Employee self service portals have been around for a long time now. As a payroll or HR professional there’s a good chance you have been involved in some way or another with these systems.

Employee self service is ideally suited to delivering up to date information that employees regularly want to access, for example leave balances, pay information and leave requests. Prior to the introduction of self-service payroll and HR officers could spend a significant amount of time dealing with these types of requests from employees. With the advent of self service, they now have more time to tackle the more complex or urgent queries. This has benefits for both the Payroll and HR departments, and end users.

To take this point further, by enabling users to take charge of some common tasks, Payroll and HR have more time available to focus on issues which are more challenging to resolve. This in turn gives them the opportunity to specialise and to learn new skills, which has a positive effect on morale.

Given the obvious benefits that employee self service systems can deliver its worthwhile investing the time to keep up to date with changes and enhancements. I specialise in the Chris21 system and it has its own employee self service portal (called HR21). Over the years I have seen a number of enhancements to HR21, delivered by way of regular system upgrades. My article, Why You Should Revisit Your HR21 Implementation highlights this.

In this article I talk about some newer features that can be of great benefit to organisations. A good example is the availability of payment summaries via the self service portal. If you implement this feature you can eliminate the need to print and mail out payment summaries to all of your employees. And if an employee loses theirs (which I am led to believe is a very common occurrence) they can simply log in to the portal and print another one.

Continual investment in your employee self service portal doesn’t have to be an onerous and resource draining task. It’s as simple as taking the time to review system upgrade release notes once per year to see if there is anything new that can provide real benefits for your organisation.

In most cases the work required to implement enhancements will be minimal, perhaps adding an extra link on the portal’s menu along with some minor behind the scenes configuration. You may already have the in-house resources available to do this. Even if you have to call in a specialist to help, the time and cost involved should be minimal.

Implementing enhancements to your employee self service portal has the added advantage of continually ‘refreshing’ the system from an end user’s perspective. I have seen systems that have not changed in years. To the end user this will become old and perhaps not so interesting and they will only visit for the few regular tasks that they perform. For a relatively small effort you can give them something that is constantly evolving and being renewed. Your employees will appreciate it and use it more.