The benefits of automating HR processes

As organisations have become more sophisticated in their quest for productivity and competitiveness, they have increasingly realised that the quality and loyalty of their employees is one of the most important factors. Managing HR processes and compliance requirements effectively can take valuable time and resources away from strategic initiatives, so it’s essential for businesses to streamline and automate HR processes wherever possible, according to M-Files.

Nicholas Delaveris, alliance and partner director, Australia and New Zealand, M-Files, said, “Along with attracting and retaining the right staff, companies have to manage compliance with a broad range of workforce laws, awards, and health and safety requirements. The larger the workforce, the more complex and time-consuming this process can be. The sheer volume of paperwork required can be overwhelming for HR teams who can find themselves focused on administrative work rather than on creative and proactive employee engagement initiatives that can help drive business growth.

“Businesses need a solution that supports the entire employee lifecycle from hiring and onboarding to performance management, training and development, and records management.”

M-Files has identified three benefits businesses can achieve by automating HR processes and workflows:

1. Improved control - With employee-related documentation often stored in siloes, as hardcopies, in emails, in folders on network drives, and other repositories, getting a clear, overarching view of each employee can be nearly impossible. By digitalising and automating paperwork, businesses can eliminate the complexity and confusion around records and information. Rather than spending time searching for information, HR teams can spend more time acting on it.

2. Better efficiency - HR processes can be multi-faceted, requiring various approvals and signatures. When this is done via hardcopy, paper-based documentation, it’s easy to lose information or create bottlenecks in the process. If someone is travelling for work or on holidays, paperwork can pile up on their desk. Without their signature, processes can get stuck. In practice, this can mean qualified candidates can’t start work, employees can’t take annual leave, promotions can’t be confirmed, and more. The knock-on effect of this can include disgruntled employees, which can lower productivity.

Automating these processes means managers can sign off on leave requests and other important compliance documentation to keep the business running smoothly. Automatic reminders and triggers ensure the right person receives documents for approval, avoiding bottlenecks and confusion. This speeds up the process and lets people focus on their core tasks rather than administration.

3. Increased security and compliance - Paper-based processes create potential for security breaches, since HR documents tend to include highly-sensitive personal information such as birthdays, salaries, performance history, and more. Digitalising these documents lets business retain more control over them, restricting access and ensuring documents aren’t left out in the open where people can see them. When documents are stored digitally, they can also be protected with audit logs, version control, and authorised access only. This ensures documents are always treated in accordance with compliance requirements, protecting the business against potential breaches.

Nicholas Delaveris said, “Automating HR processes with the right solution can deliver an exceptional return on investment. Businesses can perform more strongly when all employees are focused on areas where they can add the most value instead of worrying about administrative matters.”

M-files is holding its inaugural Digital Workplace Conference to look at how new technologies impact digital transformation on December 4, 2018 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Australia.