Businesses are always looking for ways to streamline operations and save money. Administrative tasks are one central area most organizations strive to optimize as they can be time-consuming and costly.
According to Brightpearl researchers a survey of 2,000 workers spent 21 hours and 36 minutes a week doing admin tasks. That equates to 1,025 hours and 28 minutes a year, or half of each work day, not focused on core tasks. Wasted time costs businesses billions annually.
Of course, big businesses can allocate their resources more efficiently. But empowering employees to take on some of these responsibilities can significantly improve human resources and managers’ effectiveness. That’s where an employee self-service (ESS) system can help.
If you want to increase employee engagement and boost productivity in your workplace, it might be time to consider investing in employee self-service software.
In this article I discuss the ways ESS is beneficial to both employees and employers.
What is Employee Self-Service Technology?
Employee self-service technology lets employees take on certain responsibilities that the human resources department would typically handle. These responsibilities include updating personal information, swapping shifts, requesting time off, and accessing pay stubs.
It is an essential component of human capital management (HCM) that can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase employee engagement. Human capital management attracts, recruits, trains, develops, and retains the finest employees, and HCM software like Paylocity can help businesses manage their employees.
Letting employees manage themselves and their personal information shows that you trust them and see them as valuable assets to the company. Therefore, they are loyal, motivated, and productive. And as we all know, motivated employees are more likely to stay with the company longer.
Some ESS features include:
- Updating personal information, including contact information, next of kin, and bank information
- Logging working hours and overtime
- Managing parental leaves, including calculating entitlements and requesting leaves
- Viewing and downloading payroll data
- Tracking business expenses, such as mileage, and claiming them
- Training, learning, and development.
7 Ways Employee Self-Service Technology is Benefiting the Workforce
The most significant benefit employee self-service (ESS) technology offers is helping organizations gain the trust of their employees due to the transparency and control it provides. In a time when the workforce is largely dominated by millennials and Gen Z, who value autonomy and control over their work lives, self-service tech is a must-have for employers.
Below are more ways employee self-service technology is benefiting the workforce.
1. Access to Information and Resources
Employees need access to the latest knowledge and resources to react to changing conditions and support evolving company goals. ESS systems are usually cloud-based, so employees can access any information they need anytime and anywhere.
Whether they are working remotely or from another office, with all the info in a central database, they can always access what they need. As a result, there will be fewer distractions or delays.
Employee self-service tech also supports an omnichannel communication experience, as employees can switch between channels while performing self-service tasks without losing their progress.
For instance, an employee can start a time-off request on a web portal and complete it through a mobile app. This seamless experience ensures that employees can access self-service tools regardless of their chosen communication channel, providing convenience and ease of use.
2. Creativity and Innovation
Companies that will succeed in the future encourage their people to find their own creative solutions. This leads to innovation which can help them stay ahead of the curve.
Giving employees control over their own information is empowering and can create a positive work environment. Staff can become more engaged in company processes by using an ESS.
It can help them take additional responsibility for managing their information as well as keep them informed about training opportunities or annual leave entitlements.
Employee self review becomes an integral part of the feedback process, providing a stronger sense of responsibility. This encourages employees to reflect on their performance, potentially leading to improvements, identify areas of development, and take ownership of their career growth.
3. Improved HR Functionality
Workforce management (WFM) refers to how managers and employers allocate resources and people strategically, track attendance, and comply with workplace laws and regulations. The goal is to optimize productivity and reduce risk.
WFM styles vary by company and industry. For instance, answering the question what is workforce management in a call center may differ significantly from workforce management in a manufacturing setting. However, several WFM software tools provide self-service options enabling employees to access their schedules, request time off, and swap shifts.
HR departments will improve considerably if administrative staff are freed from completing minor tasks like updating employee information. For instance, HR managers can focus more on issues that require human touch.
4. Money Savings for the Company
Administrative duties take time and resources. For instance, you need people to handle payroll, training, the hiring of new employees, PTO, and other human resource management functions. The time and resources cost money—money businesses (especially small businesses) are looking to save.
Employer self-service was developed to reduce administrative tasks so business owners and their employees could focus on more important tasks. Rather than hiring a full-time administrative assistant, it allows previously time-consuming tasks to be accomplished online by relevant employees.
As a result, you save money on hiring and administrative equipment like computers, shredders, and photocopiers. All of these add up to savings in the long run.
