As director of human resources for Tally Defense Systems, Marcie Franklin hadmany reasons to transition the company to a self-service HR management system.Reducing the amount of handholding that employees required for every decision orinformation change was a primary motivator, she says. Employees would often callto ask about such mundane issues as when they could get new safety goggles, orto check how many vacation days they had left. "Even though we sent all thisinformation out, people would lose it and then call us when they had a need."That meant her small team spent hours on the phone dealing with non-criticaladministrative issues. Franklin also wanted to eliminate unnecessary printingand labor costs, which would allow her to reduce the number of employees in theHR department over time. And she wanted to create a more open environment inwhich information was readily accessible to employees.
With these goals in mind, the company chose Best Software’s self-serviceHRMS in late 2000, putting much of the company’s relevant employee informationonline. "Now if employees want to know if it’s time to replace their safetygoggles or to check if their training certification is up-to-date, they can findthat information online," Franklin says. They can also access salary andvacation history, review benefits information, and get copies of their W2 formsor verification of employment records--all requests that were previouslyfiltered through the HR department.
She estimates that since the self-service system was implemented, call volumehas dropped by 75 percent, now taking up less than 5 percent of her staff’stime and energy. The self-service tool also made it possible to stop printingand mailing pay stubs unless employees requested them--a job that occupied twofull-time employees for several days a month. That is enabling her to reduce thesize of her department through attrition without falling behind on HRobligations.
Franklin and her team are thrilled with the self-service tool, although itwas a bit of a hard sell for some employees. "A few people were intimidated bythe new system," she says. "They wanted to know why they couldn’t justcall us instead of having to find the information on their own."
But, she says, winning them over was mostly a matter of education. Now whenemployees call with questions, instead of supplying them with the answers, HRstaffers direct them to the Web site and walk them through the process offinding the information themselves. Franklin estimates that her team has coachedhalf of the employees one-on-one on using the system, and the rest have figuredit out on their own. "Now they all feel empowered because they don’t have towait for us to provide them with the information they need. They just get itthemselves."
Workforce, January 2003, pp. 61-62 -- Subscribe Now!