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Employees now able to view and update personal info on web

Starting this week, MIT campus employees will have access to a web-based tool called employee self-service to view their MIT benefits and update some of their employee information online.

Information that can be updated using employee self-service (ESS) includes primary and alternate MIT office addresses; office telephone, MIT pager and mobile phone numbers; e-mail addresses; and home information. Employees also can view and verify their name, department and title. In addition, they can view their health and welfare benefits enrollment, including level of coverage, dependent information and plan costs throughout the year.

These new services are enhancements to the web application used successfully during benefits open enrollment last November. A further development is that newly hired benefits-eligible employees will use ESS for selecting their MIT benefits.

"Based on the recommendations of several teams working on the HR Payroll Project, we decided to provide ESS so employees will have a faster and more direct way to review and update information about themselves," Vice President for Human Resources Laura Avakian said. "For example, if an employee moves to a different MIT room, he or she can update that information using ESS, and by the following business day, the MIT online directory will reflect the room change."

To ensure confidentiality, an employee must have an up-to-date MIT personal certificate to use ESS. Personal certificates are set to expire periodically. Those obtained in the past year were valid until July 31, and renewal is not automatic. To obtain a new certificate, go to and click on "Get MIT Personal Certificate." For questions or problems with certificates, contact the Business Liaison Team in Information Systems from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. at or 252-1177.

Demonstrations of employee self-service are being offered on Aug. 27 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Room 56-154, Sept. 19 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Building N42 Demo Center, and Oct. 1 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Room W89-315. Online and personal help for using ESS also are available from the Business Consultants in Financial Systems Services and by the Business Liaison Team in Information Systems.

The debut of ESS also means that the process for updating the faculty and staff telephone directory this year has been revised. Employees are encouraged to use ESS between mid-August and Oct. 11 to update any directory information about themselves that has changed since the last phone book was published. (Changes made in ESS after Oct. 11 will update the online directory but not the printed version.)

To use ESS, either to update information for the telephone directory or to view health and welfare benefits choices, go to

Employees will continue to have the option of listing their home address and telephone number in the printed directory, but no home information appears in the online version.

Telephone directory contacts in each department also can submit changes on behalf of employees, but not via ESS. Such departmental submissions would be done via paper, with representatives in Human Resources then inputting the employee changes. Direct input and verification by employees themselves is obviously preferable because no duplicate entry of information would be necessary, resulting in greater accuracy.

It's important to note that changes reported via ESS will update employee records in Human Resources and Payroll. At this point, employees will still need to notify offices such as the MIT Federal Credit Union and MIT Medical if their contact information changes.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 14, 2002.

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