From follow-up emails to tracking employee performance, there are plenty of tasks where HR automation can speed up your entire workflow.
HR Automation: A Force Multiplier
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, then your focus will be on marketing, sales, and developing your company and brand to reach the next level. With that said, you also know the importance of taking care of your team, training and preparing them to help you grow and ensuring you’re in compliance with your local labour laws and industry best practices. Certain HR functions can seem impossible to automate, however, making them time sinks when you have so many other things to do!
Here’s the great news: automation can make HR functions easier and the tools to do so are improving with every year, leaving you and your team free to focus on the things that you do best. Let’s look at how you can apply the right tools to the right tasks to save you time and keep you productive.
The Opportunity Cost of Not Automating
There will always be a need for a human in the loop in Human Resources; it’s in the name. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t automate the repetitive processes and let the humans do what only humans can do. By automating tedious manual tasks, you can reduce your costs, increase productivity, and allow your brightest team members to focus on strategy and decision making, It’s a win-win.
These systems can provide organisations with the end-to-end tools required to be effective in managing, engaging and getting feedback from their remote teams.
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Functionally, HR automation provides digital processes such as holiday and sickness booking, worksheets, authorisation, and reporting. Performance Management tools provide the ability to set regular one-on-one meetings and objectives for both managers and employees. Internal communication provides the ability to keep employees informed and get their feedback on a variety of subjects. Survey tools provide eNPS (employee net promoter scores), which are useful for gaging the regular pulse of employee sentiment.
Alternatively, companies can opt for an all-in-one employee relationship software which combines all the above functions into a single solution. But before we start outlining the many benefits and use cases of HR automation platforms, let’s find out what your company misses without them.
Without HR automation, organisations are not only missing out on immediately available gains, but may also be stunting their organisation’s scalable growth. Key areas of missed opportunity include:
• Lost efficiency and increased time spent on monotonous tasks
• Poor candidate experience as a result of fewer streamlined communications
• Higher risk of errors in processes like time-keeping, payroll, and benefits tracking
• Increased departmental turnover and decreased morale
The first step in using such tools is looking at your HR needs and determining what your automation needs are. Then you can focus on the available tools that best fulfil those needs.
6 Key Benefits of HR Automation
You’re an entrepreneur, not a benefits clerk. However, an automated dashboard can help your employees manage their own benefits and work directly with the vendors that provide them, guiding them through changing circumstances or life issues. This is a slam dunk; there are many tools available that automate repetitive work, reduce opportunities for error, and shift the burden of accuracy to each employee. Thanks to the booming HR technology market, every company should explore the many low-cost advantages HR automation offers.
Key benefits include:
• Increased productivity
• More time for strategic planning and execution
• Enhanced business intelligence through built-in reporting
• Lowered risk of data entry errors
• Boosted employee engagement and collaboration
• Reduced long-term HR costs
Your HR department can save up to 20% of overall HR delivery costs with the help of HR automation processes.
5 Key HR Functions to Automate
With the advantages of HR automation so clear, teams should consider automating as many manual processes as possible. Here are the top picks for which HR functions to streamline and the best platforms for each.
#1 Communication & Email Follow-Ups
Most organisations tend to send huge numbers of emails to their staff, both during the startup phase and thereafter. This counts double for those who work remotely, a lifestyle that’s becoming increasingly common during the COVID-19 response period, with many workers expected to continue the trend post-pandemic due to the demonstrated efficiencies of working from home.
Now, most HR people aren’t writing all-new, bespoke and handcrafted emails to each person or for each situation. Copy-and-paste is our friend. However, that still takes time, no matter how much we utilise address lists and pre-written templates. And let’s face it, people don’t read or retain information from letters as closely as they do something that appears personalised.
A good email follow-up tool can make this process entirely automated. Using a simple-in-use email follow-up tool like Followup Fred allows you to send out emails in pre-set, customised sequences while personalising them to the person receiving them. Best of all, these tools allow you to easily track open rates and other metrics. Get the information someone needs to them – and know if they’ve received it!
Automated emails can also help improve company cohesion, which is especially important for organisations and individuals that work remotely or are transitioning to remote work. You can use this tool to help everyone feel like they’re part of the team. And once you set this up, it takes very little time to maintain. That’s one task off your plate!
From sourcing and screening to interviewing and sending offer letters, the recruitment process includes a variety of manual processes that are perfect for automation. Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) like JazzHR to automate high-volume tasks like templated candidate communications, first-stage screening activities, and requesting e-signatures.
Once your team has chosen the right candidate for your open role(s), getting him/her smoothly transitioned into a full-time employee is critical, but also extremely manual. Leverage a human resources information system (HRIS) to automate the collection of documents, assignment of tools and equipment, and setup of payroll/timekeeping.
#4 Performance Management
Tracking how your employees’ activities and output are aligning with organisational objectives is a key HR function, yet also requires high-volume, manual tasks. Choose a performance management solution that streamlines these processes by centralising employee goals and automatically tracking progress.
#5 Track Time On (and Time Off!)
Let’s face it, there’s really no need to have your team reporting their hours worked or asking for time off directly to you. An automated system can allow employees to track work time and request time off themselves, with higher accuracy and accountability as well as fewer opportunities for miscommunication.
Yes, this is something you still have to track, but you can do it when it’s convenient for you, not for them. With some tools and services, you can even set things up to alert you when someone acts outside parameters you set, so you only need to track this when necessary. If you expect someone to put in 40 hours per week, let the computer track that. You can have it ping you if they’re only accounting for 37 hours or if they’re billing you for 45 hours when you only authorised 40.
To sum up, we see that just as CRM replaced spreadsheets for managing sales teams and their pipelines, employee relationship and HR automation platforms will replace the spreadsheet for managing people.
Spend fewer hours on drudgery so you can focus on the business you were born to build. HR automation is the key!