their needs.

This is the way the best customer service departments treat consumers. The modern organization has a great opportunity to bring these types of service experiences to their employees.

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2. Reporting and Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

You IT pros are likely familiar with the fifth stage of ITIL: Continual Service Improvement (CSI). This principle applies not just to IT services, but to all service providers in the organization. The most important tool in improving service practices is, you guessed it, data.

In taking a proactive approach to employee service, you’ll undoubtedly roll out new technology, workflows, automations – anything to help connect requesters to providers. As you find successes in new practices, remember to always review and measure the impact. Just because something is working now doesn’t mean it will still apply in a year, or three months, or even three weeks. Every time you implement a change, workflow, or process, it could impact some other area of service.

How do you measure success?

We talked about creating and meeting appropriate SLAs. What percentage of the time are you meeting every individual SLA? If it’s lower than, say, 80%, maybe you need to adjust the workflow or the agreement. In fact, you may not even look for specific thresholds. You might just say, “which five SLAs did we violate most frequently this month?” Then you can tinker with services that most often cause a negative impact.

Now that you’re starting to push all employee services through one platform, you can report on every department in the organization. This is particularly helpful for cross-departmental services, like the employee onboarding example from the previous section. If you’re missing the onboarding SLA, it might be time to look at where the process is getting hung up. Good reporting engines will help you pinpoint these breakdowns.

If we think of companies like Uber and Lyft as service providers and each ride as a service, they collect ratings from each customer for each service. It helps them determine areas for improvement. In poor experiences, they might even follow up and document specific issues. This is valuable (five star) data.

Effective employee services include the same piece. Make sure there’s some way to measure employee satisfaction with service interactions. This could be as simple as an automated survey. It will give you a personal angle that the SLA report can’t measure. If an employee is unhappy with the type of resolution or had a bad personal experience, it won’t necessarily show up as an SLA breach, but the service provider needs this data, too. Measure employee satisfaction scores over time, and try to compare them with changes you make through CSI. This will help you pinpoint the exact types of experiences your employees appreciate.

 

We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to ways to use data to enhance the employee service experience. There are others littered throughout this website in “best practice” resources. You may think of some that we haven’t. We see this from customers all the time. The key is to align your organization in a position to collect relevant data, and then be creative in how you use it to deliver services.


As a Marketing Manager for the ITSM group, Chris works with SolarWinds customers and our internal team of ITIL pros to share best practices and stories of service management success. He leads production of ITSM videos, podcasts, and customer stories with over ten years of professional experience in multimedia content.