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Process Security

The Manager Self Service Spectrum

A key component of many organisations’ HR Transformation projects is the introduction, re-introduction or re-engineering of Manager Self Service (MSS). So what is MSS? This term is usually used to refer to the role the line manager plays in administrative processes relating to the staff that report to him/her. It’s important when designing an HR target operating model to recognise that there are a range of MSS models, not a single right answer. Workday HCM is able to support a wide range of MSS approaches. It can be helpful to consider the following options ranging across the MSS “spectrum”.

  • Minimal MSS – managers are given visibility of relevant data about their staff but are not expected/allowed to initiate actions or approve them in Workday. HR continue to play this role. Often seen in high value low volume businesses where managers’ time is considered “too valuable” to be involved in HR transactions, or in organisations where managers are not considered mature enough or sufficiently aware of the regulations governing their staff’s employment to be involved in transactions.
  • HR initiates transactions but managers have visibility of them in progress and they may well be routed to managers for approval. This is often the model adopted in organisations where managers ask HR to execute transactions on their behalf, especially where HR includes Shared Service Centres who process administrative transactions quickly and efficiently. The approval step in the business process gives the manager the opportunity to check that the HR function has correctly understood what the manager wanted to achieve. The cost savings achievable through this model are usually limited to increased efficiency in HR SSCs or by locating them in low-cost geographies.
  • Managers initiate transactions but HR has an approval step in those business processes that have non trivial consequences. This is probably the most common model being adopted in companies implementing Workday HCM, and reflects the level of confidence most HR functions have in the management cadre in most countries and industry sectors. The approval step enables HR, amongst other things, to ensure that managers do not (inadvertently or otherwise) contravene regulatory constraints, act unfairly or expose the organisation to unnecessary risk. The savings achievable with this model can be significant as HR can confine themselves to checking that managers are acting appropriately.
  • Managers initiate and the management chain approves most personnel actions e.g., hires, terminations, transfers, promotions, pay changes, performance reviews, succession plans without HR involvement other than perhaps having visibility and intervening on an exceptional basis. This represents the full “disintermediation” of HR from administrative tasks as envisaged in academic models of HR Transformation and can lead to larger cost savings, but requires a comparatively high level of manager maturity both actual and as perceived by HR.

Factors that should be taken into consideration when evaluating the different models include:

  • the maturity of the organisation’s management and culture
  • the type of employees being managed (high volume low value versus low volume high value)
  • the industry or sector the organisation is in (high tech, outdoor activities or manual labour etc)
  • the complexity of the regulatory environment in the country and/or industry sector

In conclusion – consider what the right MSS model is for your organisation and bear that in mind when you design the business processes and security models for your Workday implementation.

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