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Poll: 73% of U.S. Workers Want DIY HR Tools, Many Small Employers Fall Short

May 31, 2018

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 for 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.”


[INFOGRAPHIC] Empowering Employees: Nearly All Employees Want DIY HR Tools, Many Employers Fall Short from Paychex

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  

Additionally, for employers considering introducing such technology to their employees, visit Paychex WORX for helpful resources to guide your business throughout the process.

About the Paychex Small Business Survey
The employer portion of the Paychex Small Business Survey was administered by Bredin, a third-party research firm specializing in small and medium-sized businesses. The online survey was conducted between November 17, 2017 and November 23, 2017 and polled 257 principals of U.S. companies with 2-500 employees. Paychex also polled 404 full-time U.S. employees working in organizations with less than 1,000 employees. The survey was conducted online via SurveyMonkey Audience between November 21, 2017 and November 29, 2017.

Acerca de Paychex
Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves approximately 605,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2017, across more than 100 locations and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting, and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.