Employee self-service (ESS) – aka self-service HRIS – is cloud-based technology that facilitates many typical HR functions. It is a secure, centralised platform – often delivered via an organisation’s intranet or portal – where employees can access and modify their personal information anytime, anywhere, from any device.

ESS technology automates people management and gives staff the ability to update things like personal contact details and bank details and perform work-related tasks: view leave balances and make requests, access payslips, claim expenses, apply for reimbursements, and access company benefits information.

Manager Self-Service is often a function of ESS, where managers can oversee their team and check employee leave balance and absences, for example. Today, ESS is typically part of a broader human capital management (HCM) platform or human resources information system (HRIS) and delivered via a comprehensive software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. ESS functionality typically also integrates with other compatible systems through an API.

How does ESS work?

ESS operates by bringing together an interactive web application on the user’s end with an organisation’s searchable knowledge database. It allows users to independently navigate around the site, accessing their information through a secured login. As well as personal information, an ESS also tends to house key resources such as company policies, factsheets, FAQs etc. The functionality empowers employees to access, view, and update their own information themselves, reducing the number of queries and requests for HR to action.

Common features of employee self-service (ESS)

  • Personal information: Employees can add next of kin details, update mailing address and phone number and change bank details.

  • Payroll data: Employees can view and print payslips and Payment Summaries, change tax withholding and deduction amounts, log work time and hours, access superannuation details, claim business expenses and track reimbursements.

  • Leave allowance: Employees can view leave balances and accruals, forecast leave entitlements and request leave.

  • Company benefits: Employees can view and enrol in benefits programs.

  • Company policies: Employees can view company policies and procedures, including the company handbook. It’s also possible to streamline the entire employee lifecycle by incorporating employee learning and development and performance management into an ESS platform

ELMO’s HR Core Employee Self-Service (ESS) and Manager Self-Service functionality enables employees to apply for leave and check their leave balances, and for managers to oversee absences. HR Core integrates with other modules in ELMO’s cloud HR and payroll suite – including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, payroll, rostering / time & attendance, learning & development, and more – as well as other compatible systems through an API. 

The benefits of using employee self-service (ESS)

ESS offers a multitude of benefits for both employees, managers, and HR.

Employee autonomy

With access to a centralised people management system, employees are afforded the autonomy to view and update their own personal data, such as leave requests, pay slips, etc. in one place, at any time.

Greater efficiency and accuracy

ESS gives employees the ability to take control of many paper-based human-resources-related tasks that would otherwise be completed by HR personnel, administrative staff or by managers. An employee entering their own details also increases data input accuracy.

Employee empowerment and engagement

ESS is a great empowerment tool and improves productivity. It may even foster a greater sense of engagement and brand advocacy in employees.

Greater development incentive

Employees will become more motivated to grow and develop within the organisation if they can clearly see opportunities for learning and development and up-skilling. A workforce that is happy and satisfied results in reduced staff turnover and higher return on investment.

Easing admin burden

Perhaps the biggest benefit for HR is reduced workload. With self-service technology, people management is automated and centralised – there is no need to fill out, chase up or process paper forms, as all information is in one place – so HR don’t lose time completing administrative tasks.

Practical and conducive to remote working

Cloud-based technology is the only option when it comes to managing and navigating remote working environments. HR and managers need to have full visibility of up-to-date employee records whilst they are at home, and a centralised system allows this.

Accessible anywhere, on any device, at any time

Having one centralised system for all employee management is more productive. When teams are dispersed – perhaps geographically and in terms of scheduling – people management isn’t compromised.

Reduces paper waste

Another huge benefit of cloud-based technology and specifically self-service functionality is that there is a reduction of paper. This is both eco-friendly and makes sense when it comes to filing and storage space, as well as printing/postage logistics. Cloud-based technology removes all these antiquated workplace problems.

Reduction of errors

Another advantage of self-service is that it improves accuracy. Paper-based, manual-handling processes are prone to human error, and automation eliminates the risk of errors in data transfer and makes it easier for HR or managers to spot incorrect employee data or information entry.

Better insights

Self-service technology provides managers with a complete view of their team and enables them to make informed decisions. This improves productivity and empowerment for all involved. ESS is a valuable technology that all organisations must harness if they wish to grow and compete in their market.

ELMO Software (ASX:ELO) is a cloud-based solution that helps thousands of organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to effectively manage their people, process and pay. ELMO solutions span the entire employee lifecycle from ‘hire to retire’. They can be used together or stand-alone, and are configurable according to an organisation’s unique processes and workflows. Automate and streamline your operations to reduce costs, increase efficiency and bolster productivity. For further information, contact us.

Learn more about how ELMO can help your organisation.
Learn more about how ELMO can help your organisation.