When was the last time you bought a CD? It has probably been years. For most people, music is usually bought online. As a whole, society has moved to buying from Amazon, checking out books online, We order our takeout and groceries online. We pay taxes and bill online. We balance our bank accounts online. According to MIT Technology Review, the average American spends 24 hours every week online.
Do you give employees online access to their information?
Employers who move to an online platform, commonly called and Employee portal or Employee Self Service portal have found many surprising benefits.
These online apps allow employees to access and update their information online. They are able to pull their W2 and paystub information. Employees can check their schedules, request PTO, and access company bulletins. Employers can push out required notices to employees.
- Employees can update their own information
- Employees can access pay stubs and W2s
- Employees can access their schedules
- Submit PTO requests and swap schedules
- Employers can push out required notices to employees
- Plus expanded capabilities such as
- Track certifications and training
- Choose benefits and view retirement plans
A mistyped social, the wrong address, or a missing emergency contact can all cause issues in your employee files. If you enter it incorrectly, it isn’t likely to get caught until the employee runs up against an error. This could cause you to have to recreate a new W2, reissue and update information with your benefits provider, or another headache.
But, when your employee mistypes their information in, they are much more likely to catch the error. They can then easily correct it without contacting you, taking your time and theirs, and filling out a form. Few things can be as annoying to an employee as to have to prove their information is correct due to an error on your end.
Employees move or family circumstances change and often their information doesn’t get updated. By allowing your employees access from home or through their phone, you make it easier for them to make changes when they are thinking about it.
It also helps protect their privacy. Some of your employees are exceptionally private and may not want to explain or even submit changes in personal information personally. They would much rather submit the information.
Of course, it’s still available to you, but it doesn’t create an awkward conversation or put your employee in the spotlight. This can be especially important in domestic violence situations or other family changes.
When employee information is updated, compliance is easier. Need to contact an absent employee to provide FMLA forms? Too bad that you forgot to grab updated home contact information before they went on leave. All you have is a phone number and an already full voicemail. Wouldn’t it be easier to have a home address and their most recent email? It would save you a lot of time!
Employee portals help with other compliance issues. Most employment laws require that you give notice to your employees of their rights. You may need to provide notice of FMLA, overtime laws, sick leave laws, scheduling laws or other labor laws. All employers have at least some employee notices they are required to provide from Federal and their State labor commissions. Many other employers have notices required by their county or city.
Did you know?
Even if you provide notice, if you don’t have a record of that- you could be found in violation of the employment law in question. If one of your employees accuse you of not notifying them of a particular right- how will you prove compliance?
If you have the poster posted in the required location at work, that will help you prove compliance. If you were required to provide an individual notice to each employee, you have other options as well. You could email out the notice to all your employees, but then you need to make sure you keep a record of those sent emails. You can hand deliver it, but again you need to keep a record for every employee. If you miss one employee- and they are the one filing a complaint- it doesn’t help you much that you missed only them. You can include it in your employee handbook and get a signed copy of acknowledgment from EACh employee.
Those are all options, but you must make sure that you have a copy of the receipt for each employee.
There is a faster and easier way!
Distribute your notices, employee handbooks, and other company-wide, department-wide, or individual communications through your employee portal. The system can track employee distribution and receipt. It can make onboarding so much easier.
Do you have sick leave or scheduling laws to comply with?
An employee portal will make compliance much easier. Many sick leave laws require that you give an updated balance of sick leave accrual, use, and the remaining balance on a regular basis. You can do this by making sick leave banks accessible to employees in their portal. An employee portal also allows you to track sick leave requests so you can show compliance with the law.
Scheduling laws usually require at least 14 days notice of a schedule. Those laws require employers to track changes, communications with employees, and have strict restrictions regarding extra employee work.
An employee portal helps with that. You can easily distribute and track schedules and employee requests. It allows you to maintain a living record of when employees are willing to work or want time off. It provides a means of greater communication for open shifts. Some scheduling laws require employers to provide 24 or 48 hours notice of an available shift before they can hire a temp employee to fill that shift. An employee portal starts the notice clock immediately. You won’t lose precious hours trying to notify employees or getting distracted by another problem before you get the notice physically posted in the workplace.
