Workflow automation is an integral part of many businesses, for obvious reasons. From contract management to expense and travel approvals, automation streamlines manual, repetitive tasks and leaves you time to focus on higher-value tasks—like implementing initiatives that boost employee experience or building relationships with customers. However, workflow automation isn’t confined to standard operational processes. In fact, there is a lot of room for creativity in how you leverage and implement workflow software.
Birthday & Event Planning
Whether it’s monthly birthday celebrations or annual holiday parties, someone on your team (or maybe a committee of team members) is typically in charge of organizing these gatherings. Yet despite having a full-time job, suddenly there’s an added burden of ordering food, sending invitations, reserving venues and collecting money. Workflow automation creates a standard process for what needs to be done for every party and allows for a seamless transfer of responsibilities every year.
Earlier this year, our team leveraged OnTask to plan an annual family picnic. We were able to invite employees, keep track of RSVPs and manage employee expectations rather than sorting through our inbox to manually record responses. Less focus on administrative tasks = more time to plan memorable activities.
Recruitment is a round-the-clock job, particularly in today’s labor market. Modern recruitment strategies put the employer more in the driver’s seat than ever before and typically extend past a resume review and phone screening or two. In fact, more than 31% of companies conduct four or more rounds of interviews before hiring—often leveraging additional online assessments, too. The various steps in the process can get confusing, especially when information travels across departments.
Along with an applicant tracking system, an automated workflow can provide a comprehensive overview of where each candidate is in the process. Have they taken the behavioral assessment? Have they spoken with key team members in addition to the hiring manager? When are they coming in for an in-person interview? If accelerating the employee onboarding process and managing travel reimbursements wasn’t enough, HR managers can justify workflow automation as a way to consolidate the moving parts of other internal processes, whatever they may be.
Peer recognition can mean just as much as praise from a manager. It makes sense, too—employees want to hear from people they work with on a daily basis, not only those who sign their paychecks. As companies with recognition programs have 31% lower voluntary turnover, it’s important to establish a system that is easily accessible across all departments.
One simple way to gather and share peer feedback is with an automated workflow. After designing a custom form, managers can share the web address and the responses will automatically roll in. No need to tag emails and copy and paste responses into Excel sheets—a workflow will carry the brunt of the work. All you have to do is figure out the best way (and how often) to share the information with your employees. Time to give them the extra love they deserve.
Coordinating Disaster Recovery Efforts
In just the past few months alone, natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have transformed the standard recovery efforts for businesses. As disasters don’t follow a specific timeline, there’s no telling when or where one will strike—and just what resources are needed for recovery. Workflow automation can ensure there are no holes in the communication between businesses and their customers.
A workflow can centralize notification procedures and create a checklist of recovery activities, such as key systems or services that need to be restored and who is responsible for each step. For example, if your website crashes because your hosting provider was flooded—do you have an established process for recovery? Should the IT department be the first notified or your customers? A workflow will save time, energy and allow you to focus on getting back to square one.
Make workflow software work for you and your business. While standard procedures are typically the first thing companies automate, don’t let the formality of an industry stop you from leveraging the software in other ways. It’s time to think outside of the box.