Employee Self Service

by Patrick Dittamore

We all know that millennials are connected through every electronic device imaginable. So, why not give them what they want? Can you imagine how effective it would be if you allowed your employees to do the legwork when they want to check their schedules or request schedule changes? How many times have we received employee phone calls for that purpose at the most inopportune times possible?

Now we can provide them with the functionality to do these tasks and more, through the Employee Self Service functionality that can be available on almost any mobile device. The employee can log into the system through any computer or mobile device, see their work schedules, send messages, view accrual balances, request time off, swap shifts, ask for a replacement, or even abandon a shift when all other options have been exhausted. At the store level it allows us to react to the employees, communicate with them, give tasks, and other programmable functions to make everyday life easier for all parties involved. And even a surrendered shift is better than unanticipated no call, no show shifts that negatively impact customer service.

But is granting associates this capability going to serve the business interests? We all like making access easy, but does this make it too easy for them to abuse their responsibilities to your business? After all, how many of us have received sick calls or even the “my grandma died” excuse for the fifth time from the same employee?

When looking for the benefits or challenges with any solution, balance needs to be stuck in the decision. Rarely is anything all good or all bad, but I would suggest that the best solution involves having employees fully connected and engaged, and helping them feel empowered in their day to day lives. Stay in touch with them, give them the data they need to be an effective employee and allow them to help us manage their schedules, all while putting most of the responsibility for scheduling changes on them.

Are there any tradeoffs? Yes, but in today’s world when the solution is positive for both sides and helps create a better customer experience through happy and engaged employees, most companies would take that tradeoff all day long.