Employee self-service software

Employee Self-Service

What is ESS?

Employee self-service, or ESS, is a feature that is present in most modern HRMS. ESS has allowed employees to complete different tasks with when earlier these tasks would require the help and expertise of HR personnel or managers. ESS may also help companies save money and increase efficiency by cutting down on manpower hours. Even with all the advantages that ESS offers, installing it may not be the right call for all companies.

Most employee self-service systems allow employees to change personal information such as an address, contact information, and banking information – through approval may be needed. Some ESS systems can also allow employees to view payment and payroll information with the proper permissions. In case there are issues unresolvable by using the ESS, the HRMS system may allow the employee to directly contact the HR department. This system strikes a good balance between automation and security and problem-solving solutions that can occur only from human interaction.

Basic features of an ESS system

Logging shifts and time working

  • Documentation of working hours
  • Allows the supervisor to monitor employees productivity
  • Allows the direct filing of payroll accounts

Management of development measures

  • Managing training courses
  • Employee appraisal process management
  • Development plan creation

Dissemination of important notices and announcements

  • Overview of current vacancies
  • Information on company agreements
  • Information about company events
  • General information on training and qualifications
  • Employee evaluation

Applying for vacation and grace periods

  • Preparation and submission of vacation requests
  • Indication of remaining days of vacation
  • Creation and modification of travel requests
  • Permission of trip and leave requests by superiors

Things to keep in mind while implementing ESS system  

ESS systems can be of two types. They can be either custom made in-house or bought from a third party. Both of these ways have their advantages and disadvantages. In either case, the basic steps to take before implementation remain the same.

Simplicity is key

Keep in mind that many of your employees will not be familiar with the system that you put in place. As with any new software, growing pains are unavoidable.

Keep the language, icons, text, etc. simple so that any employee from any department can understand the information with ease. In the end, remember that the employees have to benefit the most from this system.

Form and Function

Neat and clean looking interfaces are nice, and everyone wants their software to look impressive. However, this should not come at the cost of simplicity and ease of use. Many of these interfaces tend to cram a lot of information in front of your face at the same time, thus making it nigh impossible to understand what you are looking at. This should be dodged at all costs.

Spreading awareness

Having an impressive system won’t matter if nobody uses it. Therefore, it’s necessary to coach all the employees about the ins and outs of the system. Don’t forget to give guides, whether written or digital, that the employee can access at will.

Advantages of an ESS system

Time Savings

HR procedures take a lot of time and manpower that could be diverted to better uses. With an ESS system at the workplace, those with HR duties will have extra time to focus on tasks like decisive business partnership activities, hiring, and training.

Employees will no longer have to wait for messages from higher-ups to get information. All information can be disseminated by the ESS system only.

Cost Savings

An ESS system drastically reduces time spent on administrative duties by organizing all of your employees, benefits, payroll, attendance, training, and hiring information into one centralized hub. This further translates into lower costs for the company.

Employee Control and Engagement

By giving employees access to their data, you are making things easier for both them and the company. In case any data needs to be modified or updated, the employee can do it themselves instead of relying on HR to implement these changes. It can allow employees greater control over their working hours as a digital shift system will allow the employees to plan leaves, swap shifts, etc. with ease.

Expense Management

If you allow employees to file expense reports, Employee Self-Service streamlines the process by providing 24/7 access to the approval and reimbursement process, including uploading receipts and managing expenses while traveling.

Better data and information security

Data kept on paper is unreliable and easily lost. With ESS, companies and employees can store sensitive data digitally and access it anytime and anywhere with the necessary permissions

Data transparency

Employees will have full access to data about them. This will help in eliminating any instances of manipulation or foul play when it comes to personal details.

Environmental impact

There is a lot of raw material used in the daily workings of an organization. Ex-large amounts of paper, ink, etc. By moving towards a more digital method of communication, we can save on those costs while also helping the environment.

Drawbacks of Employee Self-Service

ESS has a huge time investment in the form of having to teach every employee how to use the system. Even then, if the employees do not use the ESS system regularly them it’ll be a waste.

A failure to understand how to use ESS systems can create work backlogs and communication errors. Also, if some employees use the ESS, but others stick to the old methods then it can result in loss of information, duplication of effort, etc.


ESS is a huge step forward in the integration of technology with employees. ESS streamlines processes extensively and any drawbacks that it may have can be easily circumvented using proper procedures. It is a tool that is finding its way into companies – be it an MNC or an SME.


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