Having employees handle their own pay andis the Holy Grail for HR professionals. You’d like every worker to independently access forms and find answers to and benefits questions online. But old habits die hard.
To create new employee behaviors and greater HR efficiencies, initiate a long-term, multimedia strategy using techniques that encourage employees to help themselves.
1. Persistent, targeted messaging
Experts say it takes 30 days to create new habits. But HR pros who have achieved high adoption rates for self-service offerings often find it takes 12 months of communication to make self-service stick.
Among the techniques they use: include links to self-service web sites in monthly newsletters, post notices on company bulletin boards and take every opportunity to pitch employee groups on the benefits of the program.
Persistent, targeted messaging is crucial because employees are unlikely to engage in a new self-service program until a specific need arises.
“Employees need to know what’s in it for them,” says Stacia Skretteberg, HR director for Sugarland Enterprises. “You have to articulate the benefits to employees, like having easy access to information, faster service and the ability to manage their accounts from home.”
2. Provide access
Not everyone has access to the web (or even a computer) at home. Consider installing self-serve PC “kiosks” at various locations.
3. Host a treasure hunt
Challenge employees to locate online resources by posing a weekly question via e-mail. Award a token prize.
4. Appoint champions
Identify (or train) self-serve power users to serve as resources for co-workers.
Besides answering employees’ questions, champions can give feedback to HR on portal navigation, online tools and the effectiveness of communications campaigns.
Encourage champions to chat with employees online or blog about their experiences using self-service tools. Peer testimonials are powerful tools in coaxing nonadopters into the fold.