Managing people

6 ways self-service HR tools can save time and money

Learn how self-service tools can help HR professionals to save time, while empowering employees, meaning there's more time to focus on value-add tasks.

As an HR professional, you probably spend a lot of time on daily tasks, like capturing new employee information, dealing with leave requests, and updating performance data. These tasks might often leave you time poor, but self-service HR tools can help to streamline daily processes, such as scheduling interviews and making shift changes, giving you more time to work on tasks that grow the business.

 Streamline processes with HR self-service tools

 HR self-service tools can empower your employees, improve their productivity, and save you money.

Both employee and manager self-service tools can be used to streamline emails, tickets, paperwork effectively, and requests that HR professionals attend to daily. This helps reduce the processing time of admin-related tasks.

Employee self-service tools can also be used for:

  • Reviewing documents
  • Onboarding new employees
  • Performance-related information
  • Updating personal information

This helps to reduce admin, increase efficiency, and improve the productivity of the entire workforce.

Self-service is nothing new

In everyday life, you self-serve without giving it a second thought – at self-service counters in stores, using your online banking to move money around, or booking a holiday (including hotel, rental car, and tours) online.

It hasn’t always been this easy to travel. In the past, you would need to arrange everything with a travel agent or tour operator, after scouring through seasonal holiday brochures. At the airport, you’d need to manually check-in and present your passport to pass through security and board the plane. Once at the hotel, you would need to check-in at the front desk.

In much the same way that you can now book your entire holiday yourself, you can also use self-service tools to remove laborious admin processes in HR.

Workforce benefits

Employee self-service tools benefit more than just the HR teams. The entire workforce benefits by allowing employees to arrange their own time off and have direct access to their contracts and appraisals.

The days of having your leave rejected because someone put in leave two weeks ahead of you are gone. Now, it’s about empowering employees, letting them manage their own time off, which gives them a greater sense of trust, responsibility, and accountability. And higher morale means better productivity.

How self-service tools empower your people

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services research highlights the link between empowering frontline employees such as doctors and customer relationship managers and organisational performance.

The study revealed that organisations are more likely to be successful when their frontline workers are empowered to make important decisions on the spot, but that few businesses actually equip their staff with the resources to do so.

Only a fifth of organisations believe that they have a fully empowered and digitally equipped workforce, while 86% agree that their frontline workers require improved technology and better insights to help them make real-time decisions.

Resources like communication and collaboration tools and self-service analytics are the most useful to frontline employees; nearly all respondents felt that productivity would increase if workers had access to data-based insights.

Six areas where self-service tools can help

HR self-service tools can be handy when managing timesheets (especially when there are freelancers and contractors on your payroll), filing expenses, and recruitment. Here are other areas where they are also useful:

  1. Payroll

Managing payroll on a monthly or daily basis is time-consuming and stressful, mainly due to the possibility of errors creeping in with manual data inputs.

Inaccurate or delayed payroll can sour employer-employee relations, and the company can lose important staff or contract workers, which would adversely affect the business. The value of a good payroll process has a far-reaching, long-term impact.

  1. Benefits administration

Managing employee benefits like medical aid, life and disability insurance, and retirement plans have always been a core function of HR. In recent years, many companies have started outsourcing these functions to software as a service (SaaS) employee benefits providers.

Many new medical aid platforms and wellness portals take healthcare a step beyond the basics, to provide online access to fitness communities, medical advice, and providers.

  1. Compliance

HR is responsible for maintaining organisational compliance with the many regulations affecting employment, from anti-discrimination laws to health and safety.

Some HR self-service tools can empower employees to conduct their own health and safety assessments on anything from home working to social distancing measures in a factory or on a construction site. This allows employees to gather information and identify problems quickly and at scale, saving HR professionals a considerable amount of time and admin.

  1. Employee engagement and recognition

Surveys are a common tool for measuring and encouraging employee engagement. Most software solutions have a large selection of pre-made surveys with cross-tabulation capabilities.

Ease of use is critical. By enabling employees to change their own personal information, benefit choices and beneficiaries, the HR team saves both time and money.

Having a user-friendly self-service HR tool allows freelancers, employees, and contractors to review documents in the comfort of their own home, avoid misplacing payslips or handbooks, and enquire about low urgency but significant personal matters.

  1. Wellbeing

As remote working and social distancing become the norm, it’s more important than ever to ensure the wellbeing of employees.

This can be done through a wellbeing hub, which can offer information and guidance on various financial, mental, and physical wellbeing topics.

  1. Onboarding new employees

The final obstacle in the recruitment process is staff onboarding.

This process gives new staff the necessary knowledge, resources, tools, and information to better understand the organisation’s culture, people, processes, and practices. All of this takes time.

On average, the process of onboarding an employee can take four hours, equating to quite a significant cost to a business.

Conclusion on self-service tools

One of the biggest gripes of employers and HR professionals in being overloaded with admin. A lot of time can be saved by getting employees to self-serve using an HR portal to input their own information.

Many businesses still depend on paper as the main source of capturing employee data, which wastes hours on labour-intensive and morale-depleting data entry.

HR self-service tools that populate employee data remove the need for manual data entry and verify and eliminate the need for bulky filing and wasted paper.

Almost every industry has started using technology that enables customers to serve themselves, providing flexibility for customers and savings for companies.

6 ways self-service HR tools can save time and money