January 10th, 2019 • workflow
When your company first gets into automation, you probably started with one of the seven most common business processes.
A workflow solution is a software designed to optimize business processes. It does this by standardizing everyday predictable workplace activities as ‘workflows’. Workflow solutions are used to both streamline business processes as well as automate them.
But if you really want to increase adoption and engagement rates, you may need to find other processes that fit well into an automated culture. Especially with workflow management platform like Kissflow where you can build unlimited apps, why stop with just the obvious ones?
Here are some of the rare, undiscovered workflow solutions and automation ideas that many teams in your company can use to simplify their processes.
We’ve all been to those meetings that should have been 10 minutes but instead drag on for an hour. If your teams are plagued by disorganized meetings, why not try a workflow solution to bring them back on track?
Start by requiring the initiator to submit an agenda to the form and select the participants. You can integrate Kissflow with Google Calendar to make sure the date and time are automatically added to a shared calendar.
Then each participant might be required to add comments or initial brainstorming ideas. This way everyone is primed for the meeting, and it doesn’t have to start cold. Or, if all the necessary data has been gathered, a live meeting can be avoided altogether. No one ever complained about that!
Employee Onboarding is our most popular workflow solution, but the Employee Exit process is just as important. Regardless of what circumstances led to an employee leaving, there are very important tasks that need to be done as someone exits.
Aside from HR doing an exit interview, other departments like Admin and IT need to know right away when to restrict access to certain areas or software. Some companies forget to delete a departing employee’s account with major software which creates a serious security breach. Assigned hardware like laptops and tablets must also be closely tracked and watched.
For companies that ask a lot of their employees, overtime pay is an ongoing concern. Most offices have a lengthy process of calculating extra time that has to go through multiple people before being finally approved.
HR and Finance can standardize the process by initiating a workflow solution that addresses the issue without any back and forth. When employees initiate their overtime request through the app, they can put in the number of days and extra hours they have worked. The app will automatically calculate the amount they have earned before sending it to the finance team and an employee’s manager for review. It can also be configured to cap the overtime at a certain level.
This saves a lot of time for everyone and the hassle of going back and forth in emails to get paid for the hard work a person has done.
Everyone has a birthday, and you try to ensure that everyone gets a small cake or at least a song, but someone always gets left out or something is done at the last minute.
You can set an automated workflow solution to collect cash from team members, buy a cake and candles, circulate a card to sign, and gather everyone together. Your HR team can create a master list of birthdays to make sure no one gets missed. Even if a person’s birthday falls on a weekend or a holiday, the workflow solution can skip non-working days to have the occasion observed on the next business day.
Towards the end of every year, a committee comes together to organize the annual holiday party. And if you have people rotating on this committee, undoubtedly they have asked, “Didn’t someone save the plans from last year?”
Because holiday parties only happen once a year, they are often not thought about for automation. However, creating a standard process helps new people understand what needs to be done and allows an efficient knowledge transfer from year to year so that no one is left recreating the wheel.
In a workflow solution like this, your workflow and form stay largely unchanged, but the roles get reassigned every year.
You likely have a ‘Contact Us’ form on your website, but what happens when people fill that out? Does it get lost in a sea of emails, or is it appropriately triaged and sent to the right department?
Workflow automation software can make the enquiry process a lot more accountable and responsive. The person receiving the input can act as an admin to such a workflow where they can quickly choose to send the form to any department needed. The customer’s details are already included in the form, and the next person in the workflow can handle it.
By handling this with a workflow solution rather than email, you can also track the efficiency and get real data about how well this process functions and ensure that no enquiry gets dropped.
At OrangeScape, we recently ran a ‘MacBook Challenge’ that started off as a dare to encourage an employee to kick his smoking habit. Stop smoking for a certain amount of time, and get your regular computer replaced with a MacBook.
After the success, we created a complete workflow where employees could dare themselves to do something incredible and they could get the same reward. As a part of the process, a team verifies the challenge and creates the terms to validate that it was completed.
These kinds of workflows help to create a culture of automation in your company and make workflow solutions seem more powerful than just the humdrum of everyday work. Workflows can liven up the work environment and works towards creating a healthy work culture. They can keep employees engaged while helping them push their boundaries in their own terms.
There are plenty of other undiscovered ideas that you can create workflow for; you just have to look within your business and identify the ones that can use automation. Unlike in the past, the agile, cloud-based workflow platforms like Kissflow are easy for everyone to start a workflow app and comes with great flexibility. Go ahead, pick a painful process that your company is suffering from and see if you can iron it out with a brand new workflow software solution!