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Why You Need to Use Workflow Automation Tools for These Three HR Tasks

Workflow automation technology could spark a revolution in HR. Let’s see how.

Human Resources is one of the most valuable business departments in any organization. Ensuring your employees are trained, engaged and happy, while resolving internal disputes is essential for a successful and growing business.

You would, therefore, expect your HR teams to spend their time working closely with colleagues across the business – from liaising regularly with employees and managers to conducting interviews with perspective employees as well as contributing to business strategy meetings.

In fact, one study of elite HR departments found they spend less than 10% of their time on administrative work. Of course, that’s HR in an ideal world. For most HR departments, the idea that admin could take up less than a tenth of their time doesn’t seem realistic.

All too often, HR teams find themselves drowning under a wave of repetitive, tedious tasks, filling in and filing paperwork. Despite the desire to tackle initiatives of much higher value, many are stymied by inefficient business processes.

Workflow automation tools aim to take on those repetitive tasks that burn so much of your HR department’s time, freeing them up to focus on more valuable activities.

Let’s look at three common and repetitive HR admin tasks that workflow automation tools could take on for your teams.

1.  Timesheet Management 

Filling in timesheets is time-consuming for everybody. It often involves printing out a template, writing hours worked into a form, getting a line manager to sign the hours worked off, scanning the form and then sending it to HR. The HR team then has to enter the data into a system and approve the timesheet. What’s more, if a timesheet is forgotten, sent to the wrong place or incorrect details are entered, the risk is that employees will not be paid.

Workflow automation tools resolve these kinds of issues.

By turning your timesheets into a digital form that can be completed on a PC, smartphone or tablet and accessed from your intranet or an employee’s email inbox, the process becomes significantly faster – and less prone to mistakes:

  • Employees can enter data easily and are alerted when they haven’t filled in information correctly
  • Once the form is complete, an email is sent to the employee’s manager for approval
  • The manager can accept or query the timesheet, and then this is forwarded to the HR team
  • The information is automatically entered into an HR system – they just need to click an ‘approve’ button

2.  Payroll

Payroll involves many processes that can easily be automated. HR staff often spend hours calculating employee pay, liaising with the finance department or an outsourced payroll company, searching for information and entering it into different systems.

Workflow automation tools can take on many of the repeat processes involved in payroll, meaning employees staff spend less time doing important yet low-skill activities like sending reminder emails or copying information from one place to another.

  • The action of searching for and entering information into your payroll system can be automated, saving time and energy
  • Data stored in different systems can be collected by the workflow, saving staff from having to constantly sort through numerous tools
  • Automated emails can be sent to other departments and external companies to return key data

By automating the payroll process, you can be confident that any human error is avoided from staff cutting corners or just simply forgetting to add information. While HR will certainly have to review reports, workflow automation tools can save valuable time and improve accuracy.

3.  Organizing Employee Reviews

Organizing employee performance reviews is another time-consuming task for HR departments. On a regular basis, they need to send out review forms to individual members of staff and their line managers, organize meetings and, post-review, write up new goals or changes to contracts. All this takes a lot of chasing and energy.

Workflow automation tools could help here:

  • Calendar invites could be automatically generated and sent out to staff and managers to accept (or suggest alternative times)
  • Review forms could be sent to employees, with reminder emails sent until they complete the form
  • Once new employee goals are agreed on, these can automatically be added to the employee’s permanent file and measured in the next review


Workflow Automation Tools Support Many HR Functions

These examples are only the highlight how useful it is to automate HR processes. If these kinds of common tasks could be automated, the amount of time saved sending emails and entering information into systems would be significantly reduced. And if HR departments could save across these areas, they could focus their energy on the job they really excel at – supporting your organization talent retention and acquisition goals.


Nintex Workflows help thousands of organizations worldwide to automate work and boost productivity. Learn about more about our workflow automation tools here.

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