3 steps to empowering self-service HR

October 11, 2016

Transforming HR’s transactional work through introducing self-service has a triple impact. It makes the work of the HR function more effective. It saves money. And – because every employee is involved in HR transactions at some point – it creates a more visible, more positive profile for HR.

So if HR digital transformation is so good, why isn’t everyone doing it?

The answer, in four words: change can be hard. But it’s worth it. Get it right and the results should be an end-to-end interoperable, streamlined workflow; integrated processes and capabilities across all HR activities on one platform. In other words, employees can get to what they want faster and HR can forget workarounds between incompatible systems and focus on what it should be doing – adding strategic value.

Achieving change

When the state of South Dakota was looking to transform its talent management, it turned to Infor Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions. Empowering people with these solutions transformed both the recruitment process and the control employees had over accessing HR information.

The Recruitment Process: Managers at State of South Dakota are involved in the entire recruitment processes from submitting the job requisition to identifying, recruiting and interviewing the candidates, rather than the HR department running this entirely for them.

Accessing Information: By automating business processes, systems integration and workflow, self-service functionality helps employees become more productive. All employees can remotely access the South Dakota’s HR system from home or other locations. This means employees can access personal information such as direct deposits, W4s, addresses and other data on any mobile device. Working on the Cloud improves employee productivity, make them independent of HR and keeps them engaged and social.

Self-service helps HR do more with less, and means that they can concentrate on doing more important work such as focusing more on talent strategy to hire and retain employees. This reduces HR operating costs and help move the department from a cost center to profit center.

Three crucial steps

The digital transformation South Dakota adopted can be used by any organization in any sector by following these three steps to implementation:

  1. Assess current and define future state. This falls into four parts. 1) HR needs to understand work distribution and process fragmentation analysis. While flexibility is valuable, this flexibility should not be won at the cost of fragmentation, and large numbers of systems interfaces requiring substantial co-ordination. 2) Perform voice of customer interviews to hear from those who are the recipients of the HR service and who have to use the HR outputs as part of their processes 3) Look at the current structure and size of HR and benchmark it against leading practices. 4) Finally, analyze how your business currently spends its HR dollar.
  2. Design the future state. This is the exciting bit where you need to know what it is really possible for HR to do. Get up to speed with latest thinking and guiding principles so you can decide on the future HR roles and HR service offering that is right for your enterprise. Out of that high level strategy will come a conceptual operating model which should be aligned to the overall enterprise strategy and which will inform the final piece to be defined: the human resources information system (HRIS).
  3. Perform a cost benefit analysis, enabling HR to draw up a business case which details the benefits and the costs, create a change impact assessment for organizational readiness and then it can draw up an implementation roadmap. All of this should be shown and discussed with key stakeholders to familiarize them with the model and the business case and allow for their input.

It’s good to talk

During this journey of transformation, the leaders of HR need to be in touch with employees at every level, communicating how the new self-service HR is going to be better, faster, more reliable and easier to use. This is not a one-off exercise but an ongoing task of spelling out what is changing, how it is changing and how it will be better. Tell stories to make the processes and the technology come to life. Make the brand interesting and relevant for the users. Think like a marketer; have branding for the new HR system with memorable names and marketing collateral and gifts. Make it stick.

Communication, though, is not a one-way street, and nor should it be. Listening acutely to employees enables a change to pivot, tweak and alter to fit needs. And, once the changes have been made, communications again come into play – letting employees know what has happened. Never stop talking, and never stop listening to the response, either.

It really is possible to save money and improve delivery by pushing transactional HR into a self-service environment, but when starting down that road, ensure you give yourself enough time to plan, that you both communicate and listen, that your technology integrates seamlessly, and that your implementation team has the complex skills it needs to do the job. South Dakota did, and ended up transforming not only the way HR services were delivered, but also the way in which the entire function was perceived.

Amy Ihlen, Sr. Director, Product Management

  • Global HR
  • North America
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