Can an Employee Portal be Effective if it's not Mobile?

According to USC’s Center for Effective Organizations, 73.2% of an HR professional’s time is spent on administrative tasks.  That means that less than 2 days per week remain for doing the strategic work.

There's plenty written about the transformative value of an employee self service portal.  But putting the portal into production isn’t enough to gain the advantages.  Employees and managers must actually use the portal for it to be successful.

Sure, that sounds obvious, but user adoption is among the greatest impediments to portal success.

For more tips on HR Service Delivery check out our guide!

User Adoption is a Requirement for a Successful Employee Portal.

Just as Self-service can be a catalyst for HR Transformation, mobile access to the  portal can be the catalyst user adoption.  Employees are more likely to use self service, if it’s convenient for them to use it.

More common sense, right?  But how many workplace initiatives fail to live up to expectations, because common sense isn’t applied?  (You don’t have to answer that.)

Employees are steadily increasing the percentage of the work they do mobile devices.  Research by Andreesen Horowitz, Gartner and IDC predict exactly why mobile devices are becoming the future of work.

We’ll come back to that in a minute.  But first, let’s get some coffee.

Convenience Drives User Adoption.

In 2013, Starbucks launched a Drive Thru initiative.  They did this for two reasons:


  1. It's more convenient for customers to buy coffee if they don't have to leave their car to do it.
  2. The added convenience causes more customers consume more of the Starbucks service (a.k.a. buy more coffee).


So, just as Starbucks expands their customer base by making their product more accessible to more customers, your employee self-service portal will likely serve more employees if it’s accessible on their mobile devices.

Doesn’t that make sense?

If you need proof, go the 2016-2107 Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey Whitepaper.  It states, “Organizations that implement self-service technology within a Shared Services function with HR Help Desk technology, and provide Mobile-enabled ESS features, serve 60% more workforce per HR Administrative staff.”

So there you have it - the mobile employee portal matters.

The Mobile Employee Portal & the Employee Experience

Now, we know that the mobile employee portal isn’t only about HR productivity.  Of course, it’s also about the Employee Experience.  The good news is that giving your employees access to self service from their mobile devices does exactly that – it improves the employee experience.

Why?  Well, remember that part about convenience?  It’s widely known that convenience is a major component of any customer experience.  So if you’re offering your employees greater convenience, you’re delivering a greater experience.  It really is that simple!

Pulling it All Together

Focus on bottom-line business results when you draft your requirements for HR Service Delivery technologies.  And be sure to prioritize those features that will have the greatest direct impact on delivering those business results.

We all understand that the self-service portal is critical for successful HR Transformation.  But even the best portal will fail to deliver results if it’s not in a place where your employees can easily access it.

And that place is increasingly on the home screen of their smart phones.