When it comes to internal service management, the key to a fast and seamless process lies with automation tools. By tradition, IT departments have tended to be the pioneers, using new technology to create tickets and filter employee service requests through automated systems that lead to quickly resolved issues. As IT teams have evolved from primarily handling break-fix tickets to implementing service catalogs that facilitate a wide range of services, the push for internal automation is amplifying throughout the entire organization.
The modern customer support experience within consumer-facing markets has also become increasingly immediate and comprehensive across a number of communication platforms. These shifts have put increased pressure on organizations to treat employees like customers. And what department has the most employee interaction? That’s right, HR.
Be it managing requests for medical plans or approved time off, it’s not uncommon for HR departments to require several days before responding. With expectations for on-demand everything, it’s important for HR departments to keep up with employees’ service requests. Using automation tools, HR processes can be simplified to ease the burden on HR practitioners and improve turnaround times on approvals and services, ensuring employee needs are met quickly and efficiently.
Where to Start with Automation
Many departments track service requests manually through spreadsheets and emails, or using a basic ticket management system. HR departments should consider implementing a service catalog that enables automation of processes, for seamless onboarding and request management throughout the company. Aside from IT teams, human resource departments bear the brunt of service requests that filter through organizations. This makes automation even more vital to providing efficiency in service management.
Service requests are constantly evolving, and their nature shifts with every little change in an organization. Whether it's a request to IT for a device or software for a new hire, a list of documents that need to be signed as a part of onboarding or a 401k enrollment request, HR leaders face a growing list of demands that require timely attention.
Automation is great for workflows that require a high number of approvals and steps. For example, onboarding a new employee, no matter the company, involves several steps from a wide range of departments. These steps include setting up the new hire with payroll by accounting, getting the right devices and software installments to the new employee from IT and everything in between.
HR leaders facilitate the onboarding process, and it can be grueling to manage each aspect of these services, especially given that HR should be modeling business processes and tracking all activities in a way that ensures accuracy and compliance. By automating onboarding procedures, human resources teams can ensure each step of the process is completed and approved.
What to Consider When Considering Automation
1. Cloud-based services for starting small or going big
There are a range of cloud-based service platforms out there that significantly simplify different business operations — be it by outsourcing tasks or subscribing to tailored services. As companies increasingly adopt cloud solutions, automation tools are very valuable in enabling speed and scalability. It’s up to the HR department to decide if it wants to start small or go big. For example, perhaps moving training to a cloud service makes more sense to start off with, rather than beginning with the entire salary system. Automation is an incremental process and the cloud can be a critical part of that equation.
2. Make it an organization-wide solution
Rather than deploying HR-specific automation tools, universal solutions can help streamline processes between employees and management, but also between departments. Through a single service portal dashboard, employees can request flights and travel, order a new ID card, submit time-off requests and more. With the proper tools in place, employees can create their own direct service requests, cutting down the workflow time and eliminating the middlemen. Top solutions can streamline service management, keeping requests for IT, HR and other departments in a central location.
3. Ease of use in modeling business processes
Automating HR service delivery via a service catalog can help to ensure that HR activities are modeling business processes. A service catalog describes not only each service and its attributes, but its objectives. This intelligence can help to ensure that the services offered are closely aligned with critical business strategies, and can contribute to the achievement of key corporate goals. Once the service catalog has been set up to ensure business processes are being modeled and compliance needs are met, automation can be introduced to make service delivery easier.
4. Collaboration through visibility
Collaboration can’t begin until there is a strong understanding of processes and operations across departments. From there, organizations can create a tailored solution that seamlessly integrates from department to department, as well as employee to employee.
Through a better understanding of how requests and services are managed throughout a business, leaders can set up tools that are tailored to fit the company’s unique needs. For human resources, automation is the next step, following the standards set by today’s IT departments. Offering employees a consistent and easy method for submitting service requests, and then fulfilling those requests efficiently, will put businesses ahead of competition by maintaining a workplace where employees are happier and are provided the resources they need to do their best work.
Editor's Note: This is a guest contribution from Steve Stover, VP of Product at Samanage