In terms of HR, and specifically HR software systems, employee self-service refers to the ability that employees have the technology to access their personnel record and process a number of HR administration tasks on their own. The website HR Zone defines employee self-service as, “HR software that allows workers to perform tasks normally conducted by the HR function”.
How does employee self-service in HR work?
Typically, the HR software system used by a company will be accessed either via a web browser or app. This enables staff to make use of the system flexibly at a time and place that suits them rather than being restricted by location or working hours.
Each employee within the company will have access to the system which will allow them to self-serve. Employees will be given a unique username and password in order to use self-service and often HR software systems use two factor authentication technology. Given the high level of data security required, employees can have peace of mind that their sensitive, personal data is safe and secure.
Once employees have logged in, they can then use a variety of self-service functions. The functionality and what tasks employees can actually do will vary depending on the complexity of the HR software system, or the level of access that they have been given. Some users, such as line managers, have access to more information in order to fulfil the responsibilities of their role.
What are the main features of employee self-service in HR?
Again, the features of employee self-service will be different depending on the HR software system that your business has purchased, but there tends to be some core functionality offered by the overwhelming majority of systems.
Employees using self-service will first of all be able to view their core personal details such as name, address, date of birth, contact information, emergency contact and bank details. Over time, a number of these details may change and with employee self-service, the member of staff can quickly and easily update their record. Without employee self-service, the process is much more laborious and employees would usually have to fill in a form either manually or electronically and then send it to a colleague with HR responsibility to check and change the information.
Employee self-service also commonly enables staff to make requests to take annual leave. Their self-service access will allow them to check their overall entitlement to make sure that they have enough days remaining. It may also assist them by providing a calendar, or other view, which shows if other colleagues have already booked holiday on the days they want to take off. Once dates have been selected, the employee can then use self-service to submit the request to their line manager for approval. The line manager will then usually receive a notification, where they can log in to their self-service and approve or decline the request in just a few simple steps. Assuming that the request is approved, the system will then update the employee’s annual leave entitlement and may even populate the booking in their calendar.
Other simple features included in employee self-service include the ability to view key HR documents so that an employee can check their contract and any important letters. Some HR software systems will also facilitate other HR related administration such as time management, expenses submissions and access to payslips. In addition, businesses use employee self-service as a means of communicating with staff and via self-service, they may share the employee handbook or a range of widely used policies in a knowledge base or key information section. Likewise, details of the company’s employee assistance programme, wellbeing promotions and staff benefit information may also be accessed via employee self-service.
What are the benefits of employee self-service in HR?
Employee self-service benefits staff in a range of ways. Employees are given a degree of autonomy and choice when using self-service which can help to build a sense of trust and engagement. By using self-service and HR software systems, a business is showing that it cares about creating a positive employee experience. It can bring other benefits such as company culture and retention, as the business is seen as forward thinking and progressive by embracing modern ways of working.
From a business perspective, employee self-service will save money. Although the HR software system will come at a cost, the return on investment will more than make it worthwhile. HR administration costs will be reduced and time saved can be redirected to support staff in other ways.
HR software systems and employee self-service functionality will also reduce, if not entirely eliminate, paper based HR administration and so there will be savings on paper and printing costs. As employee self-service removes the need for duplication of tasks and multiple data input, it consequently reduces human error.
For example, without employee self-service if a member of staff wanted to change their bank account details for payroll purposes, then they would usually have to fill in a form and pass that to a colleague who would then input the information into the HR system or some other record. The writing on that form may be difficult to read or when inputting the new details there could be a keying error, both of which will inevitably lead to errors. In turn, those errors will lead to an employee’s salary payment bouncing back which may incur a cost. The employee also won’t be happy that they haven’t been paid and then the employer will need to rectify that with an additional payment run, again in all likelihood at an extra cost. Employee self-service helps to eliminate that as the employee themselves inputs that change of information directly into the system and the chances of error are vastly reduced.
Can HRX deliver on employee self-service?
100% yes! HRX has a range of employee self-service features to enable your team to quickly and easily complete their basic HR administration tasks wherever and whenever they want. This helps to save your business time and money and enables your team to get on with doing what they do best.