Paper takes the blame most of the time. In fact, AIIM recently found that many processes are still paper-driven in HR, like employee file management (53 percent) and employee onboarding (48 percent).
Other times, the blame lies in following manual processes for onboarding, offboarding, performance management, and benefits administration.
Paper-driven and manual processes simply don’t cut it anymore for HR. As companies grow, it gets harder and harder for HR to keep up. If HR departments follow the status quo, they spend their time managing documents and processes—instead of managing people. HR automation can help organizations take back their time by eliminating paper and automating their processes.
It can be hard to know when it’s time to automate human resources. So here are five common signs to help you decide.
1. You’re Onboarding Employees with Paper Documents
Each employee’s first day means a lot of paperwork for HR. But just because it’s called paperwork doesn’t mean it needs to involve actual paper anymore.
If you have a new employee fill out an I-9, W-4, and benefits forms by hand, it’s incredibly time-consuming—and it leaves a ton of room for error. In a paper document, an employee could easily skip an important box and not know it until it results in a late paycheck or missing the benefits enrollment deadline.
If you’re among 48 percent of organizations who onboard employees with paper documents, it’s time to consider HR automation.
With HR automation, these forms can be filled out digitally. That way, certain fields will be enforced. That means the form can’t be submitted unless every field has been filled out appropriately. Plus, with HR automation, you can sync employee information across all the necessary forms—speeding up the onboarding process and helping your new employee get started faster.
2. You’re Provisioning Users in Too Many Steps
As new employees come on board, they need to be granted access to certain systems and applications. However, the user provisioning process is often more manual than it ought to be.
What does a too manual user provisioning process look like? Well...
- A new employee is hired.
- An email notification is sent to the manager—manually.
- The manager then needs to email support.
- Support creates two tickets.
- Staff creates an Active Directory user.
- Staff completes the first ticket.
- Staff orders and sets up a new PC.
- Staff completes the second ticket.
- Staff sends a confirmation email to the manager.
This user provisioning process involves too many steps—and each step involves a manual task. It doesn’t end with onboarding either. Offboarding employees means removing them from Active Directory and other systems. Plus, it isn’t always easy to maintain—much less audit—Active Directory and make sure only current employees have access.
HR automation can eliminate at least three of these steps—and automate others.
3. You’re Always Sending Emails…
Reminder emails factor into too many HR tasks—and they are often sent manually. For instance, timesheet approvals, employee performance reviews, recruitment processes, benefits enrollment, and tax forms all require reminder emails. When sent manually, the process takes a huge chunk of time out of the average HR employee’s day.
HR automation can take care of these necessary—but unnecessarily time-consuming—tasks for you by automating those reminder emails. An email arriving (i.e., an offer acceptance email from a job candidate) could kick off the onboarding process automatically. Another way automation can help HR is by scraping employee information automatically from an email attachment.
Take the benefits enrollment process, for example. As an HR staffer, you’re constantly working with employees to make sure they’re enrolled—and updating their information when they need to. When benefits enrollment time comes around, you don’t want to be wasting your time shooting off email after email.
Let HR automation take care of that for you. You'll be able to focus on having the perfect balance of competitive and cost-effective benefits packages—instead of reminding your employees to sign up (or update their information).
4. You’re Managing Employee Performance Manually
When it comes to performance reviews, handling the process manually can be a massive drain on time and productivity in HR.
Here’s where time typically is lost. HR employees shoot off emails to managers and employees alike, alerting (and then reminding) them that it’s performance review season. Reviews roll in and need to be collected and saved in the appropriate spot. For some HR departments, this will mean printing and filing—which makes it much more difficult to reference a review later.
The employee performance review process is essential for retaining employees—and making sure they’re performing up to company standards. But instead of spending time manually reminding everyone about performance reviews, HR departments would be better off acting on feedback to improve engagement and drive satisfaction.
HR automation can help by automating email reminders and collecting performance reviews in a searchable document management system.
5. You’re Tired of Manually Managing the Employee Lifecycle
Any good HR professional knows that his or her job isn’t done when a new employee is onboarded. You need to ensure that you retain top talent and make sure that they have the development tools to succeed.
That’s why managing the employee lifecycle is important to the success of HR departments. But, when you’re using filing cabinets, it’s easy to get weighed down in the drudgery of managing employee documents.
Plus, there’s risk involved with filing cabinets, as well as network folders. HR departments are often wary about document security for two reasons. One, they need to ensure employee privacy and confidentiality. Two, they need to meet a range of compliance requirements—from Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
With filing cabinets—or shared folders—it can tricky to restrict access to sufficiently meet these requirements. HR automation gives you the tools you need to keep documents secure, manage user access, and prove compliance—should the auditors come calling.
Automating human resources makes managing the employee lifecycle easy. You’ll be able to focus on what matters most—the employees themselves—rather than managing their documents.