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Reduce HR Workloads with an Employee Self-Service System (ESS)

Human Resources

Consider the resources your HR team spends responding to routine employee inquiries such as payroll-related questions, time-off requests, and personal information updates. How much time and paperwork could your business save if employees had the ability to handle the bulk of these tasks themselves, without needing HR to get involved? With an employee self-service system, they can.

What is an Employee Self-Service System?

An employee self-service system (ESS) is an online portal, accessible through Internet browser, tablets, smartphones, and desktop apps, that enables employees to perform a variety of HR-related tasks on their own, without needing to file paperwork with — or even contact — HR. An effective ESS portal can help your company reduce the workload for HR staff and may possibly even increase employee engagement. With an ESS system, employees typically have the ability to:

  • Access online pay slips
  • View and print Forms W-2
  • View and sometimes update bank account information for direct deposit
  • Confirm employer-initiated employment status, rate of pay, or other changes
  • Update personal information such as address, phone number, and educational experience
  • View federal, state, or local tax withholding information

Depending on the system, employees may also have the ability to elect benefits and add dependents, review their performance evaluations, enroll in online training classes, and produce reports detailing company contributions to their 401(k) plan. Many ESS providers also offer detailed analytics of employees’ use of the portal, with information on the most- and least-used tools.

Potentially Boost Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has a direct impact on how long — and how hard — they are likely to remain working for you. By empowering employees with 24/7 access to their company and personal information, you can help boost the level that employees are actively engaging with the company —  which may positively impact retention and productivity levels.

Grow Adoption by Helping Employees with the Transition

When rolling out an ESS system, keep in mind that some employees may not immediately adjust to accessing documents and information on their own, and may instead feel more comfortable reaching out to HR. Counteract any hesitation and maximize adoption by providing workers thorough training on the system and stressing the benefits of immediate access to information, as opposed to waiting for another team to respond to an inquiry. (Analytics can also determine who among your workforce is not using the system, or using it incorrectly, and may benefit from additional training.) If, after implementation, HR is still being queried for information available on the self-service portal, consider training staff to politely remind employees that the information they are requesting is also available online.


This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.
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