Workforce.com

Features and Drawbacks of Self-service Options

October 1, 1996
Here are four types of Self-service Options:

INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE

PROS:

CONS:

  • Relatively inexpensive; some third-party providers will offer the service at no charge
  • Virtually all employees have access to a telephone, whether they're at work, home or on the road
  • Reliable and easy to use; available anytime, including nights and weekends
  • Can't handle alpha data well; better suited to numerical data or branching selections
  • Doesn't provide charts and models
  • Slow speed
  • Applications:

    • Benefits enrollment
    • Stock purchase or 401(k) account balances or available benefit balances(vacation days and sick days) on demand
    • Ordering preprinted materials

    KIOSK

    PROS:

    CONS:

    • Displays text and graphics, and provides sophisticated financial modeling
    • Touch-screen navigation is simple and requires no training
    • Convenient for employees working at manufacturing plants and other facilities where PCs aren't available
    • Connects to an intranet and uses a Web browser interface
  • Employees can only acces data at work
  • Cost($3,000 to $10,000 each)
  • Applications:

    • Updated personal information, including name, address and education
    • Benefits balances
    • Retirement modeling
    • Internal job postings
    • W2 modeling
    • FAQs

    INTRANETS

    PROS:

    CONS::

    • Data access from employee desktops or remote locations
    • Requires little or no training. Uses a highly intuitive Web browser
    • Inexpensive. Browser cost ranges from free to $30 per desktop
    • Links via the Internet to third-party providers
    • Flexible, scalable and customized
  • Available only through a PC or kiosk. Not convenient in manufacturing or warehouse facilities
  • Requires regular updating to avoid a stale look
  • Applications:

    • Summary plan descriptions
    • Benefits balances
    • Retirement modeling
    • Internal job postings
    • W2 modeling
    • FAQs
    • Employee handbooks and directories
    • Daily or weekly notifications and news

    E-MAIL AND ELECTRONIC FORMS

    PROS:

    CONS:

    • Employees can access data from their desktops or from remote locations anytime
    • Highly flexible, scalable and customizable
    • Can use existing hardware and software systems
  • Available only through PC or kiosk. Not convenient in manufacturing or warehouse facilities
  • Unless properly implemented, can redistribute work rather than eliminate it
  • Can lead to a lack of standards and continuity
  • Applications:

    • Summary plan descriptions
    • Benefits balances
    • Retirement modeling
    • Internal job postings
    • W2 modeling
    • FAQs
    • Employee handbooks and directories
    • Daily or weekly notifications and news