Workflow automation is increasingly necessary to do business today. In a recent survey, McKinsey found that 31% of businesses have fully automated at least one function, and 66% have pilot solutions in place to do so.
While implementing workflow automation can help improve and accelerate business overall, it also has a particularly positive impact on the people management function. HR and people management leaders who have already invested in automated technologies have done so to optimize HR operations (40%), talent acquisition (38%), and employee engagement monitoring (38%).
Automating some of the most common and typically time-consuming HR processes not only speeds up and streamlines them, but also makes it easier for teams to reduce and even eliminate the burden of administrative work so they can focus on higher-value tasks and initiatives. Let’s take a closer look at how workflow automation can specifically improve efficiency and productivity to benefit your people management team and organization as a whole.
Today’s organizations operate in an age of speed, where everything needs to happen faster and more efficiently to stay as competitive as possible. Although speed may be the overarching goal, your people management team could still be relying on the same manual processes and methods they always have that is anything but fast.
To be fair, some teams have embraced digital solutions, at least to some degree. They may move a workflow or two onto an individual, targeted software tool. But the problem is, that those individual tools usually don’t integrate well with each other, which only exacerbates existing issues with data silos, visibility, and accessibility. The team has to spend time hunting down and cross-checking information between different people and systems. And if an update needs to be made, it has to happen in multiple places — which significantly increases the risk of errors. Furthermore, if a notification about a required approval or transaction goes to the wrong person, the entire workflow can break down and stall out.
Whether you have some software tools in place, or none at all, your daily processes are still going to require multiple steps and people to complete them. The likelihood of errors and process delays is high. And in the end, no one is enabled to actually work any faster.
Automating end-to-end people management workflows in a single platform with a centralized, accessible, updated database built on a role-based architecture cuts the time spent on everyday processes dramatically. It also eliminates the stalls and delays that can happen when the wrong person is notified about handling a key part of the process. Instead of being tied to the person, the automated system is tied to particular roles, ensuring that whoever is in the role gets the right notifications at the right time. Processes proceed smoothly and efficiently, removing the need for human intervention whenever possible, and ensuring that when human intervention is needed, the effort is seamless.
Productivity is a concern across many industries as organizations push for greater output without having to invest more time and money. And just like other teams across the organization, people management is similarly asked to do more with the same amount, or even fewer, resources. But that’s pretty tough to do if your team is still performing manual data entry, using paper records, and engaging in other outdated ways of working.
Expending effort on unproductive activities — that is, activities that amount to busy work and contribute very little to the broader team and business objectives — doesn’t allow team members to do the real work that can strengthen the workforce and make a measurable difference to the business. Instead of focusing more on employee training, development, and engagement, for example, or recruiting and hiring top talent to give the organization a competitive edge, the team is stuck chasing down forms and sign-offs, copying and pasting information, and filing paperwork.
Workflow automation can help your team not only achieve higher productivity in the sense of quantity — being able to get more done — but also in quality. When you automate common people management processes like benefits administration, payroll and taxes, and time tracking, as just a few examples, the system takes care of the back-end work so you have more time for the quality tasks that are key to successful people management, such as personalizing employee training plans, coming up with new ways to motivate employees, or even simply directing and monitoring activities to keep everyone moving and on the same page. Those quality tasks ladder up to the larger business objectives, helping the entire organization to become more productive, and — by extension — competitive.
Smarter, More Effective People Management
People management teams are in charge of a multitude of processes that are the beating heart of a successful workforce. To work as intelligently and effectively as possible, workflow automation is key. By automating your most time-consuming tasks, you rid your team of unproductive and inefficient busy work so they can spend more time and effort on the duties that can make a real difference — not only to the workforce but the business as a whole.
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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.