by Mohan Kumar on 21 July ’14
Human resources (HR) departments in all organizations want to spend lesser time on administrative tasks and instead focus on strategic value adds. A significant chunk of admin effort is spent on resolving employee queries – often simple ones that they could sort out themselves. Ergo-the ubiquitous employee self-service portal (ESS) was born with the goal empowering employees with easy to search information.
As ESS portals expanded to FAQ’s, master data edit screens and more – an interesting question emerged – How does an org measure effectiveness of ESS Portals? In a close analogy, banks that add ATMs reduce their need for cashiers by allowing them to operate leaner and offer 24/7 services. Translated to the HR domain, by putting in an ESS what measurable gains has the organization realized? Can it really be measured?
We present measures to help you understand if ESS is actually helping.
1. Volume of helpdesk queries: A before and after measurement show a drop in incoming volumes, while query complexity may increase. This indicates that employees are solving simple stuff by themselves and these queries don’t reach a support center.
2. Employee Engagement: The increase in autonomy and the speed of resolutions leads to employee satisfaction and higher productivity from the employee. Moreover, it offers employees a perceived control of their information including how and when they access HR services. This could be measured by adding questions on ESS to already existing employee engagement surveys.
3. Better Data Quality: Has the quality of master data improved? If so, the employees are actually using the portal to manage the data and keep it updated. This is also a good measure of the usability index if it is easy to use they will use it! If the numbers don’t look promising here are a few tips to improve the effectiveness
- Educating the front line teams: Maybe you have a great portal but if you employees don’t know it can answer questions they will still call in. When they do, have your frontline teams walk employees through how they can solve this for themselves – either an email or phone. Tag the query to track.
- Measure, Measure, Measure: As the adage indicates, what gets measured gets done. Identify key indicators on the nature of queries (salaries, benefits, policies, which policy?) and set goals on when you want them to be. Instead of measuring volumes of a huge amorphous blob and “calls” or emails” break them down into simpler measures, categorized by type. Leave these into measurable goals on a weekly monthly basis and if they don’t change ask why?
- Gamification: Offer points on the portal when they solve problems either their own or answer other EE Questions as longs as they are generic and do not involve confidential information. Nothing motivates more than “winning” or being top of the table this gets everyone involved and helps gamify to get better outcomes.
- Simplify the UI: If your HR portal UI looks like the control panel of a small aircraft – it maybe feature-rich trust you will need the pilots to use it ! One of the big reasons for the popularity of the portal that ask (and get) a lot of people info is the ease of use – Think FB, Google, LinkedIn or the likes, your employees probably keep those more updated than your HR Portal. Hmm Why?
The use of Employee Self-Service technology is just a start rather than an end in itself; it is a method for introducing further tactical gains into the organization. It is essential that a holistic tailor-made approach is adopted in measuring the efficacy of the ESS system.
If you are thinking how Neeyamo can help measuring your Organization’s ESS, Well! Great Question. Please discuss with us and we will tell you how. Get in touch with our HR evangelist firstname.lastname@example.org