– by Anil Kumar Jeur
The key to a productive workplace is communication. Ensuring effective communication with employees has long been a challenge for employers and as technology evolved to enhance business processes, corporations have realized the enormous potential of Employee self-service portals(ESS).
Employee self-service (ESS) portals serve as web-based tools through which employees can access process relevant information and perform certain transactions from a centralized online site.
A large number of organizations also utilize the employee portal to furnish both HR-related and corporate information. An ESS portal in most cases is integrated and used with an employee intranet.
Decoding the significant business benefits of ESS
ESS portals offer numerous benefits for employees. Agglomerating information into a convenient gateway bolsters efficiencies and helps quickly synchronize employees with organizational objectives.
Operational costs shrink as employees consume less time in accessing business-critical information. Improved communication throughout the organizational workflow also results in increased employee satisfaction.
ESS portals also play a crucial role in empowering HR professionals to dedicate more time to strategic efforts to achieve the organization’s end objectives rather than performing time-consuming administrative transactions.
Evolution of dynamic portals
While Human Resource intranets have existed for more than a decade, they have now evolved from mere self-service portals to multidimensional and more interactive platforms.
A robust, dynamic ESS platform delivers the following benefits
- Empowers the HR department to manage content without frequent help from IT staff.
- Offers a personalized experience, displaying content specific to the job role of a professional including attendance schedule, benefits plan, etc.
- It offers a mobile experience wherein an employee can access the portal from anywhere and on any device.
- Reduces the cost of induction and training through videos
Personalization has become a trademark of many next-generation HR portals. As bandwidth capacity soars and executives garner insight into employees’ communication preferences, the video has also emerged as a prominent feature on HR portals. As per many HR information systems managers, web-enabled video is the most preferred communication medium among employees.
Integrating technology with HR
While organizations that successfully implement cutting edge HR technology tools outperform their counterparts, simply automating your HR processes doesn’t guarantee a competitive advantage.
To unlock the full potential of technology, organizations must chalk out a strategy to effectively leverage technology to transform their HR practices.
This modification of HR service delivery demands a fundamental change in the way HR professionals define their roles and ability to offer HR service delivery using web-based technology.
As employees become more tech-savvy, HR professionals must polish their technical skills to offer a good user experience.
ESS delivers quantifiable efficiencies to employees and the organization by mitigating inaccuracies in data collection with a single point of entry and swift application of business rules. Also, synchronization with systems throughout the organization enhances the speed, quality, and efficiency of HR transactions.
Another time consuming but a crucial function that ESS can perform is employee onboarding and orientation. New joiners can log in to a virtual corporate environment and avail key information related to their job roles and core business objectives.
An effective digital onboarding program can facilitate new employees to become more effective in their respective job roles expeditiously.
Organizations are increasingly using e-learning tools over the internet. Specifically, e-learning applications and processes comprise computer-based learning, web-based learning, digital collaboration and virtual classrooms.
The advantages of e-learning outshine traditional classroom training, reducing travel costs, offering flexibility in time and location and much more. ESS portals play an elementary role in collaborative virtual training.
Ensuring a happy workplace
Intranets have also been leveraged for infusing corporate culture, boosting morale and nurturing team mentality. HR and team leaders can utilize intranet to share employee or department success stories and share employee achievements.
As business solutions move online, ESS portals continue to grow to involve benefits enrollment and management, performance evaluations and much more. With the emergence of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the use cases of ESS in a business environment are poised to grow manifold in the coming years.