What is ESS (Employee Self Service) and here’s why you need it

Employee Self Service or ESS for short is a feature integrated into all modern HR software. ESS allows access to a string of data regarding HR, personal data, and such related information. The key highlight of ESS is in its name, Employee Self Service, the data which would otherwise need an HR representative to maintain, is now in the hands of each employee, at least their own data due to obvious privacy concerns. This simple yet highly effective move saves on precious resources such as time and money. Some companies are heavily invested in the idea whereas some may not prefer it due to the size and nature of their own. 

ESS is not only for employees but for the management as well, as MSS or Management Self Service is often linked and incorporated within the ESS. This often refers to Managers overlooking and aiding employee matters that were needed, but more importantly, having an administrator to handle any situation. The link between the hierarchy is, therefore, kept intact much like the integration between the ESS and your HR software.

It is already integrated into the HR systems and requires no extra fiddling around on the back-end. Usually, such self-service portals are under the HR department’s supervision but for greater efficiency, personal log-ins are assigned to the employees. Still, seem a little unconvincing to you? The following host of features will surely provide the clarity and knowledge you need.


Features of ESS

  • Personal Info: ESS will allow employees to update their info and personal details by themselves, cutting out the middle-man (HR). This allows for a more streamlined process and prevents long application submission and updating.
  • Leaves: Here the employees will have complete access to their current leave situation whether it be related to leave balance or requesting for leaves.
  • Programs: Direct log-ins will allow open-access to enroll in benefits programs or other similar schemes.
  • Policies/Rules: As policies and rules are often updates, sometimes they may go under the radar of most employees. With ESS a few clicks will get the relevant policies up on your screen.
  • Payroll: Financing is a particular field, especially when payroll is involved. With self-servicing, Employees will have complete access to previous salary slips, pay cut information, taxes, time-logs, reimbursements, and all relevant data associated with their payroll in general.
  • HR reports: Such analytics will provide the users more clarity in terms of KPI’s and set goals in comparison to their performances during a defined period. This also helps the HR department as a whole.


Benefits of ESS

  • Engagement: The ESS tool is great for boosting employee engagement and have them update each detail when required. It acts as a new medium to engage in the existing HR software.
  • Greater Efficiency: As each employee is responsible for their own data, this speeds up the process by a large margin and even decreases the chance of mistakes within the details.
  • Autonomy: The integrated bit of software from the central management access point allows for the employee to access and edit their data whenever needed without hesitation.
  • Ease of burden: The introduction of ESS into an office ecosystem drastically eases the load on the HR department which would manually have to amend any changes requested. Not to mention the processing time it may take to achieve a minor task. HR and Managers do however still have all the admin rights to oversee the changes in order to administer effectively.
  • Easy access: Since the system is entirely digital, it acts as the perfect medium for dispersed teams or even when on the go. This saves time on having to reach out to the HR team which may be located in a foreign place.
  • Green/Environmentally friendly: An alternative bonus of ESS is the sheer amount of paper being saved. As such office work requires a series of documentation and updates. The system saves a lot of paper while preventing excessive waste.


Is there a catch?

ESS is no doubt a valuable addition to any organization’s arsenal and boasts a series of benefits along with features as mentioned. However, a major drawback would be for each employee to familiarize themselves with the software, as understanding is key for the implementation to be successful. This may lead to communication gaps, incorrect data, and a learning curve from manual to the digital entry system.

If your company is already using an integrated HR Management Software such as PeopleSonic, this won’t be an issue as the interface is very similar to the rest and can easily be adopted into the workflow. As the ESS integration goes hand in hand with HR software, opting for solid HR Management Software shouldn’t be overlooked!


What Payroll Can Learn From 2020

2020 was a difficult year. With COVID-19 disrupting nearly all aspects of modern society, everyone was forced to rethink what ‘normal’ meant, from coffee shops to multinational corporations. Of those affected in various industries, smaller businesses had to bear the bigger brunt in the scramble to identify and implement safe, remote workflows. The lack of manpower and the financial cushion of being a large organization were the primary reasons for that.

Caught in in the lurch of that transition was a critical part of HR: payroll. Businesses, like the rest of us, were utterly unprepared for a global-scale disaster – as corporations and government bodies drafted updated rules and regulations concerning payroll practices in a pandemic-ridden world, most of the year was spent in a sort of firefighting mode. Rules would be implemented, issues arising in the aftermath would be amended and the cycle would repeat. New Zealand went into a strict, enforced lockdown early in the pandemic, a measure that wrecked economic stability in the short term but is being lauded by the rest of the world for its effectiveness. Government support, changes in business tax and wage subsidies meant that payroll managers needed to always be on top of the latest compliance requirements, because there is no margin for error when it comes to payroll.

