Every company, no matter how big or small, has human resources. When so much time is spent manually entering employee data, be it contracting new hires, inputting and approving timesheets or sorting through forms, there is a lot of potential to save time and money with process automation. Especially as companies grow, the HR department needs to be able to scale with the company. By automating common HR processes, your staff will have time to focus their efforts on recruiting the best talent or reducing turnover, rather than just keeping their head above water.
The onboarding process is a new employee’s first impression of your company. How successful the onboarding process is for that employee often determines their future success in the company. So, the question that remains is; how can your HR staff onboard employees as smoothly as possible while ensuring that each employee has the tools and resources they need to succeed? The answer is process automation.
When a new employee enters your company, workflow software makes sure that HR staff do not miss a single step. This means that new employees are taken care of every step of the way as they enter the company. The moment that your company intends to hire a new staff member, HR can start a new case of the onboarding process in their workflow software tool. Starting a new case automatically launches an entire sequence of events to onboard that employee quickly and efficiently, without forgetting a single document or task.
For heavily regulated industries, like healthcare and government, more paperwork is sometimes required as a part of the onboarding process. In these industries, compliance is an ongoing concern because failure to obey set regulations can result in millions of dollars in fines. Using paper-based processes can lead to penalties for companies in heavily-regulated industries. Filling out forms, keeping track of them and eventually submitting them to the correct office is often a nearly impossible task when completed without the help of automation.
Digitizing the engagement justification process saves companies in heavily-regulated industries a significant amount of time and money by ensuring compliance with every step of the contracting process. From the beginning, workflow software keeps track of the amount of time each case has been open. This way, the HR staff in charge of the engagement justification process are notified when cases are at risk of exceeding deadlines. Workflow software also keeps track of how much time each individual task took to complete, making it much easier to find pain points that keep engagement justifications from being submitted on time.
Leave of Absence Process
This process is probably a favorite of working people around the world but can result in a lot of trouble for HR. The problem starts with filling out paper forms. Especially in companies with a lot of employees, HR and employees alike end up wasting time just printing out leave request forms and retrieving them respectively. After filling out the forms, the next obstacle is getting the proper approvals. Paper forms are prone to getting lost on desks, leading to delays and bottlenecks. If the leave request form finds its way to HR, then often they need to manually enter the leave and calculate the remaining leave that the employee has available, leaving the door open for errors.
Using workflow software eliminates these problems by first digitizing forms. Since HR no longer has to print forms outs, significantly less time is wasted at the printer or copy machine. Employee information from onboarding is auto-filled into forms, minimizing errors and further saving time. The ability to embed verifications to ensure employees select valid dates or determine whether or not they have any remaining leave left further reduces human error. Furthermore, forms are automatically stored in the software’s file management system, drastically cutting down the time HR spends filing documents.
Timesheet entry and approval
Another source of headaches for both employees and the HR department is timesheets. For many employees, the tedious time-sink caused by manually filling out timesheets is a cause for frustration when they have work to do. When the timesheet finally gets to HR for approval, they need to squint over each timesheet submitted trying to decipher handwriting and then calculate the correct pay for every employee. Even if a biometric system is installed for each employee who punches in, if this system is not connected to a BPM, staff often ends up manually inputting information into different systems. Not to mention the problems caused when an employee misses a punch. All this manual data entry leads to a significant waste of time and resources.
Automating the timesheet approval processes allows HR staff to streamline the payroll process while greatly reducing human error and allowing all employees to get back to their most important tasks. By digitizing timesheets, HR no longer needs to risk their eyesight trying to make out each employee’s handwriting. All staff needs to do at the end of the week is open a timesheet form and enter their information into a digital form. Validations and auto-filled fields embedded into the form ensure that employees enter the correct information every time. Once submitted, timesheets are automatically routed to HR for approval. Any changed information is automatically updated in the database, so HR does not need to double their work implementing corrections along with reviewing the original timesheets. All that remains for HR is to review and check up on any inconsistencies before approving the timesheet for payroll.
The final pain point in the employee lifecycle is the offboarding process. For companies that handle sensitive data, like banks and military contractors, removing access for terminated employees is critical. With the number of software tools used by each employee, closing accounts quickly and efficiently is becoming an exponentially difficult task. Outside of the digital ecosystem, there are procedures that HR needs to follow in the case of layoffs or involuntary terminations. Additionally, rocky offboarding leads to rocky handovers, meaning that essential knowledge is lost as employees depart.
Using workflow software to offboard employees is essential for making handovers as smooth as possible while securing the company’s data. If the employee was onboarded using workflow software, then offboarding is a snap. All HR needs to do is start a case to confirm that the employee needs to be offboarded, then the workflow tool automatically closes all accounts associated to that user. That way, any sensitive data is secured the minute the former employee walks out the door for the last time. Securing sensitive data immediately helps the company avoid fines caused by data security breaches and comply with legislation on personal data, such as GDPR.
Summing it all up
By automating the entire employee lifecycle from beginning to end, the HR department in any company can experience a significant reduction in the time and costs of managing employees. There are multiple problems that workflow software solves to enable HR departments to do their work efficiently, including:
- Significantly reducing human error by limiting or eliminating manual data entry
- Increasing accuracy by auto-filling employee information into forms and contracts and using validations to alert the user to errors and inconsistencies
- Making file management a breeze by automatically generating employee records and organizing them based on information collected over time through the workflow tool
- Ensuring compliance with governmental and/or industrial regulations with each hire
- Streamlining all HR processes by routing cases to the right person every time for approvals and reviews
- Filling any knowledge gaps left by departing employees by helping HR automatically start the recruitment process, schedule exit interview and store employee information.
In summary, workflow automation software does the heavy lifting for the HR department so they can focus on creating the best work environment possible to cultivate happy and productive employees. The best part? As companies grow, workflow software scales with the company to expand the capabilities for the HR department. Therefore, no need to sink money into upscaling or investing in a new tool. Interested in finding what else workflow software can do for your company? Request a demo today.