These days, technology is all about the user experience. In human resources, this means providing a streamlined, positive process – whether it’s for HR managers or employees.
Each year, it seems there is a different focus for HR technology, usually influenced by the marketplace and what’s happening in the economy.
This year, it’s all about employee self-service.
Now that more people have jobs, the focus is on how to manage employee data. Your employees need a way to electronically manage their information, such as enrolling in or making qualifying life-event changes to their benefits, recording direct deposit data, updating skill sets, accessing tax documents and entering basic personnel information.
Advantages of employee self-service
Employee self-service technology provides a variety of conveniences and benefits to you and your employees, including time, accuracy, control and accessibility.
Think about the hours you spend entering or accessing employee data. From getting copies of payroll stubs and W-2s to updating addresses and direct deposit accounts. It’s time-consuming, right? By empowering employees to be in charge of their own information, you have time for more strategic things, such as compensation planning, budget analysis and growing your company.
Sometimes information gets lost in translation. If you’re working as the administrator between your employees and their data input, there is a greater risk of error or incomplete information. When employees enter their own data, it comes directly from the source and reduces the risk of introducing an error.
Employees don’t want to be put into a telephone queue just to update their address or manage their 401(k) contributions. They’d rather just get on a computer and do it themselves. This can improve morale because the employees know when and how their information is being handled. No more waiting for someone else to update their files. Empowering employees to do it themselves puts them in control and frees your time for other things.
If employees wants to see how much PTO they have, they simply log in and check their balance. If they want to ask for a day off, they access the time-off calendar and submit a request. If they need a payroll stub or their W-2 tax form, it’s right at their fingertips – anytime, anywhere. This provides a much more positive experience for everyone.
Common tasks that self-service technology can improve
From benefits management and scheduling to keeping track of expenses, the advances in HR technology have made it easier to see things at-a-glance and access information whenever and wherever it’s needed.
Having online enrollment is key. Consider the nightmare of open enrollment without it: Every employee fills out a form and an administrator enters it into a master file. It’s a headache just waiting to happen. You can track eligibility, participation and total compensation while employees input and manage their own participation.
With retirement savings plans, employees can manage their funds elections and see quarterly and yearly results on their own, online. No more waiting for the paper statement to come in the mail. And you’re not tracking down answers to questions that employees can find on their own.
2. Time and attendance
From time-tracking and vacation requests to PTO accruals and balances, your employees can take advantage of a simple, automated system.
Scheduling can be among the more time-consuming of tasks. But, with an automated system, employees can play a role in streamlining the process. Do they want a day off? They can check the PTO calendar and then submit a time-off request. Do you need to cover a shift? Find out who’s available – without even having to be in the office.
Once everything is automated, keeping track of employee hours and staying in compliance with state and federal workforce regulations gets a little easier.
Employees update their own demographics and records including certifications, emergency contacts and personal data – such as address and phone. In addition, the system allows you to have one place where employees access company policies and announcements.
Employees also can look at and print payroll stubs, and end-of-year tax forms. They don’t have to wait for a bookkeeper to research and provide copies.
4. Expense management
Keep an eye on where and how your employees are spending the company’s money.
An expense management system allows employees to file expense reports and access the approval process. No more trying to track down someone in accounting to ask, “Do you know anything about my reimbursement?”
And many systems offer a mobile app that allows you and your employees to store receipts and manage expenses while traveling.
Self-service as a solution
With the end-user in mind, the latest technology is making human capital management easier.
Interested in learning more about different HR technology options, and how to sort through and compare them? Download our free e-book, HR technology: How to choose the best platform for your business.