Your mini guide on how to get the most out of HR automation
Hi. Thanks for reading this how-to guide. Your interest suggests that you are curious about automation and want to make sure that you tackle it correctly. That’s really smart. Whilst adopting more technology offers a host of benefits, it also makes absolute sense for your business and your people to have a strategy which involves doing it the right way.
Establish what you’re working with:
It may seem a bit boring, so we apologise in advance, but you need to know what you are working with. Either you, or the provider you are choosing, should complete a full audit of all your current HR procedures and operations. If you have any processes that you can envisage adding in the near future, add these.
List these processes by the team that manages them and also as part of a timeline on an employee’s journey. This, for example, would start with the recruitment process and go right the way through to the exit interview.
You’ll then have a very clear picture of what you can and can’t automate. Some of these tasks will stand out very clearly as processes which require very little human input and are just laborious, mind-numbing tasks. Others clearly require some human intervention and work better that way. Start to automate the former. Your employees will thank you for it.
Find a company which is experienced in automation and integration
Clearly, this is paramount. Ask for testimonials and visit past clients to see how your potential supplier fares in actual delivery and application. The technology is important. It isn’t, however, more important than working with someone experienced at integrating automation into a working company without any pause in business continuity. You are looking for a super smooth transition; downtime isn’t something you have or need to suffer.
A good provider will also be able to tell you where you will get most bang for your buck and what tasks you should group together. It’s really important that you think ahead and any applications that you work with are scalable and flexible. You should be able to use them on any device, work remotely and be able to organise various levels of access.
An informed team is a happy team:
You need to make the Internal Communications department your friend. It’s hugely important that any introduction of automation is well explained and received. If you fail to manage it well, people may worry that the technology is there to replace them, rather than simply make their roles easier and more efficient. Automation can be great for relieving people of soul destroying tasks and freeing up their energy to be creative and passionate about work. You want to make sure that you introduce the technology in a way that is positive for employee wellbeing. Also, any roll-out will be infinitely easier if you have buy in.
In addition to Internal Communications, it’s a great idea to get a focus group together who represent the people that actually do some of these tasks on a day to day basis. They can advise on the practical applications, not just the theory. They can also explain any challenges and give their view on how potential technology would fit in.
Also in the focus group, it’s good to have some employees from other departments, who have experienced a non-automated version of HR and can give their feedback.
Don’t underestimate getting senior management buy-in and involvement for the roll-out process. It’s really helpful if you have all senior managers and mid managers explaining any changes and getting their teams along to training sessions so that the very best is taken out of everything implemented.
Slowly, slowly catchy monkey:
First things first. There is no requirement to automate everything immediately. This is not supermarket sweep and no decent supplier will push you into throwing everything you have in immediately. Not because they can’t count on the technology all working simultaneously, because they can. It’s because implementing the various functions in strategic stages gives all employees and teams the chance to get used to them. It’s a lot easier to establish that one particular application needs tweaking if you can see the wood for the trees and there aren’t a load of other new variables also having some sort of cause and effect. Take your time, get it right. Start with the simple, most obvious changes.
As the transition takes place and you start to roll out the technology, it’s great to have someone from most departments already trained up and happy to show the benefits of automation to their peers. We can’t imagine that Barry on the shop-floor wants to be known as an ‘automation angel’; maybe you could go for a cooler title like ‘tech heroes’ but you catch our drift.
Have people dotted about the business who have a full understanding of the technology to help other employees if they get into any trouble. This shouldn’t replace training for everyone, it just means a guru is on hand. Also, you need to make sure all managers buy into this to make your angels’ lives easier if there is initially quite a bit of their time spent on it.
And there you have it. You are good to go! If you need any information on any specific technical aspects, be sure to read our whitepapers or drop us a note.