This business-time-shortage has only been made more difficult during the pandemic. With HR teams required to rapidly adapt to shifting work conditions, solving prior business problems has been ignored, or put on hold. HR is now juggling more plates than ever.
One solution, for both HR and the business, is leveraging HR automation to solve the old problems and make time for the new ones. Because HR automation allows HR to solve common business problems whilst also saving time.
Let’s take a look at three common business problems you can solve with HR automation, and why you should choose to automate them right now.
1. Communication breakdown
Communication breakdown is not just an HR problem, it’s a business problem. Communication problems are not only a key culprit in employee disengagement but have serious bottom-line effects too, through reduced productivity, increased absenteeism and staff turnover.
In our recent 2020 Strategic HR Survey, 63% of HR professionals listed communication as a top issue in the workplace. One that has been exacerbated by a reliance on Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom in place of a friendly tap on the shoulder. We’re communicating more, especially digitally, but doing so less effectively.
The challenge for HR is maintaining healthy communication between employees, managers and leaders in this environment. This includes communicating change, keeping employees informed and maintaining an open channel of two-way communication between employees and HR, so that HR can stay in touch with changing employee needs. HR needs to know how they can best support employees and this understanding comes from direct employee feedback.
So how does HR solve this with HR automation? And why use automation over a friendly phone call?
One way for HR to bridge the communication gap is by establishing a continuous feedback loop. This means automating requests for employee feedback on a regular basis (eg. monthly), like the check-ins we use in intelliHR. The reason this works is twofold:
- It creates a channel for employees to share how they feel, what they’re struggling with and where they might need help, continuously.
- It signals to employees that the business cares about their input, fostering trust.
Automating a continuous-feedback loop ensures it happens on a regular basis. Because let’s be honest, when time is stretched, somehow catch-ups and feedback never seems to be a top priority. So it gets forgotten, put on hold until next month, or more likely, never. It also reduces workload for HR, as once set up, continuous feedback runs on autopilot in the background, helping prevent future communication breakdowns by providing both leaders and HR with a constant flow of feedback.
Think of automation like a fail-safe reminder. It makes sure that employees have a voice by ensuring you never forget to check-in and ask how they are going.
In addition to communication, automating continuous feedback also helps with productivity.
2. Maintaining productivity
A key priority for HR people right now is supporting their employees to be productive and perform at their best. In fact, 64% of HR professionals listed performance management as a top priority in our survey, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that between pandemic stressors, distractions in the ‘home office’ and parents playing teachers, some employees are finding focus elusive.
As a business problem, low productivity has downstream effects beyond output. A sense of achievement, which comes from productivity, is intrinsically linked to motivation and role satisfaction.
So how can HR use automation to solve this productivity problem? By reducing non-role related work (admin) and increasing recognition.
HR can use HR automation to remove the admin burden for both managers and employees. Tedious tasks like updating details, signing off on new policies and even running performance management processes like reviews and monthly catch ups all benefit from being set up in an automated way.
Using an automated system, whether it’s a google form, your HRIS or intelliHR, will reduce the back and forth required by both managers and employees to get simple things done. This translates to more productive time, and less frustrating email chains.
You can also use goals and HR automation to keep employees productive and engaged. Digitally tracking goals helps your employees to stay on track and you to frequently celebrate their achievements. When goals are stored in one central and visible place, both HR and leaders can easily see and recognize progress. In this way, automated goal tracking helps employees and teams celebrate the little wins (as well as the big ones).
But when goals are recorded manually, or drafted and forgotten, it’s harder for everyone to recognize achievement. Goals stuck in filing cabinets collect dust, not recognition.
In this way, using HR automation allows businesses to better support employee productivity by reducing admin-burden and promoting achievement. It can also help you become audit-proof.
Audits are a massive business risk. Each audit presents the possibility of sanctions, fines and weeks of work for the audit team. Documenting files, chasing down licenses, mapping out fifteen spreadsheets to find the single source of truth. Audits mean work.
Audits also don’t disappear just because we’re in a pandemic. The tax office and industry bodies still need to ensure you are compliant and protecting your workers. In fact, if anything audit-proofing is more timely now than ever because much of what businesses are doing right now may be subject to future auditing. Governments will be working hard to ensure businesses maintain compliance with COVID regulation.
Given this, ensuring your organization is ‘audit-proof’ whilst saving employees and HR teams time makes sense. Why wouldn’t you trade hours of work for better, easier compliance and a smoother audit process? That’s what you’re able to do by automating your compliance related processes.
Whether that’s a compliance management system or intelliHR, HR automation reduces your workload. Automated systems create audit trails, manage policy sign-off and automate expiry reminders. This means when it comes to audit time, all the documentation is ready. And your license/certifications are up to date (did we mention not chasing up employees?).
HR does less work, and the business is more protected.
With so many hours in the day spent reacting to changing business conditions, time is truly of the essence. HR, leaders and employees are all time poor, in their own way.
This is why we believe HR automation is such an effective tool for businesses right now. By using HR automation you can counteract common business problems – like communication breakdowns, maintaining productivity and staying compliant – whilst saving precious time to work on pandemic issues.
If you’re wanting help with any of these three domains, we’re here to help. So you can digitally transform your HR in a way that solves business challenges like these and frees you up to work on what matters. To find out how you can get started, speak to our team here.