Effectiveness Efficiency and Engagement of HR Automation-Sanjeev Himanchali - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Effectiveness Efficiency and Engagement of HR Automation-Sanjeev Himanchali


The “Service Model of Networking” doesn’t work on the basis of “revenue earned from every professional network”; instead, it works on “value addition” or “Unique Selling Proposition (USP) you bring to the table, it is much focused and creates win-win outcomes. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Effectiveness Efficiency and Engagement of HR Automation-Sanjeev Himanchali

Effectiveness Efficiency and Engagement of HR
Automation In last few years, I have developed my
own unique process of networking with leaders and
professionals across industries and it has
worked efficiently for our mutual growth. I call
it as Service Model of Networking as opposed
to Sales Model of Networking. The Service
Model of Networking doesnt work on the basis of
revenue earned from every professional
network instead, it works on value addition
or Unique Selling Proposition (USP) you bring
to the table, it is much focused and creates
win-win outcomes. Through Service Model of
Networking, I dont seek business from people in
my network instead, I ask for their feedback on
my work and my ideas that may eventually add
value to their organizations. I believe, it is
very engaging and at the same time non-irritating
approach. It has helped me to reach out and
develop a wonderful relationship with many CEOs
and Managing Directors of small and mid-sized
organizations (less than 5,000 employees).
Last year, in the month of March, I was contacted
by the CEO of a mid-sized engineering
organization headquartered in Gurgaon. The
organization which currently employs 625
employees is now considering few global
acquisitions and is also planning to set-up a new
plant in Pune. Till date, 15 employees were
managing the Human Resource activities through
Microsoft Suit, primarily MS Excel and low-level
software for managing payroll. My initial
conversation with the CEO indicated that he was
not happy with the functioning of HR Team. He
asked me about my experience and level of
involvement in HR Automation Projects and if I
will be interested in taking up a project with
the organization. After I submitted my detailed
response to him, he called me for a meeting at
his office in Gurgaon. In a daylong meeting with
CEO, CFO, and other stakeholders, we discussed
the expected outcome of the project, commercials
and budget involved, and a timeline to submit
the project. As a part of the project, I was
asked to evaluate
  • their existing processes, suggest a
    cost-effective solution to develop software
    in-house or to purchase it from the market and
    get customized. I was asked to provide a list of
    best THREE HRMS available in the market if
    buying from outside or prepare a detailed project
    plan and help in getting it executed if opting
    for in-house.
  • Challenges Involved in Successful Implementation
    of HR Automation
  • Process Owners Opposing the Change - Like any
    other change, this change was also furiously
    opposed by process owners. For them, automating
    processes implies learning new skills. If they
    fail to do so, they might risk losing their jobs.
    During my initial interactions with the HR team,
    they gave me numerous reasons as to why
    automation is a bad idea. One of the reasons
    was, losing human touch. Someone said, We are
    working in HR Function, therefore, we need to
    understand feelings, emotions, and difficulties
    of our employees and resolve it accordingly. With
    automation, everything will become mechanical
    and we will lose a chance to interact with them
    and as a result, there will be high attrition.
    Another HR manager said, These people dont know
    how to operate computers. They are too rigid to
    learn new things. It will increase the workload
    on HR Department. Yet another member of HR Team
    blamed the leadership of the organization, They
    never discussed it with us. Thats how they treat
    us. We work so hard, sometimes we work for 12-13
    hours a day and yet they dont involve us in
    decision making. They should have involved us in
    this decision as it was about our department
    before appointing you as a consultant and paying
    such a huge amount (I dont know how they found
    about my commercial fee). We would have felt
    motivated had they given that amount to us
    instead of wasting it. It took me a lot of time
    to convince them and show them an opportunity to
    grow and learn new skills. I also gave them an
    insight into how they can develop their career
    in HR and be more effective. I wont claim that
    the entire HR team was convinced with my
    explanation and argument but 3/4th of the lot
  • Running Parallel SystemsHR prefers to run
    parallel systems - manual as well as automated
    HR processes. Though they continue with the
    manual process as a backup plan to ensure
    functional continuity until the automation is
    completed and employees get
  • enough training to use processes efficiently and
    effectively. However, the truth is that in many
    mid-sized organizations, they never really move
    to automation. I know few organizations where
    they manage time-office and payroll in MS Excel
    as well as in

