During the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Resources (HR) had to pivot quickly to refocus their activities on the needs of a remote workforce. While many employees continue to work from home, safe workplace reopening is also an important item on HR’s agenda. As your organization responds to changing economic and social conditions, replacing paper-based processes with digital workflow will enable you to concentrate on helping employees navigate new workplace challenges.
HR’s administrative functions are time-consuming and labor intensive when they’re paper-based or reliant on disjointed technology like Excel spreadsheets, shared drives and software that can’t share data. With office automation in your toolbox you, and your HR team, can focus on strategic issues like employee engagement, preserving the company culture by scheduling virtual events and training, and offering a quick response to workplace issues as they arise.
1. Managing health screening requirements
HR usually plays a role in leading the effort to provide a secure way to screen employees and visitors to determine their health status before they enter your office. These precautions are highly visible and assure employees that it’s safe to come back to work. Automating this function with eforms and automated workflow provides contactless check in/check out, a record of who is in the building at a particular time and proof that state and federal guidelines have been followed. The information is saved, searchable and readily available if contact tracing is necessary.
2. Serving remote employees
Digital document management secures employee files in an encrypted repository and protects them with controlled access rights. Employees working from home get easy access to benefits information including healthcare and childcare flexible spending accounts, employee assistance programs, and time-off requests. Not only can your HR team see documents and workflow status from anywhere and on any device, but employees can securely access their individual records. Employee self-service and quick response time to requests for information saves time and effort for the employee and for you.
3. Employee records management
A document management solution easily adapts to your corporate records management policies and procedures, scales as your organization grows, easily adapts to your unique HR workflows, and integrates with other systems. It also eases the stress of internal or external HR audits for payroll taxes and workers compensation claims.
4. Administration policies and procedures
When HR pushes out new policies and procedures, document management software makes distribution easier and provides an audit trail that confirms receipt. Electronic forms make obtaining employee sign-off faster, easier and more cost-effective.
Now that most recruiting takes place online, it’s even more valuable to process resumes sent via email automatically, review them and send appropriate resumes to the correct hiring manager. Internal electronic resume distribution ensures that everyone who will be interviewing a job applicant has access to the information. In terms of HR workflow efficiency, setting up hiring approvals electronically makes the process consistent and repeatable while creating an audit trail of all hiring activities.
The first 90 days a new employee spends at an organization often determine how quickly the employee becomes an engaged member of the workforce. Some new employees, who were interviewed online, may not have the opportunity to meet you or their boss before they start work. Automating the onboarding routine ensures that new employees feel welcome and well-equipped to make their first days on the job stress-free and productive. To make sure all the bases are covered you can create an onboarding checklist of required tasks, including acknowledgement of employment, confidentiality agreements, employee handbooks and initial training plans. You can easily manage new hire provisioning to provide employees all items needed to start — even if the items are delivered to their homes rather than to your office.
7. Performance management
With automation you can customize performance appraisal templates and set dates for automated reviews, while capturing and storing all the information. Hiring reviews, salary approvals, annual raises and performance-based increases are all streamlined into efficient workflows that benefit the business and the employees receiving the boost. On the flip side, you’ll have a clear, consistent trail of documentation detailing an employee’s work record if you’re dealing with performance issues.
HR’s role will evolve as the new normal approaches
Even when we reach the new normal, HR departments will continue to handle both the needs of both remote workers and those who return to the workplace. According to a June 2020 Pwc’s US Remote Work Survey
, Office workers say they’d like to have the option to work from home more frequently, even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat. Survey respondents also report that they miss interacting with colleagues and are, or are planning to, go back to the office at least part-time.
In the current challenging environment, businesses can no longer afford to be slowed down with paper processes. This is particularly important in HR departments. Digitizing the processes related to resumes, applications, onboarding forms, payroll reports and tax forms, and performance reviews saves time and is more cost effective. It’s an essential component to make your work life easier when your department is asked to take on new responsibilities without adding staff.