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Good HR automation solutions and how to quantify the benefits

We are interested in implementing HR automation solutions, particularly self-service applications to help reduce HR overhead costs and improve employee retention. What applications would you consider implementing? How can we quantify the potential benefits?

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Here are a few suggested HR applications you may wish to consider for self-service enablement.

Employee self-service applications

  • Retiree services
  • Paid time off requests
  • Electronic pay stubs
  • Withholding changes and deductions
  • Time card entry
  • Personal data maintenance
  • Training registration
  • Benefit inquiries
  • Open enrollment
  • 401(k) or pension services
  • Employee communications (HR policies, who's who, what's new, FAQs)
Management self-service applications
  • Leave management
  • Employee change actions (transfers, promotions, terminations)
  • Management reports (headcount, salary, listings, time reports, LOA reports)
  • Budget analysis
  • Time card approval and reporting
  • Purchase orders
  • Travel and expense management
  • Job requisitions
  • Salary and bonus actions
Strategic self-service applications
  • Workforce planning
  • Succession planning
  • Stock option granting and handling
  • Staff development
  • Skills management
  • Online job postings and applications
Benefits of these applications include the following:
  1. HR productivity improvements -- Compare the current HR administrative process to a re-engineered and automated process to determine potential elimination of tasks (particularly through self-service empowerment), time savings or perhaps enabling a lesser paid employee perform the task.

  2. Employee and manager productivity improvements -- Compare the current administrative tasks by employees and managers to potential elimination of the tasks or time savings.

  3. Overhead and outsourced service fee avoidance -- Calculate current expenses on overhead items -- such as printing, mailing, outsourced administration and payroll fees -- and predict savings based on solution implementation -- such as eliminating the need for printing and mailing, in-sourcing more effectively tasks which were outsourced or eliminating fees such as those to recruiters by improving the capability of internal recruiters, employee referrals and online campaigns.

  4. Compliance and error reduction -- Eliminate errors such as compensation and incentive pay mistakes, and reduce the risk for non-compliance fines and penalties.

  5. Improve employee retention -- Reduce employee turnover and eliminate associated costs for recruiting, hiring and training new employees, as well as the indirect productivity or business loss typical to get a new employee up to speed.

  6. Strategic business impact -- The revenue impact of satisfied employees to the business, often difficult if not impossible to quantify.

This was first published in December 2005

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