Automation in HR: BPM to the rescue
Blog: BPM Leader
The HR department of any business deals with a whole variety of tasks. They are in charge of hiring and on-boarding, handling payroll, benefits, leave requests and a lot more. You can make their work easier and more productive by automating the HR processes. And what better way to automate than BPM?
First, let’s talk a little about business process automation. What does it mean and what is it all about?
Basically it’s about automation of any business process by means of computer software. The goal of automation is to simplify and improve the workflow. Automated processes do not require a lot of human interference and are not prone to human errors.
BPM software aims at managing all the automated business processes of a company. It brings higher efficiency, reduces human errors and improves productivity. There are all kinds of BPM applications on the market, but they are not all the same. I will later explain how to choose the one that will suit your business the most.
Now, let’s consider the main processes of an HR department and see how you can automate them.
A well-organized on-boarding process saves costs. Moreover, it makes the new employees feel comfortable from their first day at a company.
Imagine that you have automated all the basic steps of on-boarding. It includes scheduling, socialization, preparation of work environment and computer equipment, training. Your HR specialists provide a new hire with all the right information at the right time. The start date and time, the first assignment, necessary names and phone numbers. HR also prepare relevant documentation, order a computer and schedule meetings to the employee’s calendar.
What is more important, all this is done without delay or error because it is totally under control. Everything is coordinated and checked by your software! The new hire is perfectly happy and ready to contribute to your business.
When it comes to off-boarding, there are three basic things to consider.
- Notifying every department and person that needs to be notified. You have to make sure that payroll, benefits and IT are all aware of the fact that the employee is leaving the company. You do not want to pay benefits by mistake to someone who is no longer working for you.
- Block access. There must be no way for your ex-employee to access any business information. Thus, make sure that IT blocks user access to your corporate portal.
- The employee has to return any equipment he or she used for working purposes.
There are other things, too. For example, you might want your employees to fill out a form when they leave your company. It helps to understand why they are leaving and how you could improve human relations.
Automation allows you to handle all these issues in a seamless manner. Your employee might need to click one button and the system will do the rest. For example, it will notify everyone who is concerned, assign relevant tasks, set due dates and even prepare documentation.
Performance Review System
Evaluating performance is important, no need to explain that. You need to know which team is doing their best and who lacks motivation. To be engaged, employees need regular feedback and opportunities to grow professionally. Make sure that your employee review process provides that.
Automation software usually helps deliver and store information. With the workflow automated, everyone knows what he or she is supposed to do, what forms to fill in and when to submit them. The filled out forms are sent exactly to the person who handles them.
This approach is much more efficient than a paper-based process. Things are done on time and nothing is ever forgotten. Moreover, your employees actually get what they need – feedback, goals and plans.
Yet, there is more to your performance review system.
When it is handled by means of specialized software, you can analyze and get statistics on the data received from your employees. You can instantly see the employees with high potential and the ones who are not performing as well. You can learn the weak and the strong sides of your company and check the progress on the goals.
With these data, you can manage your human resources much better.
There are many types of leave that your HR department has to manage. For instance, maternity leave, sick leave, study leave, military leave, earned leave. Then there are vacations, sabbaticals, voting, community service and jury duty.
They can be paid or unpaid and often have legal requirements different in every country. Some are legally mandated, some are offered by employers. The latter depend on the company’s policies that state duration and periodicity.
It is obvious that every type of leave requires your HR department to do certain paperwork and notify payroll. And this is where errors appear. Of course, we all work hard to avoid mistakes but we are only human. Therefore, it is only natural to sometimes introduce wrong dates, forget to sign a form or to submit data to payroll.
So why not let the computers do the work? Everything can be automated from filling out forms, to managing the employee’s working calendar. You employees can make leave request literally from anywhere. They only need internet connection to log into the system. The system shows who is absent so that other employees do not include absent colleagues in the current projects.
With everything so well organized resource planning is easier. Wages are managed way better, everyone is always updated and things are just more efficient.
Employee Info Management
No matter how big, every company has to manage personal data. Such as names, address, qualification, national insurance number, contact details, employment terms and conditions. There are also records of an employee’s performance evaluation, disciplinary actions, positive contributions, and more. The employee’s file also includes the employment application, references, cover letters and background checks.
I do not need to explain the importance of all these documents and the way they are handled. But let me point out a couple of things.
Suppose, an employee is often late for work. Your HR can make a new record each time the employee is late or absent, making sure to remember to include the date, time, possible reasons and so on. Stacks of such records will be stored in the employee´s file and might eventually lead to contract termination.
When automated, this process doesn’t take as much time and is pretty simple. The HR specialist fills out a predefined form each time the employee is late. The system stores this information in one place and can always provide a report on schedule compliance. Some applications provide reports that show such information about all the employees. You will always be well aware of what is going on in the company.
Another example is data security. Storage of personal data is quite an issue, because you must guarantee confidentiality. When using special software, you do not face this problem. Usually applications provide access control, information storage options and even document encryption.
Basically, by automating your processes, you can go paperless in HR due to electronic forms and file management.
Why BPM for HR?
In the beginning of the article, I said that using BPM for automation of your HR processes would be a great solution. Why is that so?
Of course, you can decide to go with a simple on-boarding application or an ECM program, or combine several of them. However, BPM allows you to do much more – not only the HR but also your whole company can be under perfect control. Moreover, you can integrate your BPM solution with other applications that you might be using, and build a custom IT system in your company.
Automation and BPM specifically, allow you to manage your business in the most modern way. The benefits are countless. Just consider the reduction in human error, elimination of bottlenecks, improved tracking and visibility, alignment of goals and continuous improvement.
Choose your automation software wisely. Consider all the features that you might need. Some applications, apart from automated workflow can include performance management, enterprise content management or more. Also, the market offers free editions and high-performance editions for large companies, and there are applications so simple and user-friendly that you wouldn’t even need to hire experts to design your business processes, for whichever department you need. You can ask your IT team to prepare on overview of the available BPM solutions and then select the most appropriate one.