Making the most of manager self-service: six tips

Self-service: from cafeterias to gas stations to HR technology, it’s all about being efficient and cost-effective. But merely providing the option of manager self-service is not enough. To realize the full benefits, you have to work to encourage your managers to make use of what’s on offer. Here are six ways to drive up the use of self-service HRMS by your busy managers.

1. Sell the benefits

Your managers need an answer to the question “What’s in it for me?” That answer might include more accurate data, faster HR transactions and people processes, less administrative input from HR staff, more informed real-time decisions (such as last-minute scheduling changes), automatic alerts that prompt them to take timely action, and generally lower costs of HR activities.

Recommended reading: get your employees engaged with your manager self service module using these six steps to HRMS self-service success.

2. Prove the benefits

It’s all well and good to promise the earth but you also need to point out how you’re delivering it. Put relevant metrics in place that will result in hard facts and statistics that show the benefits of your self-service HRMS. Show them the volume and speed of common transactions, compare the time spent by managers and by HR staff on transactions before and after the introduction of self-service functionality; track the volume and speed of handling of HR cases; compare error rates and data quality pre- and post-implementation; wherever possible, quantify where the financial savings to the organization.

This is also just part of good practice for your ROI calculations.

3. Make it easy to use

At the risk of stating the obvious, the simpler and more intuitive your HRMS self-service module, the more likely your managers are to use it. And the more they use it, the more benefit they’ll see.

4. Make their lives easier

Sometimes, in the midst of all the detailed technicalities of selecting and implementing a new HRMS, it’s easy to forget why you’re doing all this in the first place: to make life easier (also known as ‘efficiency’, ‘productivity’, and other similar labels).

A common reservation many managers have in respect to HRMS manager self-service is that its purpose is to delegate HR responsibilities and tasks through the back door. To overcome this resistance, you need to offer up specific examples of how their working lives will be improved. It’s worth focusing on how the HRMS can assist with traditionally onerous management duties, such as performance management, resource deployment, and reporting in this respect.

5. Try the ‘green’ angle

Few offices are completely paperless but a modern HRMS can definitely contribute to saving a rainforest or two. In addition to the personal benefits that individual managers might gain from the new self service module, balance that with some bigger picture pluses. Until we colonize Mars, the planet is about as ‘big picture’ as it gets.

6. Treat managers as partners, not customers

In other words, involve them in your HR technology strategy. Your managers are a key stakeholder group and should be consulted right from the start to ensure that the system meets their particular needs. And that stakeholder engagement doesn’t stop with HRMS implementation: evaluation, calculating ROI, fine tuning of the system, and deciding on future functionality are all areas in which ongoing involvement of some management representatives will pay dividends.

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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