Employee Self-Service Portals: Empowering Staff & Reducing Administrative Burden

On one hand ESS helps employees, on the other hand it gives time to human resource professionals to spend on strategic initiatives required for the organisation


Times are changing fast, and all of us want solutions at the touch of a key. Gone are the days when we used to stand in bank queues just to get our account passbooks updated. Similarly, employees used to write leave applications on paper, get them signed by managers and then submit them to the payroll department. Payroll department had to further maintain these in files for audit at a later stage. All this has changed for good. Employee self-services are now IT based solutions through which employees can access required information and also perform a certain set of transactions. 

Technology has eased life in many ways, and this is applicable to employees as well. Organisations are providing various employment related services to their employees through self-service portals. Employees can check their leave balance on ESS portals, apply for leaves through the system and understand the breakdown of their payslip all at the click of a button. Similarly, payslips, contribution to provident fund, etc. are available online.

Organisations are using ESS portals to make their policies available to employees at all the time. Also, this helps in providing updated policies as it reduces the task of first discarding old manual policy followed by replacing it with the new policy. Also, there is always a chance of confusion when policies are maintained on paper physically. This also boosts employee satisfaction as information is available in a transparent manner.

On one hand ESS helps employees, on the other hand it gives time to human resource professionals to spend on strategic initiatives required for the organisation, instead of getting caught up in the logistics of maintaining such logs on paper.  

ESS portals can provide the following services and provide ease to employees and management alike:

Talent Acquisition: Organisations maintain a career page on websites, linked with professional networks and job boards. Candidates apply on it and their information is directly utilised further for the recruitment process.

Onboarding: Earlier, candidates were expected to fill a plethora of forms on the date of joining, practically half of the day, or more was used for joining formalities. Now with ESS in place, pre-onboarding is done online. New joiners can provide information and upload relevant documents beforehand, and their first day can be more effectively organised.

Information Updation: During the course of employment, various personal information can change, such as attaining higher education, marital status, change of address, etc. ESS supports employees in updating their personal records by themselves, without needing any additional interaction.

Compensation: Organisations provide various benefits to their employees. Using ESS employees can opt for benefits such as meals, internet, national pension scheme, etc.

Training: Covid has taught us how flexibly the online medium can be used for education and training. Organisations are providing various self-paced learning programmes through their ESS portals.

Performance Management: Starting with probation evaluation to regular performance feedback, almost all performance related information can be recorded in ESS and accessed by HR team for further processing. Employees are provided their key result areas at the time of joining or at the start of the new performance year and same are available in ESS.

Wellbeing: Organisations provide health and wellbeing services online as well. Connecting with a doctor online, nearly on-demand and real time, is possible now. Similarly, for any emotional wellbeing concerns employees can connect with a counsellor at any time.

These are only a few of the avenues in which ESS portals have simplified the logistics of work for employees and organisations. There are many varied and interesting developments being made by ESS providers to further ease such processes. At the end of the day, it is efficiency which all organisations are after, and ESS portals are a definitive solution in increasing both speed and efficiency for regularly recurring tasks.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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