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Employee Self-Service (ESS) – Do your thing 24/7

Welcome to the world of self-service. The digital transformation is changing the world of work and placing new demands on the HR department. HR managers and HR staff need to work more efficiently and flexibly in order to meet the rising expectations of employees.

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This creates opportunities and future options, especially for modern HR work. Be it for employees and staff who use Employee Self-Services to take care of the majority of tasks or concerns themselves. Or for the HR team itself, which saves an enormous amount of time thanks to HR Self-Services. Modern HR teams use this time buffer for the tasks in human resources that are really important, such as strategic HR management or recruiting, etc.

But what lies behind these HR self-service technologies? How can they be used in different areas of HR work? Find out more about the inspiring possibilities of these technologies. Stay tuned: For the step into the transformation of HR work.

Definition: What is employee self-service?

Employee self-services – ESS for short – allow employees to view and manage their working hours, vacation days and absences. They can also access their digital personnel file and make changes to personal data, such as address or account changes, etc. So employee self-service means self-management. Such HR self-services are usually provided by special HR software.

What are the reasons fuelling the great demand for self-service in HR departments? In short, there are two primary motivations. On the one hand, self-service tools free HR departments from time-consuming routine tasks in day-to-day operations and facilitate access to HR data. On the other hand, they fulfill the promise of digitalization to simplify internal processes through the integration of interactive tools in a manner familiar from many other areas of life.

Advantages of employee self-services – for employees and the HR team

It all depends on perspective. The benefits of employee self-services translate directly into advantages for the HR team. While employees can handle their affairs at any time and from any location using employee self-service, HR employees also take care of their requests. Likewise regardless of time and place, of course.

6 benefits of ESS for employees at a glance

Once employee self-services have been successfully introduced at a company, you never want to do without them again. This is already clear from this overview:

  1. Accessibility through employee self-services: Employees can access their data at any time and from any place. This is especially handy for remote workers or for teams in distributed organizations in general, and bridges multiple time zones. This is what modern work looks like.
  2. Autonomy: ESS enables employees to manage their own personal data. This bolsters employees’ self-confidence because it makes them feel like they have greater control over their work.
  3. Accuracy: Errors can be reduced, since employees enter and update their own data. If the employee self-service is well designed, it checks the data entered for formal correctness and plausibility. 
  4. High transparency: Employees have a clear overview of their work hours, pay slips, vacation days and other relevant information.
  5. Faster processes through employee self-service: Requests such as vacation applications or changes to account details are processed more quickly. There is no need to keep anything on paper, rarely any need to send applications by post, nor do employees have to wait for the HR staff to process them.
  6. Environmentally friendly: Digitalized processes rarely require paper. This way, ESS lead to a more environmentally friendly work environment.

6 benefits of HR self-services for the HR department

On their own, the advantages described above already make employee self-services a valuable tool for the modern HR department and the company as a whole. This can yield the following benefits:

  1. Saving time: HR self-services reduce the administrative burden on the HR department by delegating routine tasks such as vacation requests, travel expenses or data changes to employees. Reducing administrative tasks can save companies a significant amount of time.
  2. Value creation & focus: HR managers use the resulting time resources for more productive HR work. HR self-services enable the HR department to concentrate on strategic and value-adding tasks such as recruiting, training and employee retention.
  3. Cost reduction: HR self-services reduce printing and archiving costs by such means as digitizing HR processes and making them paperless.
  4. Optimized personnel processes: HR self-services streamline processes and improve communication between the HR department and employees.
  5. Integration with other systems creates a high level of transparency: HR self-services can often be integrated into other systems. Be it for payroll accounting systems, time recording or talent management. All this leads to a more efficient way of working. This is because all questions can be answered quickly by HR employees using the HR self-service app.
  6. Modernization: HR self-services promote digitalization and innovation in the company. They also make the company more attractive to potential and existing employees.

It is important to note that the implementation of HR and employee self-services should be carefully planned and executed. It is also important to ensure that all HR employees are trained and can use the system effectively.


Common functions for employee self-service – what should HR software offer?

The short answer is: the essential functions that employees need on a regular and recurring basis, of course. For example:

Always on hand: the digital personnel file

  • Employee self-service should allow access to the personnel file: with suitable role and rights management. This means that employment contracts, pay slips, appraisals and all associated documents are always to hand.

Manage vacations independently with ESS

  • Vacation planning is half the battle. So it’s clear that vacation management by the employee via employee self-service is simply part of the deal.

AU – sick notes, a case for employee self-services

  • The employee’s sick note automatically triggers a digital process via a self-service, whereupon the HR department can retrieve the electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU for short) in an encrypted system of the health insurance provider. There are no more papers to shuffle like there used to be.

Book workstations – for decentralized companies and organizations

  • When making your decision, make sure that the selected system has a transparent cost structure. A good self-service solution calculates costs according to the number of workstations or employees and the selected range of functions. This pricing model allows for simple, clear calculations and can be flexibly adapted to your company’s needs.

Win-win with employee self-services

Free Whitepaper

Part of the everyday business of any HR department is to manage and maintain employee-related data and documents. More and more companies are therefore offering so-called self-service portals for their employees. Learn more about it here.

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ESS – General Data Protection Regulation and security

Employee self-services often involve personal data, obviously. These flow into the digital personnel file, among other things. For example, self-services must comply with the principles of the GDPR and guarantee the employees’ consent, information, access, correction, deletion and objection. In addition, the HR system must have suitable technical and organizational measures in place to protect the data from loss, theft, tampering or unauthorized access. In addition it is essential to ensure compliance with the legal requirements for audit-proof archiving when selecting an employee self-service system.

Employee self-service – ideal for SMEs or corporations?

The question as to which companies derive the greatest benefit from ESS depends on various factors, such as the size, industry, culture and strategy of the company. However, there are some general aspects that should be considered – here is a brief comparison:

  • SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) often have fewer human resources and budgets than large corporations. This is precisely where ESS can help to reduce administrative effort, increase efficiency and improve employee satisfaction. SMEs are also more likely to be able to introduce ESS more flexibly and quickly than large corporations are.
  • Corporations often have more employees, locations and departments than SMEs. This is why employee self-services can help to improve data consistency, communication and collaboration. This also increases transparency and reduces error rates. Companies can also benefit more from the innovative functions and possibilities of ESS, such as artificial intelligence, chatbots or gamification.

HR self-service portal – employee services united under one roof

Accessibility and findability for employee self-services are essential. The ideal solution for this is an HR self-service portal. Just like a customer portal, an employee portal is a web application, a website. Accessible via fixed browser address, e.g. via subdomain:


Employees can find all the employee self-services the company provides at this address.

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How the HR Self-Service Portal Works for Your Company

HR departments are becoming strategic drivers of success when it comes to digitalization, while the completion of personnel admin tasks is set to be left more and more to employees in the future. The EASY SOFTWARE solution supports you on this journey.

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