Having to manage all that in addition to the standard corporate tax and income tax (withheld by employers in the form of Pay-As-You-Earn basis) added several layers of complexity to the jobs of payroll managers, who were also adjusting to working remotely with the extra responsibility. That is where technology has proven itself invaluable, by helping payroll operations run smoothly and accurately. Cloud-based solutions like PeopleSonic gained wider adoption as data and access portability were sought, alongside a robust and secure platform for managing critical payroll and HR data.

A year into the pandemic, however, most HR and payroll teams are still running in disaster mode, as the uncertainty associated with virus hotspots, variable restrictions and lockdowns keeps businesses operating erratically. That means that even with technology providing necessary support, there are still steps that HR professionals can take to tackle this uncertainty and still deliver quality work. Let’s examine what those steps could potentially be:

Embrace the automation provided by technology

While most companies, small or large, have sought HR platforms for their cloud services to meet work from home requirements, they are missing a critical advantage by not utilizing these platforms to their fullest.

PeopleSonic provides a payroll automation solution as part of its software suite, which not only helps reduce errors in bookkeeping and payroll processing, but it optimizes the process as well so that there are no delays – we all know how inefficient large spreadsheets become over time. Not only that, payroll automation helps reduce process costs as well, a saving critical for small businesses at this critical juncture in time. If you consider one upgrade to your HR and payroll processes, make it this.

Stay on top of changing regulations

The pandemic response in New Zealand involved various forms of stimuli and support for businesses of all sizes. The Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme, the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme and sector-specific support, for instance, are all new aspects of payroll that need to be accounted for with every salary processing event.

While the government-based programmes have been established by this point, it does not hurt to add ‘checking the Treasury website regularly’ to your work routine to stay on top of any new developments, or updates to existing subsidies.

Technology can aid here as well. The PeopleSonic suite, for instance, provides compliance information within the platform, so that HR personnel are aware of critical information in the employee’s country.

Stress on data security

Most businesses, even smaller ones, have traditionally had on-site IT to provide a secure digital environment for employees to work in and store data. However, with the move to home-based work, employees, especially in HR and admin, will be accessing highly sensitive data through unsecured home networks, which opens the possibility for security breaches – the ultimate betrayal of the client/customer’s trust.

Shifting to a cloud-based HR solution rather than the in-house solution that was used pre-pandemic is the fastest way to secure all your critical personnel and payroll data. PeopleSonic’s platform pairs that secure cloud environment with a system that can be accessed on computers, smartphones and any internet-enabled devices to combine convenience with the ultimate peace of mind.

 As 2021 gets underway and it becomes clearer that the term ‘business as usual’ is still not attainable, it is paramount that HR remain on top of the upheaval in daily work functions – more so now than ever before, employees need reassurance in the face of uncertainty with regular salaries. That requires payroll processing to happen like clockwork, which can only happen if HR personnel make embracing technology their 2021 resolution.

5 Emerging HR Trends in 2021

2020 is undoubtedly a year we won’t be forgetting soon. The world itself was left dismantled due to the spread of Covid-19. Crumbling many businesses to their downfall and shaking up our entire perspective on the way we live our lives, study, and work. As we carry on into 2021 with new hopes, we can’t render the work status from 2020 useless. The post-Covid gameplan will surely reflect our future trends.

Although many trends arise each year and many are still in rapid growth, here’s an insight into the 5 emerging HR trends in 2021.

Digital Tracking and Automation:
As we move into a digital-oriented workplace, managing and sustaining such workplaces may prove to be a hassle without proper software implementation. As with much of 2020, workplaces have modeled their employees to work from home. Though this provides workers with a more relaxed environment in some cases, keeping track of said employees may prove to be difficult. With spaced out teams working together virtually, tracking their progress is just as important. Automating minute tasks such as attendance, auto-syncing, and seamless data transfer will prove to be fruitful for efficient working.

A variety of software and online tools provide adequate service, but only a few encapsulate the entire theme of HR Management such as PeopleSonic.

