4 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You about Employee Self Service

Posted November 10, 2014 by Layne Davlin
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How can you safely put employee self-service to work for you?

According to enterprise security architect expert Randall Gamby, while employee self-services can save you a bundle and raise morale, they must be executed carefully in order to protect your company. There are risks as well as benefits to keep in mind. You can learn these lessons the easy way by observing the mistakes competitors have made with their ESS. Below are some tips for successful employee self service:

1.  Stress the Importance of Accuracy and Updating

One major corporation found themselves in a panic when, during a fire, they couldn’t locate their chief security officer. He hadn’t kept his contact information up-to-date, and he was the only person capable of giving the fire department access to the site. Thankfully, their employees were evacuated safely, but the business sustained more damage than necessary because of the time wasted in searching for essential personnel.

Because direct deposit is such a popular payment option, many employees don’t worry about their employer having the right contact information. This is one area where ESS shines, as long as there are periodic reminders in place reminding employees of its importance. These reminders can be sent out automatically and are especially effective when paired with motivational wording, such as, “Make sure your W-2 arrives in time. Double-check your mailing address now.”

2.  Have a System in Place for Error Detection

Typos happen, information is left incomplete and forms are sometimes filled out incorrectly. Having a system in place to pick up on at least some of these errors can go a long way in weeding out the problems they can eventually cause. It helps maximize the investment you’ve made in your self-service module. These can be automated and built into the ESS, such as a page which won’t allow submission until all areas are filled in, to HR software that looks through records for common misspellings, like “stret” vs “street.”

3.  Carefully Select What Information Can Be Accessed

Another company installed a computer system that used role titles to assign permissions. Unfortunately, employees were able to change their titles to whatever they liked. This locked them out of the company’s roles-based access (RBAC) system, creating significant setbacks in productivity and causing a flood of work for both the IT and HR departments.

Your business saves money when busywork tasks which utilize few professional skills can be placed in the hands of lower-paid employees, but there is a subtle balance. Changing addresses, checking the number of sick days someone has available and similar activities can be safely managed by any employee. However, filling out a loan application secured by 401(k) funds may take instruction that, when not supported by proper instructions, can wind up taking more time for HR to fix than it would have taken to walk an employee through the process.

4.  Keep Employees Informed

Automated systems often go ignored until there’s a problem, so remind your employees of potential problems while they use ESS. Explain the need for a valid phone number, remind them of their filing obligations if they change their dependents for tax purposes and generally reinforce the knowledge they need to make good decisions for everyone involved.

ESS can save a tremendous amount of time, money and employee frustration. However, they can inadvertently cause problems when they aren’t properly managed. Learn from the mistakes of your competitors and create a system that saves time, money and frustration.

Email your questions on employee self service platforms to the experts at sales@einsteinhr.com today.