Harris School Solutions
Harris School Solutions

Who Should We Appoint as Administrator for Our School ESS?

Employee Self-Service (ESS) portals are critical for your school’s financial and HR teams, as detailed in our previous article, How to Save Time by Empowering Your School Employees.
Once you have an integrated ESS portal, though, there’s an important question to consider: “which position makes the most sense for us to put in charge of it?”
The answer depends greatly on one key attribute of the ESS system you’ve chosen – flexibility.


If your Employee Self-Service system is restrictive…

If your ESS system is restrictive and only allows one administrator, you unfortunately will be forced to make a long-term plan and will be held to it. Your best bet for selecting a single ESS administrator is to consider the following criteria when considering candidates:

  • How long has the potential administrator been on the team? The most experienced team member will be able to make decisions and troubleshoot problems. If the administrator ends up needing to regularly ask a more-experienced team member for help, it will slow the entire process.
  • How long do you expect the potential administrator to stay? If the one person trained to manage the ESS system leaves, whether suddenly or by design, your team and all of the school employees will be left with confusion, errors, and frustration as you scramble to bring a new team member up to speed. Choose someone that, as best as you can tell, will be with your team for years to come.
  • How busy is the employee? Although ESS systems lighten the workload for administrators, it still requires the administrator to perform certain key management tasks. You’ll want to choose an employee who can handle the additional workload. Unfortunately, the right candidate for this role in terms of experience is often one of the busier team members. Try to find a happy medium: an experienced employee who isn’t already in charge of a ton of other processes.


If your Employee Self-Service system is flexible…

If, on the other hand, your Employee Self-Service system is flexible, it will enable you to create multiple administrators. Naming multiple ESS administrators is ideal.

Planned Personnel Changes

Relying on multiple ESS administrators enables you to avoid getting locked into a decision that may be a strain on your personnel resources six, or even three, months down the road. If you want to change personnel on your team in general, you don’t have to stop and wonder, “but who will take over as ESS administrator?” Instead, if your personnel needs change over time, you can easily restructure your team.

Unplanned Personnel Changes

Leveraging multiple ESS administrators also ensures continuity over time and helps reduce the risk of your team getting caught in a bind if your personnel changes suddenly, beyond your plans. If more people have the training necessary to manage the ESS system on short notice, and in fact are already helping to manage it, you won’t miss a beat in transition. The group of team members managing your ESS workflows can quickly pick up the slack.

Workload Fluctuations

Even if you’re confident that your team will remain intact for years to come, you still may need to lean on extra team members to handle ESS during times of increased workload, or reduce assigned personnel (to ensure maximum data security) during times of lighter workload. A flexible ESS system will let you train multiple team members to handle the role, and then increase or decrease the number of administrators based on your needs at the time by adding or removing individuals’ access.


So which role(s) should we appoint as ESS Administrator?

If your ESS system is restrictive, you’re going to need to find a rare team member who has the bandwidth to take on the added responsibility, the experience to do it well, and the commitment to your school that, you believe, means they will stay for the long-term.

If, however, you have the right ESS software solution in place, you really can put any role in charge of it as its administrator.

We at Harris School Solutions have clients who use everyone from their Payroll administrator to their technology director and more.

That’s the benefit of having a flexible ESS software solution.

Want to learn more about our flexible ESS solution?
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