ESS: The employee is king

The customer is king – this isn’t just true in the restaurant industry, for instance, where you’re supposed to take your guest’s coat or bring his favourite drink to the table even before he asks for it. It’s a good motto for HR departments too, especially when dealing with their own employees. Generation Y, for instance – having grown up in an environment saturated by the internet and mobile communications – expects its employers to utilize efficient and speedy processes, just like the ones they’re used to in their private lives. Whether they’re ordering dinner or transferring cash, all it takes is the right app and a few clicks. Paper forms? They’re just too far behind the times.

 

New name, new challenges

These expectations can often spell change for HR departments. Many of them have even changed their names, to “personal service centres” for instance, or companies have written all new departments into existence to deal with employee concerns and questions. At the end of the day, their focus is on offering employees the best possible service – especially since they need to keep them in the company as long as possible to counteract a growing shortage of young talent.

 

ESS spells relief

One way to improve service in the HR department is to introduce an employee portal with supplementary self-services (ESS). This might sound strange at first, but the employee portal in EASY nextPCM primarily provides relief to the HR department and administrators. If you consider the fact that employees can use their newly found free time to focus on truly important tasks, the entire debate shifts. Recurring, time-consuming tasks like handing out forms or collecting documents are dropped. This gives the HR department more time, gives managers more perspective, and gives employees more service at the end of the day.

 

Employee needs in focus

To ensure that the key focus in introducing an employee portal remains on serving employees, there are a few things you need to remember. Companies often make the mistake of focusing more on adding value for the HR department than for employees while they’re laying out their portals.

What is to be done? An employee portal – if it’s well thought out and executed – offers vital additional uses. Employees can, for instance, use it to call up their pay slips or quickly make different kinds of requests, saving themselves a trip to the HR department. The portal also has to be easy to understand and operate to ensure good acceptance.

 

Plenty of new options

Maybe you could start with a short internal advertising campaign for the new portal to help everyone get acquainted with the benefits of the new service. It’s also not a bad idea to provide a telephone number from HR IT as a service hotline for technical questions. This will help keep employees from throwing in the towel if something isn’t working right.

In conceptualizing the portal, there’s one thing you should keep in mind: the more services it offers employees, the more acceptance it will enjoy later. Ideally, your portal would function as an additional service unit where employees could quickly and easily solve any job-related issue.