“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”
These words by Henry Ford have inspired many men and women to invent the unthinkable. Inventions are happening at rocket speed in the business space to not only improve employee productivity and well-being, but also to cut costs and increase profitability and customer satisfaction.
HR, in particular, has adopted automation and digitisation in its function to enhance employee experience. Employee self-service is a step towards that.
Employee self-service (ESS) is the latest technology in the HR space — a digital interface/ application for the employees of a company, which enables them to perform administrative work (HR related) without involving HR staff.
“ESS helps employees plan their time and thus contributes to the efforts of creating a work life balance”
Features of ESS
• It is digital and completely technologically driven.
• It is a part of the company website, HR-intranet and a mobile app.
• Its technology ensures instant processing time.
• It is function-oriented and designed to perform tasks and give information.
“Employee Self Service as an approach has been implemented in multiple areas across the organization and for different purposes – all based on the principle that employees need to be able to manage their matters at their convenience, also helps employees plan their time and thus contributes to the efforts of creating a work life balance,” says Anil Jalali, CHRO Capgemini India.
“We are implementing digitisation in the HR function— from set-ups to core HR, recruitment, leave management and everything associated with that. There is a mobile app to register attendance and leave, and employees can use it to submit their leave applications,” says Sharad Sharma, CHRO-DHFL Pramerica.
The advantages of ESS are as follows:
Personal details: ESS allows employees to quickly update their personal information, such as personal data, family details and work experiences. This saves a lot of time, unlike the traditional method of filling forms and sending to the head office.
Details regarding leave, allowances and benefits: The ESS application displays the number of days that remain for leave for an employee. In case an employee applies for a leave, it can be processed quickly as the sanction/denial can be granted fast. Similarly, the ESS can be used to extract details regarding other allowances and benefits, which an employee is entitled to. This way, employees do not miss out on taking advantage of their entitlements and know what to expect or not expect at their level.
“The human interface with HR will be more qualitative and less administrative. HR will play the role of a coach, a guide and a friend who can be approached during a problem”
Training programmes: Employees can use ESS to glance through upcoming training and development programmes that are open to nomination. They may fill up and upload forms, which the supervisor can approve or decline promptly.
Real-time solutions: The ESS helps to reduce processing time, specially when employees are working remotely. This enables larger companies to establish workplaces across geographies and have centralised administration departments.
User-friendly: The ESS is sophisticatedly designed to provide ease of working when a person navigates through the application. It is user-friendly, easily recognisable and helps the user to understand complex functions.
“My sense is that anything to do with administrative, logistics and other employment-related activities for which employees need to go to HR should be digitised”
Employees go to the HR-intranet to access the performance management tool, fill their goal sheets and submit them. The manager reviews them and gives them a rating and posts comments that will be visible to the employees on the system itself.
“We have yet to implement the learning and management system; it’s in process. My sense is that anything to do with administrative, logistics and other employment-related activities for which employees need to go to HR should be digitised. Admin functions should be performed at the click of a button. For instance, if an employee needs an address- verification letter or a salary certificate, it should be generated by the system,” says Sharma.
The human interface with HR will be more qualitative and less administrative. HR will play the role of a coach, a guide and a friend who can be approached during a problem.
The concept of ESS is powerful. It is a win-win, both for the organisation and the employees. The challenge for the companies is to make the right choice of ESS platform.