Benefits of HR Automation: Let Us Count the Ways
Human Resources (HR) workflows cross multiple departments due to the all-encompassing nature of HR work. Accelerating HR processes is a worthy goal, particularly if you can do so without sacrificing accuracy and while laying down an audit trail for future reference.
Automating HR processes does not have to involve a major IT initiative, because today there are user-friendly software packages that allow the non-programmer to turn paper processes in to faster, more accurate electronic processes and link them together into efficient workflows. The benefits are significant!
You’ll Save Time Over Processing Paper Forms
Paper forms were revolutionary in their way, by standardizing processes and the information collected during them. But today there are much better ways to complete HR processes than by shuffling stacks of paper forms. Paper forms can be lost, damaged, or indecipherable, and much time can be wasted tracking them down, making sure they’re filled in correctly, and in many cases, entering handwritten information into databases or spreadsheets. Electronic forms do away with most of these problems from day one. No more lost or unreadable forms, and they can be transmitted to the recipient instantaneously.
Communication Across Departments Will Improve
Electronic forms allow people in all departments to take care of necessary HR tasks without having to know who gets a particular form and where their office is. People simply fill in the forms online and submit them once they’re completed. They automatically go where they’re supposed to, and can even be set up to trigger email alerts to the recipient. The recipient can know a form has arrived instantly, without phone calls, memos, or waiting on intra-company mail delivery.
You’ll Have Faster and Easier Access to Data
Once data has been entered into electronic forms, it’s available for immediate access by authorized parties. What’s more, workflows can be set up so that information entered one time (such as an employee’s name, employee number, phone extension, etc.) can populate more than one form. This saves tremendous amounts of time for everyone and makes important data available immediately to those who use it. Getting a new employee enrolled in health insurance or a 401(k) is considerably faster than when these processes are done manually using paper forms.
Automation Produces a Clear Audit Trail
When you create custom electronic survey forms and link them into workflows, you can trace data entry and its progress through the system at any time. The ability to do this can be critical in businesses that are bound by industry or government regulations that require careful tracking of data. You can create an audit trail with paper forms, but it’s harder, more prone to error, and less secure. Taking paper forms and processes electronic makes them “cleaner” and more accurate – a real benefit should you be required to account for data later on.
HR Processes That Can Be Improved Through Automation
Any number of HR processes can be improved through automation. On-boarding new employees is typically form-intensive and can take an unreasonable amount of time when it’s done on paper. With electronic forms and automated workflows, data entered once can be used to populate multiple on-boarding forms, saving both HR and the new employee time and effort. Employee reviews are another process that benefits from automation by being faster, clearer, and easier to trace from beginning to end. And it isn’t just HR processes that can benefit. Other business processes like expense reporting, maintenance requests, or transportation pool management benefit from electronic forms and workflows too.
A Compelling Case Study
The Ogden Clinic, a Utah healthcare provider solved its workflow challenges using PerfectForms. They streamlined workflows while providing automatic audit trails of each process to conform with industry regulations. After their pilot program, which was “a huge success,” the clinic saw the benefits of automating HR tasks and continued to develop several more automated workflows using PerfectForms, including the employee review process. Results included significant time savings, greater accuracy, and automatic creation of audit trails.
PerfectForms has an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that allows creation of electronic forms and workflows without programming. It’s flexible enough to allow custom form creation in HR or any other department, allowing companies to save time, money, paper, and storage space. And you can try it yourself for free. Automating forms and workflows doesn’t have to be a major initiative, yet it can offer major benefits right away.