For example, companies buy our Employee Access System based on three
1. Increased service to employees
2. Reduced headcount
3. Remaining headcount in HR can become consultants dealing with HR strategy
The systems provide faster and hopefully better services to employees. Giving
employees access to their own information ostensibly enables them to make
more informed choices for themselves, so perhaps we "empower" them. This is
good, isn't it?
Management wants the reduced costs from reduced headcount. And clearly some
of the headcount is not as effective as it could be----why should HR clerks
handle transactions when employees can enter their own address changes
directly into the HR system? So, we are reducing/consolidating HR clerical
jobs and offloading their tasks onto employees. Management likes the reduced
costs/employees have to do more for themselves---a tradeoff.
The employees have a vested interest in doing their transactions
correctly--thus fewer errors/fewer people needed to correct the errors. And,
we've operationalized business process reengineering with this move---putting
info directly into the hands of people most interested in it.
BUT, we've done away with some jobs. The reduced headcount is often lower
level clerical people. Doing those folks out of a job means they have to go
elsewhere to make it into the job ladders. Certainly a negative for the
people, and maybe for our organizations who need the young blood.
The final rationale for these systems is that the remaining HR staff can now
be "more strategic"--that the HR people can become consultants dealing with
more strategic concerns. Maybe. But with reduced headcount, those remaining
are working just as hard, and it's not clear that they have yet become
consultants. Maybe this move is enhancing the pool of remaining workers.
I'm not sure yet.
What's the learning out there of those of you involved in implementing