Lutheran Social Services: Ving Success Story
Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Inc. (LSS) looks to Ving to improve employee on-boarding and streamline regulatory paperwork filing for new employees and clients.
- Used regular email for sending documents to new hires and people receiving services; some documents came through as secure/password-protected and not always able to be opened by new hires
- Previous communications methods offered no insights or analytics into who read which documents; only if the email was opened
- The inability to open the email and/or attachments caused frustration and time delays in getting the paperwork completed and back to LSS. This extended the offer time.
- Simpler method for sharing necessary paperwork in a Ving, which is easier to access than the previous method in place.
- Insights into who reads, views and understands information being sent, which streamlines follow-up with new hires
- Can create templates for sharing same documents with different groups of people – new hires (“employees”) and clients (“employers”)
Founded in 1882, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Inc. (LSS) offers a variety of services to adults, families, children and people with disabilities throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. With the help of over 1,000 employees, LSS provides services across a person’s lifespan, addressing a variety of conditions, to help people in need. Each year, LSS touches more than 100,000 lives and offers over 262 programs at over 196 sites in 115 communities throughout the region. The organization’s mission is to change lives for the better -- with a meal for someone who hasn’t eaten lately; a course of treatment for someone struggling with addiction; or a comprehensive set of services for an individual, family or community.
As a non-profit social services provider, LSS works directly with two categories of people: “employees” – people hired by LSS to provide services to those in need and “clients” – the people in need of services. In both cases, a significant amount of paperwork must be completed and filed in order to request and receive services, or be hired to provide services to those asking for them.
According to Susan Dowd, Human Capital Manager for LSS, the process of on-boarding new hires was a cumbersome and inefficient task. A heavy reliance on email for sending and receiving the vast amounts of required paperwork took a lot of time and effort for her team to both send out documents and follow up with individuals to make sure they were completing documents and submitting them in a timely manner.
“For compliance purposes, new hires must fill out a lot of paperwork, and emailing many large attachments was just not working well,” said Dowd. “We were having issues with the firewalls, where people couldn’t open the attachments or send the documents back to us. We needed an easier way to send the items we needed.”
This was particularly problematic given that LSS has hundreds of job requisitions it fills every year.
“In addition to the issues around sending and receiving documents, we had no way of tracking who was opening the emails and accessing the files they needed to fill out,” she said.
For Kevin Fech, Iris Consultant Agency (ICA) team manager at LSS, the issue was slightly different.
“My team works with people in need of receiving services, many of whom are dealing with some sort of disability, addiction or health issue,” said Fech. “For them, filling out the necessary tax forms and background checks for people they hire on their own or for our own employees can be next to impossible. We would send forms to people and just never get anything back. We needed a way to get the paperwork to people much faster and make it easier for them to print what they needed. We really needed a way to streamline the whole process,” he said.
Dowd said that Ving was recommended to LSS by an industry colleague who thought it would be a useful platform to solve many of their issues above.
“From what we learned, Ving had many appealing aspects so we decided to try it on a trial basis with just the recruiting group,” said Dowd. “We found right away that it was easy to use and made our lives much easier, and then recommended it to Fech’s group as well.”
Ease of Use, Analytics and Templates Create a Seamless Experience for All:
Dowd’s team immediately liked the ease with which Ving allowed her team to send new hires welcome packages and required documents in one secure communication, as well as the ability to create templates that can be readily used again and again for different positions they need to fill.
“Ving also enables us to track who opens each Ving or if the communication we’re sending even makes it to the recipient. The analytics dashboard which makes it far less time-consuming to follow up with people who haven’t opened a Ving,” said Dowd. “Our new hires are able to get the attachments, fill them out and respond to use much faster than they did before.”
Fech said his group likes the fact that Ving emails can be easily opened, and there is much less frustration for recipients when having to print out and complete all the forms that are required.
“Many of our clients don’t have their own computers, and forwarding a Ving to another recipient who can open and print the documents is very simple,” he said. “It’s highly user-friendly for even those who aren’t computer-savvy.”
Outcome - Incorporating Multimedia to Further Simplify Paperwork:
The biggest benefit both Dowd’s and Fech’s teams have experienced is higher response rates and faster turn-around times. “If we can on-board new hires more quickly, we’re fulfilling our mission of changing lives at a much faster rate,” said Dowd.
So far, the HR/Human Capital and ICA departments have been the primary users of Ving, with one small group using Ving to send short video messages. Both teams are planning to evaluate how the addition of more multimedia assets can further streamline the process of sending and receiving paperwork, and increase response rates.
“We’ve seen an increase in responsiveness without including multimedia, but we do want to incorporate different instructional assets to see if the process can be simplified further,” said Dowd. “The team at Ving has been instrumental in helping us get the most value of the platform, and we’re eager to put their recommendations to practice to see if we can improve results even more. Overall, Ving has offered tremendous value to all of our internal and external users.”