Access to world-class talent is the #1 determinant of success in the 21st century. As a result, HR employees have one of the most important roles in every company. They follow employees from the scouting and recruiting process all the way to the employee offboarding process and everywhere in between.
Yet, too many HR departments are swamped with paperwork, taking away valuable time that could be focused on employees. In fact, on average HR employees spend 40% of their time on administrative work, either entering data from one system to another or on other tasks.
How can we solve this problem and make better use of company time? The answer is automation. Simple automation can save hours of time for every employee, and help your company compete better in the modern business world.
How Do You Know It’s Time to Automate?
If you’re not sure your company needs automation yet, simply talk to your employees — they’ll tell you exactly what you need to know. In addition, listen to how employees talk amongst each other. If you start hearing these 5 things around the office, now is the time to automate.
“I had too much to do!”
Employees that miss deadlines because they were “too busy” try to rectify the situation by cutting corners on projects to catch up. To make matters worse, once they figure out a solution, they still need approval from higher ups before moving forward. Different processes need different authorizations from different departments, and an employee who doesn’t understand the exact steps will get confused.
That’s time wasted on paperwork instead of time spent on customers. Employees will naturally put off things that are confusing to focus on items they can complete easily.
“My manager wasn’t available!”
Employees in technology laggard companies can’t possibly make their deadlines simply because their “manager was away.” What happens when an employee needs manager approval to meet a deadline, but the manager is traveling that week? She has to wait for her to return and only then can she move forward with her project.
Today, we have smartphones that can access the internet from almost anywhere in the world. Why wouldn’t you make it such that the manager can sign and approve from anywhere?
“It must have gotten lost in my inbox!”
Like everyone, HR representatives already have hundreds of emails to look over every day. Obviously, they can’t be checking their email every minute of the day otherwise they wouldn’t be doing anything else. So, if an employee sends an important email at the wrong time, it’ll get buried under dozens of emails by the time that HR representative gets back around to their inbox. When they see that an email needed urgent approval 3 hours ago, there’s not much they can do.
Using email is great for some HR functions, but it’s an inefficient way to communicate more complex processes. Inbox flooding isn’t intuitive and only stresses employees out. In a world of mobile access and notifications, HR departments must implement easy-to-use software that can complete simple tasks, like approval, in minutes.
“I thought I did that already!”
We’ve all been there. How many times have you filled out multiple forms that ask for the same information over and over? When done on paper, employees waste a lot of time when they have to fill out repetitive information on each individual form in order to submit.
For example, in the onboarding process, employees must fill out their name, address, employee ID number, etc. on almost every form. A purchase requisition might require part numbers that are available in a SQL database – there’s no reason for employees to type them in manually.
We interact with software like this daily, but we take this technology for granted in our lives. Your company can avoid repetitive paperwork and save lots of time by using autofill software.
“Where’s my approval?”
Employees who can’t track their own request get nervous about the progress it’s making. “Has my request been authorized yet?” “Where’s my manager?” “What about the VP, are they approving it?” are questions they’ll repeatedly ask until they know their request has been completed and returned to them.
These constant questions increase stress in employees, and cause project delays until that one approval is back in hand.
This is a totally inefficient way to use work time. When employees spend time chasing down managers and paperwork, that’s time wasted. A simple software solution will prevent time wasting and greatly reduce stress in employees, as they’ll be able to track their requests electronically in seconds.
In today’s business climate, automation is more necessary than ever. Simple automation can help reduce costs, streamline and ease several business processes, and increase teamwork. In fact, a study by Unit 4 found that worldwide, office workers spend 69 days a year on administrative tasks, costing companies about $5 trillion on the global scale. These numbers can drastically decrease with the use of automation software.
Company CEOs are not immune to this either. They spend almost 20% of their time doing work that could be automated, like reporting on and reviewing data. Automation software can make this job much easier, greatly reducing the amount of time spent on data analysis.
It’s hard to automate 100% of jobs. However, according to analysis done by McKinsey Digital, approximately 60% of all occupations could automate 30% or more of activities and save a huge amount of time.
Clearly, businesses can gain significant advantages through automation in all areas. Let’s take a look at a few HR activities that could benefit.
7 HR Processes to Automate Today
The right software can automate numerous tasks that a typical HR department handles. Take into account your company’s specific needs before choosing an automation platform. Here are 7 of the most time consuming HR processes that can easily be automated:
1. Employee Onboarding
Employee onboarding is one of HR’s most common and important processes. It may seem simple, but it actually requires multiple departments to coordinate and crossover. Paper-based onboarding processes quickly become tedious and error-prone, just based on the sheer number of employees trying to work on the same thing.
Onboarding automation software can standardize the process, such that every new hire gets the same welcoming experience. Software can send important documents to everyone easily, notify employees what tasks need to be completed and when, and set aside space in the office for the new employee if need be. It keeps all the pieces organized and easily accessible to all relevant employees.
