So, what’s the big deal about having self-service HR for your workforce? Surely handing over HR processes to your people is going to result in chaos. Employee self-service or ESS is not about relinquishing HR responsibility, it’s about empowering your people. Providing your people with a single, centralised, access to everything from personal information, to holiday booking, from payslips to benefits and training. The power of one location saves everyone time and a lot frustration. But the benefits of self-service HR are much more than that, your people can access what they want, when they want, giving them more control, which means happier staff and HR are fielding less support calls and emails. 24/7 access for everyone, on any device.
Winning time and efficiencies
If nothing else, the pandemic has shown us that businesses cannot function without HR, unless you are Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy.
According to McKinsey HR departments spend close to 60% of their time and resources on transactional and operational HR tasks. Does that sound familiar? If your HR and payroll team spends a considerable amount of their time responding to routine employee requests or inquiries around payroll, benefits, staff scheduling and personal information updates, consider how this is impacting your business.
Employee self service helps businesses to work efficiently, and save some of that valuable time, whilst increasing data accuracy. Data accuracy means more visibility upon which to base decisions. No more manual or multiple data entry, substantially reducing errors and mistakes.
Many companies still rely on excel spreadsheets, word documents and paper files to perform HR tasks and processes. Digitising these processes, saves time in the right areas, creates transparency and ensures a single source of truth when it comes to real-time and accurate data.
Employee self-service tools don’t just benefit HR teams, they benefit the entire workforce. Giving more control to employees instils a greater sense of responsibility and trust. No more holiday forms… a transparent system that staff can check any time. Higher morale, means higher productivity.
Our conversations with HR leaders and their teams indicate the demand for smarter, intuitive self-service HR is increasing. Tech is now available at your fingertips, and the days of calling or emailing HR to answer routine questions are numbered.
Pave the way for people-first self-service HR
According to IBM, 70% of HR executives are looking for HR digital transformation, with a key focus on personalised, transparent, employee experience. HR self-service can really deliver and it doesn’t need to feel impersonal, infact self-service can deliver on personalisation, experience and transparency for your people, but it must also be intuitive. Organisations have turned to self-service technologies like digital assistants, chatbots and smarter, searchable databases.
Human interaction of course still plays an essential role in HR, but the real value comes with balancing intuitive self-service for high volume transactional tasks (such as holiday bookings or annual review), balanced with access to human knowledge and expertise for high value or advisory tasks. Self-service, people first successes can
- Improve employee experience and aid in retaining your key talent
- Instill transparency and trust across your organisation at all levels
- Empower managers with the tools to manage and develop their teams
- Support personal development of staff
- Reduce and remove friction on transactional tasks that are important to staff such as booking time off
Key benefits for intuitive self-service HR
Consolidating all aspects of your employee life-cycle into one intuitive self-service interface, delivers efficiencies and productivity together with staff satisfaction. There are wide-ranging processes that really benefit from a self-service approach such as:
- Sickness, absence, holidays and other time off
- Work rota and scheduling
- Availability for work
- Payroll processes (e.g. bank and personal details maintenance)
- Recruitment processes
- Self-drive training
- Benefits enrollment
- Health and safety
A wide range of HR processes and operations previously performed on paper or silo-ed activities and workarounds can be handled through a single gateway. Some of the key features and benefits of self-service include:
- Streamlined and consistent communication
- Employee engagement and satisfaction
- Time savings across all processes
- Data accuracy – removal of repeat and duplicate keying
- Compliance (e.g. GDPR)
- Faster recruitment
- Cost reduction
- Process consistency and agreements – via alerts and notifications
Best practice for HR self-service success
Having an HR self-service capability on its own, isn’t enough. You need to leverage it to achieve real value for the business, and satisfy the demands of your people. Although we’re talking about technology, exponential success comes from the combination of your people and the tech.
- Keep it user friendly and intuitive – removes barriers to adoption
- Personalise and brand – your system should feel like your business home hub, which is branded and personalised for roles and users
- Create awareness and communication – transitioning from traditional methods to your self-service is a change
- Access to key and regularly needed documentation such as payroll and training aids with high adoption rates
- Keep it simple – avoid jargon and language that doesn’t resonate with your people
There is a lot of research regarding the vital role of employee experience in driving a company’s success. Employee self-service aids that goal, delivering benefits for leaders, managers and staff.
Intuitive self-service HR benefits your people
Intuitive HR self-service enables your people to take more control, balancing instant access at a time and place that suits the employee, whilst having your HR department on hand to deal with exceptions, challenges and the bigger picture. Key benefits of HR self-service include:
- Significant cost savings across the organisation
- Time savings for staff in accessing what they want along with smarter help and support to help them find what they need.
- Onboarding is faster and more efficient, reducing time to achieve staff that are fully contributing in their new roles
- Peace of mind that data is securely maintained in electronic rather than paper files – with appropriate data governance and compliance with GDPR
- Improved data collection, management and accuracy also delivers significant improvements in insights, and next best actions.
The correct balance of HR self-service tech and human expertise in Human Resources improves productivity, reduces hours spent on data input, admin and support, and enables HR to correctly focus their efforts where they are needed. There is less frustrations and friction for employees who have more ownership, resulting in happy staff and increased staff retention.