performance management software HRIS vs. HRMS vs. HCM: Key differences and similarities

manager self-service

What is manager self-service?

Manager self-service is a human resource management (HRM) platform that allows supervisors to have immediate access to employee information and initiate employment-related actions. The primary objective of a manager self-service system is to give the manager access to their direct reports' personnel data such as time and attendance, leave, benefits and performance rankings. Supervisors can use the system to run ad-hoc reports and update records. Having these capabilities allows managers to be more self-reliant and to perform a host of human resources transact and performance management tasks without requiring the intervention of HR or payroll.

Features of manager self-service

A manager self-service module can be rolled out either as a part of a human resource information system (HRIS) or as an entirely separate system, typically one that runs in the cloud. However, a common practice is to roll out an employee self-service system first, adding the manager self-service module progressively in separate phases. The manager self-service module is usually accessed either on the company's Intranet or through a secure web portal. Managers log in securely to their individual accounts, from which they can perform the administrative functions permitted by the software. Manager self-service, like employee self-service, can provide a number of benefits for its users and the organization in terms of cost and operational efficiency.

What are the benefits of using manager self-service?

Manager self-service software can promote a better employee experience for managers in a number of ways and cut costs for companies. Here are a few ways it can do so:

  • Aids compliance reporting - manager self-service offers compliance benefits for strictly regulated industries such as healthcare and finance by creating databases that can be easily accessed for compliance-related reporting.
  • Easy access to real-time data - managers can access data from desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet and get information as it is updated by the employees.
  • Lends managers more autonomy and control - managers no longer have to wait for approval or support from HR and payroll for administrative functions and have the information and access they need to make necessary changes.
  • Saves time and labor costs - manager self-service portals replace time-consuming paper-based processes and offer more transparent communication and workflow.
  • Reduces HR workload - manager self-service reduces the time HR and payroll employees spend on queries and repetitive tasks, enabling them to focus on higher-value HR work.

According to the Sierra-Cedar 2016-17 HR System Survey, organizations that have payroll, an HRIS, and benefits administration in place reach some level of administrative excellence for their HR function, they typically then focus on self-service HR technology such as employee and manager self-service and other service delivery technology such as an HR help desk.

Manager self-service best practices

To maximize the value of a manager self-service platform, reports suggests customizing the base functions of the software to meet the specific needs of the business. Another important strategy is to introduce the self-service piece only for selected tasks or a transaction that could most benefit the manager and HR. Ultimately, a mobile system with a simplified user experience will be critical for the adoption and success of manager self-service technology to address pain -points in the HR workflow. Industry analysts suggest that shifts in workforce demographics and employee expectations of consumer-grade experience may boost demand for employee and manager self-service in the coming years.

According to Gartner's Market Guide for Integrated HR Service Delivery Solutions, numerous vendors sell HR self-service software on a standalone basis or included in a comprehensive human capital management suite. Vendors include Deloitte (ConnectMe), Dovetail Software, ServiceNow, Infor, Oracle, Meta4, PeopleDoc, Hyland Software, SAP SuccessFactors and NeoCase Software.

This was last updated in October 2021

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