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Debunking an HR Myth: Employees and Self-Service Tech

In a December 2023 updated report, Ernst & Young (EY) found the average cost per manual data entry made by an HR professional increased to $4.78. Read about EY’s latest findings for more information.


In a nationwide survey by of companies with self-service technology, 40% of HR professionals said they don’t give their employees access because “they wouldn’t know how to use it.”

Really? Let’s dive in and examine whether HR tech is too much for employees to handle.

Stepping away from the work environment and looking at our everyday lives, it’s obvious that most people engage easily with self-service technology. Ordering coffee or booking an entire vacation can be accomplished on a smartphone, so why should our work situation be any different?

Besides, a study by Adobe found that 81% of employees say technology is the main factor keeping them happy at work. Interestingly enough, that’s also the same percentage of working Americans who own a smartphone.

Is workplace tech really a big deal?

Employees can not only handle HR tech, but a new study commissioned by Paycom and conducted by OnePoll found nearly 70% of office workers would be willing to take a pay cut for workplace tech that’s twice as effective as what they currently have. On top of that, 67% believe their company isn’t prioritizing such instances of digital transformation.

Nobody wants to see talented employees leave for greener tech pastures. Even if they stay put, the organization would still be missing out on a huge potential for productivity. While self-service technology increases engagement to help improve the employee experience, it can also reduce the administrative workload of the staff tasked with the manual processes it’s meant to replace. You’re already trusting employees to provide their information — when they directly enter this data into an HR system, a redundant task is crossed off your HR teams’ to-do list. With less on their plate, they have more time to spend in pursuit of strategic objectives.

Data security should also be a concern for every HR department. Paper files and manual processes can leave an organization exposed to various forms of risk, but automated HR tech prevents unnecessary handling of sensitive information that can open the possibility of data theft or costly noncompliance fines.

Can these benefits be quantified?

You bet! According to a 2018 Ernst & Young study, the average cost of a single instance of manual HR data entry was $4.39; in 2019, it jumped to $4.51. While some tasks cost more than others, every time an employee needs to change direct deposit info or update a mailing address — and they’re not allowed to do that through self-service tech — you can count on almost $5 coming off the bottom line.

In addition to the financial savings, taking advantage of self-service HR tech has the potential to create increased efficiencies across the board. A manufacturer using Paycom’s single software calculated savings of almost 800 labor hours in one year with self-service tech, freeing its HR staff to focus on meeting strategic goals.

The implementation of self-service HR technology can help streamline processes, engage employees and facilitate a higher level of functioning across your organization. Transparency should also be a feature of the system. Paycom’s single software, for example, includes Direct Data Exchange®, an industry-first tool that measures employees’ use of HR tech and calculates the ROI that results, giving leadership a clear and automatic way to track the ROI of their investment.

Employees frequently use self-service tech in their personal lives, and they want similar capabilities at work. To debunk the HR myth, it’s obvious they’re not only capable of putting self-service technology to use, but they link that level of tech adoption directly to their employee experience, and that, in turn, has measurable effects on your company’s bottom line.

Are you ready to put myths behind you and see what self-service HR tech can do for your business? Contact Paycom today!