Employee self service, also called an employee self service software, is a feature of some HR management software. Your ESS allows employees a way to connect to your portal at any time. Using it, employees can check their schedules, communicate with managers, request time off, and complete a number of other tasks. Employees appreciate the convenience of being able to access their information via an employee HR portal without having to contact HR or wait until business hours.
ESS portal systems offer significant benefits for the HR department, as well. Without this type of HR service portal, HR teams need to manually deal with a number of tasks that the employee can otherwise accomplish on their own. Employee self service technology improves communication, via in-platform social collaboration capabilities, and accuracy, by enabling workers to update their information. Your ESS cuts administrative responsibilities and improves efficiency. An employee HR portal also offers an excellent tool to improve employee engagement. Let's take a look at some of the top benefits of adding an employee self service portal, and discuss some of the tools and features your team can use to streamline their workflow.
What Is an Employee Self Service (ESS) Portal?
An employee self service portal is an essential resource for any organization aiming to create a modernized experience for its employees. It functions as a centralized, web-based hub where employees—from new hires to long-time employees—can access information and conduct transactions that keep the HR-side of your organization running smoothly. Often, employee self service portals are available as desktop applications as well as through the use of mobile technology, enabling employees to make time off requests, for example, from anywhere. For more information, check out our article on "What is Employee Self-Service?"
Why Is Employee Self Service Important?
Employee self service is an indispensable tool for organizations that want to streamline operations and stand out from the crowd in today’s competitive job market. With employee self service integrated into your operations, you can eliminate substantial administrative burden from the shoulders of your HR team so they have time to focus on employee engagement and mission-driven initiatives instead.
Additionally, you create an engaging, empowering employee experience when employee self service is a resource. With critical functionality in one place, employees can access and manage information themselves, on their time, with minimal intervention from HR. The employee of today expects a technology-forward experience. So if you want to attract and retain top talent, employee self service is a must-have.
What Are The Benefits of Using Employee Self Service Systems?
Did you know that most HR departments spend over 70% of their time on administrative tasks? While these tasks are integral to running your workflow, your employee self service portal offers a better way to streamline the process. Letting your employees take control of their own schedules, contact information, and other essential needs that HR once needed to process improves efficiency. Self service HR software lets your HR department concentrate more on your staff and less on documentation, which is exactly what it takes to improve employee engagement.
Here are some of the top benefits you'll experience with an employee self service portal:
Access W2, Download Paystubs, and Update Payroll Information
Nearly one in three organizations cite inaccurate employee data entered into the payroll system as a top compliance concern. Agility is the name of the game, and it’s imperative your employee self service portal is flexible and stays on pace with changing regulations. With employee self service integrated into your system, compliance worries are a thing of the past. Once employees can access their W2s, download paystubs, and update payroll information themselves, accuracy increases. Plus, employees gain autonomy over their information and check off tasks that would otherwise fall on the HR team’s desks.
Reduce Errors and Workload
One of the many ESS benefits includes HR self service. With access to their employee self service portal, employees can update their information when necessary. When each employee is allowed to make changes as their life demands, it means your HR team isn't taxed with updating all of your staff members’ information when needed. This might seem like a small benefit, but for large companies with many employees, it represents a large savings of administrative time, especially when tackling your year-end checklist. You'll also see fewer data errors when employees can access and edit their own information.
Increase Employee Engagement
An employee self service portal allows your teams to communicate with each other easily via social collaboration tools, such as community groups, peer recognition, and in-platform chat. They may offer features very similar to a social network, including the ability to react to and comment on announcements and forum posts, making it easy for workers to connect with the organization and their peers. ESS portals can serve as a hub for both important information and coworker connection, providing an optimal environment for fostering engagement. Employees can also be sent notifications about these activities straight to their email and phone so they never miss an update.
Improve Data Security
If your team has been relying on paper documents or a system that isn't properly secured, your employee's confidential information is at risk. It's also likely that you're not maintaining regulatory compliance with regard to data. Your ESS should provide essential security features to keep you in compliance and secure your sensitive employee information.
Streamline Time Off Requests
Your employees can request sick leave, vacation time off, or scheduling changes through the portal and management can approve or deny requests, as well. This cuts time from the process and automatically gives your HR department a log of all requests and responses in real-time.
Improve Visibility for PTO Accrual and Balances
Employees can easily see their PTO benefits so that they can schedule their personal time and verify the amount of time off they have left in any period.
Simplify Employee Benefits Management
Employees can see and track all of their benefits through the employee portal software. This lets them check their balances, see histories, and get answers to any questions they may have.
Easy Expense Management
Expense management is simplified through an employee self service portal; employees can use the mobile app to track receipts from anywhere and supervisors can grant approval with the click of a button.
More Sustainable and Reduced Waste
For companies that have been relying on paper documentation, an ESS is a better solution for the environment.
Improve HR Efficiency
Your HR team wins big with an ESS that eliminates paperwork, simplifies process, and engages employees. With an all-in-one system, accessible to employees, HR is no longer the gatekeeper of payroll, benefits, scheduling, and employee information.
What Are Some Employee Self Service Software Features?
Your employee self service (ESS) gives your employees the ability to oversee their information at any time. For employees, this is a huge benefit because emergencies happen outside of office hours. They don't want to wait until morning to access information about the number of sick days they have left or to verify their medical coverage.
Here are a few capabilities of ESS portals:
If your employees have health or life insurance through your company, they can access their policies, see statements, and save images of their benefit cards. When benefits administration is handled manually by staff, it can be a heavy lift. An ESS portal gives them a way to look up all of the information that they need to understand their coverage and stay up-to-date on any payments and data their providers need for service.
With an ESS portal, employee scheduling and time tracking will become a breeze. Employees can log in at any time to see their updated schedule. They can request time off through the ESS portal and communicate with HR or their superior about scheduling. This gives management an easy way to schedule replacement staff for sick workers. It also streamlines the process for employees who need to request days off. And all of the information is logged.
Employee Training and Learning Management
If you have coursework that employees need to complete, they can access their lessons through the ESS portal. This logs the employee's time in training and allows them to complete lessons around their schedule. When you’re adding new members to your team, efficient and accessible learning and development is essential for smooth onboarding. With an ESS portal by their side, HR can focus on setting the tone for the employee experience and getting to know new hires instead of spending hours navigating a clunky onboarding process. Learn more about getting set up with the right learning management system (LMS) for you and your team.
On Demand Pay
If your business offers on demand payments, employees can take advantage of an employee self service app to request on demand pay.
Use an Employee Self Service Mobile App
Did you know that you could implement an employee self service mobile app so that your employees can access the portal through their phones? With the app, management and employees have a secure login portal they can access directly from their mobile phone.
This is a simple process for all of your employees. They simply download the app to their mobile phone. If your company provides work phones, your IT department would likely load the app into each employee's phone for them. The employees would sign into the app and secure their password and login information using best practices. This includes using a unique password and never leaving their phone or app unlocked.
With the mobile app, your employees can access all of the information available through the portal. The process is secure and uses security features that keep your company in compliance.
What to Consider When Choosing an ESS Portal
Are you in the process of researching ESS portals for your business? The first thing you want to look for in a solution is ease of use. Make sure that the system you choose is user-friendly so that your employees will feel comfortable using the features. This will also save you time on training staff members. The vendor should offer training and support and your solution needs to meet all regulatory compliance requirements.
At Paylocity, we check all those boxes. If you'd like to see what our ESS solution can do for your company, schedule a free demo today.