How Process Mapping Can Drive a Better HR Tech Strategy

How to Build Your Strategy Before Selecting Tools

Through process reviews with clients, I realized that many organizations want to implement new processes and HR tech to help increase efficiency throughout their company. However, poor documentation of current processes is preventing them. Without this key aspect, clients tend to become overwhelmed and weary of where to begin the documentation process.

As a result, organizations are not getting the most from their HR tech investment.

Improve the HR Tech Experience to Improve the Employee Experience

71% of CEOs believe that their employees are the most important factor in their companies economic success. HR professionals should be heavily involved in mapping out the processes that directly and indirectly impact the organization's most important asset, the employees.

Despite this, many organizations do not have a strategic human resource planning process in place with nearly a third of human resource departments agreeing that they need to improve their HR process and planning initiatives.

If our employees are our most important asset then we should be consistently looking at ways to improve their overall experience.

How can companies start utilizing HR tech and begin easily documenting their process?

How we learn and process information can depend on the task at hand, but studies show that 90% of information that is transmitted to the brain is visual (including text). Rather than relegating our process documentation to an itemized list in a PDF or email, let's leverage a visual format to enhance data processing and organizational effectiveness for documentation. I'm going to show you how we can achieve this through process mapping.

Process Mapping
According to LucidChart, a process map is a planning and management tool that visually describes the flow of work by showing who and what is involved in a process.

Use cases for process mapping:

  1. Better process documentation
  2. Provide insight into a process
  3. Brainstorm ideas for process improvement
  4. Increase communication
  5. Improve efficiency

Check out this great Process Mapping 101 resource from Lucidchart.

How to determine signs of efficiency to determine if process mapping can help your documentation and HR strategy.

To determine if your organization should start using process mapping, here are 5 signs of inefficiency to look for:

  1. The classic, “when was that decided, nobody told me”
  2. You need sign off from more than 2 people
  3. Manual data entry
  4. Data silos
  5. Poor reporting

More data and case studies on inefficient processes

I read an article in Entrepreneur where researchers found that companies lose 20 to 30 percent in revenue every year due to inefficiencies. That’s a massive number, the study went on to say that even when these organizations were confronted about this loss, most continued to “make do” with their current applications and systems even if they were not the right solution.

There’s a book called The Silo Effect that tells the story of Sony during the peak of their success, the PlayStation department jealously guarded its technology and insights from the rest of the company, even as the companies CEO tried to break down departmental silos. As a result, Sony failed to capitalize on a series of huge technology shifts in portable music players and the rise of smartphones that, at the time, Sony could have dominated with their technological advances.

To learn more about signs of inefficiency and their cause, check out these resources:

Prolonged inefficiency in a department or organization can lead to further issues. These risks include damaged morale, lack of trust amongst employees, and inaccuracy and frustration becoming the norm. 

Here are a few more sources to help you learn more about these risk factors:

How do you know you should be implementing process mapping in your organization?

  • If you don’t know where or how to begin.
  • If you are already overwhelmed with your processes or if you’ve previously tried to map your processes, you may want to consider bringing a different set of eyes in to help. This can be someone else on your team, someone in your organization who has experience with process improvement, departmental processes, and HR tech.

Are you still unsure about process mapping? Watch this short video:

3 Positive Outcomes from Process Mapping Your HR Processes

Here are three positive outcomes of process mapping that I have compiled through working with clients:

1. A look into the future
You will be able to visually see your organizations current state compared to your ideal future of the company. With a clear and concise visual of where you want to be, either as a department or a company, you can identify the gaps between your current state, and the future you want to achieve.

2. A better business case
Now that you have mapped out your current and future state, you have a much stronger business case to push for that new HR software you need approval for by having the tools to reinforce and confirm what needs to be done within your organization.

3. A greater employee experience

Ultimately, process maps create an employee experience that fosters engagement, job satisfaction, and productivity through having the ability to see where you are now and the future you want, to understand where things can improve.

What I have learned is, that by reviewing your current and future state, you can redesign processes within your organization to create more engaging experiences for your employees.

This is key as statistics show that 87% of employees who are engaged at work are less likely to leave their company.

Now that you understand why process mapping is an efficient tool, how do you actually get started?

  1. Through my experience of implementing process maps with clients, I have found that starting small and identifying the process you want to document is a crucial first step. These include: 
  • Employee experiences
  • Recruitment processes
  • Onboarding process
  • Or time off requests.

2. Now, gather information of your chosen process by:

  • Observing a process from start to finish
  • Looking at existing documentation
  • Doing one on ones with your team

3. Map it out. To do so, start with your beginning and end points. Once you know what those two stages look like, you can begin filling the gaps between and determining where decisions are made.

I've mapped out a new hire onboarding process using two different visual techniques:

Flowchart


Click to Enlarge

Swimlane Diagram


Click to Enlarge

If you want more information to help you start process mapping, check out these resources:

Here are different software tools to create simple maps:

  • Visio
  • Excel
  • Lucidchart

Build a better workforce by building a better HR Tech experience.

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About the Author

Karman Gill

An HR practitioner by trade, Karman worked as an HR Advisor and Generalist for some years prior to joining Avanti. He began working with HRIS systems frequently during that time and was drawn to the technology side of strategic HR. Since his time at Avanti Software, Karman has lead over 15 implementations nationally varying in size and complexity. Karman has taken all he's learned in his travels and previous implementations to guide prospective customers through the buying process to acquire Avanti for their organization.

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