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4 Min. Read

What is ESS (Employee Self-Service)?

What is ESS (Employee Self-Service)?

An Employee Self-Service system is a piece of technology that could change the game for your growing business. Learn all there is to know!

Employee Self-Service (ESS) is a technology that allows for employees to access knowledge and software. The knowledge base they have access to needs to help them with their work tasks. Likewise, the software suite is usually a collection of apps that your employees need to use the most. 

Each ESS system is different. It depends on your business structure and primary methods of delivering work to clients. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of having an ESS. Do you need one? And what could your ESS include to be the most functional thing for your team? 

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Are the Common Features of ESS?

The Benefits of Employee-Self Service Systems

The Downsides of ESS

Key Takeaways

What Are the Common Features of ESS?

Employee-Self Service software is designed to take the pressure off of your management and HR teams. It's typically cloud-based software for extra security. Employees can have access to a whole host of things at a click of a button. They are less reliant on you as a manager or business owner to tend to minor issues.

Each employee’s self-service portal will be unique to each staff member. It will be secure to them so they can safely store personal details and requests. 

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Common abilities an ESS system may have: 

  • The ability to update personal information. This could include bank details for payroll, address changes and contact details. 
  • Make time off requests digitally. Human resource departments can then approve it quickly.
  • Access to payroll and benefit information. You can put benefits management into your employees’ hands. It saves your human resources managers so much time!
  • The ability to submit expense reports and request reimbursement
  • Access to company handbooks which contain company policies and training
  • Access to common IT suite apps and digital manuals for them
  • Shared bulletin board for the latest information about the company
  • Company directories to contact people in other departments for help

The Benefits of Employee-Self Service Systems

ESS mostly benefits larger companies. The number of employees can make simple HR tasks difficult. Here is a summary of why you may choose to implement an ESS: 

  • You save valuable labor hours with Human Resources personnel and management by allowing employees to serve themselves. For example, changes to a benefits package on payroll can be an arduous process for HR. Whereas an employee can alter their health insurance at a click of a button with ESS.
  • Team productivity and efficiency improve when employees have more access to the information they need. If they can reference a guide to fix issues they may have without bothering management, you save time!
  • Employees feel safer when they can enter and update their own information. You also have the security that fewer errors will happen. An employee is unlikely to make a typo on their new bank details. If an HR employee does it instead and gets it wrong, that catastrophic minor error could have huge repercussions.
  • Employees feel more empowered and in control of their work. Having everything they need at their fingertips allows for more autonomy. Access to sensitive data like payroll entries improves employee satisfaction overall.
  • ESS is a portal that can be accessed anywhere at any time. Even from mobile devices! The company can feel more in sync and connected this way.

The Downsides of ESS

 The drawbacks of ESS are few but these might help you decide whether ESS is for you.

  • They take time to fully set up and integrate with the features you want. This is especially true if your ESS houses company-specific software.
  • You have to educate your employees on how to use the system. That transition can be long and tedious.
  • It’s best for larger companies with corporate identities. That’s to say it won’t suit every company culture.

Key Takeaways

A reliable ESS supports your staff and helps cut down on HR tasks. It’s a central hub that streamlines management. 

We have written expert guides on employee management and HR like this one. Head to our resource hub for more!


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