Through process reviews with clients over the years, I’ve realized that many organizations are evaluating new strategies and HR tech to increase efficiency throughout their company.
What’s standing in their way? Poor documentation of their own processes. Without a solid foundation in place, it’s hard to know where to start the documentation process. It’s an overwhelming experience, to say the least. It’s also what’s preventing organizations from getting the most out of their HR tech investment.
What is 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 - whether that’s when and how your employee's leaves are approved, or how your product gets manufactured and shipped.
Process Maps are used for:
Increasing understanding of a process
Analyzing how a process could be improved
Identifying bottlenecks in processes
Employee Onboarding and Training
Improving communication between individuals engaged in the same process
How to determine if process mapping can help your documentation and HR strategy
If you’re not sure you need to start process mapping, here are 5 types of inefficiencies to look for:
Communication Breakdowns “When did we start doing it that way? Nobody told me”
You need sign off from more than two people to complete a task
Manual data entry - Expensive, time-consuming, numerous errors
Data silos - Data is accessible to one department but isolated from the rest of that organization
Poor reporting and metrics - Missing crucial information about your business
How inefficient processes hurt companies
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 mind-blowing number, but what baffled me, even more, is that the study went on to say that when the organizations were confronted about the huge losses, most continued to “make do” with their current applications and systems even if they were not the right solution.
In the book The Silo Effect, there’s a story that covers Sony during the peak of their success. The PlayStation department gated its technology and knowledge from the rest of the company, even as the company’s 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.
Prolonged inefficiency in a department or an organization can lead to further issues. These risks include low morale, lack of trust amongst employees, and inaccuracy and frustration becoming the norm.
When should you implement process mapping in your organization?
If you don’t know where or how to begin a newly implemented process or improve upon an existing inefficient process
If you are overwhelmed with outdated, labour-intensive processes
If you are considering going to market for new HR tech
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, or an external third party.
3 Positive Outcomes from Process Mapping Your HR Processes
Here are three positive outcomes of process mapping that I’ve compiled through working with clients:
1. A look into the future
When you can see your organization's current state compared to your ideal future state, you’ll get a clear and concise vision of where you want to be, either as a department or a company. This visual representation will help you to identify the gaps between your current state, and what you need to change in order to get there.
2. A better business case
Now that you’ve mapped out your current and future state, you have a much stronger business case to push for new HR software/tools. By having the information and metrics to reinforce and confirm what processes need to be improved, you’ll have a much higher chance of executive buy-in.
Improve workflows and engage your team with tools built for you
If you’re ready to start evaluating different HRIS solutions, we’ve got you covered with our Complete Buyer’s Guide for HRIS Software. In it, you’ll find an overview of the benefits of HRIS, a feature list to help you identify a shortlist of vendors, and a detailed comparison guide to help you align your needs to the right solution.