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AINS Blog - FOIA and Case Management

Entries in human resources (5)

Thursday
Jul072016

Federal Workforce by the Numbers

How do you manage 4,185,000 workers?

With 4 million workers and uniformed military, all Federal Human Capital Officers know that strategic workforce planning starts with numbers. Critical data, tools and reports to see the big picture and support decision making.

The face of the Federal employee is changing. Being in the know when it comes to measuring these changes is critical to running your HR department effectively.

How many workers are eligible for retirement? How long does it take to onbaord an employee? What demographics make up the largest percentage of the workforce? 

Do you know your HR numbers?  Download the infographic to see the statistical trends at the heart of today’s federal workforce. 

 

Tuesday
Jun282016

What Keeps HR Directors Up at Night?

Tracking, Accountability, and Reporting in HR

What keeps HR Directors up at night?
 
Numbers. Getting data on who, what, where, when and why things are happening. Building compliant reports that track trends, metrics and productivity across the agency.

The Data Behind Workforce Planning

The Government Accountability Office’s 2015 High Risk Report named Strategic Human Capital Management a High Risk area. It notes that “mission-critical skills gaps impede federal agencies from cost-effectively serving the public and achieving results.” The GAO urges agencies to utilize workforce analytics to predict future needs and proactively address deficiencies.
 
Smart managers know what it takes to hire, retain and engage workers. They need help gathering the necessary data to back up their plan. To capture metrics that inform workforce analytics.
 
To get to the heart of the matter, agencies need to be able to account for every employee – to track their lifecycle, measure performance and identify risk factors. The data needs to aggregate to show patterns over departments and agencies. Managing HR functions in silos makes it difficult to get a clear picture. Manual processes don’t connect Employee Relations with a poor performance. Siloed systems won’t show the relationship between a slow onboarding process and critical skill gaps in high demand areas. 
 

An Inside View

How do you capture this data throughout the enterprise? By using smart technology that goes beyond talent management. Software that examines processes and connects activities across an organization to give both the detailed view of a talent management suite and the broad scope of Business Process Management (BPM).

Adaptive Case Management focuses on achieving better outcomes. The software manages people as cases – grouping related information together. It brings transparency and efficiency to processes by centralizing key information in one system. Once a digital form is submitted, a case management system drives the request through an approval process through adaptive workflows. Workflows can be structured or change on the fly to meet the changing demands of HR. This nimble approach shows the details of a function while easily consolidating related information.

Why do these metrics matter? Adaptive Case Management Software allows leaders to get a complete view of their organization. From every keystroke on an Employee Grievance to running real-time insight on an entire class of workers, the technology enables leaders to obtain digestible information that can be used to inform intelligent decision making. Metrics that legacy systems or manual processes just can’t provide.

Using Data to Increase Accountability

Easily accessible metrics give more insight into both the employee experience as well as who is performing HR work. Dashboards and interactive visual interfaces show task lists for each case. It measures productivity of the HR worker – showing what, when, where and whom is processing a request. It allows HR Directors to identify gaps in their teams; to find efficiencies and strategize on better ways to serve their agency.

The technology encourages accountability by showing how each action effects the rest of the chain. It makes it easier to stay on task by visually showing where they are in the process. This data motivates employees to perform at their best and identifies top performers in each department.

At a higher level, smart technology provides the data needed to prove value. Numbers, metrics and detailed task lists show leadership the effectiveness of programs. Easy to run reports inform strategy. Solid, case by case and agency-wide analysis verify the resources needed for future endeavors.

The only way to look to the future is to study and change the present. A case-centric approach generates data on every employee, request and process in real time. Metrics that can be used immediately to improve processes today and banked to predict tomorrow’s needs.

eCase HR

eCase® HR is a workflow-driven, adaptive case management solution that unifies essential human resource functions and puts employees’ professional growth at the heart of the organization. Built for the public sector, eCase HR delivers a single, unified solution to improve the employee experience – from onboarding through retirement.

 

Download the PDF article.

 

Wednesday
Jun082016

10 “Must Haves” for HR

Can technology improve the employee experience?

Ashwin Eapen, AINS Sales Engineer, meets with Federal HR departments each week to learn about their needs
and how technology can solve problems. While every agency is different, there are similar themes among HR Professionals.

Managers need an easier way to accomplish tasks, faster response and a way to positively connect HR to employees - improving engagement and inclusion.

Ashwin details the 10 “Must Have” features requested by HR Professionals.

 

10. Automated Assigning of Cases

Our clients use eCase HR’s assignment feature to set up rules to send the right forms to the right people. Going on vacation? It even includes integration with “Out of Office” Autoresponders to reassign cases when you are enjoying time at the beach.

 

9. Search

It’s much faster to type in search words than sort through piles of paper. Easy search capabilities allow the user to search all fields and within documents in the system through keywords, wildcards, IDs and advanced fields.

 

8. Attachment Size

Nothing is more frustrating than getting an error message that your attachment is the wrong size. eCase HR was designed with flexibility in mind. Administrators can select unlimited size or define size limits; a powerful system like eCase doesn’t slow down when files are uploaded.

 

7. Alerts & Notifications

A smart system should remind you what to do next. eCase sends email notifications to let users know when a case moves to the next stage, has a deadline pending or transfers to another application. Email alerts are customizable so users can add notes or instructions with each notification.

 

6. Security

Security comes in two forms: protection from the outside and from the inside. Role-based permissions lock down information internally so only authorized users can see or make changes. The system has built-in security features and is hosted in a FedRAMP certified data center designed to safeguard the Federal Government’s most critical information.

