Before you fill up on self-serve, check your reality gauge

By Ian Turnbull
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/06/2002

The concept of employee self-service (ESS) is a relatively straightforward one. Open up the organization’s human resource database to every employee and then allow them to read the data in their file, and to modify selected pieces of data directly from the source — that is, themselves.

The theory is that since we don’t follow employees home to ensure they live where they say they do, we should be able to trust them to enter the data without a supervisor, payroll or human resources (or all three) getting in the way, thus following a key rule in business process engineering — enter data as close to the source as possible.

Coupled with transaction processing methodology — better known as “workflow” — ESS can mean a revolution in how employees interact with their employment data.