What is Employee Self Service? Importance, Benefits, and Best Practices

What is Employee Self Service? Importance, Benefits, and Best Practices

May 11, 2024
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Author: Hamza

A company cannot function without an HR department. However, HR professionals are often stuck with repetitive administrative tasks related to employee queries, leave requests, info updates, and similar others. These activities take away big initiatives the HR team can contribute, such as building a people-first workplace, engaging with teams, etc. Furthermore, such practices also compromise the productivity and satisfaction of employees. To tackle that, employee self service comes into action.

Employee self service is the key to empowering employees to perform minor to major tasks on their own. So, let's get deep about employee self service and cover its overview, importance, benefits, and best practices.

  1. What is Employee Self Service?
  2. How Does Employee Self Service Work?
  3. Why is Employee Self Service Important?
  4. 7 Benefits of Employee Self Service
  5. Best Practices for Employee Self Service
  6. Wrapping Up

What is Employee Self Service?

An employee self service is a portal or system that allows employees to access IT and HR-related information on their own. This can include a knowledge base, help desk, self-service portal, etc.

With employee self service, employees can:

  1. View and update personal information
  2. Access and download important documents, such as tax forms, pay stubs, etc.
  3. Check their schedules
  4. Send leave request
  5. Send equipment/supplies request
  6. Communicate with managers
  7. Access learning materials
  8. Connect with colleagues
  9. Access troubleshooting guides
  10. Access information about company events

In short, employee self service gives more control to employees, helps them handle essential administrative tasks on their own, and optimizes their work experience.

How Does Employee Self Service Work?

Employee self service is basically powered through a software platform from which employees can access the self service portal. A typical employee self service portal workflow will be as follows:

  1. Employees log in to the self service portal using their assigned credentials.
  2. From the portal dashboard, employees can access different functionalities, such as accessing personal information, requesting leave, downloading tax forms, accessing training materials, etc.

The employee self service portal is often linked to the HR system so that it can provide access to up-to-date information and let employees handle HR-related tasks directly. At the backend, it is the responsibility of the employer to keep the ESS portal up-to-date and resourceful to the employees.

Why is Employee Self Service Important?

An employee self service system is important for all organizations that aim to offer a modernized experience to employees for HR and IT-related activities. It provides a centralized platform from where new hires and long-term employees can access information and handle essential HR/IT tasks on their own. This lowers the burden on HR and IT teams and empowers employees to get more empowerment and autonomy.

Another important aspect of ESS is related to changing corporate dynamics. Today, 84% of businesses consider employee experience a crucial business priority. Secondly, the hybrid (remote + onsite) corporate culture is also demanding ESS solutions. That's why there is a prominent focus on investments related to new employee service tools. So, employee self service is an excellent way for companies to uplift the employees' experience and enhance their productivity.

7 Benefits of Employee Self Service

Employee self service system brings many benefits to the table. Let's uncover a few key ones to reflect its game-changing role in today's corporate ecosystem:

1. Improve Employees Satisfaction

Employee self service system gives a sense of independence and control to employees. They become in charge of their information and no longer have to wait for HR to respond. They get improved work-life balance, as they can better manage benefits and leaves through the portal. All these aspects improve employee satisfaction. In fact, 80% of EX leaders acknowledge that deploying self-service tools, like knowledge base, has a prominent role in increasing employee satisfaction.

2. Reduce Burden on HR and IT Teams

Another prominent benefit of employee self service is the reduced burden on HR and IT teams. For example, about 32% of organizations consider inaccurate employee data imported into the payroll system to be the top-most compliance challenge. So, if there is no ESS system, employees have to interact with the HR team to fix the payroll error. In contrast, an ESS system empowers employees to fix such errors on their own.

Similarly, employees with technical complications can use the knowledge base instead of contacting the IT team member. This significantly reduces the burden on HR and IT teams. Furthermore, this time-saving method is utilized in other valuable activities.

3. Reduce Support Costs

Employee self-service also lowers the support cost. When HR and IT teams are less involved in repetitive tasks, the resources they need are reduced. The company doesn't have to add new team members to the HR and IT teams when the business expands. The same ESS system can handle more employees proficiently.

4. Better Compliance

Employee self service also improves an organization's compliance posture. There are a lot of legalities to check for the HR team. For example, timely filing employees' tax details or conducting a background check. Although the ESS system cannot guarantee 100% error-free operations, it can lower them. Employees can fill out the details themselves instead of HR members filing details of the new employees.

5. Easy Access to Information

Employee self service makes things transparent and easily accessible to employees. They get an all-in-one portal to access HR-related details and IT-related knowledge base. For example, employees can easily check their remaining vacation days, enrollment period, and much more. This saves significant time for employees and HR/IT teams.

6. Communication Hub

Employee self service portal can also act as an internal communication platform. Employees can communicate with other colleagues or management. Secondly, the management can use the portal to send company-related updates.

7. Improve Company Culture

Employee self service makes company culture a people-first culture. It triggers an environment for employees that is more transparent, efficient, and open. Employees don't have to move around to get the answers or interact with different people to resolve their issues.

Best Practices for Employee Self Service

Do you know 70% of US small and mid-sized businesses have adopted employee self service systems? The use cases of ESS systems are increasingly considering the wide range of benefits. So, if your organization is also deploying or has deployed an ESS system, then below best practices can enhance the outcomes of the system:

1. Pick the Right Software

Employee self service is a one-time investment. So, it is important to choose the right software that aligns with your needs. For that, the best approach is to first interact with employees and understand their expectations about the ESS system. Afterward, shortlist the features you want from the software. Lastly, look for the best software solutions and pick the one that best fits your needs.

2. Keep the Knowledge Base Up-To-Date

Make sure the knowledge base content is up-to-date. If your company has incorporated new systems or hardware/software solutions, make sure the relevant guides are updated in the knowledge base.

3. Integrate AI Chatbot into ESS

The AI chatbot is an intelligent virtual agent that can have human-like chats and help employees get the answers they are looking for. For example, VOC AI Agent is one such AI chatbot that you can train with your company data and then let it help employees by answering their queries directly. This way, employees don't have to scroll around to look for the right answer. They can ask the chatbot questions and get the answer right away.

4. Create ESS Tutorials

Although most ESS software is easy to use, non-technical employees may still find it challenging. Secondly, you want to make sure that employees maximize their benefits from the ESS system. Therefore, it is important to create thorough ESS tutorials to train employees about the system thoroughly.

5. Encourage Employees to Use ESS

To maximize the benefits of employee self service, you have to make sure that employees use it. For that, you have to encourage them to use the ESS system instead of sending queries to HR and IT teams.

6. Update the ESS System with Employee Feedback

It is okay if the ESS system doesn't initially meet all the expectations. Once employees get along with the system, you can ask them to give feedback and what they want to improve. Based on that, you can update the system and make it according to the desire and expectations of employees.

7. Ensure Robust Security Measures

Employee self service system has access to sensitive information about employees and the company. Therefore, it is important to implement robust security measures to block unauthorized access to sensitive information. This involves multi-factor authentication, encryption protocols, security audits, and others. Furthermore, also train employees about best security practices.

Wrapping Up

Employee self service is the modernized and much-needed system in today's corporate era. It brings in higher employee satisfaction, reduced HR/IT burden, reduced cost, easy information access, better compliance, and more. All it requires is configuring the right ESS system that aligns with employees' expectations. Therefore, we will wrap up by recommending you uplift your employee self service game and give employees a more empowered and seamless work experience.


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