Employee Self Service

Written by Serena Berger
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Employee Self Service applications (also known as ESS) have emerged only in the last few years as a viable HR solution. Through a simple online interface, employees can access HR systems. They may be given the option of taking care of their own benefits enrollment, or perhaps viewing or modifying their personal or financial information.

Payroll and benefits are the two areas in which ESS tends to save a company the most time and money. Someone with advanced degrees should not have to help an employee change his direct deposit information or mailing address, but in the past this is often what happened at companies that only had a small HR staff. Each person on staff had to be qualified to do the more complex tasks required, but consequently would be overqualified for the generic data entry which consumes a fair amount of time.

Employee Self Service Helps with Financial Planning

ESS software can also help employees run analysis of how different financial options might influence their decisions. Since the software is linked to a database which includes salary and tax information, the employee could use that data to run a query on what would happen if he altered his deductions or withholdings. This type of service from a CPA can be expensive for an individual to pursue, and too complex or confusing for him to do on his own. The fact that the company provides software that can do it will be seen as a great benefit.

Similarly, if an employee gets married or has children, it is likely that his or her financial profile will change significantly. A good ESS system will notify the employee that there are areas that could or should be modified. Those areas include withholdings and dependents on tax forms and beneficiary information or health insurance for a family. Automating this process saves countless hours for your HR and financial staffs and makes employees feel more confident and in control.

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