What is Employee Self-Service?
At its core, employee self-service (ESS) gives workers access to their personal records and information. Through employee self-service portals (housed in HRIS systems), employees can change their contact and banking information, access their payroll, schedules, benefits enrollment and more, without HR being involved.
Why Some HR Leaders are Skeptical of Automating HR Processes
To many HR leaders, the empowerment of ESS means the golden age of HR has arrived. Instead of spending hours on administrative tasks, HR leaders can now focus on strategic initiatives like recruiting, retention and employee development. That’s why nearly 87% of organizations currently use ESS applications.
But what about the remaining 13%?
Here are three main reasons why some HR leaders are skeptical of automating HR processes and adopting ESS:
- Afraid employee self-service will cause more errors in their systems.
Fear: Employers are afraid to give employees too much control/access to HR data. Why? With the ability to change information directly in the system, many employers are worried workers could cause more problems by inputing wrong information. And without human oversight, errors could go undetected.
Reality: When employers give their people the ability change their personal information, organizations see a decrease in errors. After all who knows an employee better than the individual themselves?
- Concerned employees could leak sensitive data.
Fear: Many HR leaders believe ESS increases the risk of a data breach or the chances of leaking sensitive employee data.
Reality: With ESS, employees only have access to their own personal information. Best-in-class solutions have built-in safety nets that prevent data leaks.
- Unspoken concern: will ESS reduce the value of HR?
Fear: Some HR leaders believe ESS could replace or reduce the value of HR. Although a healthy dose of concern could be warranted, the definitive answer is: this will not happen.
Reality: Employee self-service isn’t designed to replace HR, but rather support HR departments and help employees take care of their more-routine tasks and requests.
Think about this:
On average, HR leaders get more than 1,000 pay-related questions every year from employees. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. From benefits enrollment and scheduling to onboarding and training, HR leaders can find themselves overwhelmed by answering routine questions. ESS is designed to give you time back so you can focus on what matters most, being a strategic HR leader and impacting your bottom line.
Is Your Company Ready for HR Self-Service?
How do you know if an employee self-service solution would benefit your organization? Well if you share the common symptoms below, you should probably start conversations with the leaders at your organization:
- Employees ask you the same routine questions
- Employees can’t view or enroll in benefits on their own
- HR/leaders are required to complete expense reports on behalf of employees
- Managers can’t view information and run reports without overview from HR
- You spend more than 25% of your work week keying employee data into your systems
Seven Benefits of Employee Self-Service
The benefits of employee self-service go far beyond saving time. Here are 7 reasons why nearly 87% of organizations leverage ESS.
- Positively Impact Your Bottom Line
ESS empowers HR leaders to be more productive. Did you know that nearly 50% of HR department’s time is spend processing employee information and answering questions? By leveraging ESS, leaders can save money by ensuring compliance with information accuracy, tackling more strategic initiatives and reducing workforce related costs.
- Employee Control & Engagement
With ESS, HR leaders eliminate wait times for basic requests to be completed, such as W-2s, benefit enrollment and training certification statuses. ESS empowers employees to access their own information at their fingertips, anytime and anywhere.
- Ensure Data Accuracy
An HRIS with ESS will help eliminate duplicate data entry and increase data accuracy by empowering employees to confirm or change their own personal information.
- Training certifications
- Emergency contact information
- Phone numbers
- And more
- Benefits Enrollment & Management
Open Enrollment for many HR leaders is a nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be. With HRIS technology and ESS, workers can enroll in benefit plans, like dental and vision, HSAs & FSAs and retirement plans. HR leaders no longer need to track down information and answer routine questions that employees could easily answer themselves.
- Delegate Expense Reports
Many HR leaders are responsible for filing expense reports on behalf of employees. But ESS shifts the responsibility to employees. Managers and HR leaders can review and approve expense reports to ensure accuracy and compliance.
- Manage Time-Off Requests
ESS technology enables HR leaders to track employee tardiness and absenteeism. It also allows employees to request time off, swap shifts with other employees and track their banked PTO.
- Improves Efficiency
Finally, the biggest benefit of them all: ESS improves efficiency. Consider all the tasks that could be completed by employees:
- Benefit enrollment
- Employee scheduling
- Updating personal information
- Accessing and reviewing pay information
- And so much more!
ESS gives HR leaders time back so they can recruit, control labor costs, manage people, ensure compliance and improve employee experiences.
8 Must-Have Features for Employee Self-Service Technology
Whether you’re already partnered with an HR & payroll provider or browsing the market, your employee self-service solutions should offer these must-have features:
- Access to Online Pay Stubs
This must-have feature allows employees to print or access their paystub (or any historical paystub) at any time.
- Time-off Requests and Approvals
With employee self-service technology, your employees should be able to request time off from their phones, desktop or kiosks. In the same breath, HR leaders and managers should have the ability to approve or deny requests from any device.
- Mobile Punching
Only partner with an HR & payroll provider that has the technology to verify punch locations and allow admins to set precise location maps to ensure employees are punching in or near desired work locations.
- Attendance Management
This ESS feature empowers employees to correct errors in their attendance should they arise. Keep in mind that employees can’t make changes without manager approval.
- View and Sign Company Documents
Have policies and handbooks that need to be reviewed and signed? ESS allows new hires view important company documents and sign them electronically.
- Shift Swapping
Allow employees to drop, pick up or request shift changes in real time. With intuitive drag and drop functionality, employees can swap shifts with just a few clicks.
- ESS-based Onboarding
With ESS-based onboarding, employees can:
- Complete new hire information (Form I-9, W-4, etc.) before their first day
- Sign up for uniforms sizes, parking passes, computers, e-mail address and security badges
- Select benefit packages and health insurance
- Sign company documents and HR policy agreement forms
- Proactive Messaging & Alerts
This feature instantly notifies users and admins of any errors or discrepancies to avoid costly compliance issues or incorrect time cards. With the right provider you can also set up alerts for certifications or trainings that are about to expire, shift changes, anniversaries, birthdays and so much more.
Paycor creates HCM software for leaders who want to make a difference. Our Human Capital Management (HCM) platform modernizes every aspect of people management, from the way you recruit, onboard and develop people, to the way you pay and retain them. But what really sets us apart is our focus on business leaders. For 30 years, we’ve been listening to and partnering with leaders, so we know what they need: HR technology that saves time, powerful analytics that provide actionable insights and dedicated support from HR experts. That’s why more than 30,000 medium & small businesses trust Paycor to help them solve problems and achieve their goals.