 

5. Visibility & Reporting

Knowing who, what, when and how a case is progressing keeps processes on track. The user interface shows case details on the home screen – down to each task, assignment and save. Dashboards compare cases or workloads. Easy reporting features allow leaders to get valuable metrics for strategic workforce planning.

 

4. Access Anywhere

Human Resources is about more than processing forms – it’s about relationships. Interactive web portals for both employees and HR Professionals create two-way conversations. Cloud-based systems allow users and employees to log on anytime, anywhere – from work, home, smart phone or tablet.

 

3. Easy to Change Processes

The only constant is change. Our customers lamented that major software systems that took months to update when a process changed. eFlow, eCase HR’s configuration tool, allows the user or administrator to quickly change a workflow as simply as you would create a chart. Drag and drop editors allow administrators to update the user interface, digital forms or major documents. The goal is to put the power back in the administrator’s hands and not require a technical expert to make changes.

 

2. Integrations with Microsoft & Enterprise Systems

Today’s HR Professional must work in a number of systems to process requests. eCase integrates with core Federal systems from eOPF to USA Jobs. It ties into common Microsoft Applications like MS Word, Excel, Outlook and SharePoint to update or host documents. An added benefit: the software isn’t just for submitting forms, users can work in MS Office applications within the system to complete Word documents or update spreadsheets.

 

1. Digital Forms, Letters & Autoresponders

The first question we get asked in demonstrations is “but, does it have the forms I need?” The answer is “yes.” The core feature of a case management system is the ability to move paper-based processes to a digital format. Digital forms, letters and pre-written emails are the base for all eCase Applications whether it’s Onboarding or Labor Relations.

AINS works with your agency to import your paper forms into digital format then design a workflow (how it gets from point A to B) to match your business process. A robust forms library comes integrated. The system can include pre-made email autoresponders to let employees know that their information is needed, received or to keep them engaged in the process.

 

Find out more about how eCase HR case management software can make the HR process easier for your team through the NFC BPA.

 

Download the PDF version of this article.

 

Thursday
Jun022016

A Person Isn't a Transaction. Don't Treat Them Like One.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) instituted a new measurement for the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) in 2014. The New Inclusion Quotient (New IQ) measures employees’ sense of connection in the workplace: how fair, open and empowering life is at their agency. It acts as a barometer of culture – measuring the degree which federal employees feel respected and valued. Inclusion is a precursor to employee engagement...

Download the full article.

 

 

Wednesday
May042016

How Strong is Your HR House?

The 5 HR Best Practices You Need to Implement Now

In the classic tale of the Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf challenges the foundations of each house. Down comes the straw and sticks, but the brick stands. 

This story reminds us that we need the right materials and tools to build our foundation. As warm and cozy your “HR House” may be – it is only as effective as the strength of the processes on which it is built.

One National Finance Center customer tested the durability of their Human Resource processes when modernizing their HR systems to eCase® HR. They learned that they needed the right tools to fortify their HR house.
 

 

Here are the 5 HR best practices that your agency needs to implement now:

1. Leadership should own the system.

Best Practice: The Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer (OCHCO) “owns” the new centralized HR system.

The agency had 20 different IT systems to handle their non-core HR processes. Some managers created their own internal systems or utilized manual supports like spreadsheets, file folders or SharePoint sites to process information.  This led to delays, inaccuracies and frustrations across the agency.

Moving ownership to the OCHCO and consolidating to one software solution encouraged compliance and sped up response time.  This also gave leadership a big picture view of the organization.

 

2. Integration is key

Best Practice:  HR functions need to be connected. 

No man is an island, nor are human resource functions.

Departments were operating as silos and having difficultly transferring information between groups.  This made it harder for both managers and employees to accomplish multistep tasks.

The agency needed to break down silos and construct a bridge in process and software.  The new, case-centric system connected applications and submitted email alerts when an activity was transferred. The applications also integrated with core systems like HRConnect. Thus, the client was able to connect the entire employee lifecycle which improved performance.

 

3. Complex processes require flexibility

Best Practice:  Plan for changes in your process.

The agency learned two lessons: 1) very few processes were point A to point B – most had a complex web of decision points and approvals. 2) The only thing you can plan for is change.

Moving to a new system, they had the opportunity to revamp their processes and determine where flexibility was needed. The software they selected had both pre-defined structured workflows and unstructured capabilities to change course on the fly. This allowed them to plan for the future by building in flexibility to adjust processes as they go.

 

4. Connectivity enhances employee engagement

Best Practice:  Treat processes as two-way conversations with employees.

Human Resources should be about people. When they mapped out their new system, they redefined the way they approached their workers.

In the new model, a “case” was defined as an interaction between an employee seeking HR Services and the HR staff.  More points of connections were set up including web portals where employees could initiate a request, collaborate and review/submit forms.  HR Managers could then easily track the interaction, respond and connect the employee with other related services.

This two-way conversation makes employees feel connected.  This connection helps employee engagement.

 

5. Transparency is critical

Best Practice: Open up information flows with robust reporting.

You can’t fix, what you can’t see. Using manual processes, the agency had difficulty tracking and reporting on activities. Bottlenecks were hard to identify and solve. 

The agency made their new processes transparent. Dashboards viewed into workloads, pending/overdue tasks and gave deadline alerts. A robust reporting module allowed for instant report generation. This visibility gives the OCHCO the ability to manage resources, while helping workers get quick responses from their HR managers. 

 _______________

 

Is your HR house made of straw, sticks or bricks? Learn more about how to strengthen your HR foundation with eCase HR.

eCase HR is now available to National Finance Center (NFC) customers and Non-NFC Agencies on the Blanket Purchase Agreement for Non-Core HR Solutions. 

 Learn more about the NFC BPA.