Software. The only way to move towards HR Process
Automation is to completely shut- down the
manual process and use the software efficiently
and optimally. There might be few challenges in
the initial months of implementation, may be 4-6
months, but after that, it will be easy to work.
It will not only save the time but will also
increase the accuracy. Dont create a pain for
lifelong if something can be cured with a
hospitalization for 4 -6 months. 3. Inaccurate
and Incomplete Database For an automation of HR
processes to work flawlessly, TWO things must
be accurate and updated by minute Process Flow
and Database. If process flow and database are
inaccurate and incomplete, then no matter which
HRMS one uses and how expensive it is, it wont
give the desired result. Hence, it is a
responsibility of HR to audit the database and
process flow on regular basis, preferably on
weekly basis. I remember one case where an
employee was offered a salary of 360,000/- INR
per annum, however, a manager who was responsible
for adding details into the system, added
3,600,000/- INR per annum. As a result, the new
employee received a salary of 300,000/- INR per
month. After four months this error came into
notice but by then the employee had already left
the organization. There was another case of an
employee receiving full salary for THREE months
after leaving the organization because the
person who was responsible for updating the
database missed clicking a tick in the system.
In order to maintain database confidentiality and
determine accountability, it is important that
database updating rights are given to few people
only. It took me 30 meetings, involving over 50
stakeholders, in a span of FOUR months to
understand existing processes and gather
information challenges faced by HR team and
leadership team and create a document and
process flow diagrams. In the next phase of my
project, I had to conduct a feasibility study
and make recommendations. I conducted a one day
workshop for the entire HR team on a theme
Changing Role of HR in an era of Automated
Processes and Digitalization. The integral
message of the workshop was to highlight
following SEVEN benefits of HR Automation and
the new role of HR Function 1. Saves SpaceI
visited one organization that employs 4,000
employees and is into business for last 20
years. They have rented a warehouse to stock
lakhs of files which probably they will never
use. When we automate HR systems, it saves space
by eliminating or minimizing paper records and
thereby removes the need for extensive filing
systems and large
  • storage areas, which in turn saves the
    organizations money on rent and utilities. It
    also speeds up the process of document/informatio
    n transfer as and when required thus saves
    postal and courier expense. It also eases up the
    audit processes conducted for various legal
    compliances or certification issuances such as
    ISO, CMM, PCMM, etc.
  • Improves communication with employees across
    functions and geograp hies I
  • remember days when employees would walk down to
    HR Department, sometimes they had to wait in a
    queue to ask for information (leave balance,
    letter for address proof, interpretation of any
    policies, etc.), make a complaint (discrepancy in
    salaries) or get their queries resolved. With
    automation of HR Processes, leave records to get
    updated in real
  • time, all policies are made available to
    employees, complaints can be raised online where
    they get a ticket number and a turn-around-time
    (TAT), and failing to respond within TAT
    automatically escalates the issue to a higher-up
    in the hierarchy. Process-flow has been set in
    such a way that an unresolved complaint gets
    escalated to CEO or Managing Director of the
    organization. Therefore, the automation brings in
    transparency in the system. Any announcement can
    be made instantly through the intranet.
    Communication becomes quick, effective and
  • Factual and Quick Decision Making - Automation of
    HR Processes enables Process Owners to create
    any kind of report and analytics thereby helping
    them to make every kind of decision. Through
    automation, any leader can access the information
    he requires while being at any place in the
    world without a necessity of exchanging emails
    with HR team members. HR Automation has helped
    managers to determine when and who to hire
  • and what best methods are for employee
    development. Automation has allowed skill and
    competency matrices readily available to decision
    makers hence, before looking outside for
    required skills and competence, organizations
    look within and hire talent within by ways of
    transfers, promotions, etc.
  • Increases Productivity and Cost Optimization As
    discussed above, with automation HR saves
    physical space required for keeping files and
    cost of employees required to maintain
  • those warehouses and storerooms, communication
    becomes efficient, quick and low- cost and
    quality and speed of decisions improve,
    thereby, increasing bottom-line
  • profitability. HR Automation also saves the time
    of those who need to communicate with HR on
    regular basis. Time saved has a direct impact on
    resource optimization and increased
    productivity. Organizations are able to achieve
    more with fewer resources at a
  • low cost. Accomplishing more in less time boosts

