Empower Employees to Become More Independent With Completing HR Tasks

Follow these 5 steps to empower your employees to look for answers themselves.

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If you’re the only person on your HR team, which typically can happen in a small business, then you’ll know how spending all day answering questions causes headaches. Even when it’s just a small off the desk question like “where do I find my benefits” or “how do I get a letter of employment,” answering these same questions all day can be distracting and diminish the value that you can add as a transformational partner to the business.

In an ideal state, your systems, processes, and information are centralized in a way that empowers your employees to look for answers themselves.

What can you do as a company to empower your employees to find their own answers when it comes to HR-related questions? Let’s dive into our top suggestions!

Push back on employees (politely)

Sometimes it can feel quicker and easier to just give people the answers they are looking for and get them off your back. While this might be a quick fix, it spoon feeds your employees to come to you for answers rather than first looking themselves.

Sometimes it can feel quicker and easier to just give people the answers they are looking for and get them off your back. While this might be a quick fix, it spoon feeds your employees to come to you for answers rather than first looking themselves.

It’s important to take a stand and put your professional boundaries in place. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Create a strong service level agreement for your department: For example, you might have an agreement that all emails to HR will be responded to within 24-48 hours. This way, you don’t need to respond straight away, unless it’s an emergency.
  • Redirect people’s answers to proper resources: Rather than responding to people’s questions with the answer, show people how to find the answers themselves by sending them the knowledge base articles or instructions on where to access information.
  • Redirect them to their manager: Your managers should be responsible for sharing pertinent information with their employees. Build this expectation early on!

Take stock of your content

Make a list of the most frequently asked questions that come your way. Based on these, you can start investigating any existing gaps in your content that may lead to confused employees.

Is there a single source of truth? 

Something that causes confusion for many employees is not knowing where to go for updated information. If you list and scatter information across various platforms, and the information on these platforms is inconsistent, it will no doubt lead to many questions.

How easy is it to find the content? 

It’s one thing to have consistent information, it’s another to have information that’s easily accessible. Is the important information your employees need front and center and easy to find? Or is it tucked away behind a bunch of broken links and hidden pages?

Do you have a ticketing system?

This can help you field questions and create automated responses.

Repeat your message several times

Make sure that you clearly repeat all important messages several times, across different platforms, and make it available to people across all time zones.

There is a rule in marketing that states in order to have your consumer hear your message, you need to repeat it 7 times to drive action. If you have important news being rolled out — for example, benefits enrollment dates — you’ll have to repeat those dates several times to get the message across.

Make sure that you clearly repeat all important messages several times, across different platforms, and make it available to people across all time zones.

Teach people early on

Incorporate information early on in the onboarding process! If you want to instill good habits, make sure information is easily accessible as early on as new hire onboarding. Take the time when a new hire starts to show them exactly where to find information.

You can do this through automated email reminders, new hire onboarding orientation, and by creating a new hire guide that has important links and resources. This will set them up for success and reduce the likelihood of them coming to you for information.

Expect questions as part of the job

Regardless of how good your resources may be, clear your messaging is, and empowered your employees feel, answering questions from your employees is par for the course.

Help yourself out by creating time blocks in your calendar that you dedicate to deep work and your own personal and professional development.

How do you manage your time when it comes to fielding employee questions? Let us know!

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