Challenges in Paper-Based Case Tracking for Employee and Labor Relations

One of the recurring challenges faced by employee and labor relations divisions within the HR departments of federal government agencies is gaps due to manual processes. Many employee and labor relations departments lack resources to make significant changes to their existing systems, and yet expectations for clear reporting on key metrics can lag due to the inefficiencies of paper-based processes.

From supervisor insight into the workload of specialists to the inability to standardize reporting at a divisional or agency level, there are many reasons to reevaluate existing systems.

Inconsistencies in Documentation and Data Collection

While standards exist, and procedures are meticulously developed for case tracking in federal agencies, the nature of spreadsheets and the lack of a central system means there are frequently inconsistencies. Whether it is how the data is entered, the way steps are monitored, or how reporting is done, these inconsistencies can lead to inefficient processes that slow down an already very busy division of HR specialists.

Documents may exist in several locations including email inboxes, individual computers, and original import sources, and the time spent gathering relevant documentation and information for a case adds up fast.

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Challenges in Reporting on Key Metrics

Supervisors have several responsibilities in their approach to employee and labor relations processes. However, without a standard process, this can be difficult. They might struggle with:

  • Evaluating and managing workload for individual specialists
  • Analyzing divisional or agency-level case tracking metrics
  • Identifying recurring bottlenecks that slow down a given case

Without these insights, supervisors are left to chase data and try to make decisions without the best possible information at their fingertips. While most do an admirable job despite these restrictions, the challenge remains, and it almost certainly impacts overall performance.

Tracking Communication with Third Parties

Communication with external parties including the Office of General Counsel, the federal employees’ union or IMPASSE are not persistent from case to case and are therefore not always logged the same way. This makes reporting that accurately illustrates the duration of any communication with external parties difficult, and issues may be missed or misinterpreted as a result.

Communications tracking can be greatly improved with automated systems that allow cases to be tagged accordingly when third party communication is made.

General Efficiency of HR Specialists

Manual systems can be difficult to transition from, especially if there are years’ worth of data being managed in a single file, but the inefficiencies of using those systems add up even faster. Time spent tracking down documents, building reports, and following up on the status of individual cases can be greatly reduced by an automated system that is designed for federal HR use.

To learn more about the specific benefits agencies are finding in switching to an automated employee and labor relations solution, download our eBook “The Benefits of Migrating Employee and Labor Relations to an Automated System”, or contact us directly and ask to speak with a member of our team about the employee and labor relations module in FedHR Navigator.