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Self-Service Tech a Must for Employees – And HR

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 the world of HR, would you say you find managing transactions fulfilling?

That’s a trick question. Of course, most HR professionals wouldn’t say that. But to truly understand how hard we hold onto transactions in our profession, you must watch what your HR peers do, not what they say.

When employees could access and update their own information in a self-service tool, but aren’t empowered to do so, HR loses as well.

What you lose by hanging on to transactional HR

HR ChecklistRecent research from Ernst & Young (EY) puts hard numbers to the cost of having HR handle employee data transactions unnecessarily. In that study, EY concluded that a single instance of HR data entry costs, on average, $4.51 to complete – but could be as much as $19.52. Most of that cost is from labor.

The study from EY is one of the first I’ve seen that puts viable, credible cost numbers to the value of a transaction in the world of HR. Think about it this way. You have a lot of different transactions coming through your HR practice, right?

To get a flavor of the magnitude, let’s just take one area – open enrollment. With constant changes in health care, many of us are mandating all employees work through open enrollment and make a selection – even if they’re staying with the coverage they have. We force people to reselect current choices because we have to do everything in our power to incentivize them to consider consumer-driven coverage with features like HSAs.Phone with self-service tech

How many times does your HR team update employee choices during open enrollment, instead of allowing employees to make their own choices through a self-service app?

Once you automate, what comes next?

If you fully buy into the promise of automating or allowing employees to make their own updates within self-service software (and you should), you’re going to have a lot more time to spend on strategic talent management programs instead.

That means the people you have on your team won’t be doing transactions anymore.

HR people reporting structure

If the transactions are gone, everyone on your team will have more time to move upstream and become more of a consultant in areas like recruiting, performance and more.

I wrote my book, The 9 Faces of HR, in part due to this change. The expectations of business leaders are changing, and HR leaders are not only expected to reduce costs, but create more impact across the HR teams that serve the organization.

Step one is to make incredibly smart use of technology. That means utilizing self-service tech that reduces unnecessary HR data entry and empowers your workforce to access their own employee information.

Step two is to think about where you’re going to have impact once the data entry is handled.

I believe Paycom is the right technology solution for that first step. Don’t forget to figure out the second step as the leader of your HR function. What impact will you create?