5 Ways to Streamline Your HR Workflows

23rd May 2018

HR team wirth the best workflows

If you’re looking to save more money and time within your business, go back to basics. Review your workflows across all departments and see whether you could be working smarter. Small changes at the fundamental level will result in big savings across your business.

Empowering the HR team to quickly and easily locate the information they need enables them to be more efficient while improving collaboration with the rest of the organisation.

HR departments manage a large volume and variety of information that is often highly confidential. Employee records, contracts of employment and payroll information barely scratch the surface of the plethora of data managed by the average HR department, often in both paper and digital form.

An HR department may have paper employee records and contracts stored in a filing cabinet; use an HR system to manage employee issues and absence requests; an intranet for managing job applications; and network drives for managing general documents.

With email and other company-wide applications such as CRMs and document management systems thrown into the mix, the result is typically a huge number of data silos with little or no communication between them.

This inevitably leads to valuable time being wasted searching for documents and information. This is often compounded by multiple versions of the same file, incorrectly annotated, which results in errors and repeated work.

Your HR team simply can’t operate at maximum efficiency in this environment. They need the ability to easily access, process and share information within these multiple locations. All the while, they need to ensure confidential information remains protected. In order to cope with increasing workloads, it’s vital for your HR department to facilitate smooth information management operations and ensure consistent workflows.

How to Streamline Your HR Workflows

1. Review Your Processes

An audit of your existing processes needs to take two things into consideration:

  • Is the process necessary?
  • Is the process as efficient as it could be?

Evaluate each process and ask yourself if that particular process is necessary. It’s important not to do things just because you’ve always done them. Businesses evolve all the time and your processes need to evolve too.

Many policies and procedures are put in place just so they are there, causing friction and making the entire HR workflow ineffective. You need to eliminate these procedures or replace them with more straightforward options.

You remaining processes should be reviewed to ensure efficiency. Take the time to seek testimony from stakeholders to get a real-world understanding of any pain points they encounter. This will allow you to see how you can better streamline your processes.

2. Prioritise Key Areas of Focus

After analysing your processes, rank each one in the order of importance. This helps you focus on areas that have the highest potential for improving workflow. For some companies, establishing a process to keep your staff highly trained might be the highest priority. For others, reforming the payroll processes might yield the highest benefit.

3. Automate

A study by O2 Business and CEBR found that workplace productivity has increased by 84% in the last 40 years, thanks to advancements in technology. Take advantage of technology in your HR workflows by finding ways to automate processes wherever possible.

HR software packages provide a wide variety of automated processes, including expenses management, payslip generation and timesheet management. Automation can carry the burden of repetitive, time-consuming tasks, allowing your HR team to focus on other matters. Establishing an effective division of labour between software and staff is a vital part of maximising productivity within your HR teams.

4. Centralise

In companies where data is silo’d away in various departments and systems, simply centralising your data can result in huge time savings. Regardless of whether your HR teams are centralised, as long as they have access to all the data they need, when they need it, your operation will run much smoother. One secure data site also ensures greater data security, as it allows you to have closer scrutiny over access.

5. Training

Investing in your employees is a must if you’re looking to streamline your process workflows. Training employees is not only beneficial in the long run but will help streamline the internal HR workflow. The next time you have key positions to fill, the HR solution will already have a list of recommended employees to promote.

Integrating training programs to the HR workflow also helps employees grow with the company. Existing employees are already familiar with the business’s culture and approach. As the business expands, the key employees are ready for the added workload and extra challenges they have to face. This type of process smoothes out internal progression.

Optimising your HR workflows requires a combination of rigorous self assessment, training and technology all working together. And the result?

You will enjoy greater productivity; not just from your HR department, but across your business. Automation speeds up processes and raises employee satisfaction, your HR team can focus on other tasks and all stakeholders will have greater insight for decision making. Ultimately, HR workflows underpin the infrastructure of many businesses. Getting it right will result in cost savings for your operations.

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