HR teams have played a critical role in helping their company adjust to the many nuances associated with the ongoing pandemic, such as keeping a remote workforce connected, monitoring and supporting employee mental health needs, and helping employees balance the demands of their jobs with the needs of their families. All the while, they have been facing a number of their own challenges.

Recruitment has been forced virtual, furlough schemes have required ongoing attention, and they have had to find new ways to meet the demands of the business in their new remote capacity. All of these factors have undoubtedly resulted in additional pressure, as well as a great deal of time being spent on the normal day-to-day activities and envisioning on how and when to potentially open offices and bring employees back safely.

As businesses continue to work to get back on their feet – and HR teams remain heavily involved in their ongoing recovery – it is essential that they are able to spend time on work that drives real business value. Inefficient processes must be streamlined, risk needs to continue to be mitigated, and productivity must remain a priority.

Automating repetitive administration

Over the years, research has repeatedly shown that HR professionals spend the majority of their time either on administrative, or risk and compliance-related tasks. As a result, strategy, employee development, talent management, and actually engaging with employees are often – though not out of choice – put on the back-burner.

Not only does this leave staff at greater risk of feeling unsupported, it also leads to job dissatisfaction and burnout among those in people and culture roles.

Now, more than ever, it is essential for those working in HR positions to have both the time and headspace to do their jobs effectively. However, this can only be achieved by automating the repetitive administration tasks that they are used to completing manually.

Human resources workflow management is the process of finding repeatable tasks and implementing automation tools that help HR teams increase productivity. Leveraging a work management platform can help entire HR teams find ways to eliminate unnecessary labour and simplify the department’s day-to-day duties. Automation through work management tools helps to reduce the amount of manual repetitive work, speed up the process, and minimise the rate of human error.

Reducing the chance of risk

There are many benefits to using work management software, a key one being task prioritisation and risk assessment. Powered by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), platforms can identify signals and patterns based on hundreds of different factors.

Previous outcomes and existing task history, for example, can be analysed alongside current work progress to provide the insights needed to produce specific capabilities. These range from flagging high-priority actions, to automating response suggestions.

Perhaps the most valuable benefit of using work intelligence-powered platforms, however, lies in risk prediction. By tapping into millions of user actions, these technologies can identify any at-risk projects with early diagnosis, even going on to make recommendations for timely remediation.

Whether at-risk due to additional costs incurred or failure to meet deadlines, it is essential that any issues are identified and mitigated as soon as possible. At a time when organisations simply cannot afford to have projects fail, minimising risk is critical.

Creating a single source of truth

While minimising risk is essential, it is not enough to keep productivity levels high and the business running smoothly. However, combined with effective enterprise collaboration, it can be.

Enterprise collaboration at its most basic level comes down to how an organisation communicates. Whether working remotely or back in the office, encouraging collaboration requires commitment, conviction, and the right tools. HR teams play a fundamental role in this process, as it directly links to team performance, employee satisfaction, and engagement.

When leveraging technologies, such as AI and ML, to streamline manual tasks and processes, improved collaboration comes as an added bonus. Each member of the HR department will have access to a ‘single source of truth’ – a platform where an organisation creates an accessible information architecture. In turn, people will feel a stronger sense of accountability, have greater visibility over who is working on what, and the status of projects are clear for everyone to see.

Modernising HR departments through intelligent technologies will not only reduce the burden of repetitive manual tasks on staff, but will result in happier, more satisfied workers. With every organisation’s number one goal being to make all projects, campaigns, and activities a success, everyone needs to be on the same page and working together.

For HR teams heavily involved in the post-pandemic recovery and performance of the wider business, agility is essential. The future success of a company is just as much about how you cope with delayed deadlines and bottlenecks as it is about new opportunities and meeting numbers. Only through the use of intelligent technologies can HR departments unlock their full potential, moving away from the manual tasks and focusing on those that will drive bottom-line business value.






Chad Bennett is Chief Human Resources Officer at Wrike, a work management platform.