I have always been a huge proponent and implementer of Employee and Manager Self-Service systems for the enterprise. These systems come with lots of promises, easy access to information, reduced administrative burden on the HR department, and the opportunity to give 'ownership' of HR data to the employees and managers.
It's a win all around, right?
But the problem with many self-service solutions is that they inherit the user interface and design elements from the core enterprise systems that they sit on top of. Boring or ugly design, lots of menus to navigate though to get to what you are looking for, and terminology that is straight out of the programmer's manual.
HR Self-service systems need to be simple, easy to understand with no training (and by people who may not even read English all that well), and extremely efficient.
They need to work more like this:
A simple self-service kiosk for weighing and printing price labels for produce. Bag up your items, place them on the scale, enter your code, and get the price label.
Look at the key elements, large and colorful action buttons, graphics that help users (especially ones with limited English skills) to make the correct choice, and a speedy, simple transaction.
The current most popular items are prominently featured with large, color pictures, giving the shopper one-touch access to complete their transaction. I bougt some Green Peppers, and with one touch, I had my label and was on my way.
Why is this important for HR Systems?
Think about how in your employee self-service system, the online Pay Slip is almost certainly the most frequently accessed function. Is the link displayed prominently, like the Green Pepper? Is a shortcut available to provide one-click access? Or do the employees have to endure something akin to this:
Employee Self-Service - Employee Payroll Data - Payslip Information - Current Payslip
In the grocery store kiosk I kind of expect to have to punch a few choices, even look up a code to buy something exotic like a kiwi. But for tomatoes, peppers, or corn, I expect a quick and painless process.
So how do your employee self-service systems stack up? Do you make it easy for employees and managers to do what they need to, especially for the most common transactions?
Or is every interaction with the system like trying to find the right code for kiwis?