Automation and people management: how technology can boost HR

By Bruce van Wyk, director, PaySpace

Johannesburg, 26 Apr 2017
Read time 3min 50sec

Inefficient processes in the workplace are not just time-consuming and frustrating, they can also knock a company's profits. In the pursuit of greater efficiency, more businesses are choosing to implement a tech-driven productivity strategy and seeing significant improvements. However, many companies still overlook their human resources (HR) departments when overhauling their processes.

This is mostly because company executives generally consider HR a purely administrative role. In their view, its primary functions are to manage paperwork, talent and issues of compliance. Too few believe that HR and payroll professionals have the potential to lead a business and contribute to its strategic objectives, says Bruce van Wyk, director of PaySpace.

This old approach to HR is primarily due to the traditional way in which most companies run their HR processes. Outdated 'legacy' systems rely heavily on manual oversight, making HR a laborious job. Employee leave requests, profile updates, salary gross-ups and iterative tax calculations are time-consuming tasks that push the long-term strategic work to the bottom of the pile.

If you want HR to take its rightful place at the boardroom table, then it's time to migrate to a modern software system and automate your processes.

Automation in action

When your HR functions and processes are automated, all the administrative work is taken care of. Time that was previously spent managing employee and payroll administration can now be put to more strategic use.

With the right technology, business-critical tasks like succession planning and performance management are given the attention and resources they need. Plus, the entire employee life cycle is efficiently managed, thus improving the performance and reputation of your team.

Here are four HR processes that can be automated for greater efficiency.

1. Recruitment

Imagine a hiring process where all the advertising, notifications, response management, interview scheduling, tracking, feedback, follow-ups and on-boarding is taken care of automatically. A modern payroll system can free HR teams from these repetitive administrative tasks. Don't bury your staff in paperwork, rather give them the time and space they need to focus on identifying the right candidates to help your company achieve its objectives.

2. Employee maintenance

Old 'legacy' systems require manual oversight from HR managers, be it updating an employee's contact details or processing a leave request. An automated software system enables employees to directly manage and update their personal details. This self-sufficient system enables your HR team to focus on the human-centric aspects of people management.

3. Training, skills and qualification

An automated system enables your HR team to build a skills repository that is linked to your employees. When specific talent, experience or qualifications are needed, the system will identify the relevant employees within your organisation to approach first. It makes sense for your company to look for talent within its own staff and identify the high-potential employees for succession planning.

Employees can also review their skills against the requirements of a specific position and see what further training and development they need to gain before applying. An automated training schedule means all courses are notified and monitored electronically.

Now you can ensure your employees have the skills and abilities your company needs to meet its goals.

4. Performance management

Your HR team can assess the performance of all employees via an automated system. This will help you prioritise the tasks necessary to develop, motivate and retain a high performing workforce throughout the year - without the extra cost of a separate appraisal system.

When performance management is automated, you can link your employees' career goals with the overarching business strategy. Your staff will feel more involved in the company strategy and can take a proactive approach to realising their ambitions.

Automate your HR processes and you will effectively empower all your employees. This will improve efficiency within your team, deliver great HR results and boost overall business profits. With more time to focus on strategic - rather than administrative - work, HR teams can finally get the respect they deserve and pull up a chair at the boardroom table.

Editorial contacts
TopLine Comms Leandi Kolver (+27) 72 791 8666
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