Benefits of Employee Self-Service

Benefits of Employee Self-Service for Global Payroll Teams

Using a payroll or HR system with ESS improves autonomy, productivity, and efficiency for your entire team. Explore more benefits of employee self-service here.

Shannon Hodgen
Written by Shannon Hodgen
December 13, 2023
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Key takeaways

  1. Investing in a platform with employee self-service (ESS) can streamline payroll processes and increase overall team efficiency.
  2. By giving your team more control, you can also positively impact their well-being—79% of employees who felt satisfied with their level of autonomy reported having overall good mental health.
  3. In addition to saving time on administrative tasks, platforms with ESS can enhance data entry accuracy and strengthen compliance.

Employee self-service offers global teams a streamlined approach to information management, especially when it comes to HR and payroll.

Through a user-friendly online portal or software, employees can access and update personal information, view pay stubs, submit time-off requests, and participate in other HR-related activities without the need for direct assistance from HR personnel. 

The primary goal of ESS is to save time for both workers and HR teams by reducing the need for direct communication and paperwork. However, the benefits of ESS extend well beyond that:

Streamlined HR and payroll processes

ESS makes managing global payroll more efficient, especially for large, distributed workforces.

When internal processes are reliant on payroll and HR teams manually updating data and managing documents, it can often lead to significant blockers for employees, especially if you're working across different time zones.

For example, let’s say you’re a US business with employees working in Japan. One of your employees needs access to their last few months of pay stubs as proof of income for a house rental. Even if they contact you at 9 AM their time, you may not see their request until the next business day because of the time difference. This delay can prolong the process and directly impact the employee.

Choosing a consolidated global payroll and HR platform with ESS means your employees access their pay stubs directly, without blockers. Read our article on centralized versus decentralized payroll to discover more of the benefits of having one connected solution.

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Increased productivity

Employee self-service features can help you save time as they automate time-consuming tasks such as employee onboarding. This can free up your time to focus on more important things like refining your payroll best practices and planning strategic initiatives. 

For instance, when new hires are onboarded onto the Deel platform, they’re taken through a self-guided process that prompts them to upload local compliance documentation, employee information, and other HR tasks without having to involve a member of human resources or payroll (before required review or approvals).

Typically, self-service technology increases productivity by enabling employees to access or manage the following information themselves:

  • Salaries, hourly wages, and bonuses
  • Tax withholding
  • Performance reviews
  • Expense claims
  • Time-off requests
  • Training certifications
  • Benefits information
  • Contact information

Greater cost savings

Using a payroll platform with ESS increases efficiency and productivity, enabling you operate a leaner payroll and HR team. By reducing your administrative burden, you can manage the same workload with fewer people, resulting in reduced hiring needs, which in turn leads to cost savings on salaries.

For example, the average salary of an accountant in the US is $82,000. If you only have to hire two new staff for payroll instead of three, you can reallocate that money elsewhere in the department. Additionally, you don't have to worry about meeting the minimum requirements to use ESS software because Deel HR, a global-first HRIS, is available for free for up to 200 people.

You’ll also save on overhead costs on materials since platforms with ESS functions enable you to digitize paperwork such as tax forms and pay stubs and store them in an online system. This helps minimize the need for expensive office supplies like printers and scanners since all your documents can be accessed and managed digitally.

Improved accuracy and compliance

Employee self-service portals make HR and payroll processes faster without sacrificing accuracy. The software helps you maintain precise records as employees can directly input their details and upload necessary documents.

Effective record-keeping also makes it easier for you to manage compliance. For example, if an employee gets married, it might affect their eligibility for certain tax deductions and benefits. If they can edit their information quickly, you reduce the risk of paying them the wrong amount. That’s essential when entities like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could fine you for withholding tax incorrectly. Typically, the penalty is 20% of the underpaid amount.

Deel helps companies ensure continuous compliance with features like our Compliance Monitor, which automatically scans, collects, and explains the latest relevant regulatory changes globally, covering areas such as wages, pensions, private insurance, leave changes, tax obligations, and more across 150 countries. 

Deel clients can easily access this information themselves on their dashboard without having to spend hours on research or outsourcing expensive legal expertise.

Advanced data security

Organizations store a lot of sensitive information about their employees, including personal details like home addresses and contact information, as well as information about their health. 

Fortunately, payroll and HR platforms that have employee self-service features often come with advanced security and protection features that help safeguard this sensitive employee data:

  • Access control: You can set permissions so team members only see the information they’re supposed to
    • Change log: All information changes are tracked, whether they’re completed by an employee or an administrator
  • Identity verification: Multi-factor authentication asks users for extra proof of their identity before they log in
  • Single sign-on (SSO): Allowing employees to access your services with the same details means they don’t have to remember various passwords. They’ll be less likely to write this information down and accidentally allow other people to see it
  • Encryption: Leading payroll providers usually use a high standard of encryption to obscure data during transfers such as SSL/HTTPS 
  • Safe data storage: Similarly, top solutions use military-grade AES-256 encryption to protect any records you store on their system
  • Data retention policies: Global HR and payroll software must comply with the General Data Protection Act (GDPR), which regulates the storage of records on their systems

Higher levels of employee engagement

Giving employees more control and oversight can make them feel more invested in their jobs and increase employee satisfaction. 

A recent study found that providing individuals with greater autonomy resulted in increased responsibility and engagement in tasks. By giving your team more control, you can also positively impact their well-being—79% of employees who felt satisfied with their level of autonomy reported having overall good mental health.

ESS platforms often serve as a central hub for employees to receive timely updates and access information. By implementing employee self-service functions, you can help improve internal communication and collaboration, which research has shown is linked to higher levels of engagement.

The platform experience is great, and not only for me but also for our team members who use it. They are always saying how easy it is to add things like hours or expenses, and they find it great that they can withdraw their money in crypto.

Lizette Kuld, Head of People and Culture, Moralis

Best practices for implementing ESS

Introducing ESS is not just a technological upgrade but a shift in the employee experience. By prioritizing education, communication, and user experience, you pave the way for a successful integration that benefits both the company and its workforce.

  • Prioritize intuitive software: Opt for user-friendly software to minimize employee frustration. A seamless, intuitive interface ensures easy navigation, contributing to a positive user experience
  • Consider future needs: Plan ahead and choose a solution that can grow with your organization. Look for platforms that offer scalability, accommodating changes in workforce size, type, and location
  • Educate and communicate: Clearly communicate the benefits of ESS to employees. Highlight time savings, accuracy improvements, and the convenience of accessing payroll information
  • Schedule gradual roll-out: If possible, introduce ESS features gradually, starting with essentials. This staged approach allows employees ample time to adapt, reducing resistance to change and ensuring a smoother transition
  • Offer employee training: Implement a comprehensive onboarding program to familiarize employees with the ESS portal. Training sessions ensure that workers are equipped to use the platform effectively, promoting high user adoption
  • Provide ongoing support: Establish support channels such as help desks, FAQs, and dedicated messaging channels. Offering ongoing support ensures that employees have access to assistance as they navigate and utilize the ESS platform
  • Review and continuously improve: Regularly assess the software's alignment with your needs. Keep an eye on updates and additional features that could enhance operations—continuous improvement ensures that the ESS system remains effective and up-to-date

Empower your team with Deel

Employee self-service systems can have a significant impact on the performance of an organization. They offer many benefits beyond just improving the efficiency of payroll and HR teams; they can also empower employees and create a positive work environment. 

Deel is an all-in-one global HR solution that provides various employee self-service features, including streamlined onboarding processes, time off management, pay slip management, and more. Ready to learn more? Book a 30-minute product demonstration with one of our experts.

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