Skip to main content


Survey: Most U.S. Workers Want Self-Service HR and Payroll Tools

Full-time U.S. workers today expect their employer to provide a high-level of employee self-service, allowing them to independently complete a variety of HR-related tasks.

payroll 2  553f9f6f3448c

Employees want to be empowered. That’s the message borne out in a recent Paychex survey that found an overwhelming majority (73%) of full-time U.S. workers today expect their employer to provide a high-level of employee self-service, allowing them to independently complete a variety of HR-related tasks.

A complementary poll of business owners, also conducted by Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services, revealed that approximately half (53%) of employers with 500 employees or less do not currently offer their workforce any level of employee self-service.

“Today’s society has moved from being tech-enabled to tech-dependent, and with that shift has come an expectation for self-sufficiency in the workplace,” said Tom Hammond, Paychex vice president of corporate strategy and product management. “While at work, employees want to interact with tools – and one another – much like they do in their personal lives. That means being given the ability and permission to accomplish simple, common actions such as changing an address, checking a time-off balance, requesting time-off, viewing a paystub, or adjusting a 401(k) balance independently.  

“This is good news for HR leaders,” Hammond adds. “As employees become increasingly independent, HR will have more time to focus on strategic priorities like employee engagement, winning the war on talent, and ensuring the company is complying with employment laws and other regulatory-related requirements. Additionally, the more actions an employee takes using a cloud-based HR system, the more meaningful data and actionable insights the HR team will have at its fingertips.”

The likelihood of an employer offering some level of employee self-service – generally defined as a portal through which workers can access various HR-related information about themselves and take the appropriate actions – strongly correlates with an organization’s size, found the Paychex study. Of those business owners polled, more than 65% of those with 20-500 employees empower their employees to complete simple administrative HR tasks via self-service. Conversely, less than half (46%) of respondents with under 20 employees are doing the same.

Regardless of organizational size, employees across the board want access to HR self-service. In fact, 62% of full-time workers in businesses with 50 employees or less agree that they expect any employer today to offer at least some level of HR automation. And, the percentage remains just as high (60%) when asking respondents who work in businesses with 10 employees or less.

According to the research, the top five tasks workers would rather do independently versus contact HR are as follows:

  1. update personal information,
  2. manage paid time off (PTO),
  3. download/view payroll information,
  4. report time worked or clock in/clock out, and
  5. view their work schedule.

Additionally, on average, 80% would prefer to accomplish these tasks online via desktop or mobile device rather than submitting a paper form to HR.

“Advances in technology, combined with this demonstrated shift in employee expectations, present a real opportunity for employers operating in the small and mid-sized markets,” added Hammond. “Enhancing the employee experience through technology that empowers workers to be self-reliant will reduce the overwhelming HR workload many employers face and help enable such businesses to attract and retain top talent, boost employee engagement, and ultimately grow their business.”

For the full results of this Paychex study, At Your Convenience: Employee Self-Service Streamlines HR, Saves Money, Engages Staff, download the Blue Guide at