Employee relations transformation: Unlock substantial hidden savings for your organisation

Nicole Currie

Written By Nicole Currie

18th January 2024

Share on:

In the current economic climate, an effective strategy for cost-saving involves the utilisation of fewer resources while increasing efficiency. Did you know there is a way to streamline processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs at the same time? Digitally transforming employee relations (ER) processes using HR case management software does just that.

Explore these questions to understand your situation:

  • Do you track and analyse ER-related costs? Every unresolved issue is a hidden expense.
  • Do you have clear ER policies and procedures in place? Ambiguity leads to delays and inefficiencies.
  • Is there room for automation or digitalisation in your ER processes to enable managers to self-serve ER matters? Digitalisation can free up valuable time and resources.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. Consider the answers to the questions below, then take our FREE assessment to get a personalised report on your hidden cost-saving potential.

  1. What is the UK employee headcount in your organisation?

Begin by quantifying the employee headcount in your organisation. Invariably, the size of opportunity corresponds with the number of people in your organisation. You can then lay the groundwork for a comprehensive understanding of the potential scope and impact of opportunities that may unfold.

  1. What impact is sickness absence having on your costs?

The 23rd CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work report, in collaboration with Simplyhealth, reveals the highest sickness absence rate in over 10 years. The survey, based on responses from professionals in 900+ organisations and 6.5 million employees, provides insights into the state of workplace health. Employee absence has increased to an average of 7.8 days per year, a rise from pre-pandemic figures of 5.8 and this emphasises the importance of understanding the impact of sickness absence on your organisation (CIPD, 2023).

With this in mind, analysing your sickness absence rate over the past 12 months can help you identify real-time absence data and trends, revealing potential physical and mental health concerns, employee burnout, or workplace stress factors. Even a slight increase in the sickness absence rate may result in the potential loss of thousands of days due to sickness absence. Understanding this information enables proactive interventions.

Explore this case study to learn how United Utilities saved over £2M by proactively managing long term sickness absence.

  1. Is your ER strategy vulnerable to costly litigation?

Employment tribunal claims are expensive. Jess Kelleher, Legal Adviser and employment tribunal expert at Halborns, said “depending on the type of claim, you’re often looking at a minimum of £10,000 in legal fees alone, sometimes significantly higher. Then you’ve got to factor in the possibility of losing the claim and paying out compensation and other expenses. Prevention of claims is certainly more cost-effective than the cure.” Beyond the financial impact, tribunal claims can tarnish your company’s reputation, complicating the attraction and retention of top talent and potentially affecting future contracts.

Are you prepared to assess your risk? Review any claims from the last 12 months and discuss learnings with your employment lawyers to understand how similar claims could be avoided in future to reduce future risk and cost exposure.

AdviserPlus partner with Wickes, a recent Personnel Today awards winner, to implement effective strategies that delivered an impressive 50% reduction in tribunal claims and cut average costs per claim. Read the case study to learn more.

  1. Do you resolve employee relations issues before they escalate?

Being open to settlement during early conciliation can help to provide cost savings compared to a full tribunal hearing. “Obviously avoiding any claim being issued is what we’d all like to achieve, but being open to settlement can reduce expected legal fees to the region of £3,000 (excluding settlement package)” said Kelleher. This represents a substantial saving when compared to the expenses associated with a full tribunal hearing, which can often exceed £10,000 as a starting point!

While complete immunity from tribunal claims cannot be guaranteed given the prevalence of spurious claims, nipping issues in the bud early is one of the most cost-effective ways to avoid claims arising altogether. Empowering your managers with the necessary skills and tools to manage employee relations (ER) issues proactively and consistently is crucial to early intervention and reducing the costs associated with escalation.

Time, lost productivity and potential legal fees are just a few expenses that can be minimised through early intervention. By promptly addressing ER issues through clear, consistent processes, strengthened by a robust evidence trail, the prospect of settling during early conciliation becomes a much more cost-effective proposition.

  1. What is the approximate people cost of delivering employee relations in your organisation?

Determine the estimated personnel expenses associated with managing employee relations within your organisation. This involves analysing both salaries and the dedicated time invested by advisers and Human Resources Business Partners (HRBPs) in handling employee relations matters.

This analysis not only provides a clearer picture of the financial investment required, but also aids in strategic decision-making for optimising resources and ensuring effective employee relations management.

  1. Can your line managers self-serve people matters effectively?

To conclude, assess your organisation’s readiness to empower line managers in taking greater ownership of people matters. How much could it save your company if your managers confidently addressed brewing conflicts before they escalate into formal complaints?

Our data reveals that in 2023, an impressive 94% of employee relations tasks within our client base were effectively managed by line managers utilising our award-winning employee relations software. This strategic shift can lead to efficiency gains beyond cost savings, such as faster issue resolution, reduced HR workload and improved team morale and productivity.

Identifying opportunities for cost savings

By carefully assessing your organisation’s employee relations landscape and implementing a robust case management system, you can uncover valuable opportunities for cost reduction. The key is to leverage technology to empower your people to proactively address employee relations issues. The result? A more efficient, cost-effective and streamlined workplace.

Are you ready to reveal your organisations cost savings potential? Take our assessment now with the information you have gathered to reveal opportunities for saving costs in your organisation.

Book a meeting to speak to an expert and find out how we can help your organisation unlock substantial cost savings.



Speak to our HR experts

Call us today on

0844 327 2293

Contact us