The Benefits Of Employee Self-Service Systems for Staff and Managers

How you can empower your staff with an employee self-service system that makes processes simple and saves your managers and team members time.

| Updated: Jan 12, 2022


HR managers are always looking for ways to streamline tasks and save time spent on traditional manual processes. At the same time, employees are looking for a sense of control over their information and increased transparency with their company.

Both of these goals can be achieved by implementing a self-service employee system and giving your employees a self-service option. Workers can easily manage tasks like accessing company news, calling out sick, choosing benefits, and browsing open positions within the company, among other things.

73% of US workers are open to self-service HR tools, so this kind of tool is bound to be very popular with your staff and your HR departments.

What Is An Employee Self-Service (ESS) System?

An employee self-service system (ESS system) is a web-based tool that allows employees to perform HR tasks and administrative duties independently in place of a staff member doing it manually.

An employee self-service portal puts all information in one place so it is easily obtainable by all of the staff. The information may have been available before on the company intranet, but may not be super easy to navigate, so an ESS system puts it all together.

An ESS system should also help employees feel more connected to their broader organization.

Your staff should be able to access the system from any internet-capable device. A mobile ESS system is especially valuable for frontline or distributed workforces that don't log into a computer every day - industries like manufacturing, logistics, retail, restaurant, construction, etc.


How Does Employee Self-Service Technology Benefit Your Staff?

  1. Increases Control and Ownership of Employee Data

  2. Enhances Visibility into Workflow Processes

  3. Highlights Employee Development and Career Advancement

  4. Creates a Home Base for Employee Support

  5. Builds a Foundation for Team Connectedness

1. Increases Control and Ownership of Employee Data

They can submit their own personal data like when they agree to company policies, manage open enrollment and administrative tasks, and submit their emergency contacts. If your team member is entering the information themselves, there is less chance for error.

2. Enhances Visibility into Workflow Processes

Employee self-service portals allow for more transparency in processes and enable employees to have greater visibility- for example when requesting time off, employees can see what they are clicking rather than having an HR manager do it for them. Allowing them to go through the process gives them more transparency into their work environment. The more transparency, the greater the relationship.

3. Highlights Employee Development and Career Advancement

With open positions accessible in the self-service portal, employees are able to be proactive in finding promotional opportunities. A self-service solution lets your team browse and apply for current open positions. The system can even have a tracking status capability so they can see where they are in the process.

You can take it a step further by using your ESS portal to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement. Workers can also browse and enroll in online training, and sign up for seminars, workshops, etc. This allows employees to be more hands-on in their development and career advancement.

4. Creates a Home Base for Employee Support

Your ESS Portal is the home base for your team. The information is always available at any time in an employee self-service system, thus giving workers a sense of the HR team always being available. You are able to distribute key information and manage employee communications and employee engagement directly in the system.

This 24/7 access helps employees feel supported and increases trust in your organization.

5. Builds a Foundation for Team Connectedness

Use your portal to build up your employee culture - provide company information and policy documents that connect your team to your company's mission and build a sense of increased connectedness within your organization.

Build a bit of fun into it - get creative in how you can use your self-service system to delight your employees and build a better sense of culture. Send out birthday announcements, promote team or customer wins, and share monthly goals and numbers to encourage a sense of connectedness and camaraderie.


How Does Employee Self-Service Technology Benefit Your Managers?

While the benefits for your staff are plentiful, the advantages of an employee self-service portal for management are really rooted in saving time, workforce-related costs, and increased connection with their teams.

  1. Eliminates Manual Workflows and Tedious Busy Work

  2. Creates One System of Record for Internal Teams

  3. Shifts Manager Focus to Employee Development

  4. Delivers Insights Directly from Your Team

1. Eliminates Manual Workflows and Tedious Busy Work

Employees are responsible for their own data and personal information, ensuring it is up to date and accurate. They are able to carry out more time-consuming tasks like calling off sick, benefits enrollment, or requesting time off - things that used to be on the manager's plate as a manual to-do.

Switching to a self-service system saves your managers time they would have spent previously on trying to juggle all of the HR-related tasks and administrative processes - and shifts the responsibility equally throughout the team. A little relief in mental load can go a long way in increasing your manager's overall productivity.

2. Creates One System of Record for Internal Teams

Whether it be your HR department, legal, safety, compliance, or team managers, there are a lot of areas in the business that have forms and policies for employees to agree to, sign off on, and fill out.

Employee self-service technology keeps everything in one place and gives internal stakeholders seamless access to what each team member has submitted through the self-service platform. Your compliance and HR leaders will be thrilled with the efficiencies. Not only is the company saving on staff hours since they process less paperwork and forms, but they are also saving tons of paper and printing as everything is accessed and saved digitally.

3. Shifts Manager Focus to Employee Development

When managers are spending their time, and brain space, filling out forms and managing checklists for traditional manual processes, it leaves little room for establishing relationships with their team and focusing on employee development.

A self-service solution can help managers focus on employee development by letting the tool take care of the frustrating processes, and spending their energy focused on developing their team's skills. Managers can also encourage employees to pursue growth opportunities by browsing the ESS portal for training and workshops or open roles they could advance to.

4. Delivers Insights Directly From Your Team

The best part about an ESS solution is how easily it can connect managers with employee insights. Organizations can choose to add in open feedback options that give staff easy access to employee feedback boxes, harassment reporting, employee of the month suggestions, etc.

Receiving feedback to improve the employee experience is difficult, especially with a distributed or frontline workforce, so being able to gather insights directly from your team has so many benefits and is a gift.


Invest in Your Team By Investing in a Mobile Self-Service Platform

While the main benefits of employee self-service systems surround your frontline staff, your managers and the rest of your internal team will also be thankful for the added time back into their busy schedules.

With a frontline workforce, you want to keep it simple, make it useful, and have your employee self-service portal be an extension of your company’s culture. Whether that be with a mobile app version or an ESS text-based portal, giving employees a simple way to access the portal through their phones ensures that your entire workforce can remain connected.

It is home base for many of your employees after all.

Leigh Reason is a seasoned content specialist with decades of experience writing on diverse subjects ranging from food to auto parts to human resources for companies such as Target, Citysearch, Healthline and Evite. She has also done numerous television appearances, including a regular segment on Los Angeles' ABC 7 News’ “Top 7” feature. When she’s not writing, she can be found baking pies for her dessert catering company.

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