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Measure employee engagement. Improve the employee experience. Find, hire, and onboard top talent. Design and manage your company’s benefits. And on top of that, manage the challenges—things like complying with various state and overseas regulations—created by ever-more distributed teams and the evolving makeup of the modern workforce.
These are just a few of the business-critical initiatives HR teams are responsible for, but few HR teams have the time they need to truly focus on these tasks. Why? They’re too tied up answering one-off questions and doing administrative work.
There is a category of products that helps reduce the amount of time HR teams spend on these administrative tasks: ticketing systems. In fact, HR teams that use the right ticketing system report spending up to five more hours a week on things like training, hiring, and people strategy.
However, because ticketing systems were traditionally designed for IT support and customer service teams, few think of an HR ticketing system as a solution to HR’s growing list of responsibilities.
If it feels like all you do at work is answer repetitive questions and get interrupted by requests to complete administrative tasks, it’s time to start thinking about how your team might benefit from adopting HR service desk software.
Here are five big reasons why HR teams need a ticketing system, along with how Spoke can help your team—and company—meet its biggest goals.
If you had a dime for every time you answered one of the following questions, you’d probably have enough money to take a long and much-needed vacation:
You’ve probably already documented all of the answers to these questions on your company’s internal wiki or shared drive, but no one ever looks there first. As Forrester’s Principal Analyst Paul Hamerman says:
“Employees won’t use [an HR tool] if it’s a typical in-house intranet and not user-friendly. The user experience has to be engaging.”
On top of that, HR teams also get tons of requests for tasks to complete, things like:
Even if you have a knowledge base (and even if people actually look for answers there first), it doesn’t help with requests because a person must handle requests manually.
A combined HR ticketing system and knowledge base helps solve both of these problems.
A ticketing system creates a super-powered shared inbox for your team. It consolidates all questions and requests into a single queue, letting HR teams:
And with the right ticketing system—one that includes a knowledge base—it even answers frequently asked questions for you. That means fewer calls, emails, and in-person interruptions, giving your team more time to focus on strategic work.
The People Ops team at Evernote used to struggle with managing their most important responsibilities—things like benefits, wellness, onboarding, and offboarding. A steady stream of incoming questions created constant distractions, even though the team had documented and shared all of the answers to those questions in their Employee Navigator.
According to Chazlee Azevedo, Evernote’s People Ops Manager, adopting Spoke gave her back as many as five hours of productive time each week.
“I hardly ever get questions now,” she says. “Conversations that used to happen on Slack are now routed to Spoke, which keeps me on track and in control of how I’m spending my time. What it’s done is give me my time back to do my job.”
When everyone worked together in the same office, things were easier.
You held in-person orientations that ensured everyone got the same information and the right paperwork. Employees all lived locally, so there were a minimal number of state and federal payroll regulations to stay compliant with. When people were disengaged, you noticed the signs because you saw them in person every day.
But few teams today all sit in the office together Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Maybe you have employees in multiple offices around the world. Maybe your company has started hiring remote workers or supplementing full-time staff with independent contractors.
These employees don’t necessarily all get the same information, and they can’t just tap a coworker on the shoulder and ask for help. Instead, they turn to HR for answers, increasing the number of questions you have to answer over and over again.
Additionally, you have to figure out how to improve the employee experience and boost engagement among employees you’ve probably never even met in person. Beyond that, you have to get to know the employment regulations for every state and country your employees live in. But it’s hard to find time for any of these things due to constant interruptions.
Reducing the frequency of the number of questions and requests your HR team receives with a ticketing system makes adapting to the changing workforce more manageable.
“Even for employees in our Barcelona office, Spoke is super useful because they can get the information they need now as opposed to having to wait until I get out of bed. It’s great that our employees can still get answers right away in spite of operating across multiple time zones.” – Stevie Burnich, Scoot
In all likelihood, your HR team is using more technology than ever before. You probably have:
Each of these tools helps your HR team do their jobs better and faster, but one of the unexpected outcomes of having different tools for different tasks is knowledge fragmentation:
This makes it harder for employees and managers to know where to go for what types of questions, information, and requests. And sometimes, it’s even hard for HR teams to keep up with what’s saved where.
