HRMS Self-Service and Going Global

We live in a self-service culture in the US: from food to services, we’re used to doing things on our own. HRMS self-service is a natural fit from a cultural perspective, it can also offer financial benefits to your company. Many organizations successfully launch the functionality at US locations and then think that it will be a slam dunk to quickly replicate the same functionality…but is it?

Cultural Differences

When I first worked in Europe 10 years ago, I moved to Germany and was surprised to find limited self-service functionality overall, not just in HR systems. Within HR even, an employee is assigned an ‘HR Partner’ and a ‘Payroll Partner’ to personally contact for any issues or requests, such as an address change or a paycheck question. While HRMS self-service can work in such environments as far as providing data visibility, employees are still accustomed to having an actual person to contact to coordinate any data changes. With this in mind, any education related to the new functionality must address such concerns and current practices.

Legal Requirements

When implementing HRMS self-service outside of the US, you need to be aware of any ‘paper-based’ requirements. Some countries require a paper signature for various transactions; self-service is not a workable substitute in these areas. Locations in Mexico require the thumbprint of the employee to acknowledge a signature in some transactions. While your US process may be efficient and user-friendly, if legal requirements exist in a country, self-service simply may not be an option. It’s good to be aware of the analysis needed to identify these situations so that you can build them into your business case, rather than assuming that the current footprint can easily be applied to all global locations.

Competing Systems

Global payroll still remains a holy grail for most organizations and local payroll systems are in use in many countries. While you may be pleasantly surprised that some countries will gladly use self-service, unfortunately you may find that your HRMS self-service functionality already exists in the payroll system. So instead of trying to ‘sell’ the functionality, you’re trying to ‘sell’ the fact to the employee that they need to use self-service twice! If you don’t already have payroll interfaces in place to limit this scenario, this will be an uphill battle.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski