Nottingham, 21st November 2013 – A ‘self-service revolution’ is taking place in organisations across the UK, according to a new independent research report commissioned by MidlandHR.
The report, Self-Service Revolution: HR & Payroll, which surveyed the opinions of 200 HR and payroll directors and managers from UK organisations with over 500 employees, revealed that a quarter of organisations were planning to introduce self-service in the next two years.
When asked to rate the advantagesof self-service, improved service to employees was perceived to be the top advantage of employee self-service, whilst improved manager access to information was perceived to be the top advantage for manager self-service.
The top advantages for the HR department were the environmentally friendly paper savings which could be achieved followed by the ability to streamline processes, improve data quality and reduce postage and forms management, in that order.
Of those organisations which had already adopted self-service, 61% had only done so in the last three years. Significantly, these organisations revealed that since introducing self-service, they had already realised a number of key benefits including: better core data (65%); the freeing up of HR time (55%); and improved staff satisfaction (51%).
Commenting on the findings, Matthew Jenkins managing director at MidlandHR, said: “UK organisations are clearly recognising the benefits including the significant time and cost savings that self-service can bring to managers and employees alike and appear to be embracing self-service at a rapid rate. The fact that so many organisations are still fairly new to self-service shows what a recent trend this has been. And undoubtedly, it is a trend that looks set to continue.”
The overwhelming majority (83%) of organisations already using self-service reported that their organisations had chosen to deploy both employee and manager self-service. Employee self-service is currently being used most frequently by employees to maintain personal details, review and book holidays, and view pay history. Expenses claims and overtime claims came in as the fourth and fifth most common self-service tasks for employees. The top use for manager self-service, meanwhile, is to authorise and record absence.
Jenkins comments: “Proactive absence management has become vital to address what is a major cost to many organisations. However, with only 1 in 5 (19%) organisations currently using manager self-service for recruitment processing, it is this area which could potentially see a huge rise in the future, especially as the UK enters a new period of growth and companies start to recruit again.”
Just under a quarter (23%) of respondents reported that their organisation currently has no intention of introducing self-service with the main reason being a lack of employee access to required hardware (37%). Another 30% claimed it would require the organisation to undertake a significant change management programme,whilst 28% deemed it too expensive.
Commenting on these perceived barriers to adoption, Jenkins says: “Many of the organisations against adoption may have to make a rapid reassessment over the coming months as self-service starts to become the norm within the British workplace. With one of the top reasons for implementation being staff satisfaction, it will be interesting to see how these companies will address the balance. Self-service encourages employees to take ownership for their own development, performance and learning and is evidently becoming a valued tool in ensuring employees become and remain fully engaged.”
Employee access is still a key consideration for the successful uptake of self-service, with only 64% of organisations reporting that all of their employees currently have access. The overwhelming majority of organisations enable staff to access it from their own desks (91%), whilst 19% provide access from mobile devices and 17% have installed central points of access.
With only 29% currently reporting that their organisations’ self-service functionality is compatible with mobile devices, Jenkins believes embracing mobile self-service could be the key to realising even more benefits and ROI from existing self-service technology, as well as ensuring successful uptake in the future. Jenkins explains: “Accommodating employees without regular access to a PC is considered to be one of the top three challenges of adopting self-service (along with computer literacy and cost of implementation). However, as more UK businesses adopt a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy to enable employees to work more flexibly and be more productive, the expectation for mobile access is only going to increase.”
Drawing from the experience of those who had already implemented self-service technology, educating employees and providing training were considered the top two ways to overcome any challenges of implementation. Interestingly, 53% had also implemented a comprehensive change management programme.
Jenkins explains: “Many of MidlandHR’s customers who have implemented self-service have also implemented a change management programme to encourage its uptake. For an organisation to fully embrace self-service, the HR department must invest time in encouraging adoption and choosing a provider who can support them in this role. This can comprise educating users on the benefits self-service will bring them; providing training in how to access and use the new functionality; engaging with staff from an early stage and using managers to help smooth the transition. This will contribute to the faster realisation of benefits from cost and time savings to greater employee satisfaction.”
The report was commissioned by MidlandHR, leading supplier of talent management, workforce planning, HR and payroll software and services. To request a copy of the report, go to www.midlandhr.com/Self-Service-Revolution
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Claudia Kellermann / Louisa Constable
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