In today’s competitive labor market, it’s vital for organizations everywhere to deliver a great employee experience.
What is the employee experience, and why is it important?
This is the sum of all interactions — good or bad — an employee has with their company.
In Jacob Morgan’s 2017 book The Employee Experience Advantage, employee experience interactions are divided across three areas:
Morgan argues all three concepts are equally important to the long-term health of a workforce. In turn, focused, engaged and happy workers lead to loyal customers and higher revenue. But the reverse isn’t true.
Are your employees satisfied with their experience?
According to Harvard Business Review, nearly half of workers say their stress is at an all-time high, and a mere 4 in 10 believe their employer understands their personal needs. The Great Resignation — the recent mass exit of talent from the workforce — proved employees won’t endure a lackluster or nonexistent experience. Championing it, however, may push proactive organizations far ahead of their competition.
The multigenerational employee experience
Currently, five generations are active in the workforce, each with their own unique needs. A successful employee experience has to accommodate all of them. Millennials and members of Generation Z might have been raised alongside technology, but in the digital reality, the most effective workplace software champions ease of use for any user.
Previously, the need for accessible tech sparked a wave of employee self-service platforms. While older generations may have once been reluctant to drop paper-based or otherwise manual processes, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many workers closer to their workplace tech. Thus, self-service functionality shifted from an option to the standard.
Most employees believe this trend itself is positive. In a late 2020 survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Paycom, 79% of workers said effective HR tech helps them get more work done faster.
Furthermore, a recent study from Ernst & Young shows self-service HR software is still used most in onboarding, benefits administration and learning management tasks.
What is self-service HR technology?
Self-service HR tech is the software and tools employees use to manage their work lives. While different industries use a wide array of tech to perform specific duties, HR tech involves processes that affect employees at every level. Tasks that benefit from HR tech include:
- clocking in and out
- checking PTO accruals and requesting time off
- reviewing pay stubs and verifying payroll
- training, development and performance
- and more
Is the HR and payroll software you’ve purchased easy to use for every employee? As their needs evolve, so too does the definition of convenience. Even relatively recent self-service innovation may quickly become outdated if it doesn’t evolve with your employee experience.
Numerous self-service options exist, but before we discuss how they can be leveraged, we need to see how the tech is used and considered today.
Chapter 1: How Businesses Use Self-Service HR Technology
To get a pulse on how businesses use — and don’t use — self-service HR tech, Paycom partnered with HR.com to survey HR professionals nationwide in the first quarter of 2022. The respondents came from a wide spectrum of employers, from small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to enterprise corporations of more than 20,000 people.
Roughly 92% reported using self-service HR tech, marking a 2% increase from 2017’s data. This figure will likely rise as we grow more familiar with the ways these tools enhance our lives. After all, virtually all of the respondents who use self-service HR tech claim it’s the most efficient way to gather and provide information to their employees. But this trend doesn’t mean businesses are using these tools to their fullest potential, nor that every piece of this tech enhances the employee experience.
Let’s delve into the survey’s five key findings to gauge the current impact of self-service HR tech.
Finding 1: Self-service HR tech readily meets basic needs, but some employees still rely on HR
On average, a majority of employees complete nine unique tasks using self-service HR tech. The four most common processes among them were:
- accessing payroll information, 77%
- updating contact information, 69%
- requesting time off, 69%
- checking time-off accruals, 67%
Yet a large portion of complex tasks aren’t completed by a majority of employees.