Many human resource solutions rely heavily on the data entry from the HR professionals within the organizations. Records have to be updated manually, and documentation has to be meticulously copied. Everything from simple address updates to leave requests required a hands-on approach, which isn’t an efficient use of an HR employee’s time.
But what if there was a better way? A method that allowed individual employees to be empowered to manage portions of their own files in an easy-to-use and highly accessible format? Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore. These solutions are available today.
New HR software solutions offer significant improvements on the traditional spreadsheet approach. Spreadsheets lack the capacity to function as a solid central repository without reaching a level of complexity well beyond the software’s original design. Updated offerings can handle actions from multiple users simultaneously without risking the integrity of the data as multiple employees make edits. Additionally, reporting capacity is improved as well as multi-point updates when changes are made. But the largest benefit for HR professionals involves the ability to grant employees customized access to their details without exposing other data.
Current estimates suggest that more than 50% of an HR department’s time is dedicated to basic file maintenance and responding to basic questions regarding company benefits. And part of the reason for the extended amount of time is the amount of effort required to reach key pieces of data within spreadsheet-based solutions. Overall, this approach lacks efficiency and is fairly antiquated when compared to what is available today.
It is also impossible to provide every employee with access to a spreadsheet for making updates. First, it would mean that every employee could see personal details on every other employee included in the spreadsheet. Second, the employee would also have the ability to make changes to any unprotected field, including those associated with their files as well as someone else’s.
By changing your HR department’s current solution to something more robust, you can implement new solutions to help HR professionals use their time on more important tasks while ensuring employee data is properly managed. And, along the way, you can make employees feel more empowered by their employers since some of these changes are in their hands.
Fast File Creation
Many businesses begin a new employee’s first day by having them complete a set of forms for input into the larger HR system. Then, HR professionals have to enter the data into the program to complete the files. However, there is an alternative to this otherwise tedious process.
Instead of having the HR office input all new employee information, email invitations can be sent to new employees prompting them to complete the information themselves. Online or digital forms replace traditional paper variants, and the information is automatically transferred into the correct file. Generally, this process requires no more of the new employee’s time than would otherwise be required and it completely eliminates the burden on HR professionals.
More Efficient File Updates
Whether it is upcoming document expirations or the normal changes brought about through regular life events, it is prudent to have employee files revised on a regular basis to ensure accuracy. While the old way often involved contacting employees, arranging a time for document reviews and form updates, and data entry on the part of HR professionals, new software solutions streamline the process. Employees can be notified by email prior to expiration dates to ensure new information is added. Additionally, regular reminders to review pertinent details and make required updates can also be provided.
In cases where the employee wants to update their file because of a change in circumstance, like a move or the birth of a child, access can be provided through secure portals. Then, they simply log in, make their changes, and save. Their file is then automatically updated across the system.
Better Benefits Administration
The ability for employees to manage their own basic file updates can be extended to benefits administration as well, including to their group health insurance coverage. When an employee adds a family member, that data can be entered through a dedicated web portal or through a convenient health insurance app.
It also provides a method for employees to locate details about their plans whether they are in the office, at home or on-the-go. Now, most employee questions regarding coverage limits, plan costs, and locating an in-network provider are all available in centralized locations for ease of management and simplified use.
Bringing it Together
By simplifying HR processes and empowering employees, your HR professionals can spend less time on menial tasks like updating employee files and concentrate more fully on larger objectives. And this means your business can operate more efficiently, which can help reduce costs and lead to higher levels of productivity. So why wouldn’t you want to empower your employees? Once you make the switch, both your HR and all other team members will thank you for it.
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