Are Self-Service Employee Portals Right for Your Company?

Employee portals allow you to store most of your employees’ personal and payment information in one place. This streamlines human resources and payroll employees’ basic tasks and gives them more time to focus on big-picture items. Learn more about what employee portals are, benefits of having them and common features most employee portals have.


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What is an employee portal?

An employee portal is a self-service HR application that can be accessed through a web page or dashboard. It contains basic HR data for each employee, including payroll, benefits and new hire information. Employee portals make it easier for HR managers to track employee information. Also, they allow employees to access their personal data on their own. 

Related: Online Courses for HR: An Introduction


Benefits of having an employee portal

Here are some of the benefits of having an employee portal:

  • Grant easy access to employees: Most employee portals are user-friendly and simple for employees to view or update certain items. Some portals are optimized for multiple devices, so employees can access information at home or from other offsite locations.
  • Upload employee data to one place: Adding most of your new hire and other employee information to the dashboard allows you to digitize most of your files. It also helps prevent you from losing important files and taking up space for file storage.
  • Reduce errors: Employee portals function to reduce human error that may occur when transferring data or calculating payroll. Most portals automatically input and calculate information for you, ultimately decreasing the possibility of errors occurring.  
  • Give HR managers more time to focus on larger work items: Since the portal handles a majority of their basic data entry tasks, HR managers now have more time to focus on larger items and implement new HR projects, which can enhance the performance and productivity of the entire office.
  • Provide more control to employees: Giving employees access to certain information on the portal helps them feel more engaged and in control. Most portals allow them to easily view and edit some of their personal information, request paid time off and view their available vacation days. 


Common features available on employee portals

Common information features both employers and employees can access on the portal include: 


Employee information management 

Employee portals are a great way to store your employee’s personal information and remain confident that it won’t be lost. Grant employees access to this information on the portal to ensure it’s correct. They can also regularly add their contact or benefits information to help consistently keep it up to date.


Company policies storage

Rather than distribute large employee handbooks to employees, give them digital access through the employee portal. If you add a new policy, send a message to employees asking them to view and sign it. It’s also a great place for employees to reference any existing policies if they want to refresh their memories. 

Employees can also access HR documents that you upload on to the dashboard. Easily upload HR forms for employees to quickly view and add their e-signatures. This saves time from physically locating them and retrieving a signature.


Internal communication 

Many employee portals have communication channels that allow you to message an employee directly or you can share company announcements to all employees or specific departments. This helps encourage team collaboration and makes it easier to quickly retrieve time-sensitive information from employees. Employees are also able to send a quick message letting others know that they’re unable to come into work that day, allowing their manager to quickly find someone to cover that shift.


Payroll and time-off requests

Some self-service employee portals allow employees to easily clock in or track their own hours. This makes it simple for managers to oversee and approve their shifts. Absences can also be reported in the system, so employees can easily view how much PTO they’ve used. When employees clock in and out through the portal, it may automatically calculate how much an employee worked that week to help more accurately calculate payroll information. 

Employees can also request time off directly through the portal. Employees view their approval status in the portal and receive immediate confirmation once their request is approved or denied.



Post employees’ benefits information directly in the portal for them to view and enroll in their healthcare benefits. Employees can view their available benefits options, pick what they want, or opt out, and add dependents to their insurance plans.

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