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How HR automation can make for a more human connection

Is it time that we put the ‘human’ back into human resources?

According to one recent study, HR departments only spend 12% of their time engaging with employees, and 13% meeting senior staff. This compares with a third of their working week that goes on payroll and admin and 17% on risk and compliance tasks.

The good news is that HR automation can free up your human resources team’s time by taking over a huge range of manual and repetitive processes. That could leave you much more time to focus on humans instead.

What does an automated HR system look like, and what could it mean for you?

What is HR automation?

Automated HR systems use digital tools which replicate many of the typical workplace tasks that eat up human resources departments’ time. You simply need to map out the process in software, then trigger the tasks whenever you need to complete the workflow. Once the workflow begins, you can leave the technology to complete the task, and win back the time you would have spent doing it manually.

What does HR automation look like?

There are so many different processes that an automated HR system can take on for you. Almost any workflow that involves sending emails, signing paperwork, filing information, getting approvals, or entering data can be automated.

Here are just a handful of examples of what an automated HR system can do:

  • Automated time-keeping

If your company uses a clocking system, automating the process could save time and reduce errors. According to the Harvard Business Review, time card errors cost the US economy $7.4 billion in productivity every day. And this is where an automated time-keeping system could help.

Rather than requiring staff to record their hours within a paper form, it is perfectly possible to create an automated time-keeping system that is available as a widget in your company’s intranet homepage. Every day, the employee simply enters their hours, and this is automatically logged in your system. HR teams don’t have to read handwritten timesheets and enter this data into a spreadsheet – the system does it for them.

  • Onboarding

Did you know that the average employee must sign three documents during the onboarding process, and complete 41 administrative tasks? If you are doing this process manually, your HR team will spend literally hours ensuring that each new employee has.

  • Signed necessary forms and contracts
  • Been given IT logins
  • Received welcome training
  • Been sent information on staff benefits
  • Recorded their bank details
  • Been given a health and safety induction
  • And much more

If this process is done manually, there’s a high chance that the process gets disrupted, or the new employee forgets to fill in all the required forms.

But with an automated HR system, your HR department simply triggers a single workflow each time a new employee joins the company. Every single step in the onboarding process will be completed and there is no chance that the employee misses out any vital information.

  • Leave requests

If an employee is going on vacation, they will typically have to either email the HR department or walk over to the HR office to make the leave request. If your process is entirely manual, the HR employee must look through calendars to try and figure out if there is enough spare time for the break, verify if there’s any replacement cover, and get sign-off from the employee’s manager.

Once again automated HR systems make this process a breeze. The employee simply completes their request using a form on the company intranet and the software does the rest. It can calculate if there is appropriate cover, request approvals from department managers and even suggest alternative dates.

How HR automation wins you more time for humans

Automated HR systems have the power to win back hours of time for human resources department. Rather than spending significant amounts of time every week processing manual forms and doing repetitive data entry, your HR department could dedicate more time to humans. It would free them up to do things like:

  • Engage more with employees

The time savings from HR automation means that human resources departments could spend more time face to face with employees, finding out about issues in the company and thinking about solutions.

  • Talking with senior management

The additional time that an automated HR system could give you also means that HR teams can spend more time talking with senior management about their vision for the company.

  • Develop employee experience initiatives

With more time on their hands, HR departments could dedicate additional hours to their employee experience strategies – thinking of ways to attract staff to the business, increase engagement and boost loyalty.

More benefits: Read about 451 Research insights into HR automation benefits

Get started with HR automation

HR automation can transform your processes and free up hours of time for your teams to focus on high value activities rather than repetitive tasks. Whether it is automated time keeping, more efficient payroll, smoother request processes, performance management surveys or anything else, automated HR systems can really relieve your workload.

And with the Nintex workflow automation solution, HR process improvement is even easier. You can choose from countless templates to begin automating common HR processes and get up and running fast.



Check out the templates here and start putting the ‘human’ back into human resources.



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