The Benefits of Employee Self Service (ESS) for Managers & Employees
Human Resource (HR) managers constantly face the mammoth challenge to increase efficiency and provide better employee services. HR reform is in fact an area which is often overlooked although it plays such a pivotal role in most businesses. Since HR departments are mostly over loaded with responsibilities, an effective measure to reduce that burden is to introduce an employee centric system, where employees can perform a number of activities themselves thereby relieving the HR staff to focus on more strategic issues that have a bearing on a company’s business. By deploying cloud based HR systems that offer employee self service, the entire organisation benefits with immediate access to critical information, thereby helping to attract and retain the highest quality employees, and facilitating an even more effective communication across the organization. Hence it is vital that business organisations start embracing a culture of employee self service.
The DIY, Employee Self Service Phenomenon
Employee Self Service is not a new concept. Every individual uses it in their day to day lives, so it should be no different in adopting this culture at the workplace as well. In an organisational scenario, an employee self service entails giving the access to certain key details pertaining to their employment. Employees can log in from home or anywhere else via an internet connection and access the information online. In today’s scenario through the science of robust data encryption, employees can perform a lot of self service activities such as applying for leave, viewing policies, booking trainings, downloading pay slips and sharing permissible information.
Features of Employee Self Service
An employee self service system entails the following features for employees:
- Facilitating employees access to core HR to update their personal information such as telephone numbers, bank details, and address to name a few.
- Managing absence from the comforts of their homes by checking their leave balance and applying for leave online.
- Submitting timesheets electronically submitting them for approval to the HR.
- Identifying and contacting other colleagues via referencing the employee directory
- Submitting safety hazards & incidents
- Completing performance appraisals online
- Tracking & updating their development roadmap
- Recognising colleagues for outstanding behaviour
For employers, self service entails the following features:
- Uploading pay slips online for employees to download/print.
- Maintaining a track of staff absence and facilitating approving or rejecting leaves online.
- Managing time tracking of employees by facilitating managers to approve timesheets online.
- Tracking the location of employees using the locator board.
- Uploading performance review worksheets
- Determining and granting access rights, so that the right audience can view the right information.
Benefits for employees
Employee Self Service eliminates a lot of frustration of the employees and they feel more engaged,empowered and in control, therefore way more satisfied at work. Some of the visible benefits include:
- Enabling the management of leaves a hassle free job via the self service process, ends up making your employees feel more positive about the work environment. It has a beneficial effect on the overall morale thereby leading to a more efficient workforce.
- Self service makes it really easy for your employees to check their entitlements, view and download old pay slips, manage their superannuation contribution, and view and download incentive slips. By promoting self service you are providing your employees with a historical record of their growth in their respective careers.
- Keeping the staff abreast and up-to-date with HR policies and procedures is another value add of adopting self service. Employees always appreciate when they are kept up-to-date with respect to any changes to policies and procedures by making it easily assessable to them.
Benefits for employers
While at the surface level it may seem that an employee self service system is designed to relieve a bit of pressure from your HR department, the benefits that delivers are much bigger than just that. Check the following benefits:
- It improves efficiency, as your employees spend less time waiting on requests for information, have a clearer view of their own position within the organisation, and are able to concentrate on the job in hand better.
- It is cost effective. The administrative cost is brought down substantially by introducing the self service of finance and pay roll processes, since employees no longer feel the need to print every information, as it is available for them online all the time.
- It enables you to focus on maintaining a happy and contented workforce, as now the HR staff can focus on counseling and other employee development activities instead of spending all their time on admin tasks. It also gives the HR team ample time to plan for other employee friendly programs and activities thereby helping in reducing attrition by maintaining a happy work culture.
- Self service helps in reducing a huge admin bottleneck towards the end of the year. By balancing out the administrative tasks across your organisation, you can now maintain a more manageable head count across your HR department.
- Self service also empowers managers and encourages autonomy in the organisation. It facilitates managers to make certain decisions pertaining to the day-to-day welfare or personal development of employees. This can be easily achieved via an employee self-service system by facilitating managers with the ability to approve requests for leave or training without the need to involve HR directly.
- It creates transparency by reduce sick days of employees, since by using employee self service the entire leave data is exposed to both employees and their managers alike.
- Self service helps in keeping the employees of an organization up to date. Especially in larger organisations when they need to deploy any policy change, this information can be shared across a wide network of staff via a self-service system. It allows you to notify your employees of any policy changes, or any available training courses or any other important company announcements. The employees need not access their email accounts to view these changes. They can simply login online, irrespective of where they are, and stay abreast of company-wide changes in policies that may impact them.
- Adopting an employee self service system helps in reducing errors to a large extent. Since a self service system is centrally hosted, the company HR only needs to make the necessary changes to a particular document or announcement only once, and it gets updated across the organisation at one go thereby eliminating the risk of having more than one version of the same document. Similarly, the scope of making errors in the personal details of employees can also be eliminated by adopting self service, as employees themselves can now enter and update their own information in the system.
- Measure the effectiveness of the HR campaigns in your company has also become very easy with the introduction of employee self service. If email is your primary means of communication with the employees of your organisation, you have no means to cross check if each and every employee has received and read your intended email without deleting it. Also, you won’t be able to measure the impact of that message. By utilising the employee self-service system for communicating with your target audience, you can interact directly with the employees by generating polls or other tools which are easy to respond to and employees do not mind spending a couple of minutes taking the poll or survey. This goes a long way in helping you measure how successful your campaigns are and also amend them accordingly.