which is a network that uses Internet tools but limits access to authorized users in the organization. However, to better draw on the Inter- net’s potential, organizations are increasingly replacing intranets with Web portals (Web sites designed to serve as a gateway to the Internet, highlighting links to rel- evant information). 41 Whether a company uses an intranet or a Web portal, it must ensure that it has sufficient security measures in place to protect employees’ privacy. Sharing of Human Resource Information Information technology is changing the way HR departments handle record keep- ing and information sharing. Today, HR employees use technology to automate much of their work in managing employee records and giving employees access to information and enrollment forms for training, benefits, and other programs. As a result, HR employees play a smaller role in maintaining records, and employees now get information through self-service. This means employees have online access to information about HR issues such as training, benefits, compensation, and con- tracts; go online to enroll themselves in programs and services; and provide feed- back through online surveys. Today, employees routinely look up workplace policies and information about their benefits online, and they may receive electronic noti- fication when deposits are made directly to their bank accounts. For GameStop, a retailer of video games, self-service is the obvious choice. The com- pany’s 40,000 employees, who typically are game fans themselves, don’t want to bother reading brochures about benefits plans. But if they don’t pay attention to what the com- pany offers, the spending on benefits isn’t delivering value in terms of motivating work- ers. So, recognizing that its workers are familiar with and even expect the convenience of online shopping, GameStop started with its 12,900 full-time employees, phoning them with a message to enroll. The employees could simply press 1 to be connected to a benefits counselor. While they chatted, they could view options on a screen in the store or on their home computer. As they made choices, the screen would show the total value of their selected benefits. Then GameStop invited its part-timers to enroll in optional benefits. To reach them, it sent them text messages with links to a Web site where they could view an interactive feature telling them about what was available. The effort not only improved communications, it boosted enrollment in the health plan while enabling GameStop to cut $5 million in benefits granted erroneously. 42 A growing number of companies are combining employee self-service with management self-service, such as the ability to go online to authorize pay increases, Self-Service System in which employees have online access to information about HR issues and go online to enroll themselves in programs and provide feedback through surveys.
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