What is Employee Self Service and What are the Advantages for Your Business?

What is Employee Self Service?

Like the name suggests, employee self service is the name given to software that allows workers to take care of items like changing banking and contact information without going through someone in the HR department. They can often access payroll, personal details and in some cases submit vacation requests too.

If you think your small business can get away with bypassing employee self service software without even a consideration, think again.

Gartner has predicted by 2020, 85% of customer interactions won’t involve a human and this wave of automation already includes employee self service portals.

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Here’s what small businesses need to know about this cost saving technology.

Employee self-service is an emerging trend for small businesses that want to streamline or eliminate their HR departments. Beyond the features already mentioned, some of these portals allow employees to change their W-4 data as well as  direct deposit information. There are a host of other options like benefits information as well.

Employee Self Service Tips

User Friendliness  

There needs to be a lot of information in one of these portals but it needs to be easy to read and understand. Navigation is a very important aspect. Start planning the portal with the navigation bar on the landing page because that’s the launch point for your employees.

Since they’re more than likely familiar with websites, you should put your nav bar at the top where they expect it to be. To reduce clutter, consider a drop-down feature from there. Remember that you don’t need to clutter up the website with a lot of information that would just put your employees off.

These drop-down menus are a great way to hide folders behind the landing page. For example, clicking on a “Benefits” tab could lead to the drop-down menu to take employees to the dental or eyeglass benefit folders/pages.

There are a host of other features you need to look at this as a starting point and the one you should funnel all your choices through.

Other Features  

One of the other features that you need to consider for an employee self-service portal is compliance. It’s a good idea to reserve at least part of the website for employee handbooks and tools where they can report acts of discrimination or theft.

Keeping employee files online where you can see them 24/7 is another feature that you’ll probably want to take a serious look at.

Picking the Software

Picking the right software for your small business depends on sorting through several different options. Some, like EmpXTrack will charge a fee per employee per month.

Other models like Zoho People charge per user per month. The other option is for larger small businesses or medium sized companies. There is usually a one time payment here with some tiered options you’ll need to sort through.

Getting Started  

Like everything else when you’re moving from paper to digital records, you should plan a strategy when you’ve decided to set up one of these employee self service portals. You should plan to create an account for each individual employee and give them the login information. Tell them to go in and check what’s in there once you’ve got the software up and running and make any necessary changes.

You’ll need to walk your employees through the whole process. Having a team meeting is a good idea. Explain what can and cannot be done in the portal. It’s also important to answer any questions they might have.

The Advantages  

There are some advantages to digitizing the employee experience this way. If you sign up with a software program that has a mobile app option, everyone in your company will be able to organize the information they need on the go.

This software option also makes it easier for HR people to skip the mundane administrative parts of their job and concentrate on other things like onboarding new employees.

The Disadvantages  

Before you go all in with one of these employee self-service platforms, consider the downside. For example, errors have a way of showing up when there’s no one overseeing how the data gets entered and how accurate it is.

There are some upfront costs involved like ramping up your cyber security. Having employees personal information compromised can actually leave your small business accountable legally so you can’t skimp on this feature.

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

One Reaction
  1. This is good because it is convenient but there can be some security issues as well. But it helps rather than manually encoding everything.

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