Hybrid Workplaces and Their Culture
With work from home becoming the new norm in the passing year, some are truly struggling with managing all from one space in their home. Whereas others are striving in the more relaxed and casual workspace created at home. There’s no doubt the pandemic has caused many issues with working at home, especially during long terms of isolation with kids or family bustling about. However, this seems to be the way of life for at least a few more months, until there is more clarity to this pandemic.

Designated workspaces at home are therefore being defined but to a more professional approach. Many establishments offer, shared co-working spaces and multi-use offices for those who need them, following covid-19 precautions of course.  

Performance Management
As established before, handling employee data and performances virtually is a task in itself. Achieving and handling KPI’s is key throughout the organization’s run. In the coming years, we are bound to see a great improvement in virtual management as a whole. Currently setting specific targets via software and implementing that into the system has resulted in brands going fully digital. The ability to have customized reports, detailed analytics, and data displayed in an automated fashion show how far we’ve already come.

There’s room for improvement, with faster speeds and completely reliable figures over the horizon, Performance management is something business should proactively look into.

HR In the driver’s seat
The HR department in any given organization is vastly important in linking the employees to the management and higher hierarchy. The department is known to be at the frontline of customer and employee concerns, the ability to keep a straight head and guide others to what’s best for both parties takes immense skill and effort. The current Covid-19 pandemic has taken everything to an even more intense level. Employees are constantly worried about their wellbeing and juggling their work from home amongst family and young children can become daunting. Similarly, the managers are equally worried as there is uncertainty regarding communications and maintaining company values. 

Being at the core of such an intense situation requires extreme dedication and hefty responsibility. Therefore staying firmly in the driving seat is necessary for the department to drive them through 2021.

Virtual Team
Conferencing and collaborating with co-workers virtually is the new norm for the upcoming years. With the steady and progressive growth of globalization due to the vast majority of social media, it creates an exciting new opportunity for global partners and employees. This adds more depth and new input into the system which may allow for your team to strive! Such interactions are very easily maintained via a variety of online tools. Since we are already working from home, this virtual team management isn’t tedious, especially if you’re familiar with the tools available. Managing time with global teams for meet-ups might be a little tricky, but nothing that can’t be overcome.

Though the virus has separated us physically, we are still able to connect with those who matter and maybe 2021 is the year we excel in it!

Eight Best Business Management Softwares of 2020

As the year 2020 finally draws to a close, there’s a lot we have to look back on. From the virus outbreak and long lockdown, we’ve adapted to a more digital approach in almost all aspects! Where we used to hire multiple employees in large rented spaces, now we’re working from home using much advanced and capable software to manage most tasks virtually, that too in an automated fashion! 

Managing businesses online efficiently is probably one of the few good things to come out of the year, so let’s recap on the best business management software 2020 had to offer. Bear in mind the list is in no particular order, yet all of the options are winners!


1 – Slack 

Slack is a channel based workspace that allows users to communicate via those custom channels. Slack is well known for its unique but well-made communication means. It allows users to interact with one another by texting or sharing files. It’s the perfect platform for an organization that has multiple departments and divisions. This is key for mass groups to share files and communicate based on their location, department, or team. Channels have the option to be public which allows anyone in the organization to view it or private which is open to a defined set of users. Slack has the ability to communicate with other businesses present on the platform, this allows for a complete virtual collaboration from each respective workspace. 

Slack also provides a host of other features such as searchable history, as files and messages are shared in vast amounts selecting or picking out a specific conversation can be tedious. Therefore the software includes a special search tool, which goes through all the messages as well as searches files if needed. The software boosts communication and therefore has a directory full of social and other apps to link with your workspace to get the most out of it. Alongside messaging, Slack also allows for the users to have a group call and even allows screen-sharing for mindful presentations. 



2 – Trello

Trello is your one-stop-shop for project management, with the inclusion of its marketing, HR, sales, and even web development options it truly is a fit for anyone. The options don’t stop there though, as Trello has a variety of other integrations to help boost productivity and functionality, a few top examples would be the likes of Google Drive and Slack. Trello helps you manage the entire organization from one platform, its host of integrations allows for added functionality and connectivity.

The software even has its own help bots which aid in your initial understanding and even carry out some basic tasks! Some of which include calendar commands, due date commands, custom card buttons, and even rule-based triggers. The web-based software works in a simple drag and drops manner, leaving the user with a plethora of customization options. The simple and intuitive interface carries efficiency on its back. The addition of Trello mobile applications means you’ll always be in touch and always in sync.