5. Easily Managed Business Finance
Speaking of money, ESS software also provides access to an online business account for business owners and employers. This system makes managing cash flow, submitting invoices, and paying staff easier.
Keeping your books can be a hassle, which usually means hiring an accountant. However, now that employee self-service is available, anyone in the company with the proper training can handle these financial tasks. You can manage your business finances online and ensure everyone gets paid on time, every time, with online banking tools.
It goes without saying that you should still consult a professional accountant for advanced financial tasks like taxes. Online software and tools can help you manage your finances but can’t replace an experienced accountant.
6. Improved Time Tracking
Letting employees log their own hours, overtime, and leave makes it easier to track hours. As the ESS system can send leave requests directly to the appropriate channels, the manager can handle requests efficiently and manage the workload more effectively.
ESS also allows managers to track overtime across the company. This can help budget and plan absences, sick days, and annual leave.
7. Insights Directly From Your Team
When you’ve got an active workforce, getting feedback is hard, so gathering insights directly from your team is a massive benefit of ESS. Employee self-service tech is beneficial because it makes it easy for managers to determine their employees’ thoughts.
By incorporating employee engagement software into your ESS platform, you can gather valuable feedback on employee satisfaction, work culture, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
This feedback can then improve the company’s culture and environment, by leveraging the power of AI in employee engagement. AI is revolutionizing employee engagement, and in turn company culture, by offering personalized learning and development opportunities and addressing employee feedback and concerns by analyzing their emotions, then providing support and guidance through chatbots and virtual assistants.
For example, you can know whether you need to write better job descriptions that clarify that you are an equal-opportunity employer. Ongig’s Text Analyzer is a tool that can be used to assess job postings for gender or any type of bias. This tool ensures HR creates inclusive and equitable job descriptions.
Getting the Best Out of Employee Self-Service Technology
Employee self-service portals empower employees and save managers and HR professionals time. Even though self-service takes time to set up, it can be worth it if it improves engagement with the system and streamlines team communication. Here are some quick tips for utilizing this tool to its full potential:
- Introduce ESS early: Self-service onboarding is available in some HRIS software. The sooner you introduce self-service, the more likely new employees will use it, especially if they must use it straight away. This allows employees to get acclimated to the company and helps foster user adoption by enabling them to take control of their own careers.
- Invest in a user-friendly option: When selecting your ESS platform, choose one that is user-friendly and intuitive. The easier it is to navigate and use, the more employees will feel comfortable using it. You also want to ensure employees can easily access the web portal, so invest in memorable and brand-relevant URL. Consider purchasing a domain name from a reputable domain registrar like OnlyDomains.
- Offer a variety of self-service options: There should be lots of options on self-service platforms. Among the features are work schedules, time off requests, pay histories, social feeds, peer-to-peer messaging, company libraries of information, and benefits requests. When you give your employees as many options as possible, you’ll make self-service more valuable to them and encourage them to be more autonomous.
- Make it social: Social media is fun, so you might attract employees if you offer it. It’s easier to communicate company news instantly when you’re using a company social feed. It might also inspire brainstorming and collaboration.
Employee Self-Service Technology is Transforming the Workforce
Employee self-service systems give employees access to their personal information, such as pay slips, time off requests, and benefits. These tools give them control of their own data and allow them to make changes and updates independently. To your staff, it shows that you value their input and want them to be involved in their management.
The result is an engaged workforce motivated to do their best work and help the organization achieve its immediate and long-term goals. Engaged employees are also highly likely to stick with the company, reducing turnover and saving money on recruitment and training costs.
So, what are you waiting for if you haven’t started implementing ESS in your business?
Why I Wrote This:
Ongig is on a mission to help HR professionals attract and onboard top talent with its Text Analyzer Software, and retain their awesome and diverse workforces. Request a demo to learn more.
- News: Average adult spends five years and five months of their lives doing hated admin (by Brightpearl)
- Understanding Human Capital Management (HCM) (by Paylocity)
- Performance Management: Pros and Cons of Employee Self-Evaluation (by Paylocity)
- Call Center Workforce Management: What Is It, and How Can You Get It Right? (by Vonage)
- 11 Human Resource Management Functions for Success (by Mara Calvello)
- AI in Employee Engagement: 7 Applications to Try Yourself (by Alexander Heinle)