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Unlocking HR excellence: the impact of automation on your business

Unlocking HR excellence: the impact of automation on your business

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The changes to employee working styles have brought extra work for HR departments. This can lead to burnout for some HR workers, with recent research showing that 22% of HR and recruitment employees in the UK have experienced burnout within the last six months. Which is where automation can step in and ease the burden. Duncan Casemore, CTO and Co-founder, Applaud, explains how HR departments can embrace automation to create a better employee experience for all.

HR leaders work incredibly hard to ensure that the employees within their business have a positive experience. But this effort comes at a cost, as recent research has shown that a quarter (22%) of HR and recruitment employees in the UK have experienced burnout within the last six months. This burden is not surprising considering the nature of their work and the unforeseen challenges brought about by the changes to employee working styles.

HR teams are essential to the successful functioning of businesses, as they shoulder a wide range of roles, from navigating the complexities of employee relations to keeping employees informed during organisational changes. However, these commitments cannot be fulfilled if HR professionals are feeling exhausted or burnt out.

Fortunately, there is a solution that can ease the burden on HR employees and that is automation technology.

But why automation?

Recent research reveals that 42% of HR teams are grappling with workload-related challenges, prompting business leaders to seek solutions to better streamline and optimise their departmental responsibilities. Embracing automated HR technology to fix this is not just a ‘flash in the pan trend’; it’s a powerful tool that enables HR teams to focus on doing the human-centric aspects of their role.

The implementation of automation has the power to be a game-changer for HR teams, as it can significantly reduce the workload burden, alleviate burnout and slash overall HR costs by achieving higher rates of efficiency. This newfound efficiency enables HR leaders to concentrate on higher value tasks, such as strategic workforce planning, talent acquisition, retention strategies and nurturing a positive company culture. Ultimately, the seamless integration of technology and analytics paves the way for a more agile and data-driven HR function, fostering continuous improvement and success for the organisation as a whole.

How to collaborate with tech

A significant aspect of the overall employee experience is shaped by the interactions they have with HR and their line managers. These two key groups handle crucial people-related tasks, ranging from hiring and onboarding to coaching, development, recognition, rewards and gathering feedback from the workforce.

However, despite the necessity of these tasks, many businesses still find mastering performance management to be a challenge. For busy managers, it can become a time-consuming process, and other work demands may take precedence over delivering a high-quality experience for their team. This is precisely where automation can step in to keep the process on track.

By automating performance management, organisations can consolidate and provide consistent and continuous feedback clearly, with all relevant information stored for safekeeping and future use. This streamlined approach enables employees to stay on track with key objectives, as they can easily monitor their own progress. Consequently, employees have more established autonomy in their development, transforming it from an abstract concept into something more within their control.

Moreover, performance management automation provides transparency for all stakeholders involved in the process. By assessing employee performance in a data-driven way and tailoring approaches in line with this, HR teams and line managers can collaboratively improve employee satisfaction across the business. Embracing automation as an ally, performance management can evolve into a strategic tool to support a thriving and engaged workforce.

Other key areas of HR can significantly benefit from automation, particularly payroll and compensation management. By implementing automation in these areas, businesses can ensure accurate and timely payments for employees while reducing the administrative work for HR and payroll staff. We all understand the frustration of being paid late and the uproar it can cause within an organisation. However, automating the payment process eliminates one more manual task, thereby helping to avoid upset among the workforce and ensuring a smooth and more reliable payroll system.

Navigating the automation journey

Clearly, automation technology has emerged as a game-changer, promising efficiency and improved productivity for HR teams and line managers alike. However, as with any major shift, challenges will emerge, and it’s essential for businesses to be aware of these in order to mitigate any issues that may arise.

A survey revealed that 40% of respondents believe their probability of being replaced by a machine, robot or algorithm to be higher than 50%. Overcoming resistance to change and securing employee buy-in can be an uphill battle if they feel their job is threatened. For this reason, it’s really important for business leaders to ensure they deploy effective and nuanced communication to reassure their workforce.

Employees need to be shown that automation is meant to complement and enhance their roles, not replace them. By fostering a positive narrative around automation, businesses can help employees embrace this transformative technology as a means to evolve and grow within their roles.

As we strive for a more streamlined future, we must acknowledge that the implementation of new technology cannot happen overnight. Integrating various systems poses its challenges, particularly in terms of compatibility. These challenges can disrupt workflows and potentially lead to delays or errors during the initial stages of setup.

However, these hurdles are not insurmountable and the time spent overcoming them will be paid tenfold in positive results. With a proactive approach and a commitment to continuous improvement, HR teams can conquer any initial challenges they face. With this comes the opportunity to unlock the full potential of automation, gaining access to tools like HR chatbots and user-friendly workflows. Thoughtful planning and effective change management will create room for a smoother integration process, ensuring that automation becomes a valuable asset in transforming HR within a business.

Automation has the power to stand as an incredibly important tool to alleviate the administrative workload, allowing HR professionals to dedicate more time to key tasks which need a human touch. While human-to-human interactions will always remain incredibly important in supporting employees, the integration of automated HR workflows can serve as a safeguard, reducing the risk of human error.

With automation tools in their toolkit, organisations can embark on a new era of HR, presenting a dynamic range of possibilities and opportunities for the employee experience. This marks a pivotal moment for businesses to revitalise their approaches and elevate their workforce’s overall engagement, driving positive change, innovation and efficiency that will undoubtedly lead to sustained success.

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