How to Avoid the Cost of Poor Workflow Management


People management teams are in charge of a multitude of important processes every day. But when those processes are bogged down by inefficiency, teams waste significant time and money. In fact, companies can lose up to 30% of revenue every year from inefficiency. And as pressure mounts to accelerate business and improve operations, cost optimization is front and center — with 92% of HR leaders now prioritizing it. 

The problem is if you’re still performing administrative work manually, or using a hodge-podge of new and legacy tools that don’t integrate well —  if at all — you’re not able to spend enough time, effort, and budget on the strategic initiatives that truly add value to your workforce, much less make necessary adjustments during times of uncertainty and change. Tasks like duplicate data entry in multiple systems, old-fashioned paperwork, and the constant need to troubleshoot and correct errors prevent you from operating at your best, interacting with employees the way you’d prefer, or taking any meaningful cost management measures.  

Bottom line: Poor workflow management in the workplace gets in the way of operational and cost optimization. Let’s look at what poor HR workflow management could be costing you, and what you could save with workflow automation

So what’s costing me (time and money)?

Let’s say you’re the person in charge of payroll and your typical workflow involves some version of the following: 

  • You have to start the payroll process several days before the deadline so you have enough time to not only process payroll properly but to find and fix any errors along the way and update employees’ records as needed.

  • This involves gathering time and attendance information from employees and entering the data into your payroll management system — whether a paper-based one or a payroll-specific software tool — so payroll can then be computed and paid out. 

  • You also have to perform myriad adjustments for bonuses, commissions, overtime or retroactive pay, vacation hours, and any wage deductions or prorated payments.

  • Once all data is entered and calculations are complete, you need to verify all information is correct, that payroll records are updated and filed appropriately, and that reports are generated accurately and distributed to the other departments that need them.

  • Finally, you need to print paychecks and pay stubs, generate direct deposit files, and follow up with the bank to make sure the files have been received. 

This is just one example. Other processes — think benefits administration or onboarding new employees — can require a similar level of administrative effort. In all cases, these manual, disjointed workflows take many hours to manage and lots of human attention to ensure every detail is handled correctly. At the same time, they eat up a significant amount of budget for the licensing and maintenance of all the disparate software tools, including legacy ones, that are critical to each particular process. 

But the old saying is true: Time is money. And when it comes to managing the workplace, both time and money can always be better spent. Instead of relying on inefficient workflow management that takes too much time and results in errors, siloed data, bottlenecks, and other headaches, you can free up your focus — and your budget — for higher-value initiatives that actually support, strengthen, and engage the workforce and help contribute to the overall success of the business. 

One way to do that is with workflow automation.

How much can I save with automation?

Intelligent workflow automation can result in cost savings of 40-75% with a return on investment (ROI) in a matter of months, in some cases. In terms of time, a recent study found that employees can save up to two hours per workday with automation. And a majority of business leaders think it’s closer to three hours per workday — or 360 hours per year. 

These time and money savings are achieved by automating common, repetitive, time-consuming, and high-volume tasks, as well as more complex tasks that are prone to human error. Enabled by a single human capital management (HCM) system built on a role-based architecture with a centralized database, workflow automation streamlines key HR and people management processes end-to-end and ensures that information is up-to-date and accurate. Automation can remove the need for human intervention altogether; or, when it’s tied to specific roles, not specific people, automation can make it much faster and easier for the right person to handle the right task at the right time in various processes that still require human intervention.  

You don’t have to juggle the costs of multiple software tools that don’t work together and don’t actually make your team more efficient. And you don’t have to spend the best part of your day on repetitive, time-consuming administrative tasks that don’t add much value. Instead of painstakingly processing payroll by hand, for example, you or your team can spend more time on budget forecasting and hiring decisions that can benefit the whole organization, or interacting with employees in more meaningful ways.  

Manage workflows — and costs — with HR workflow software

HR workflow management doesn’t have to be an expensive and tedious chore. You have an opportunity to manage costs and improve your team’s efficiency at the same time with an HCM system that automates key processes and workflows. With workflow automation in place, you can free up your time to focus on the well-being of your workforce and improve the overall efficiency of the business.

Ready to see how much you can save with HR workflow software?

Our efficient, accurate, and cost-effective workforce management solutions can automate key processes to save you time and money. To learn more about SyncHR, click here.


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John Cuellar

John Cuellar

John is responsible for SyncHR’s product, engineering, and system operations teams. He is focused on streamlining the business processes related to HCM and finance by distributing SyncHR to all members of the workforce and by using patented security and workflow to control these developments. John is also responsible for delivering SyncHR as a cloud based application with “extreme ratio” financial metrics.

He has a background in engineering, workplace applications, and business administration, bringing over 25 years of experience deploying strategic HCM applications. Prior to co-founding SyncHR, John was the CEO of Harbor Technologies, since acquired by Mellon Financial Corporation. Previous to Harbor Technology Group, he spent an internship with the Swiss Bank Corporation in their derivatives pricing and trading group and also worked as a senior manager for the US Navy. John received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his Master of Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

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