2. Employee Off-boarding
Much like employee onboarding, companies can also automate off-boarding to make employees’ lives easier. When off-boarding, the organization must revoke the employee’s email access, collect their ID badge and conduct an exit interview.
Since employee offboarding often comes with an emotional aspect, digitization makes it much easier for everyone. When emotions are involved, people skip steps or rush processes to get everything done quickly. This creates room for error, and offboarding mistakes are costly and difficult to fix later.
3. Personal Information
Keeping employees’ personal information accurate and safe should be a high priority for every company, but doing so manually is tedious and unnecessarily time-consuming. Instead of relying on paper, use automation software to create easy ways for employees to update their information whenever necessary.
For example, electronic forms create a secure, growing database of employee information. They also curb the repetitive nature of the form-filling process. No one wants to write their name, address, and ID number 7 times on each individual form. When done electronically, software fills this data automatically on every form. This way, the employee only needs to focus on the new and important information on each form.
Similar to personal information records, timesheet tracking is an extremely important process for the company. But again, it’s a very tedious process when done manually or on paper. In the time it takes to fill out the timesheet, bring it to the manager, wait for a signature, and receive it back, the employee could have made progress on a different project.
An electronic timesheet process is much faster and less stressful. If you make a mistake in your timesheet, it’s very easy to go back in and correct the error. As before, managers can approve from anywhere on any device.
5. Leave Requests
Automated Leave Management Software helps your HR department by taking care of routine details like:
- who requested vacation,
- how many employees will be out of office on any given day, and
- who approved each vacation request.
Automation also catches any mistakes before you submit the form, so no employee has to chase down their manager to correct a small error. Employees can also track their own vacation balance, and see how their vacation request is progressing in real time. HR representatives can approve and sign electronically on any device.
6. Performance Reviews
Companies don’t conduct performance reviews as frequently as some of the other tasks we’ve mentioned here, but they still consume a lot of HR’s time. To avoid rushing and frustrating employees, try automating this process.
Software can create simple forms and pages where employers can input any comments and reviews they may have, and can easily pull up relevant information on the employee from previous reviews.
7. Employee/Employer Feedback
Similar to performance reviews, employee feedback is extremely important to the company. This is a great place to start looking for ways to improve the company, and a great way to see what employees think of management.
Feedback forms are very easy to automate; employees can receive, fill out, and submit online forms in a matter of minutes. When the process is manual, employees choose to ignore the feedback survey since it’s time consuming. Employees are more likely to complete a quick, online form. That’s better for the company in the long run.
Email and Excel – How NOT to Automate
If employees are emailing Excel documents around and calling that automation, there are lots of necessary steps to take to increase efficiency. Email and Excel are two important tools, but there are times to use them, and times to stay away. These are great ways to get into the world of process automation, but certainly not the most efficient way to keep up.
As mentioned earlier, HR employees deal with floods of emails on a daily basis. Relying on email to pass information around is a surefire way to make errors. We’ve reached the point in today’s business world where email is simply not an efficient enough workflow tool or document management system.
Excel is also a great business tool for some projects. It’s a step up from paper forms and invoices, but using Excel for things like leave requests and timesheets is inefficient and outdated.
- If an employee emails the sheet to someone outside the company by accident, there is an immediate issue with security.
- There’s no way to electronically sign and approve anything through Excel directly — it has to get printed and scanned.
- There’s no way for an Excel sheet to catch an error. This can cost a company lots of time and money in the future. In fact, one single Excel error cost JP Morgan billions of dollars. Don’t let your company be next!
Easily Automate HR Processes Using frevvo’s Modern Visual Platform
frevvo’s simple HR workflow software automates your business processes, and the software creates visually appealing forms that are incredibly easy to use. Here are some advantages of using frevvo’s intuitive software:
- No coding — no need to hire programmers and experienced coders to implement the software.
- Drag and drop design — the interface is easy to use, and any employee can create forms without extensive training.
- Automatic validation— mistakes are immediately brought to the user’s attention before the form gets submitted.
- Built-in Mobility — frevvo is supported by any device; you can build, fill-out, and approve from a computer or smartphone from anywhere in the world.
- Notifications — Software automatically notifies team members when there are new tasks or incomplete tasks that need attention.
- Integration — frevvo can be integrated with your current workflow management system; no need for manual entry of data.
- and more …
As world-class talent becomes scarcer and more expensive, HR is rapidly becoming the most important department in your organization. In this business environment, you want HR employees to focus on talent and not on routine paperwork. Yet administrative work consumes 40% of HR professionals’ time at most companies.
Automate your everyday workflows such as on-boarding, time off requests etc. Free HR employees from tedious and repetitive tasks and let them focus on what’s important — talent. There’s no reason to rely on inefficient, outdated technologies like email or Excel to digitize these business processes when affordable, intuitive software is out there.