Gartner recently released an interesting tech note discussing how automated business processes and online integration and transformation of business workflow should be a focus for businesses. By 2022, 50% of digital business technology platform projects will connect events to business outcomes using event-driven intelligent business process management suite (iBPMS)-oriented frameworks - here is a link to the Gartner article.
More than 80% of organizations believe digital transformation is important or very important and 75% say process automation is a must do in business.i Forrester agrees, saying process improvement is required for digital transformation and improving customer experience. Digital technology innovations in the workflow resource ecosystem have already been applied to automate many core business processes. According to AIIM, the top processes being automated include:
- Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
- HR, Recruiting, On-Boarding
- Contract Management
- Records Management
- Technical Documentation
A number of these top processes are managed or have involvement of the Human Resources or HR department. The HR departments have a lot of document centric business processes that involve communications or actions by other employees. Human resource management is an essential part of every company. Whether it’s hiring new employees, training, or ensuring that local labor laws are complied with, HR processes are a vital part of every company.
But HR has usually been thought of as a highly manual department process. They are used to rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done themselves. But all that’s changing and they can take advantage of available solutions to optimize these processes and improve the over all process and communications. At the same time, these solutions automate the management of online records and reporting of metrics such as:
- How long does a process take or specific tasks
- Were are the typical bottlenecks - one may assume they know but online metrics are very useful for management
- How many requests do we get a week, month
Employee onboarding is known to be one of the most manual HR processes. It includes collecting documents for verification, giving them network access, setting up or ordering hardware and application access, etc. But all of this can be done automatically, using an online workflow solution.
The automated process ensures that there’s an easy checklist that can be verified by both the human resource management staff, the new employee, and anyone else that is part of the employee onboarding process. Using this, documents can be collected electronically, devices can be delivered without needing to wait around until IT staff arrive, and tool access takes hours, not weeks.
- Online self-service form allows management or HR personnel to submit onboarding requests.
- Intuitive form design and workflow design interfaces allow customization of documents and processes to enterprise need.
- Workflows can be tailored to job type, and can specify stakeholders necessary at each stage of onboarding process.
- Onboarding requests are automatically routed for proper review and approval.
- Orientation and training sessions can be orchestrated via the workflow, including notification/reminders to attendees.
- New hires can be automatically sent a packet of orientation materials.
- Online orientation forms can be included allowing new employees to submit necessary onboarding documents such as agreements, disclosures, benefit applications, etc.
- Reduction in manual paperwork reduces errors and delays, driving sizable time and costs savings for the enterprise.
- HR accelerates response times and new hire processing, building goodwill with all stakeholders.
- Centralized tracking and reporting allows HR to have real-time overview of all onboarding workflows.
- Workflows are automatically archived and accessible for auditing.
- E-signature integration standardizes secure approvals.
An example of a onboarding workflow that's been created using the Nextide Maestro workflow solution for Drupal is shown below. The process is launched by the hiring manager and passes through two levels of approval. There are interactive review tasks that will automatically route the process back to the hiring manager. Comments can be collected and task assignment determined automatically via lookups of the company organization information in a database or LDAP directory.
The solution can definitely improve tracking and reduce email and simultaneously, improve visibility and management of a critical process that can make all the difference to a new employee's first day.
Once the request is approved, parallel tasks can be launched which make requests to different departments to complete the new employee onboarding request. The workflow can handle processes with dependencies and unique business rules. Example, it's easy to determine if hardware is required from the submitted form and if needed submit a request to purchasing. If needed, there could be a separate sub-workflow for purchasing approval, if the request included special hardware or costs exceed a threshold amount.
The process can include sending of a new hire package to the employee, sending an introduction email to the department or sending out a welcome email on the employees first day. Any other custom communications or reminders to the new employee or stake holders can be automated at various stages of the workflow automatically.
The process stakeholders can easily see where in the process the request is by exploring the request details which include a status bar which highlights the request's current stage in the workflow. Additionally, Maestro keeps track of the time the task was assigned, when it was first clicked on by the task owner and when it was completed. These metrics are available for custom reporting and tracking.
Read more about our recent release and features including information about our demo site that's built to show case an online insurance quote process - Maestro 2.1 Release and Demo Site.
Nextide’s expertise is aimed at helping clients automate these manual systems. Our initial approach with clients is always to see if we can fix what is in place today. It can be that simple and inexpensive. A 5 minute conversation with a Nextide consultant can quickly determine if we can be of assistance.
i Forrester 2018 White paper