I am passionate about technology. It is a part of almost every facet of my life; from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. Adopting a new technology is no problem for me, I actually get geeked out by it! This however, is not the case for every individual and even more of an issue for businesses. The question you should ask yourself, “Does my company have trouble adopting new HRM technology?” HRM software is moving at such a fast pace making it hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. This leaves many software features either underutilized or not being used at all.
The employee self service feature might be one of most the important features that is being overlooked by many businesses today. I believe there are five key steps to follow when implementing this feature that can also be used for other technology adoptions. ]These next five steps will lay out a roadmap for a company to follow in order to have complete adoption of employee self service.
Step #1 Create Company Culture & Buy-in
A million things can and have been said about the qualities of a great company culture. People look to the Googles and Facebooks of this world in order to try to replicate their cultures. However, there are two foundational qualities that are necessary to every great company culture: openness and accessibility. These qualities help companies create and cultivate forward thinking, removal of redundancies, collaboration, and employee empowerment. I have been able to experience this first hand while working at Dominion Systems. These qualities create a culture that company leaders can rally the whole company into adopting a new software feature. Employee self service is a great place for you to start bringing about a culture change because it can help with the organization and facilitation of great culture. How is your company culture?
- Allow for suggestions by employees to leadership
- Embrace a paperless mentality
- Happy Employee = Happy Employer = Happy Profits
Step #2 Align Departments
Are your departments aligned? Working towards a common goal? If not, you can achieve this through developing clear reasons for the specific uses of employee self service. Many new software implementations never reach their full potential because there is no vision explaining why this software feature is beneficial to each department (Finance, Operations, and HR). If you have interdepartmental meetings make sure employee self service is on the agenda. If you aren’t then you need to open up some lines of communication between departments. My suggestion is to have a reoccurring meeting where you can discuss how new software features are going to help alleviate certain pains within each department. This is how you can build upon the openness and accessibility that you are now starting to bring into this new company culture that you are creating.
Step #3 Educate Employees
Most hesitancy to transition happens due to unfamiliarity so creating comfort with a new feature as soon as possible is very important. The software company you are using should provide the proper educational tools including some type of hands on training. What training are you providing to help with user adoption? You can also create company specific refreshers for your current employees showing them how to use this new feature. Certain work environments might not allow for this to happen so you are going to have to get creative. We once had a client throw a pizza party for their workers after hours so that they could help with the adoption of a new feature. Also if your software company has user groups I would highly encourage you to participate. In the user groups you will be able to have input into the design and development of the software you are using.
Step #4 Integrate into Daily Activities
The more capabilities your employee self service has the more likely your employees are going to use it. The employee self service feature really has to make things easier and better for your employees. Employee self service can be used to help a company run more smoothly and it is the engine that helps to drive a great HRM software.
*Here is a list of the capabilities your employee self service should have or are going to have:
- View Paycheck information
- W2 Information
- Personnel Information
- Document Management (Handbooks, Policies)
- Company messaging
- PTO requests & balances
- Punching In & Out
- Hours Allocation
Step #5 Start from Day One
The adoption process for a new employee is vastly different than one for your current employees. Your new employees don’t have as many obstacles or preferences that can deter them from the process. They are a blank slate, so use that time well. The easiest way to make sure adoption takes place in your company is to have your new hires interact with the software features from day one. Your onboarding process should incorporate the features with employee self service being one of the first things they utilize. Getting them to use employee self service will save you loads of time while helping cultivate that great company culture that you are starting to create.
Walking through those five steps will definitely get you on your way to having your whole company embrace employee self service. My final piece of advice is: Do your research! Make sure that your current software has not only all the capabilities listed above while being user friendly (I cannot stress this enough!). There should be an intuitive nature to the employee self service that invites your employees into using such a great tool. Employee self service will make their lives easier and reduce your admin work, which benefits everyone.