Making the Most of Employee Self Service Capabilities


As the percentage of the workforce with computer and Internet access continues to rise, so too does the popularity of Employee Self Service (ESS) applications. Originally designed to provide employees with access to their personal records and payroll details, ESS has evolved into broader functionality, specifically empowering employees and managers to take more responsibility for their jobs and development.

Career planning, skills profiles, learning, objective settings, appraisals, and analytics are increasingly popular ESS applications. This development is driven by improved technology, a better understanding of human resource management (HRM), a more hands-off role of the HR department, and an increasingly Web savvy workforce, most notably new employees belonging to the Millennial generation.

Putting these tools in place is one thing for a company; getting the most out of them is another. When implementing ESS technology, companies should consider the following elements to help ensure that the investment performs at a high level:

  • Understand the efficiencies the technology can enable. ESS is implemented not only to improve employee satisfaction, but also to uncover inefficient use of HR assets and make HR more strategic and less tactical. To do this, a thorough examination of your own processes is a good first step to seeing where these strategic gains can be made.
  • Train your employees to understand how to access and use ESS. Regardless of how intuitive a system may be, don’t assume that everyone will understand its usage without proper training. You’re investing in the system, so also invest in the personnel that are using it.
  • Establish sound procedures and workflows. These processes need to be well considered for every action that can be taken in an ESS. Who can initiate actions? When are approvals required? Who gives them? Where is the information routed? Who has access to it?
  • Don’t forget security. Consider the risks of information beyond the network. What should be printable and where? What about logins and logouts? Establish rules that serve the individual and the organization.
  • Prepare the culture for change. As with any new technology, ESS will encounter resistance to change. Expect it. What’s more, don’t expect that HR interactions with employees will disappear with the advent of ESS. Listen to what users have to say about the system, and make adjustments accordingly if they make sense. Nothing will deter employees from using ESS to its fullest faster than the feeling that what they think about it doesn’t have an impact.

Posted by Lisa Rickard, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Epicor HCM


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