The 3 A's of Productive People Management

Marlo Hertling

This week's lesson in People Management productivity is brought to you by the letter 'A'.

Productive People Management

I have just returned from our Avanti User Group Conference in Banff – we had such a great time with our clients!

At the User Group Conference I presented a session on technology and productivity and it generated some really good discussion. So I thought I would share some of the presentation and discussion items with you this week.

Let’s start by looking at some of the most time consuming tasks that you typically deal with every day.

What productivity time wasters do HR and Payroll people deal with every day?

  • Creating / Sending daily, weekly, monthly reports
  • Reminding employees and managers of critical due dates
  • Completing / Gathering paperwork for new / current employees
  • Following up on items that need to be signed off on by others
  • Auditing and monitoring key system activities

The biggest challenge with time consuming tasks is that they often keep you from contributing to the strategic side of the business. You know that if you had more time, you would be able to focus on issues and trends that matter to the business.

What is on Your CEOs Mind?

What kinds of tasks could your CEO use your help with? Let’s take a look at a few stats.

These are just a few of the things that keep CEOs up at night, but I thought they would provide a good basis for our discussion today.

  1. 70% of Canadian CEOs are expecting to implement cost-reduction activities over the next year.1
  2. 54% of people management time is spent on reactive tasks like managing company policies and compliance.2
  3. 64% of CEOs are worried their company is not keeping up to speed with technological change.3

So how do you help your CEO stop worrying about these things? With technology that automates the important people management tasks within your organization!

Here are a few examples:

  • A workflow sent to employees at yearend so they can complete new TD1 forms
  • A benefits file that is sent directly to Manulife every week
  • A GL file that is sent directly to their accounting solution at the end of each pay period
  • An alert that notifies Payroll and HR when any sensitive employee data has been changed

The 3 A’s of Productive People Management Workflows

  1. Alerts / Notifications
  2. Automated Report Delivery
  3. Approvals & Workflows

I like to describe the workflows as your personal assistant. They are meant to automate processes that would otherwise take up valuable time. Instead of you having to send emails and make phone calls to remind other team members about tasks they need to complete or approvals they need to provide, workflows will help by sending those messages or approvals on your behalf.

1. Alerts / Notifications

Alert and Notifications

The first workflow type is alerts, Alerts are automated notifications that are triggered in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. When data changes
  2. On a schedule

See below for an example.

  1. Employee's CPR certification will expire in 90 days.
  2. An automated notification is generated.
  3. Employee and Manager receive a message indicating re-certification needs to be completed in 90 days.

2. Automated Report Delivery

Automated Report Delivery

The second workflow type is automated reports, these allow you to schedule when a report is run and the parameters for the report, for example you might set one report to run at the end of each pay period and another to run quarterly.

Reports can be automatically run and shared in different ways:

  • Saved to employee documents
  • Shared to key stakeholders in Self-Service
  • Emailed to one or many stakeholders

See below for an example with an Overtime Report.

  1. The report is created.
  2. The report is set up to provide monthly overtime hours and dollars.
  3. The report is automatically delivered to managers on the 1st day of each month.

3. Approvals & Workflows

Workflows and Approvals

The third and final productivity type is Approvals and Workflows.

These allow you to configure workflows that can help in 3 different ways:

  1. Creating tasks with approvals
  2. Running scheduled programs
  3. Maintaining audit controls

Workflows may mean working with your solution provider to configure workflows that meet your business processes. See why an ongoing investment in your HCM or people management solution will benefit your organization.

Here are a few examples of great workflows our clients have had us build for them:

  • An auto-generated report sent to employees at yearend to check all TD1 amounts
  • An auto-generated benefits file that is sent directly to Manulife’s SFTP site every week
  • Auto-generated GL data is sent directly to Navision staging tables at the end of each pay period
  • Any changes to an employee’s profile will notify both Payroll and HR

Work Smarter, Not Harder, with Workflows

Workflows make your HR and Payroll teams work smarter not harder by:

  1. Automating tasks that are currently performed manually
  2. Ending the sticky note reminder craze on your desk
  3. Ensuring processes are followed for data entry and approvals
  4. Ensuring key reports are delivered to stakeholders on time
  5. Allowing you to build your own workflows to meet your business requirements

Keep On Learning

Want to learn even more ways to become more productive at People Management? Subscribe here.

1 PwC Capital Markets Flash Q4 2014
2 HR Productivity Killers HRD eMagazine January 2015
3 CEO confidence high, but skills remain a key concern PwC Global CEO Survey

About the Author

Marlo Hertling

Marlo Hertling has worked with leading HCM organizations and has been helping Canadian companies implement HCM solutions for more than 15 years. She is the Vice President of People & Culture at Avanti Software Inc and serves as Avanti's HCM subject matter expert.

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