Today’s HR professionals face more challenges than ever before. A global health crisis resulting in redundancies, widespread financial difficulty, increasing mental health issues, and social upheaval are all contributing to a disruptive period of great workplace change. Not only must HR teams be ready to support employees, they must also be prepared to help the business facilitate a smooth return to work. This is where tools capable of spinning up new automated processes can really make a difference.
From recruitment to timesheets, payroll to performance management, many HR teams are still losing time and valuable resource on manually managing multiple processes across large spreadsheets. Alongside this, HR is constantly gathering workforce data to create improvement programs, enhance employee performance, and ultimately – drive the bottom line. Solutions that drive greater process efficiencies and can harness the power of data will be the key to freeing up precious HR time and providing actionable insights. This time and knowledge can be re-invested in return-to-work scenario planning and key decision making, such as how to actively engage employees and foster greater social interaction. Or what mental health and wellbeing initiatives are required in order to keep employees safe, happy, and productive.
Raising the Bar for HR experiences
As well as adapting to the impact of the ongoing pandemic, HR Managers face a wealth of daily challenges. Amongst the more intense of these challenges are recruitment and employee onboarding with complexity in searching for the right person, identifying candidates, interviewing, recruiting and induction programmes.
From an onboarding perspective HR must manage everything from helping new recruits understand company culture to preparing workstations, arranging training to socialisation. It’s no wonder that the consensus among HR professionals is that onboarding should take at least three months. But when companies with great onboarding procedures achieve 2.5 times more revenue growth than competitors with poor onboarding strategies, getting it right could be the difference between retaining top talent and losing out to high staff turnover costs.
Tools like the Microsoft Power Platform enables HR to streamline the entire onboarding process from automating new starter communication to measuring onboarding success. Surveys can be set and sent at regular intervals to gain consistent feedback, helping ensure new hires are getting the best possible experience. While emotional intelligence can be gathered in addition to more formal onboarding surveys and pulse checks, to judge how the process is going and adjust according to different employee needs.
Beyond onboarding, Power Platform can be used across the entire HR function to drive efficiencies. Leave requests for example typically require several steps starting with the need for employees to request an absence form, send to their manager, wait for approval, and then having to complete a return-to-work form. With Power Platform request forms can be sent, captured, and tracked from any web-enabled device. Power BI can then be used to spot trends for benchmarking and management reporting, providing managers with one single source of truth that ensures information is accurate and readily available.
Supporting new ways of working
Made up of Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents, Power Platform is a powerful tool to build end-to-end HR solutions that simplify and speed up complex processes. Having one single platform for your whole estate gives you central control of apps across all departments, helping maintain smooth operations and workplace safety for post-lockdown office returners. It also helps ensure communication supports a smooth transition to a new way of working.
Examples can include:
Sales – Ensure staff wellbeing with the ability to check in to client locations. Power Platform enables HR to immediately flag back to the organisation should there be a COVID case on-site. From here the relevant team member can be instantly informed and support provided to self-isolate if needed.
Department Heads – Keep all staff safe by enabling Managers to automate checks to ensure all employees have read the return-to-work guidelines and policies, using Power Platform secured by Microsoft Active Directory.
Putting staff wellbeing front and centre
Another key challenge for HR is the ability to measure staff sentiment, particularly when face to face interaction is not possible. Last year nearly two thirds (63%) of individuals experienced at least mild symptoms of anxiety, while 58% said they had experienced at least mild symptoms of depression.
With so much uncertainty in today’s current situation, it’s essential employee wellbeing is a key focus to keep staff happy, healthy, and productive.
Power Platform gives Managers the ability to send out a staff survey and set reminders for feedback. Simple questions such as “how are you feeling today” can play a critical part in supporting staff and their mental wellbeing, especially in the case of larger organisations where there may be a disconnect. Alternatively adding such questions to the end of each app can provide an automated and consistent approach for measuring staff wellbeing. Integrating Power Automate with virtual agents is another way for organisations to check in with employees and new starters, as well as providing answers to basic questions – such as where to find certain files or how to reset a password.
A new world of possibilities
There’s no denying Power Apps has the potential to bring ideas to life and put the user front and centre and opens up a new world of possibilities. For HR this can result in more time to invest in wellbeing strategies, or to focus on getting creative in how to best support the organisation and make the workplace a happier, healthier environment. Reducing the time needed for manual, admin-based tasks paves the way for innovation – and the ability to apply the human touch where it’s needed most: solving complex business problems and critical employee issues.
If you have a process automation or app requirement, talk to us about how we can build fast, effective Power Platform solutions that really make a difference.