We’re all used to carrying out activities online that were once done face to face – activities like banking for example – and even more so since the start of the pandemic. For many people it’s becoming an expectation, both in their personal and working lives. Many companies are now going in that direction when it comes to managing employee data, by providing employee self-service functionality via HR software.
Depending on its configuration, this can give employees the ability to access and make changes to their HR and payroll information, as well as make various requests through the system. And there are a number of benefits that this gives both the company and the individual.
1. It reduces HR administration while keeping records up to date
When it comes to reducing HR administration time, employee self-service can be beneficial in a whole host of ways. Employees are able to easily check and update their own records, saving manual input activity, ensuring records are kept up to date and potentially increasing data accuracy too. Once one field is changed by the employee all linked fields will also be updated, lifting even more of the admin burden off the HR department and reducing the risk of data input mistakes to an even greater extent.
This also means that HR has a reduced number of requests coming its way from employees for information such as holiday balances, training records or attendance details – employees can simply go into the system and check instead. Some employee self-service facilities can be set up to enable employees to submit timesheet information, allowing working hours to be simply and quickly updated. This substantially reduces time needed to pull the information together and greatly reduces the risk of any timesheets being missed or mistakes being made.
2. Employees feel more engaged
Employee self-service gives employees far greater control and independence over their own data which can help overall engagement. They have the power to manage their own data, rather than being forced to spend time putting in requests and in some cases having to navigate their way through bureaucracy in order to get an answer to a relatively routine and straightforward question. It’s more efficient, freeing them from filling in forms, or needing to follow up on emails that might end up sitting in a queue in someone’s inbox or even disappearing into the spam folder. Ultimately it removes the frustration involved in making requests and waiting for responses, and instead empowers the employee and creates far greater transparency.
3. Holiday bookings are simplified
Booking holidays by filling out forms or sending emails that may or may not be seen by the intended recipient can become a real nuisance for an employee. And in-person requests can often be left hanging with an “I’ll come back to you on that”-type-response by the manager who, with other demands on their time, could then forget about it and need chasing up.
An employee self-service system reduces this problem considerably. A holiday request can be quickly and easily made, with alerts created through the system to make sure that the request is seen, actioned and the employee informed of the decision. Many systems will enable the authorising manager to take a look at availability to see if anyone else is off at the same time and assess cover arrangements too. And balance and leave records can update automatically, ensuring holiday balance information is accurate.
4. It reduces costs
While the total amount of time being spent by HR on administration will vary depending on the company, estimates tend to put it at around the 50% mark. So if even just a small proportion of that time can be recouped by employees managing their own information, and accessing the data they want to check, it can translate into a healthy cost saving for the business. (With inputs directly into the system and records more readily accessible on screen, it’s likely to reduce the amount of print outs that need to be made too!). And crucially, it will enable HR to focus its efforts in a more productive way.
HR software that offers employee self-service options is a clear sign of an outward-looking approach from the HR department. And thanks to cloud-based HR software technology, both your HR team and your employees will be able to access the information they need from any location at any time. If you’d like to learn more about how you can empower your employees with greater ownership of their information, then call us on 01442 285460 or complete our contact form and we will be in touch.