3 – Jira

Get your workflow going with Jira! Its project planning and workflow mapping software guides you through your clustered work much more efficiently. Jira offers a wide array of options when it comes to viewing your work, Kanban boards, reporting tools, charts, and flowcharts help you visualize what you need to get done. Its versatile software implementation means Jira can be integrated with almost all external software. You’ll be able to link your data to various platforms from one planner. The simple connection from a user to the company account means that you’ll be able to merge existing goals seamlessly. The added connectivity bonus allows for Jira to be scaled and adjusted to your liking with premium security protocols.

Jira features different views for your own unique style and preference, maybe you like the detailed Kanban board or maybe you only want to work on what’s pending with scrum boards. Jira has it all plus accurate roadmaps and a reporting system. The software takes personalization and editing to a whole new level with its build application and integration. It does way more than track your progress and pick out bugs, it’s the whole catch!

4 – Todoist 

Remove the clutter and re-organize your life with Todoist. The ultimate tool for organizing all aspects of your life from work to leisure to fitness and even travel! The complete task manager for even the most minuscule of tasks. It’s simple and open view allows for you to capture what you need to know at a glance, and has notifications for the slightly more time accurate tasks. Todoist simplifies it all for even the least tech-savvy people, the inclusion of templates for work, gym, and groceries are all readily available for use.

Todoist features are all you would expect and more, some notable features include priority setting for tasks, grouping, quick add, sharing common tasks with colleagues, and drag-drop accessibility for your ease. It also includes summary reports as well as productive visuals for you to keep track of yourself. The app is universal and is available on IOS as well as Android. The connectivity doesn’t stop there though, Todoist can be integrated with almost all your existing software management tools. So not an inch of productivity is lost!

5 – Peoplesonic

PeopleSonic is your complete Integrated HR and payroll management system. Whatever task you need to be done efficiently and accurately, PeoplsSonic has the resources to make it happen! The light and simple interface from the get-go is just what your device needs. Followed by options such as superfast company set-up and flexible customization options just add to its benefits list. PeopleSonic helps you set up your organization how you want it, from the comprehensive online support, premium privacy, no hidden charges and to top it all off, multiple integration options to extend your productivity with the software.

With its complete HR solution, PeopleSonic has almost all the necessary tasks automated for maximum efficiency. The consumer has full control over what goes into the system and can oversee the transparent automation if any amendments need to be made. A few key features relieve the need for a designated HR team, such as the Core HR which overlooks all HR management from one panel. It includes all you need to manage employee data effectively. Payroll management allows for you to set-up easily and automates your payroll, without having to tediously go through each account over and over again. Similarly, managing your employees’ timings and attendance has never been easier, with complete and accurate data being displayed for working hours and leaves. Speaking of leaves, the software looks into leave management just as well, assigning a paid or unpaid leave depending on the scenario and set-up. To finish it all off, the system is capable of creating timely and accurate reports whenever needed so you can see it all in just a glance!

6 – Bitrix24

Undoubtedly the top name when it comes to complete suite management. Bitrix24 grasps all aspects of digital management including all communication and collaboration tools. From a large-scale business perspective, Bitrix is the solution, as it’s a complete business management software with almost all the bells and whistles. The software has many perks but the main one would be its large collaboration with social networks and integrations.

Bitrix is packed full of features related to the top fields such as communication, tasks, CRM, website linking, and contact centers to name a few. The top features include HD video and conference calls, a variety of chatting options, work time tracking, cloud storage, reports, and workflow automation. The plethora of options allows you to take whatever business model you may have digitally without any compromise.


7 – Odoo

Odoo is yet another complete management software that offers a wide range of applications and tools to boost your management drastically. Odoo covers a lot more than just the basic management topics, it has CRM, accounting, eCommerce, inventory, project management, and POS just to name a few. Odoo is definitely packed to the brim with options and the best part? Odoo isn’t shy or far from the rest when it comes to integration, with hundreds of applications at your disposal.

Top features include customizable dashboards, a unique framework for you to get the most out of the system, real-time communication, and syncing to keep your work ready even on the go. You could take any business route with the help of Odoo and still wouldn’t run out of features to explore.

8 – Xero

Crunching numbers, fluctuating figures, and timely bookkeeping is a daunting task for any accountant, but what if there was an assistant that managed this all for you? Xero is the future of accounting, with its up to date features capturing the essence of managing accounts. It is the ultimate tool whether you’re a small business, accountant or even looking for an ideal book-keeping software. It’s easy accessibility as software and seamless connectivity with your bank, Xero is the top candidate for your financial ease.

