HR and Payroll Self-Service: Essential Features and Best Practices
Self-service platforms let employees view and manage certain HR and payroll tasks themselves, which eases pressure on the HR or payroll team. Studies show that the vast majority of employers offer self-service HR or payroll. In National Payroll Week's 2020 "Getting Paid in America" survey, 84.45% of employees said their employer provides a self-service platform to access their pay and benefits information online.
Some employers, huge corporations, may need advanced HR or payroll self-service solutions, and other employers may get by with a rudimentary platform that delivers the basics. For many employers, the following five features are essential.
1. Personal information
Employees can update their:
- Marital status.
- Home address.
- Mailing address.
- Phone number.
- Email address.
- Emergency contacts.
- Add, change or discontinue direct deposit.
- Review paycheck information such as gross wages, tax deductions, voluntary deductions, and net pay.
- Print pay stubs.
- Update tax withholding forms, including Form W-4. Depending on the system, there may be restrictions on submitting certain state tax information.
- Print Form W-2s.
- Add or change voluntary deductions.
3. Employee benefits
- Enroll in benefit plans during onboarding.
- Add or change benefit options during open enrollment.
- Manage benefits year-round.
- Access benefits notices and documents.
- Receive updates on critical benefits information.
4. Time and attendance
- View PTO balances.
- Send time-off requests to managers or supervisors.
- View work schedules.
- Update work availability.
- Punch in and out remotely.
- Check timecard data.
5. Manager self-service
Managers and supervisors can:
- Review, edit and approve timecards.
- Conduct scheduling tasks.
- Approve or deny time-off requests.
- Manage salary and performance reviews.
- Establish performance targets.
- Maintain employee morale via event notifications (e.g., birthdays and anniversaries).
- Access information on active and inactive employees.
- Run workforce-related reports, such as attendance, PTO accruals, and labor expenses.
HR and payroll self-service best practices.
- Identify the self-service needs specific to your organization and workforce.
- Understand all the cost factors that go into acquiring a self-service platform.
- Find a technology vendor that aligns with your self-service needs. Most payroll providers include access to a self-service portal in their services, though features vary by provider. If you perform payroll in-house, make sure your HR and payroll technology is compatible with your self-service requirements.
- Aim for a solution that is easy to use and enables mobile access 24/7.
- Be aware of any limitations that come with self-service technology.
- Educate employees on the benefits of using the self-service tool. This is vital to increasing utilization and stopping employees from unnecessarily relying on the HR and payroll teams.
- Train employees to use the system correctly and where to go for help.
- Lastly, choose a vendor that offers well-designed training resources and dependable customer service.
Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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