What is Employee Self-Service?
We like to compare HCM technology to your home. If HCM is a house, then the features are all the different rooms to accommodate your needs.
Employee Self-Service is one of the bedrooms in your HCM house. It’s where an employee’s personal information and electronic paperwork are stored.
Tax information, pay stubs, and even an employee’s favorite ice cream flavor can be stored in this one, centralized location for easy access.
It empowers your team to manage their own information, make informed decisions, and communicate with HR easily.
From hire to retire, there are several aspects of an employee that you manage. Employee Self-Service is a piece of your HCM software that can be accessed and also managed by your employee.
This saves you the trouble of re-entering data and gives your employees peace of mind to access their information at any time.
When I bought my truck, they asked for paystubs to validate my income. I panicked – they were in a box at my house. It would have been a lot simpler and less frustrating if I logged into an app.
However, you do have to set aside time to train your employees on the app and ensure they know what they’re doing. Otherwise, you’re going to be correcting a lot of information, which defeats the purpose of this feature saving you time.
So let’s dive in and figure out if Employee Self-Service is right for you and your team.
What is Employee Self-Service?
Employee Self-Service is how your employees access their information on your HCM platform.
Think of self-service like a bedroom: it’s where your personal belongings reside. It’s under the same roof, but it’s for that one particular employee.
Integrating an Employee Self-Service feature into your HCM platform is helpful, especially when you’re hiring a new employee. Instead of spending time re-entering their information, collecting tax forms, and asking for a voided check, they can take 10 minutes to do it electronically.
Depending on the type of employee, this portal may also include:
- Supporting certifications
- A professional license
- A driver’s license
- Auto insurance
- I9s and W4s
- WOTC questionnaire
How does Employee Self-Service work?
If you have electric onboarding set up, your employees will receive an email from Employee Self-Service. Once they create their password, they will officially “live” in your HCM house.
Depending on the types of permissions you grant your team, you can provide access to change and update information on an as-needed basis. You can also build approval and notification workflows so that directors or supervisors can always see and confirm the changes.
Your team can track PTO requests, access pay stub information, and make benefit elections via self-service.
Now, your employee is responsible for making changes, which helps to eliminate errors. When employee information is changed and approved, it is automatically updated across your platform, from timekeeping to benefits administration.
This reduces miskeyed data and the friction between payroll and HR. It gives your employees control over their info while maintaining proper records.
However, you have to allocate time to train your team on Employee Self-Service and ensure that they know how to navigate the portal. Otherwise, you’re creating more work for you or your HR manager in the long run.
What can employees do in the self-service app?
Once employee self-service is turned on and permissions are set, an employee has access to the following:
- Personal information (birthday, anniversary date, favorite sweet, etc)
- Time-tracking for hourly employees
- PTO or sick day requests
- Benefits elections
- 401k changes or elections
- Learning courses
To better understand this, let’s say that you have an employee who just got married.
In the comfort of her own home and on any device, she can change her last name, address, and direct deposit information on one platform. She can also make a benefits election because she’s newly married.
Once this data is updated, an HR director no longer needs to track down this information for her year-end W2 or ensure she’s been offered medical coverage.
Your IT partner can also be alerted to provide her with a new email address and new assets (like corporate business cards) if she chooses to change her name – all from within the Self-Service portal.
These small details are managed by your employee and ensure that the information is stored in your HCM system correctly. Plus, everyone who needs to view this data is notified – from the payroll and HR departments to direct supervisors.
You can also:
- Send company-wide updates (such as a new handbook)
- Request signatures for updated HR policies
- Onboard a remote team member
- Create company events
This ensures that you and your team stay on the same page with updated, relevant information.
Is Employee Self-Service the right fit for my team?
Unorganized and scattered employee information may sound like a minor irritation. But in the midst of hiring new employees or juggling a hectic workweek, it’s enough to send any HR manager over the edge.
Some businesses prefer that an HR staff update changes like direct deposit information or beneficiaries to ensure accuracy, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Assigning this task to one dedicated team member ensures it’s passing through only one person’s hands – but that can increase your chances of miskeying a bank account or a routing number.
It can be burdensome (and stressful) for one person to accept the responsibility of entering lots of different data into the system. And ultimately, it falls back on you if there is an error with a PTO request or paycheck.
If your employee is entering the information and double-checking its accuracy, it is their responsibility. They want to get it right because it directly affects them, their paycheck, and their paid time off.
However, it’s challenging to envision how Employee Self-Service improves this process if you’ve never used it before. If you’re a start-up or a new business with a small team, it may not make a lot of sense to integrate this feature right now.
Companies with several contract workers may feel more comfortable having a dedicated HR professional enter the information to avoid inaccuracy on the employee’s behalf. If your workplace mainly speaks another language, they may feel uncomfortable using it.
If you are interested in integrating a Self-Service feature into your HCM software, take time to train your employees and validate that they know how to navigate the portal, update information, and locate company documents.
Learn about additional HCM features to see which ones you need, so you can get your business one step better every day.