Five top tips for successfully implementing employee self-service portals

The popularity of employee self-service (ESS) and manager self-service (MSS) systems to aid several human resource (HR) functions is growing. From updating personal information, accessing certain payroll information and managing leave requests, ESS and MSS systems are helping to introduce more autonomy to the workplace. The new systems also help to create a greater sense of ownership over tasks and promote operational efficiencies for businesses across the country. With their growing popularity pushing these programmes forward, how can decision-makers successfully implement ESS and MSS portals to achieve change for good?

1. Cost/benefit analysis

One of the most important aspects for achieving change for good is undertaking a cost/benefit analysis as part of a due diligence process.

This analysis should be one of the first steps decision-makers take towards implementing any change, specifically when implementing ESS and/or MSS systems. To properly ensure that budgets are being spent effectively, an in-depth review should be conducted to help emphasise areas of priority, ensuring that functionality can be rolled out in line with these key areas.

2. Transparent communication

While decision makers should be prepared to meet a certain level of resistance, consistent and transparent communication can help. When introducing more visible and auditable policies that involve sensitive HR and payroll information it’s important to remember that employee satisfaction should remain a priority, and that consistent, clear communication will ensure employees feel recognised as an integral part of the change process, increasing ‘buy in’ to the new system from the beginning.

3. Planning and testing

Thorough planning and testing throughout the change process is vital to ensure a smooth transition of systems with minor to no technical errors. To allow for this, additional time should be considered during the planning process to ensure all elements of the software run smoothly. To support this, a specific sample group could be created with the purpose of error testing the software and feeding back on any potential issues. Taking this extra time to ensure all software runs smoothly should reduce any technical errors during implementation amongst the wider workforce.

4. Employee training

It should not be assumed that every employee or manager will have the knowledge to use the new self-service portal. To increase the chances of a smooth transition to the new system, decision-makers are advised to ensure training is provided to every employee or manager, with the possibility of a more in-depth training session for anyone that feels extra support is needed. Providing this support will encourage employees to engage with and utilise the new systems in a positive manner, mitigating the risk of them not using the technology out of nervousness or feelings of intimidation.

5. Prepare for change

When implementing new employee working systems, remaining open to the possibility of change in the future is key. What works for staff now may not be the most effective method of working in the future, and decision-makers should remain agile to the changing needs of their workforce. Consistent research into other companies and a thorough understanding of the needs of their own workforce will help to determine whether a current system is working or if it needs to change. This deep insight will also keep a company ahead of the curve and ensure that decision makers are able to provide their staff with modern, efficient solutions as working patterns adapt and change over time.

Introducing new employee self-service portals may initially seem like a daunting task, however the benefits for both employers and employees are plentiful. As technology develops, employers should be looking to adopt these advancements to improve existing working practices and drive efficiencies, which provide additional benefits such as a reduction in costs and labour, increased employee satisfaction and therefore a growth in staff retention, resulting in a tangible change for good.

Published: Sep 29, 2022

By Tamara Pleasant

Principal Consultant

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