Norwich Union rolls out online HR service

Source: Transversal

Norwich Union, the UK's largest insurer and part of Aviva plc, has worked in conjunction with Transversal to develop a first in intelligent web self-service for HR.

The online tool provides its employees with instant, accurate answers to HR enquiries around the clock. It has been embraced so well by employees that calls to HR Employee Services have dropped by over 16%, in just four months.

A key priority for Norwich Union's HR department is to 'Make it easier to work at Norwich Union' and 'make it easier to use HR self service'. The launch of 'AskHR' is the first of a suite of new e-HR self service applications and is integral to the success of the wider e-HR programme.

The AskHR tool itself is simple to use from an end user perspective. Employees type in a question or browse the most frequently asked questions in each category, and with the help of the natural language search engine, suitable answers are brought up instantly from the web-based knowledgebase. It ensures information is easily accessible and organically kept up-to-date by capturing answers to new staff questions asked via the intranet and email, retaining this information within its knowledgebase.

"AskHR has been really well received across Norwich Union, it's great to see how readily web-based technology is being embraced," said Catherine Tausney, Head of HR Advice Services, Norwich Union. "Since launching in June 14,500 users have accessed the service with over 41,500 hits to the site. With high satisfaction levels we are confident that user figures and hits to the site will remain on the increase. We are really excited about the next phase of our plans, with the service being rolled out to our RAC colleagues by the end of the year."

Key to the success of the application has been the investment in dedicated resource. Scoping system requirements and writing and maintaining content has resulted in the development of quality, accurate content contained within a dynamic knowledgebase that grows on a daily basis. The capacity for organic content growth and redevelopment was an essential factor in the longevity of the tool, as was the need for an easy tto use content management interface. This has enabled the initial 250 questions developed, to expand to over 900 in a matter of months. Most popular enquiries so far have been those relating to pay, sickness absence and benefits, terms and conditions.

The AskHR software makes it easy to access statistical data, provides HR with usage figures and an additional source of information regarding most frequent and popular questions.

"Providing a good and supportive HR service to staff is always important, and the AskHR tool is helping Norwich Union achieve this. The tool frees up the HR team's time to concentrate on resolving more complex issues, which ultimately helps the company increase employee satisfaction. It is clear from the department's e-HR agenda that applications such as AskHR will become an increasingly important resource for both the department and employees," commented Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal.

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