The world of work isn't what it used to be, and no one knows this better than HR teams. Over the last couple of years, human resources executives have been challenged with facing uncertainty and addressing it head-on with their teams.
With all of these constant changes came a need for HR teams to embrace flexibility and agility. Yet many HR teams found themselves held back by manual process and traditional approaches — all while the rest of the industry continued to accelerate.
The businesses that were able to maneuver more gracefully through the unexpected all had one thing in common: they had already employed workflow automation as a building block to their HR process. These HR teams knew that workflow automation made their lives easier and allowed them to meet the needs of the moment (no matter what the moment was).
If you want to empower your team with a workflow that works for you, then it's time to ditch the rigid systems and get to know the three ways workflow automation allows HR executives to set a new standard of flexibility.
Enhanced speed and agility
The global pandemic alone didn't cause these workplace changes to occur, but it did put the pressure on for them to happen faster than many companies anticipated. As a result, HR teams had to figure out how to react and respond by creating and distributing employee policies and documentations at the new speed of work. To meet that speed, effective companies utilized workplace automation.
"Workplace automation makes things faster and more accurate because you're not inputting redundant and duplicative information," explains Nick Schacht, the chief global development officer at SHRM. "Less redundancy means less data entry, which also means there's less room for error and less time spent fixing errors. This way, processes can move forward that much more quickly."
By automating your workflow, these processes are not slowed down by hybrid or virtual workplace environments either. Digitizing your processes allows for your team to be more agile when creating new policies and distributing them—while also reducing friction along the way.
Streamlined safety and compliance
There's a new era in compliance — from changing vaccine policies to changing travel policies, and workflow automation is the key to streamlining it.
Whether your team needs to track training completion or check COVID test results for in-office workers, a digitized process makes compliance that much simpler by seamlessly collecting the data you need to run your company safely and effectively.
With this digital solution, your team can track results readily rather than waste time organizing responses or noting headcount coming into a room (which, believe it or not, some companies still do). "If you have all your data in one place and it's structured consistently, then gathering that data is that much easier for any reporting purposes," adds Schacht.
Plus, having all your data stored in one place makes the workflow simpler and more secure by giving only access to those who are authorized to access the information.
Prepared for scale
Once you've got your HR processes streamlined and secure, it's time to look into how you can scale — and workflow automation enables you to do that too. But it's not just about scaling your headcount or your time; it's about scaling your team's impact.
"If you can effectively apply automation, not only does it help you do your current job better and more easily, but it actually frees you up from repetitive manual work that you have to do, and it lets you exercise your brain and be more creative and strategic," explains Schact.
For example, consider seasonal hiring, which requires hiring and onboarding en masse during a specific time period. With a digitized workflow, you can ensure a positive employee experience — without overloading your HR team.
In another example, take DocuSign's conditional routing, which lets you route documents to different people in your organization based on preset conditions. This function eliminates the need to configure the routing manually or use separate templates, each with its own routing.
If you could scale your responsibilities and make your life easier, why wouldn't you?
Picking your automations
Now that you've seen the benefits of workplace automation, it's time to let you in on the final piece of the puzzle: knowing what to automate. According to Schact, when your team is ready to implement workflow automation, you first want to go back and look at your process design. Ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- What is the process that we are doing?
- What's the business logic behind the operation?
- Is this workflow consistently or different all the time?
- Are we automating the best process possible?
In some cases, like signature collection, it'll be an obvious yes that pays for itself. But in others, it may require more consideration for your team. After all, the purpose of automation is to enable you to do more and do more efficiently, so you need to ensure you pick the right processes.
Digitizing workplace processes is the future — and the future is here. Now is your chance to decide whether you and your team want to be at the forefront or continue doing things the way they've always been done.
Workflow automation allows you and your team to work better, work smarter, and lead in the future of work. While nothing is guaranteed, more change almost certainly is — but with workplace automation, you'll be set up for success no matter what comes your way.