Part of your job as a small business owner is ensuring your employees have what they need to succeed. Sometimes that means you have to handle employee requests when you’re busy. At other times, employees ask for important paperwork last minute. But, what if you don’t want to handle certain employee requests directly? An employee self-service portal can give employees control over a wide range of HR information and tasks, freeing up your time. With an employee self-service portal, you can get back to running your business, and employees can manage theirs.
Read on to learn more about employee self-service portals.
What is an employee self-service portal?
Employee self-service software (sometimes called an employee portal) allows employees to view and manage their payroll and HR information. Each employee has their own login information to an individual account.
Through an employee portal, employees can do things like view their paystubs, request paid time off (PTO), and access important HR documents.
Employee self-service technology stores HR paperwork and helps facilitate certain employee tasks digitally. That way, information is more organized and accessible for employees.
Employees can access self-service portals online or through on-site computer systems. If your ESS portal is online, employees can access it anytime they need to. An on-site computer system only allows employees access when they are physically at work.
So, should you offer an employee self-service portal for your employees? First, consider the features that an ESS portal has to offer.
Features of an employee self-service portal
When thinking about employee portals for your business, remember that some portals may have different features than others. Choose the employee self-service portal that best suits your employees’ needs.
Generally, employee portals help employees access and/or manage the following:
- Personal data. If employees use direct deposit, they can easily change their bank information if needed. They can also change their contact information and print their tax documents.
- Schedule requests. Employees can manage their hours, submit schedule requests for paid time off (PTO) and sick leave, and keep track of their remaining PTO. Once an employee has submitted a schedule request, you (or HR) can approve or deny requests.
- Payroll and benefits. Employee portals let employees view and edit their time cards and view their paychecks. (Don’t worry. You can review their hours before you run payroll!) ESS portals also help employees directly manage their benefits, like adding or dropping certain services.
- Communication with HR. Self-service portals can be a great way to share employee handbooks, notices, and offer employees a way to communicate directly with HR.
If your employee self-service portal is online, employees can access it 24/7, whether or not they are at work or clocked in. And, the ESS software integrates with your payroll software, so everything stays up to date.
Setting up self-service portals for your employees
When setting up an ESS portal for your employees, make sure that you keep their needs in mind. Employee self-service works best when the portal’s features match what employees need.
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing and deploying your employee self-service portal:
- Tailor your portal for your employees
- Let your employees know of the change
- Onboard your employees
1. Tailor your self-service portal for your employees
ESS portals only benefit employees when they are useful and navigable. If your ESS portal is overflowing with information and employee tools, it may be hard for employees to use. Tailor your ESS portal to the specific needs of your employees.
For example, you might:
- Learn what your employees need through surveys or by keeping track of their requests
- See what other companies in your industry offer in their ESS portals
- Make sure the portal is mobile friendly
- Use reputable payroll software that offers a free self-service portal (like Patriot Software!)
2. Let your employees know of the change
An internal marketing campaign can help get the word out to your employees so that everyone is on the same page. Keep in mind that transitioning from an older system may be uncomfortable for some employees. This is where the right onboarding system will help out.
If you use payroll with a built-in portal, you should be able to send a registration email to your employees from within the software. That way, employees can create their own usernames and passwords.
3. Onboard your employees
Once your ESS portal is up and running, make sure that your employees know how to use it properly. There are plenty of ways to do this. You may want to offer company-wide classes, video tutorials, or user manuals.
Make sure employees know how to log in to their online portal. You may advise them to bookmark the website for easy access.
Patriot Software’s payroll software comes with a FREE employee portal. Simply set up an account for each employee, and then they have 24/7 access to their payroll and HR information. Check it out for free today!
This article has been updated from its original publication date of March 31, 2017.This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.