The right HR ticketing system helps to defragment your team’s knowledge. When you use the ticketing system to accept requests and document knowledge, you can link to assets in various tools, letting your team and your company’s employees discover all of the information they need from a single, central source.
Though the People team at Scoot spent a lot of time documenting the answers to their frequently-asked questions, it didn’t prevent people from interrupting them with constant questions and requests. They were interrupted frequently on Slack, over email, and in-person for answers that were already documented.
The problem: “There was no centralized location for our employee resources. A lot of stuff was in Google Drive. We had Google Sites, which was like a company intranet, but it was seldom looked at. And it was difficult for people find the information there.”
After adopting Spoke, the People team had a central source to point to when employees had questions. “It’s a huge time saver,” says Stevie Burnich, Scoot’s office manager. “I don’t need to answer a question 20 times, like when people are wondering, Do we have Presidents Day off?”
HR ticketing systems have one key feature that you don’t get from accepting questions and requests by email, phone, Slack, or in person: metrics. Metrics provide a historical record of things like what’s being asked, how often certain questions are being asked, and how many questions your team is getting every day, week, or month.
According to Gretchen Alarcon, Group Vice President of HCM Strategy at Oracle:
“If you have an HR help desk, you have better visibility of what was asked and when, and you can track trends, such as people asking about vacation policy.”
Ticketing system metrics are helpful because they highlight problems. If you get the same questions over and over again even though you’ve already documented the answer in your knowledge base, it’s a sign that the answer provided isn’t clear or what people are looking for. Noticing the issue and making a change improves the employee experience.
Additionally, ticketing system metrics can help you show leadership proof that you need to hire additional HR staff. Saying you need help just isn’t as impactful as taking your leader a report that shows your team is getting 500 requests from employees every day.
Jordan Hunter, the Office Experience Manager at charity:water, initially adopted Spoke to make it easier for employees to self-service and find quick answers to simple questions. However, after using Spoke for a while, she discovered an unexpected benefit: improving the employee experience.
“As an admin, I’m looking at all these requests. I’m like, why do people keep asking questions about this particular thing? Maybe we need to be better at communicating that.” By identifying patterns in the questions employees were asking, she was able to provide better and clearer answers, helping both herself and charity:water’s employees save time.
Having people submit their requests to and get answers from a machine seems impersonal at first glance. But it actually increases your ability to add a human touch to the most important employee-HR interactions.
For example, if someone is looking for a pay date schedule, they don’t really care where it comes from. They’re just looking for a quick answer to a simple question.
But there are matters that demand HR’s full and sympathetic attention: reports of toxic coworkers or sexual harassment, the death of an employee, requests for leadership training, gathering key insights from exit interviews. These tasks all require a personal touch, but it’s hard to devote as much time as you need to in resolving these issues if you’re busy answering the same questions over and over again all day.
A ticketing system actually lets you focus on the responsibilities that truly matter by giving you back the time you would have otherwise wasted on less impactful questions and requests.
“Now that people know Spoke exists and that they can get their answers from there, I get a lot fewer walk-ups. That’s extremely helpful considering I’m the only person doing my job here. It’s given me a lot of time back to be able to take on bigger projects. People know that they’re going to get answers immediately.” – Steven Juanes, Pantheon
Spoke is an innovative and integrated ticketing and knowledge management system that’s designed for the whole company—including HR. Spoke helps HR teams:
In other words, Spoke’s not your typical ticketing system. It doesn’t require technical expertise to set up and operate like most IT ticketing systems, and it’s not a repurposed customer service solution with too many features that HR teams don’t need.
Instead, Spoke was designed with simplicity and efficiency in mind. It’s not only accessible to everyone at your company, but it also provides an effortless way to streamline getting knowledge to those who need it, freeing HR up to focus on tasks that truly make a difference.
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