Zero does not shy away from features, featuring all the glamorous tools you would hope for. Ranging from minute tasks such as bill payments, scaling to bank connections, and even going as far as claiming expenses just from your phone, laptop, or any other supported device. Easy tracking of multiple projects, contacts, and data allows for Xero to create precise and custom reports tailored to your very needs!

Time Is Money: Why Automated Payroll Is Better

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late, a popular saying which ties in perfectly with Peoplesonic’s introduction of Automated Payroll. A simple and easy to use interface, that allows for a time-efficient solution to your financing problems. 

Is Your Risk Calculated?

In terms of finance and calculation, it all comes down to margins and efficiency. There’s a certain speed at which an employee can execute a task and even then the accuracy of said calculations is in doubt. Manually crunching numbers, entering data, and calculating leaves a lot to be desired from an efficiency standpoint. Similarly, as humans are incapable of perfection a few natural hiccups are inevitable.

For a small business or any business, all these factors are very much counter-intuitive. So why not opt for a ready-made solution; Peoplesonic? Payroll automation simplifies and completely revolutionizes the traditional method as it is capable of calculating a string of numbers in seconds. Calculations also include adding bonuses, taxes, and other variables that would otherwise be tedious to factor in.

Automated Payroll Gets Work Done Faster, Simpler, And More Efficient

Setting up your payroll on Peoplesonic for the first time may seem daunting, however, it’s as easy as a few taps. An admin has to specify a few factors such as payroll date and frequency, which can conveniently be altered from the settings tab. It’s as simple as that, with the data entered the process will completely be automated without any errors. You’ll be able to see each payroll report and overrule any edit you wish seamlessly, every detail is just a tap away!

This will remove the need for an in-house resource to manage finances as well as a host of other features to top it all off. The software automatically transfers the funds via bank transfer online and notifies both you and the employee about the transaction. Keeping a strict check on time won’t be an issue either as the system runs very precisely on time, allowing for each transaction and process to be done on the dot. All of this will be synced and stored to keep a complete record of the process.

Organizing Your Organization With Automated Payroll Filing

Peoplesonic completely encapsulates payroll automation, and payroll filing is no different. This feature can be activated by enabling the IRD button and linking your IRD account to the Peoplesonic system. This allows for the payroll to be optimized as per the IRD regulation and will continue to generate during its set schedule. This will allow the system to periodically maintain a tax record, and store each record as a backup. Worrying about errors won’t be an issue either, as the software is designed in a way that minimizes calculation errors and smoothly calculates your taxes.

The payroll process will no longer require human interaction or handling per se, the system will reliably produce results in an effective manner. The filing system will store and manage data, generating folders to organize as it goes forward. This will facilitate you due to its timely processing and simple interface. Convenience and efficiency all in one system!

Make Changes With A Few Clicks

One of the points of using an automated system is the ability to customize and alter any components to suit your needs. Similarly, the payroll allows for edits to be made anytime. Any edit will quickly be updated and the relevant changes will be showcased after a quick refresh! Adding a new employee is a prime example, another would be to change bank account details. If any detail is incorrect or does not have a correct value, it will be highlighted and not processed to reduce errors. This allows you to have full control over the system despite it running independently.

Peoplesonic’s entire interface runs on the same easy on the eye aesthetic which helps you navigate seamlessly.

Maintaining Employee Satisfaction

Although being an automated system, the boost in employee satisfaction is vast. The interface allows users to request and access files/libraries much more easily and even has the benefit of displaying remaining leaves etc. This allows the employees to stay in check and aids in the management side as a constant check is not necessary. It guarantees each change is made to the server at the earliest providing for a smooth and productive experience. Employees will be notified if they arrive late or have exhausted all of their leaves and paid leaves, a detailed report of each user is available to keep the financing transparent. 

The software removes the guesswork for the employer and keeps the employees in the loop, allowing for an overall efficient system.

Efficient On Time and Money

Normally HR-related tasks are carried out by an assigned team member, which exhausts the human in question, countless resources, and more importantly time. An in-house HR manager may have its perks, but it’s clear the heavy amounts of money and time do not add up. However, a feature-rich solution allows you to carry out multiple tasks within a finger’s reach and a few taps here and there. So a well-optimized payroll system carries out your tasks while eliminating human errors, and automates your problem into the all-around solution you need!

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