Why the Modern Office Needs HR Employee Self Service Portals

By Chris Pisarkiewicz

PEOs and other HR service providers are usually highly efficient when it comes to HR. But we also know how much trouble can be caused by a small breakdown in employee communications, such as a single e-mail lost in a spam folder. Employee self-service portals keep such issues from arising so that communications are as efficient as the other aspects of your HR services.

What is Employee Self Service?

Employee self service (ESS) is a feature that is available with most modern human resource information systems (HRIS), also known as human resource management systems (HRMS).

Once signed into their employee self-service portal, users can access human resources-related and employee-specific data such as benefits or taxes, which once might have required taking time away from their desk to visit the human resources or payroll department in person, to clarify simple issues.

Employees can also manage certain tasks such as checking their pay stub or submitting paid time off that the payroll manager or human resources manager would have done before the company’s adoption of ESS.

Common Features of an Employee Self Service Portal

Even though it may eventually require the approval of the payroll or human resources manager, employees can use the HR self-service system to quickly and easily change things like their home address, contact information, basic W-9 tax form information, or banking direct deposit. Putting the power of making simple changes into an employee’s hands saves you and them time, which is always a good thing. Employees’ access to their company’s ESS portal needs to be secure since it contains sensitive personal data used for payroll and other HR-related tasks.

The most fundamental features that organizations can expect in software for PEOs, ASOs, and other HR service organizations is the ability for worksite employees to request time off and receive quick approval.

And it’s not all about basic employee information such as payroll and time tracking. An HR self-service portal can also provide access to online training, important notifications, newsletters, and employee directories. An ESS portal makes life easier for worksite employees and managers alike.

Easy Access for Employees, Anytime and Anywhere

With an employee self service portal, employees can access key personal data from their desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet—with appropriate optimization, specific to each type of device—whether they’re in the office or in remote locations. The HR data availability is always the same, allowing employees to view basic personal HR information, earning statements, benefit summaries, or review and submit requests for leave.

Employees don’t need to make special requests to find out how much vacation time they have available or how much time they must use before the end of the year, in the event they can’t roll over time to the following year.

This type of instant access to information relieves stress for employees who can quickly check the information so they can start making necessary arrangements and return to their daily tasks and stay productive. This in turn helps employees feel more involved and satisfied with the process. ESS also prevents interruptions in the workflow of payroll and human resource managers.

Pros and Cons of HR Self-Service Portals

Obviously, an ESS portal takes time and money to set up. The good news is with PrismHR, there are things you can do to customize the look and feel of the HR self-service portal for the client, with their logo and colors, for example.

Like any effective investment in the efficiency of a company, eventually a good ESS pays for itself in a few ways.

First, as mentioned, it reduces the amount of work that HR and payroll staff need to do to answer worksite employee questions, thereby allowing companies to reduce staff or redirect HR employees towards more important endeavors.

It also simply makes employees happier. Employees don’t want to spend a lot of their time on administrative hassles; they want to do the job they’re paid for. Reducing the time spent on minutia improves employee morale and productivity.

An ESS also allows for greater accuracy of transactions, by reducing the risk for human error and by automatically detecting certain types of errors. This ultimately can save a business money as well.

Employee Self Service Helps PEOs Win More Business

Offering an employee self service portal is an especially good fit for PEOs and other HR service providers.  What is a PEO?

Small and medium-sized businesses and their employees want access and control over their HR-related data. Payroll and HR staff may not always be on-site to address questions right away, making an HR self service solution essential to managing tasks in a timely manner and without additional stress for employees.

With the right HR software platform, HR service providers can provide the level of access their customers want and will help them win more deals and improve customer satisfaction.