Workflow management is often misunderstood but it’s an extremely useful tool for HR professionals. By definition, HR workflows are a series of steps to complete a task, so you can see why it’s often confused with process management. But there’s one key difference: process management is for one-time projects and workflow management is all about organizing frequently repeated tasks such as updating employee records and educating staffers about company policies.
What is human resource management?
First off, let's talk about what is human resource management. It is a comprehensive approach to managing your workplace culture and people operations. With effective human resource management, your organization's employees feel secure and motivated to contribute to your company's overall goals.
What is human resources workflow management?
Human resources workflow management is the process of finding repeatable tasks and implementing automation tools that help HR managers increase productivity. Before you can assign a task, you need to know where the task fits into the bigger picture and in what order each item must be completed. Creating a human resources workflow management system can help entire teams find ways to eliminate unnecessary labor and streamline the department’s day-to-day duties.
Read more in our guide: How To Streamline HR Processes.
Benefits of using HR workflow software
There are many benefits of using HR workflow software but here are the top statistically-backed ones to keep in mind.
- Save time. HR professionals spend an average of three to four hours per day on unproductive manual process management. That is time that could be used to focus on work that has a more direct impact on the business.
- Increase empathy. Another study shows that HR workflow software can save managers 153 hours a year and employees 498 hours a year. And according to The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos, eliminating busy work can actually increase empathy, a trait which 96% of surveyed HR professionals, CEOs, and employees agree is key.
- Lower expenses. Shared workflows created with digital solutions are proven to save employees two-thirds of their physical paper budget, which can be as much as 15% of a company’s revenue spend.
Automate your human resources workflow processes with Wrike
Workflow HR solutions like Wrike offer some practical methods for dealing with time-consuming processes such as onboarding, offboarding, and employee education. Here are some practical ways you can improve the productivity of your biggest recurring projects with task automation through Wrike.
1. Create Agile workflows for daily HR administrative tasks.
Agile workflows are a series of folders that live on a Scrum dashboard. Each folder contains tasks with details such as timelines and instructions. Simply select “create new workflow” and start adding collaborative assignments for personnel records, internal database updates, and company benefit trackers.
Tag relevant team members, add your tasks, and set up task dependencies (such as following up on signatures after documents have been sent out or giving a new hire their paperwork after they have accepted the offer).
Here’s one great way to do it all in Wrike: First, add new applications as an individual task within a dedicated folder. Then, copy and paste their resume into the task description. Assign approval to whoever will be in charge of reviewing this potential new employee.
Chat about the candidate and provide updates directly within their task to keep everything in one place. This also eliminates messy email chains and lost information.
3. Streamline work expense submissions.
Wrike allows you to “create an approval” within any task. To use this feature for work expense submissions, create a dedicated incoming folder for work expenses. Next, assign any relevant team members as the approvers. Then, attach any relevant documents for approval. Finally, set a deadline for when they must have the approval complete.
From there, your team member can update the status of the task to reflect their decision. They can also @ mention the employee who submitted the receipts within the task comments to ask them follow-up questions or provide additional documentation where needed.
Keeping these communications all in one place makes it easy to organize and reference work expenses by employee and department over time.
4. Organize to-do lists for communications, formal notices, and meetings.
Create collaborative tasks for day-to-day activities. Set due dates, add other HR team members to files, and keep track of each category’s set of duties. For example, you can create a dedicated meetings folder for one-on-ones and teamwide gatherings.
Draft a new task for each event then add steps such as meeting agenda creation, room reservations, and form approval to each one. Add deadlines and dependencies where needed. Create a separate folder for past meetings and upcoming meetings to keep track of it all.
5. Make personnel updates transparent. (active, completed, deferred, canceled)
Create HR workflows with four primary categories: active, completed, deferred, canceled. Use “active” to refer to employees who need immediate attention, “completed” for employees who are in good standing, “Deferred” for potential new hires who declined the offer or freelancers who are inactive, and “Canceled” for employees who no longer work at your company.
Turn each employee record into a task and sort them accordingly. Use this file to store contracts, performance reviews, and time-off requests along with any other key employee information you’d like to keep track of.
These files can be managed by your HR team using employee names, file keywords, and tags, so no one will miss a single update when it comes to employee statuses. For onboarding or offboarding HR workflows, simply attach the necessary forms to each employee file before moving them to the appropriate folder.
Master HR workflows with Wrike
Effective HR workflows are one way you can improve the efficiency of your business. Manage applicants, personnel documentation, and requests by using Wrike as your HR workflow software. Improve your HR workflow management today and become more productive with a free two-week trial.