Four Ways to Engage Your Employees to Drive Self-Service Success

Many of us have probably experienced the uneasiness of giving the car keys to one of our children for the first time. While you’re confident they are prepared and you’re certainly excited to free up precious time from carpooling to attend to other family priorities, you’re also a little apprehensive.  
Just like you can’t expect a teenager to drive without instruction and the right tools, you can’t expect employees to take the self-service wheel without information and guidance. As employers, you need to put them on the right path with proper direction, so eventually they can “drive” on their own. Only then can you eliminate any worries about self-service and focus your resources on other HR and payroll needs.
We know that employee self-service is important. It allows for improved efficiencies and better use of HR resources. It enables greater accuracy and helps to reduce costs. Self-service improves the employee experience, giving employees the information they need when they need it – and in the manner they wish to receive it.
Given the benefits, it’s no surprise that companies everywhere, big and small, are using some form of employee self-service. What’s a bit surprising—if our recent presentation at a Dallas American Payroll Association meeting is any indication—is that many organizations are seeing varying levels of success. Why? For one, thing, change is hard. And increased compliance demands result in ever-changing requirements for you as an employer and your employees. You’re dealing with limited IT resources and budgets, while managing changing business needs. And on top of it all, many are not prepared to measure the impact.
The road to employee self-service doesn’t have to be a bumpy one. Here’s our four-point roadmap to help you achieve better results:
1.     Understand your changing workforce.
Your audience is changing. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials now make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Your millennial employees are the ultimate multitaskers, consuming 18+ hours of media content daily. A whopping 90 percent use a smartphone or tablet daily, and they consume information across an average of seven digital devices. And, they are 2.5 times more likely to be an early adopter of new technology.
Now that we know more about our changing workforce, it’s important to understand what they want. Through our experience managing more than 30 million employee interactions annually, we know that today’s workforce wants information when and how they wish to receive it – across any device, at any time of day. More than anything, they value their time. A recent Forrester report indicates that 77% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good customer service. They want instant access to their information. Your employees expect a straightforward, logical, consumer-oriented experience when online. Is your self-service function customized, tailored and user-friendly? Or is it cumbersome and confusing? Employees want their information needs fulfilled quickly, and they have little patience for the traditional paper-based methods of yesterday.
2.     Use proper enabling technology.
Your employee self-service solution should be accessible, informative and efficient. Instead of using multiple technology applications which can confuse employees, streamline your online efforts into one, central online portal. Employ logic-based technology to guide your employees and ensure you capture the right information the first time. Your technology should deliver on-demand information so employees can get what they need quickly. And it should be flexible, so you can adapt quickly as business and regulatory needs change.
3.     Know that change management is critical.
Don’t give employees the wheel without the right instruction and training. Otherwise, your self-service transition is headed for a dead end. And make sure you consider the needs of your entire employee population. Set up kiosks in convenient locations for employees without access to computers. Offer remote and traveling workers the flexibility of mobile options.
4.     Foster change with employee communications.
Employees can’t make the transition to a self-service function if they’re not aware of it. And they won’t buy into it unless they understand the motivation for the change. Partner with your communications team to effectively communicate the upcoming change—and the reason behind the change—before it is implemented. Advertise the change on the company intranet, on posters in your lobby, or cards on cafeteria tables. Give managers talking points to communicate with their teams in staff meetings.


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