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ESS Is the Key | Payroll Best Practices - A System Implementer’s Viewpoint

Is it payroll that’s complex or just your payroll software?

Payroll Implementation Best Practice #2: Employee Self Service (ESS) is the Key

While most companies use employee self -service (ESS) to deliver payslips to the employees, there are many other payroll related functions which can be accomplished using ESS. It can ensure that transactions are completed quickly. The biggest advantage of a user friendly ESS is that it encourages the employees to update changes and reduces the number of retro adjustments, which means that the payroll team does not have to look into reconciliations involving backdated transactions. It also helps to reduce manual interventions and helpdesk workload. Some of the payroll functions that can easily be implemented using an ESS are:

  • View payslips
  • Declare tax reliefs
  • Opt for voluntary deductions
  • Update bank account details
  • Generate year end statements for tax filing
  • Generate salary letter to support 3rd party transactions, for e.g., applying for a credit card or opening a bank account etc.

In addition to these payroll specific transactions,Time & Attendance and Expense Management self-service functions further improve the payroll accuracy and productivity and reduce the processing time (more on this in the upcoming blog).

User experience is the most important factor in determining the adoption levels of self service. While implementing self-service, the following are the top 5 factors that have played an important role in increasing the user adoption of Ramco:

Top 5 factors for HR/ Payroll Software adoption

  • Availability on multiple channels like desktop, mobile etc. that will allow access anytime, anywhere so the employees can transact at their convenience
  • Availability of multiple language options also help companies that have a vast geographical spread or a diverse nationality mix
  • Mobile apps are available on both iOS and android platforms, and refreshed whenever there is a new release of these platforms
  • Push notifications on mobile whenever a transaction is approved which helps in improving progress visibility
  • Availability of Virtual Assistants or Chatbot


Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Chatbots allow organizations to provide a Zero UI experience to employees and there is no need of user training as the entire transaction is driven by simple Q & A. Chatbots are also being used now to answer FAQs ranging from queries like checking your net pay to complex transactions like getting breakdown of your overtime calculation. Chatbots are also useful in making the employees familiar with the company policy on leave, overtime, incentives etc. Voice based self -service experience can also be enabled on Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, where voice commands can be used to send the document to one’s inbox or to approve service requests.

Since employees are already using Chatbots today on banking, travel and retail sites, Chatbots for HR are a refreshing change for the employees. When Ramco Systems launched its Chatbot – Ramco CHIA within the company, to drive user adoption, it disabled all web-based self-service access. Another step to increase adoption was offering the conversations through multiple chat agents such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Slack. As a result, Ramco CHIA Chatbots have crossed more than 200,000 conversations per month.


With increased usage of self-service, many organizations are now working on improving the user experience further through AI & ML (Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning) by reducing data entry and predicting user requests based on prior usage behavior, time of the day, exceptions, integration with messaging apps etc. Do not be surprised if one day you receive a notification, “It seems you have opened a new bank account. Would you like to update this information for your salary remittance?”