Four HR self-service features your workforce will really appreciate

When it comes a return on your investment in a new HRMS, self-service features are a significant factor. While in many ways, employee self-service isn’t as ‘sexy’ as HR analytics or social media-driven recruitment, the fact is that enabling your people to handle their own day to day HR-related transactions can take the load off your management and HR team, freeing them to address more strategic and critical issues.

So, given that you might find self-service aspects to most HR  processes – including employee data, onboarding, payroll, training and development, performance management, and just having access to corporate information – how do you know which features to implement in order to get the best employee response? Here are four popular self-service features that can turn the most reluctant employee into a self-service fan.

1. Control over their own data

You’ve probably heard of the "democratization" of HR data, a label used to describe the current situation in which relevant data held by employers can be made available to employees, their managers, senior managers and the C-suite,  health insurance companies, government agencies, and even hopeful job applicants.

Make the most out of your self-service module with our step-by-step guide to HRMS self-service success

Giving employees self-service access to their own personal data effectively devolves responsibility for the accuracy of that data to the person closest to it. From the employee point of view, this means fewer data entry errors, less out of date information on their file, and that means more accurate transactions (especially important when it comes to payroll).

2. Time and attendance management

In the past, rotas, schedules and working patterns were the province of the supervisor or line manager – they were more often than not the gatekeeper to such information and that could lead to uncertainty when requesting time off. Self-service access to the team schedule opens that gate, allowing any member of the team to see where the spaces are and when they’ll most likely be granted their vacation time.

3. Benefits enrollment

This is more of a US issue, but when it comes to benefits enrollment, employers are increasingly using self-service to allow workers to access the often complex information directly, and at a time convenient to them. Self-service benefits management also permits employees to update their benefits information when key life changes occur that impact on their overall benefits package.

4. A good user experience

Finally, however sophisticated, smart and feature-laden your self-service portal is, what employees need to see on-screen is something both simple and familiar. In this social media world, with smartphone and tablet usage at record highs, most employees will be past the ‘techno-fear’ that plagued early HR technology solutions. However, a ‘perceived familiarity’, usually relating to layout and how they intuitively navigate around the system, goes a long way to engaging users and boosting user adoption.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall