The old saying “time is money” may be a cliché, but it’s definitely an accurate statement.
Particularly in business, any time-saving processes can directly impact performance, productivity and revenue, so it’s important to get rid of those tasks that are taking up time and losing you money.
Employee self service (ESS) is a system that allows a company’s employees to perform certain tasks themselves, reducing the input required from management or a member of HR. You can even give employees access to the portal outside of normal working hours, so they are able to action important processes when they are at home.
Some of the areas that ESS portals can take care of include:
ESS also reduces the need for printed paperwork, which can be wasteful and requires physical storage. A hand-written annual leave request will most likely still need to be input into a spreadsheet or database on the computer, so it makes sense to cut out the middleman.
By providing employees with a portal to handle these processes themselves, you can save time, money, paper and space, all while giving your staff more accountability and responsibility for these tasks.
Each of the processes listed above traditionally requires the involvement of more than one person and could take anything from a few hours to a few days to complete. An annual leave request may need approval by a team leader or department head, as well as being checked by the HR team to ensure that the correct amount of leave is available.
Where employees are able to access the ESS portal from any place at any time, requests and changes are logged instantly. Although some processes may require approval, the admin time and physical resources are greatly reduced.
This frees up your HR personnel to focus on the more important tasks that require a personal touch or their expertise and experience, so you get more out of them. A solid ESS system is also highly scaleable. Working with printed forms may be manageable for a small company, but once you expand to a certain point, these manual processes will become too messy and time consuming.
While there are many great benefits, it’s also worth thinking about the downsides when considering ESS for your business.
First of all, the up-front costs can be quite high, which might be off-putting, but this is an investment to save time in the long term.
The issue of security is one to take very seriously, as your system will contain a lot of personal information about your staff and could be vulnerable to cyber attacks. Making your digital information as secure as possible isn’t cheap, but it’s absolutely essential.
Your staff will require training on the ESS portal, which may take some time, and not all users will find it an easy transition. It’s important to ensure that your staff understand the system as fully as possible to prevent errors from occurring.
However, there are many positives that the system can provide, especially for larger companies or those that are still heavily reliant on physical paperwork. Despite the initial costs, ESS should help to streamline your HR processes and give all of your employees more time to focus on their work.
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