True Manager Self Service, Is It Really Possible?

HR Times – The HR Blog

Posted by Tamara Cibenko on April 1, 2011

I was out to dinner the other night with a senior HR professional and the conversation turned to the merits of Manager Self Service (MSS). Apparently MSS is viewed by some as a great idea but not a true vehicle for savings. Yet when you do the analysis, it’s clear that shifting these activities to managers can decrease HR time and could potentially reduce call volumes. I couldn’t help but think, what’s going wrong? The answer, in a word, is “usability”.

We apply usability to nearly every external site we create, yet this well known exercise can be overlooked for something as widely used as MSS. MSS is deployed to managers across many organizations, but it is still an afterthought! Some may view it as “nice to have”, something bundled with your HCM purchase. Many out-of-the-box MSS transactions have cluttered, confusing screens and are riddled with “HR-speak”, which can be intimidating for anyone outside of HR.

This out-of-the box approach has left many managers confused, apprehensive and has – if anything – increased call volumes and the amount of time spent struggling through transactions. Think about it this way, if it takes longer for a manager to perform a transaction with MSS than it did for them to work through it with HR, you have just launched a tool that decreases your workforce’s productivity!

However, that does not mean the end of MSS. We are finally evolving to true manager SELF service. We should focus on the need and value of guiding the non-HR user safely through transactions. Providing on screen guidance, wizard like questions, checks for incorrect or unusual entries and applicable policy information can allow the manager to complete the transaction quickly and properly on their own. This approach suggests looking at MSS from the eyes of a non-HR Manager while keeping the HR logic behind the scenes.

Yes, it’s possible and it’s not too late to achieve enhanced benefits from MSS. By investing time up front, it is conceivable to make Manager Self Service what it was intended to be: usable, streamlined, easy-to-follow and precise.

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Tamara Cibenko is one of the leaders in the Deloitte Consulting Technology practice with a focus on Web Solutions and Usability. She has extensive experience developing Enterprise, HR and Corporate Real Estate long-term Portal strategies and leading large scale end-to-end implementations.