- Accurate employee information
- Distribute employee notices in a timely manner
- Track notice distribution in case of a dispute
- Make employer policies (and the handbook) easily accessible
- Avoid questions and misunderstandings (and potential accusations) by providing all employer policies in the portal.
- Simplify Onboarding
- Improve scheduling and sick leave notice requirements
- Make the waiting period pass faster before you can hire temp employees to fill empty shifts
In addition to the compliance deadlines and time saved mentioned in the section above, you will save time in many ways. Consider the true impact of an interruption for your Human Resources department. The interruption may cost only 5-10 minutes, but the lost production from lost concentration is more than that. And, if an employee who stops in to update their address stays to chat, the interruption may cost 45 minutes. Then it’s time for lunch, another interruption and soon the task your HR employee was working doesn’t get done until 2 when it could have been done at 10:30 AM.
Did you really hire qualified, educated HR and payroll employees to push paper?
Probably not. If you are that HR person, did you really go to college and fight for your degree just to spend your time updating employee information? Your skills go so much farther. It is a waste of employer resources to pay HR or Payroll employees to update information that an employee could do directly.
Not only does it take your employees time to update their information with HR, but it costs you your HR employee’s time also. Save that time by using an employee self-service portal.
- Work smarter not harder
- Optimize employee skills
- Stop paper pushing for educated employees
- Use their skill for more valuable HR contributions
Improve Employee Engagement
Employee engagement increases productivity. It increases employee retention. It’s an understatement to say that it is important to your company. Allowing employees access to their information and to company policies increases their engagement at work. It reduced misunderstandings and clarifies processes and policies.
The Pew Research Center states that 74% of millennials agree that technology makes life easier. Why miss a valuable opportunity to make your employee’s lives easier at work? A full-time employee spends over half of their waking hours (assuming 8 hours of sleep) at work or preparing to go to work. Technology can make a big impact on your employees and your company. Here are a few ways how:
Employee self-service portals allow employees to change their information from home. This means they don’t have to bring a newborn’s social to work to update their information. It also means that employees can worry about personal, but work-related issues at home and address them at home instead of carrying them to work.
Employee self-service portals (ESSP) make it easier for managers and employees to communicate regarding schedules. If your company provides flexible schedules or alternative workweek schedules, such as a 4 day work week, then an employee portal makes this simpler to implement and maintain. Employees can provide feedback regarding schedule requests. They can update their flexible schedules.
If your company allows employees to work from home or other locations, and employee portal can give them access to clock in and out of work. Added flexibility is one of the most sought-after employee benefits. It will provide your managers and employees a way to communicate on a daily basis.
Employees can also request time off or respond to new schedules. All communications are tracked. This helps to show employees if other employees are already requesting the time off. Managers can respond to these requests. Employees can also put schedule preferences into the system for when managers build the schedule. Just imagine: You go to build a schedule and already know that Jill would love to work late on Wed, but Susan would prefer to leave earlier on Wed. Information like that helps you to keep both employees happy with something as simple as scheduling them for work.
There are many other ways that employees portals help to increase employee engagement. Fill out the contact form and we can show you many other useful features that help with employee engagement.
- Flexible schedules or input on their schedules
- Timekeeping for work-from-home or alternative location employees
- Able to update and request PTO from home
As you can see, an employee portal brings many awesome and surprising benefits for employers. Employees are more engaged and employers are better able to comply with employment laws. If you have questions on the possibilities behind employee portals, or are considering implementing one for your business, just fill out the form below.
Although you can stay compliant by manually pushing paper, and everything we talked about can be done manually, it is not as efficient, cost-effective, and mistakes are much more common. So, check it out and let us show you a brief demo of what an employee portal can do for you!
- 7 Strategies to Improve Employee Relations [Updated for 2020] - March 4, 2020
- Employers, conduct an FMLA Audit to Ensure Compliance - December 27, 2018
- FMLA Compliance:Recordkeeping Requirements You Don’t Want to Miss! - December 17, 2018