Recent research from Bond HR & Payroll Software highlighted that only 5% of companies offer employees anytime access to information. In this latest blog from Roger Moore, Managing Director, Bond HR & Payroll Software, we look at the pressure HR departments are feeling as a result.

Employees are failing to get access to the information required from HR – in either a timely or complete fashion. In fact, two thirds of employees felt that HR departments were not giving them sufficient information based on their requests – and 42% of employees do not know about their individual employee benefits or have had to research the topic themselves to understand their entitlement.

As well as this, employees have to wait too long for the HR team to respond to enquiries – with 43% waiting for two days or longer to discover the information. In a society which now advocates flexible and remote working this inability to access information is simply not good enough.

Over 70% of employees have limited or onsite only access to HR information – including paper based. And even when self-service portals are available, the majority of individuals can only access when in the office or on work devices. This model clearly does not support the growing number of part time, remote, home and flexible workers employed by most organisations.

The main reservations of organisations when considering the implementation of an online portal are cost and usage. However, while 88% of those surveyed said that they used the online portal to access information, the majority (40%) were only able to access from their place of work and 15% said that they find it difficult to use.

The research statistics when it comes to employees accessing information were worrying, 11% of employees have never tried to access HR & payroll information and 4% don’t actually know how to access payroll information. The key to any self-service module is usability and having employees who are both comfortable and confident in using it.

The benefits of an online portal are numerous, time savings on administration, employee control of data, holiday booking and training plans etc. HR queries can be logged and responded to in a timely fashion and HR departments can spend time on issues that are truly important rather than data entry.

With employees struggling to use online portals or not having adequate access to them, the burden on HR departments is going to continue to be heavy. HR will remain the go-to point for employees in order to hopefully secure a quick answer to their questions, but having to wait due to an over-stretched HR department, something that could easily be resolved with a user friendly online portal and adequate training.