As a modern HR professional, you’re busier than ever, stretched thin between administrative tasks, people management, and building company culture.
Time is your most precious resource, and without a sturdy technological infrastructure, you won’t have capacity to champion core initiatives like employee engagement and retention. The solution? Employee Self-Service (ESS) software.
Besides alleviating the administrative burden from your HR department, ESS technology empowers employees to manage their own personnel data and is a central hub of community information. That’s why it’s a must-have for any HR professional looking to renovate their company’s employee experience and improve engagement.
In the not-too-distant past, HR departments had to do a lot of heavy lifting when managing employee information. The widespread adoption of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), of which ESS is a central component, has changed all that.
Employee self-service, or HRIS self-service, greatly simplifies and streamlines workforce management by enabling employees to manage their information independently. This eliminates many administrative-related tasks for HR, freeing up time to focus on employee retention, or other high-level initiatives.
While employee self-service can exist as a standalone asset, many HCM systems include an employee self-service portal as part of an all-in-one technology suite.
In many cases, employee self-service software is available as a desktop application or through a mobile app, which can accommodate a variety of work environments and enhance accessibility for all employees.
ESS is typically located within an organization’s intranet, a standalone portal, or is integrated with their HCM software. Each employee receives a unique login, which they can use to sign in to the system.
Employee self-service portals are secure and available 24/7, wherever and whenever an employee has an internet connection, so connection to their organization is never broken. Once inside, employees can utilize various tools (more on that below) to address HR and payroll-related needs.
Employees’ ability to control their information is fundamental to these self-service platforms. They can edit information like time off requests, benefits, and enrollments, as well as personal data, such as home address or emergency contacts.
Some ESS systems allow supervisors to approve time off requests, further eliminating administrative demands on HR. These portals often can transmit information across one system, which ensures accuracy and eliminates task redundancy.
The benefits of ESS portals are plentiful, including substantial savings for HR. With administrative tasks transitioned from manual to automated and employee-driven, HR saves countless hours otherwise spent buried in paperwork and data entry. The impact is two-fold:
The most effective modern ESS software has a user-friendly interface and functionality that mirrors how employees use other software (and apps) in their personal lives. This encourages a more natural, frictionless interaction with the platform that ultimately supports the community-building elements of the technology.
Indeed, beyond payroll and HR, some modern ESS systems provide a social collaboration hub. It enables employees to publicly celebrate successes, bond over shared interests, or view video updates from leadership. This capability is especially important for modern hybrid workforces where in-person interaction at the office (or at happy hour) can’t be universally achieved.
Employee self-service software comes in various technological forms. Some models have basic features, while others offer more premium capabilities. Either way, there are a handful of core features that any effective ESS needs to have to appeal to employees.
Premium features can help your organization stand out from competitors in attracting and retaining talent.
Not all ESS software functions the same, so it’s important to know what features to look for and how to socialize the platform to bolster your chances of successful employee engagement.
Look for ESS technology with a consumer-driven design, which is easier for employees to use. Employees should feel comfortable logging in, exploring the interface, and using the features. This increases the likelihood that they’ll regularly use the platform.
An ESS with mobile capabilities also makes for a much better user experience. Most employees have cell phones with them wherever they go. When they can access their work-related information on the go, it removes barriers to a satisfying work experience.
Make sure you and your HR team feel comfortable and confident using the ESS portal. Even better, look for an ESS provider with dedicated customer support, so you have easy access to expert resources and can make the most of your ESS.
Employees should also be educated on how to use the ESS portal. Offer training sessions (especially when adopting a new platform) and documentation for common ESS use-cases.
HR can lead by example by consistently using the features of their organization’s ESS and encouraging employee usage. This assimilates the platform into regular business operations and showcases how employees can make the most of the ESS.
How much time are you burning on tedious administrative HR tasks every week? Start working more efficiently by incorporating employee self-service technology into your workflow.
Paylocity’s all-in-one HR and Payroll software includes a secure ESS that streamlines and automates core HR functions for both employers and employees. The ESS includes data management capabilities, team collaboration functionality, and provides intelligent data insights based on usage.
Schedule a HR and Payroll software demo today to see how an ESS can transform your workflow from paperwork to empowered employees.