What is Employee Self-Service?
Employee self-service, or ESS portal, is a technology that allows employees of an organization to perform some common HR, IT, and administrative tasks on their own, i.e., self-service, without the need for an HR expert or related professional to perform those transactions on the employee’s behalf.
According to surveys, it is believed that at least 73% of employees on average want self-service HR tools. This employee preference has increased the demand for ESS portals in organizations of all scales in recent times.
How does an ESS impact company performance?
The features and technology incorporated into the ESS portal enhance organizational performance comprehensively. Two key ways in which an ESS impacts the operational performance of the organization favourably are given below.
Improves efficiency levels in your HR department
HR and Administrative tasks comprise up to 60% of the working time in HR departments. ESS portals have helped reduce these workloads by as much as 40% – as certain routine HR and administrative tasks related to employees and employee record management can be delegated accordingly.
Apart from this, the tedious paper-based processes in a manual HR system and fixing related mistakes or changes are time-consuming. On the other hand, in an ESS platform, processing HR tasks and even fixing mistakes or making changes is quick, easy, and hustle-free.
All these characteristics of ESS technology give enough time for HR managers to focus on the core HR activities, which can improve efficiency levels and ensure the organization’s long-term success.
Boosts employee engagement
Nearly 80% of employees prefer an easier way to handle routine tasks such as annual leave planning, time tracking, or updating employee information.
With an active ESS portal, an employee no longer has to go through a myriad of paperwork or enquiring relevant HR professionals to update these details.
Employees can find answers to all their questions and concerns via the ESS portal. This gives employees better control over their career, personal information, and related tasks, improving their satisfaction and engagement levels, which can positively impact organizational performance by reducing bureaucratic obstacles to better productivity.
How to unlock the full potential of an ESS
Having an ESS capability in the HR department alone is not enough to bring about its benefits, it’s equally important to leverage it correctly to achieve true business value and unlock its full potential. Here are three approaches you can use to unlock the full potential of an ESS.
Keep It User-Friendly and Personalized
In order to incorporate the effective use of an ESS portal among your employees, it’s important to make sure it is user-friendly. An outdated, clunky and confusing portal will do more harm than allow you to benefit from this technology. So make sure that your ESS portal upholds a user-friendly interface and related features to your employees.
In line with the same approach, you also have to make sure that the ESS portal is more personalized to reflect your company’s brand and related HR and Admin functions, policies, procedures, and regulations.
Deploy change management strategies
Change management is integral to any digital transformation, and ESS technology is no different. In truth, the only most effective way to unlock the full potential of an ESS is to adapt employees to use it effectively without any resistance to the transformation process.
However, as with any change, certain employees will resist this transformation process, so planning and executing appropriate change management strategies to aid employees in utilizing an ESS more effectively is recommended.
Offer formalized training for effective usage
Incorporating an ESS into the daily routine of employees and the overall organizational culture is key to unlock the full potential of an ESS. The best way to approach this is to offer formal training. This is because many employees find it difficult to adapt to new technologies or are resistant to change. This learning curve can be flattened by offering timely training sessions to employees.
Hence, offering properly designed formal training can make the change process easy for an employee to catch up with newly adapted technology and can keep them engaged with organizational goals. Training can be disseminated in three forms:
- Post-implementation: conducting a training session immediately after the portal is launched
- Refresher training: conducting a training session at regular intervals or when updated to clear out any problems or confusion among employees.
- Training during onboarding: this training can be conducted on recruits to familiarize them with the ESS.
ESS Web vs. Mobile App
Employees can use ESS portals in two ways: An ESS web portal and an ESS Mobile App – whichever best suits the user convenience of employees.
Although both modes offer the same set of features, it all comes down to convenience, ease-of-use and comprehensiveness of the ESS software. In a web-based portal, employees can get a more holistic experience with a complete view and access to all options and features comprehensively. This can be more suitable in a workplace or office environment where the employee has access to a desktop device.
On the other hand, an ESS Mobile App is most suitable when an employee wants to access the portal to view, update, or make any other alterations to their information at their convenience, i.e., in situations such as real-time decision making or when there is no access to a desktop or a laptop. It also offers a more minimalistic and hassle-free user experience for workers, especially those with job roles mostly associated with travelling and outdoor tasks.
The modules or features available in an ESS portal will vary between organizations. This usually depends on the nature of HR within an organization, their policies, procedures, and other daily HR and Admin functions. However, certain ESS modules common to many ESS portals make it easier for businesses to unlock the full potential of this technology. Some of these modules are as follows:
- Easy access to Payslips
- Expenses management
- Overtime tracking
- Apply for and monitor leave request status
- Access to benefit programs such as loans, tickets, schooling
- Get updates on upcoming holidays
- View and manage employee certificates
While it is evident that the Employee self-service portal has made a substantial positive impact on the business world in terms of boosting organizational performance and productivity, investing in the right ESS technology and fine-tuning it to leverage its full potential plays a major role in how well you can benefit from it.
BSH is a regional leader in the fast-growing HCM and payroll sector. Following 10 years of partnership with world-leader ADP and servicing over 300 multinationals operating in the Middle East, BSH offers both an ESS Web portal and their exclusive ESS Mobile App; Blink, to cater to all your ESS requirements in an efficient and personalized manner.