  • Effective Hiring Managing Talent Acquisition in
    its manual format is one of the most tedious
    tasks, particularly when the organization wants
    to use multiple channels of sourcing. In talent
    acquisition, a missed or lost resume can be a
    very costly affair. It is important to collate
    all resumes for an open position at a single
    place, evaluate them thoroughly, share it with
    the hiring manager, and organize interviews in a
    timely manner. With an applicant tracking
    system, the hiring team can write a job
    description and promote it widely on job sites
    and social channels with just a few clicks.
    Qualifying questions automatically eliminates
    unqualified applicants and help uncover the best
    job candidates. It accelerates the recruiting
    processes and allows the recruiting team to focus
    on interviews and deliver outstanding candidate
    experience. Also, by reducing administrative
    work, the recruitment team will be able to cut
    costs and add to the bottom line of business.
  • Performance ManagementNext to recruitment, the
    most critical HR function is effective
  • performance management and in the dynamic
    business environment that we are living in,
    KRAs of employees change several times in a
    year, employees need regular feedback
  • to keep a track of their performance, and
    coaching and mentoring should be given to those
    who are lagging behind in their performance
    targets. Discussing performance once in a year
    can be suicidal. Automated employee performance
    management tools make it easier for managers to
    give feedback and easily manage performance
    review. Automated performance management system
    allows HR to provide descriptions of ratings,
    especially for job skills, and forces managers
    to use a prescribed rating scale that helps in
    improving the consistency of ratings. Thus,
    employees perceive the process to be fairer.
  • Development of Bench Strength and Succession
    Planning With automation, it becomes easier to
    manage available skills and competencies in the
    organization more efficiently and effectively.
    Employees become aware of skills and competencies
    they need to move to the next level. They can
    apply for any open role within the organization
    with a fair
  • knowledge of their probable success rate. HR can
    help the organization create a learning
  • centre to prepare a talent pool of high-potential
    and high-performing employees to ensure business
  • With automation of major HR Processes, the role
    of HR Professionals in an organizatio n has
    changed dramatically. It is no longer
    transactional, administration or activity based.
    It has moved more towards Business Partnership.
    Those HR Professionals who like change, who are

  • learners and adaptors, not only managed to
    survive in this profession but also moved to
    never before seen levels of an organizational
    hierarchy and got promoted as CEOs, Managing
    Directors and Country Business Heads. On the
    other hand, those who resisted the change and
    were slow learners have either moved to other
    professions like sales, digital marketing,
    customer services, etc. or they are still
    working in similar roles in lower salary bands.
    To remain relevant and successful in HR, when
    major tasks are getting automated, professionals
    in this function must develop following
  • Leadership Development Business Continuity
    Help the organization in identifying
    high-potential and high-performing employees
    facilitate leadership development programs
    coaching leaders and managers to develop
    competencies required for high impact and
    high-risk roles, and correcting behaviours or
    employees that are hindering their growth
    potential. This role of HR not only requires them
    to focus on high-potential and high-performing
    employees but also give attention to
    low-performing and low- potential employees.
    Help low-performing and low-potential employees
    get aligned with business goals and strategies.
    If they dont improve as per the requirement then
    Talent Managers must recommend Leadership Team
    to eliminate such employees from the system. By
    doing so, HR Professionals will help the
    organization in creating a culture of
    accountability, performance, and rewards. It will
    also ensure business continuity.
  • Inculcating Winning Behaviour among salesperson
    Till a few years ago, it was assumed that HR
    cannot play a significant role is Sales and
    Marketing. However, now scenarios are changing.
    As Digital and Social Media has begun to take a
    centre stage in our lives, HR can
  • certainly play an important role in product or
    service Marketing, Branding, and Positioning. Of
    course, they must have Business Acumen, and be
    well versed with organizational offerings. Also,
    as Behaviour Scientists and Performance Coaches,
    HR can play a significant role in developing a
    competitive edge among salesperson of
  • Analytical with reasoning and logic With
    process automation in place, HRs are now
  • sitting on huge data, which can now be analysed
    and used effectively in taking decisions. Today
    many organizations are looking for metrics or
    analytics in HR which are not just related to
    people but also on processes such as recruitment,
    retention, compensation, succession planning,
    benefits, training development, performance and
    appraisal and many others.

4. Effective Communication and Employee
Engagement With several of HR processes
getting automated, now HR has plenty of time to
get innovative with employee engagement and
ensure that every employee of an organization
is aware of organizational mission, vision,
goals, products, and services. They can also
ensure that every employee is able to see the
significance of his role in the big picture. HR
is now free to play a significant role in
preparing an effective communication strategy and
plans to address needs to all stakeholders based
on the mode of communication preferences of
every social group taking into consideration
cultural barriers. It took me TEN months to
complete the project and submit my reports. It
was a wonderful experience. While studying their
existing HR Processes, I also got a chance to
analyse their office administration process, and
believe me, those were very tedious,
time-consuming and expensive. The organization
could have saved millions of dollars per year by
streamlining those processes. Having understood
their existing processes, growth plans and
expectations from HR, it was discovered that
there is no single software that can address
every requirement of this organization.
Therefore, I recommended them - Workday or
Ceridian (Dayforce HCM) for addressing their
Talent Administration needs and Cornerstone
OnDemand or Ascentis for their requirement of
Talent Management in multiple locations. I am a
strong believer of a fact that automation of HR
processes is not a threat to HR Professionals
working in this profession. Instead, it allows
them to free up their time and make a
significant contribution in areas where it
matters. In coming years, I foresee organizations
coming up with more innovative tools and
software to address challenges of Talent
Acquisition, Performance Management, and Talent
Development. There is a huge scope for further
automating HR processes. With automation, the
role of HR will evolve further and it will get
closely aligned with Business Strategy,
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