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!


Ending Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace


World Mental Health Day 2020 this past weekend was not just about highlighting the need for ending social stigma surrounding mental health; this year it was also about checking in with everyone worldwide. After all, it’s been an incredibly difficult year, and the ordeal is far from over.

In line with that, we decided to discuss mental health in the workplace, and what businesses and HR can especially do in current circumstances to nurture a more wholesome and inclusive space for employees.

The Impact of Sidelining Mental Health in the Workplace

Work is great for the mind and body, we all know that. However, sustained work requires a positive and healthy environment, just like all other aspects of life. The World Health Organization describes a healthy workplace as a place “where workers and managers actively contribute to the working environment by promoting and protecting the health, safety and well-being of all employees.” So what happens when such an environment isn’t available and its consequences not considered? A lot, as it turns out. Here’s a quick summary of some of the issues directly attributed to an unhealthy (for mental health) work environment:

  • Relationship issues between employees
  • Poor performance and productivity
  • Poor quality of work
  • Greater relationship issues in the personal lives of employees
  • Deteriorating physical health
  • Lack of motivation and drive
  • Increase in harassment

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Not only does fostering a negligent or unhealthy environment in the workplace affect employees’ mental health, but the business gets directly impacted while also bearing additional costs of treatments. No one wins.

There is a two-pronged approach needed to really turn things around. Fostering a more wholesome office environment and promoting frank and frequent discussions on mental health. Let’s examine what these can achieve.

Building a Better Workplace Environment

A better workplace environment in this scenario specifically refers to a workplace where employers and employees are cognizant of both the importance of being mentally healthy and knowing that there is a system in place to learn of and seek help for any issues. 

Global and local health organizations stress the importance of implementing good practices and interventions to promote mental health in a workplace. This means establishing safety guidelines and practices into the company policy, as well as identifiers of what constitutes as evidence of declining mental health and how to manage such situations. It also involves informing employees of all options available to them, including training sessions and any medical or therapeutic help they may need. 

Employers can also create a better workplace simply by helping employees plan their careers better and praising them frequently for their work, thus creating a positive feedback loop that helps employees develop their careers in more fulfilling ways and thus reinforcing their mental well-being as well.

This bodes well for everyone who experiences poor mental health infrequently, or situationally. However, this does not cater to those who suffer from mental disorders or live on the behaviour spectrum outside the vanilla definition of “normal”. For this, businesses need to:

Support People with Mental Health Disorders

And truly, the first way to do that is by normalizing discussion about such things. It is the best and most permanent way of removing the stigma against mental health and perceiving employees as anything other than people. As we have previously discussed, a workplace that is high in emotionally intelligent individuals can lead to all-round positivity, especially when it comes to socially sensitive subjects like mental health issues. 

Beyond that, organizations can go a long way to helping such individuals by boosting the support they are provided by the organization’s systems. Such support can range from flexible work hours to the option for working from home, pushing to develop a more positive workplace as outlined above and a secure line of communication with management that is both reassuring and supportive. Luckily, modern technology has empowered HR to be easily able to implement things like flexi-hours, remote working and confidential communications. 

The thing to remember in all of this is that none of this is a one-time thing. Not the changes, not the conversation, not the support. It must be regular and continuous, evolving to meet the growing needs of employees current and future, and it must come through from HR and management.


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