In the era of increasing digitization and advances in technology, the traditional office paradigm is beginning to be replaced.
First, coworking spaces reduced the need for a fixed office. Next, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the business world into a grand experiment in remote work. A definitive answer on the success of distributed workforces may still eludes us. However, it seems likely that the remote hybrid trend is only going to continue.
To ensure that disparate employees are still connected through a centralized system, companies must adopt employee self-service portals.
What is an Employee Self-Service Portal?
An employee self-service portal (ESS) is a software platform streamlining some, or all, of the information and transaction based tasks that would normally require direct contact with an HR representative, IT technician or manager. ESS portals are capable of data storage, managing content and accomplishing interactive tasks like forms.
By housing all of these capabilities inside one user-friendly portal, the efficiency of completing administrative tasks increases greatly. The convenience of a one stop shop is paramount to the employee experience.
Benefits of Investing in An ESS
Employee self-service portals are gaining popularity in human resources departments across industries due to improvements in user interface and experience. Key benefits of ESS adoption include the digitization of administrative tasks and a reduction in user error. There is also improved real-time communication and data security.
Digitize Administrative Tasks
Depending on industry and position, administrative work may take up the lion’s share of your human resources department's workday. For HR reps who regularly handle time consuming tasks, they can cut down on unnecessary labor. For recruitment, employee onboarding and enrollment in benefits, the implementation of an ESS portal is a godsend.
If there’s one thing that should be added to the certainties of life, it’s incorrectly filed forms. Physical forms simply don’t have the same ability to constrain user inputs as online applications. Birthdates, health information and insurance keys may all be incorrectly filled out. There’s also no way to remedy the situation until the mistake is caught.
By digitizing the form process through the use of an ESS portal, organizations can maintain consistency and data integrity. Companies are actively taking steps to reduce the nature and severity of user errors that commonly occur when working with outdated systems. Best of all, a single correction can update the entire system. There’s no need in hunting down all the forms.
Company intranets are not a new concept by any means, but that’s exactly their problem. Many intranet systems are outdated.
Improvements in software development and processing can transform these traditionally clunky systems to better handle high volumes of information sharing. ESS portals allow HR departments to seamlessly connect with employees via internal communications, meeting scheduling and even instant messaging platforms.
As the era of big data and mass collection of information continues, the importance of keeping sensitive employee data secure continues to rise.
Recent high-profile stories, like the LinkedIn hack that exposed data from over 500 million users, are a cautionary tale for businesses that store personal information and billing data.
However, don't let these horror stories turn you away from digital solutions. On the contrary, by housing all company information within a properly secured ESS portal, you reduce the number of entry points available to outside actors.