You probably chose a career in HR because you like working with people, helping them to work together to achieve organizational goals. But instead, you find that you spend an awful lot of time working with paper instead. All the routine admin may be getting you down, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Why not automate?
Automation means using technology and a little input from others in your organization to get routine tasks done with little or no intervention on your part. This frees you up so that you and your department can add more value to the organization by doing things that only a human being can do!
Why it’s important
Operational HR is pretty routine on the whole. Much of it consists of low-value tasks such as updating employee records, managing leave applications, leave balances and the associated paperwork or dealing with expense claims and time sheets. Not only are these routine tasks boring, they also take your focus away from the strategic HR tasks that really count.
If these run-of-the mill tasks can be automated, you can spend time doing things that really matter, such as recruiting talent, engaging employees and aligning HR operations with business goals. These are tasks that no other department is attending to, and they are vital to the success of your organization. Automation help HR departments deliver more value to the organization.
Which HR tasks should you be automating?
1. Updating employee records
Instead of having to do this very basic task yourself, employees can do it for you. All you need is a self-service portal with log in details to ensure confidentiality of other employee’s records or a mobile app. Employees or their supervisors can input their own basics such as changes of address, new banking details, and so forth.
2. Leave management
How often do employees come to you to check their leave balances, fill in a leave applications or find out whether their leave has been approved? Tracking and updating sick leave is yet another task that interferes with your department’s strategic focus. Once again a self-service portal or mobile app comes to your rescue.
Employees can check leave balances, submit leave applications and receive feedback on approval of leaves without you having to do anything. If you need reports and summaries, technology prepares them for you, and you can see everything you need to know at a glance. Many payroll packages also include leave management automation systems.
3. Automate approval workflow
Instead of having to act as the middle-man between employees and the superiors who would need to be consulted regarding leave applications, technology can do it for you. Leave applications are automatically routed and tracked according to the rules of the business. Choose an all-in-one solution that links to or is part of your payroll system.
4. Track all employee records in one central HR system
As an HR executive, you can save time and improve compliance by having a central HR system that tracks all employee records and only reports anomalies to you. This includes basic personnel records, work permits, key employment terms (KET) like contracts, benefits, etc. When you need any information, it’s at your fingertips, but the actual slog of correlating and filing records is no longer your problem.
5. Expense claims
There are some excellent software packages that allow for the automation of expense claims. Set rules such as spending limits and policies, and have employees input and upload their own data such as images of receipts. You can even automate payments on approval of claims, and you will have a full audit trail in place when needed.
6. Hassle free recruitment process
Instead of dealing with large volume of emails, HR can link job posting with the company website, automatically capturing all job applications in one central HR system. Applications can easily be filtered based on the specifications for posts, and the most promising applications can be prioritized for follow up, saving you from scanning numerous résumés that simply don’t fit the bill.
Automatic responses can be created to ensure all applications get a reply and are kept updated on the recruitment process. It also helps HR to build a recruitment pipeline that they can use for future hiring plans, and it saves time.
7. Monthly payroll
Eliminating much of the human element in payroll processes has several advantages. It saves your department time, and eliminates the element of human error. HR can leverage pre-configured payroll components and templates. Rules can be defined to easily manage retirement plan contributions (CPF) and other entitlements.
Most payroll systems also help you to track attendance and time-keeping, helping you to maintain employee compliance. Once again, automated reports can be drawn on a regular basis, allowing you to remain in control without the hassle. Although payroll software may involve a fairly substantial initial outlay, it will soon pay for itself in time savings.
Work smarter not harder
The larger your organization is, the more important it is to make use of the HR automation tools at your disposal. Ultimately, your employer becomes the primary beneficiary as you focus your activities on things a computer can’t do.