If you were asked about Employee Self Service, you might answer by saying that it’s simply common sense. Why wouldn’t you give your employees access to the data that you hold about them

Or, you might say that it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe some things should be kept private, to avoid confidentiality breaches?

In fact, ESS software can do so much more than you might initially expect. The benefits can only really be appreciated once you know how employees can use ESS. Here are the main benefits, including examples of software functionality:

Greater accuracy

Have you ever tried to call an employee, only to find that their phone’s been disconnected?

Have you written a letter that your employee claims never to have received?

Weeks or months down the line, you might find that you’re holding inaccurate information. Perhaps the employee forgot to tell you when they moved house or bought a new phone. Perhaps they told someone, but the records weren’t updated with new details.

With Employee Self Service, your workers can see the data that you keep in their file. They can check that contact details are up to date at any given time. If the phone number on file is wrong, they can change it with just a few clicks. Employees can also update their own bank details, to make sure that their salary is paid into their brand new bank account.

Employees can be accountable for updating their own information, without relying on other people to type the details correctly.

Improved efficiency 

ESS software can be used by employees to request time off, record working hours and review the results of appraisals. As a result they no longer need to submit paper forms, send emails to various people, or chase information down in person.

The use of ESS means that there can be more time spent working and less time spent on admin.

Ability to check back

At any time, employees can log in to your ESS software to look back over something that’s been said. This is useful if they’ve forgotten whether or not you approved their annual leave, or if they can’t remember the goals that you set in their latest appraisal meeting.

Improved morale

Staff feel more respected and trusted, when you give them control over their own information. They’re not relying on the HR department, who they might not otherwise have contact with, to change details that they can change themselves.

ESS can also provide a sense of privacy. Employees won’t need to tell strangers in person if they’ve changed their bank account, or moved house over the weekend. Though the data will still be fed back to the relevant people, those time-consuming and often awkward face-to-face conversations are reduced.

Some ESS programs also provide functionality for employers to thank their employees. It takes seconds to send a quick thank you message, but the impact of recognition could do a lot for a worker’s morale.

Company documents on demand

There are times when employees might want to look back over their contract, or one of your procedure documents. For a long time, things like health and safety information and company complaints procedures have been kept on shelves in the office.

Employees value the privacy and convenience of having all important documents on demand. They can access important information as soon as they need it, without searching through folders in cupboards. This saves time and ensures that workers feel more comfortable researching anything that they’re feeling confused about.

Eco-friendly space saving

ESS software is good for the environment, and for your workplace layout.

Nobody likes to see dozens of folders stacked on shelves, or piles of paper on the desk in the Human Resources office. Not only are printed documents inconvenient (you can never find the one that you’re searching for!), they’re also untidy and unsightly.

Most businesses nowadays will ask their employees to ‘think before you print’. We all know that it’s important to do our bit for the environment. You can make it easier by limiting the amount of things that need to be printed in the workplace. The more documents that can be accessed or edited online, using Employee Self Service software, the happier those trees will be.

Handy reminders

Is one of your employees about to celebrate a birthday? Is someone off work next week? Are annual appraisals due? Are there deadlines to check up on?

Clear notifications ensure that you never miss any moment that’s recorded in your ESS software.

Instant cross-referencing

When one employee requests a day off, it’s important to know who else is already off work. Will approving the request leave you short staffed?

Automated features within any good Employee Self Service program will allow you to quickly cross-reference. You’ll be able to see which employees are already taking time off, so that you don’t approve too many holidays.

Improved data security

Understandably, some people have concerns about storing their data online. Security issues are a reasonable thing to worry about.

Ask yourself, how secure is your employee data if it’s printed and slipped into folders? How secure is it if it’s all kept on one computer, or even on a few external hard drives? If there was a fire in the office, how much would you lose? What if someone broke into the building and searched through personal details?

In fact, storing data in the cloud is a safe and reliable choice. It means that information is held securely, but can be accessed from anywhere at any time by the relevant people with the appropriate passwords.

Data isn’t lost even if every office computer is destroyed. How secure is your existing setup?

A summary:

ESS software can improve workplace efficiency, cut administration time and ensure that data is kept up to date. It can improve security, make employees feel more trusted and responsible and ensure that important dates and details aren’t forgotten.

It’s better for the environment than printing, more aesthetically pleasing than a shelf full of folders, and easier to access as well!

If you’ve not yet taken the leap into the world of Employee Self Service, why not let us know why you’re still holding back?