3 Automations that Allow Us to Onboard and Support Our Employees Effectively

People ops teams have expanded their responsibilities in recent years. While their focus remains on people, they also guide their organizations on ways they can work more effectively.

Ironically, their own processes are often performed manually. Typical onboarding processes, for instance, are tied down by complexity, manual workloads, and constant context switching across multiple apps and websites. This can result in poor employee experiences and it can take their team away from performing more important tasks—like interviewing candidates.

At Workato, we’re all-too familiar with this problem.

In 2018, our people ops team was spending close to 30 hours per week on manual, paper-based processes.

As we continued to grow and planned to triple our headcount over the next two years, we quickly realized that these manual processes couldn’t scale alongside our business. In response, we completely automated many of our people ops processes. This has not only saved our team time, but it’s also helped us onboard employees faster, engage the team further, and lower our hiring costs. 

Here are just three HR automations that have allowed our business to scale successfully.

We Automated Software Provisioning So that New Employees Have What They Need

Manually provisioning software for employees can be painful, especially if they need access to several applications. To streamline this process, we’ve built the following workflow:

Once a new hire is confirmed, Workbot—Workato’s enterprise chatbot—messages their manager in Slack, asking them to submit relevant information on the employee. Based on the new employee’s department and their role, Workbot gives the employee access to certain applications by default. The employee’s manager can also give them access to more applications if necessary within Slack. 

In addition, we route approval workflows by using business logic. For example, certain apps like Salesforce require manager approval to provision while others like Zoom are automatically provisioned for all employees. 

By automating the process of provisioning applications, we have less room for human error (i.e. employees get access to the right apps with the right levels of permission). At the same time, it ensures that our team has everything they need to do their jobs effectively from day one.

Related: How to manage licenses proactively

We Use “First-Day Automations” to Help Employees Feel Welcome

There are a number of administrative tasks that our people ops team needs  to perform  on an employee’s first day. They include scheduling orientation invitations, setting up lunches, ordering name cards, conducting company briefs, and more. 

We realized that we could easily set up workflows to fully automate all these tasks. We call them “first day automations.”

With just one recipe*, we can automatically schedule an onboarding meeting during the employee’s first day, invite them to relevant Slack groups and channels, and send out a company-wide welcome message in Slack. 

*We define a recipe as the steps we follow to get work done between your apps.

At the end of the day, the recipe automatically prompts the new colleague for feedback on their onboarding experience. This helps our team identify what’s working and what they can improve on to help future employees have an even better first day.

With these automations in place, we can ensure that every employee’s first day is enjoyable and productive, while our people ops team isn’t burdened with tedious work. 

Related: 5 HR apps that let you manage nearly any task, anywhere

We Use a Bot to Support Employees’ Physical and Emotional Needs

Since the Covid-19 outbreak happened and social distancing orders went into place worldwide, we, like most companies, have had the team work remotely.

Our people ops team wanted to help everyone at Workato feel better in this unsettling and unpredictable environment, so we decided to develop and deploy Wellness Bot across our offices. Built on Workbot, the bot provides remote-working tips, sends break reminders, tracks visitors to the office, makes jokes, and more. 

In Singapore, where our APJ headquarters are, Wellness Bot delivers even more value. When the government launched a contact-tracing effort that mandated the collection of health information on a daily basis, our team in Singapore began using the bot to collect daily temperature logs and health declarations from employees, all within Slack.

The submitted data is then automatically routed to a designated spreadsheet in Google Sheets. From there, the people ops team can easily monitor the health statuses of employees, and intervene quickly if needed. 

As a result of this process, we’re able to safeguard the health of our employees effectively without consuming a lot of people ops’ time. 

To learn more about these HR automations and to better understand how they can benefit your organization,  you can schedule a demo with one of our automation experts!

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