HR software that automates the flow of key HR processes – like holiday requests, sickness notifications or timesheet approvals – is hugely popular with HR and line managers. Instead of time-consuming manual processes or disconnected emails, today’s online HR systems route requests and approvals to the right people at the right time; automatically update the relevant data; and send out reminders if needed.

With intuitive, online self-service from PC, tablet or phone as part of the mix, this process automation is equally appreciated by employees. They enjoy the freedom of being able to request time off, submit timesheets, complete performance reviews or update their personal information at a time that suits them, and know that the system will automatically ensure that anyone that needs to know or take action will be informed.
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When HR processes don’t flow, productivity suffers

However, when key staff are away, perhaps on holiday or sick leave, it can all go pear-shaped if your HR system doesn’t let you flex your approval processes to fit. Holiday requests don’t get approved; timesheets pile up; sick leave notifications are ignored; performance reviews falter and frustration builds. Employees are doing what you’ve asked, but the information is stuck in the system, with no place to go.

With most HR systems, HR administrators can step in and take ownership of stalled processes. However, that’s an admin-intensive overhead and, since HR often don’t have the context (for example, whether approving a holiday may leave the team or department under-resourced), may not be possible anyway.

Benefit from approval delegation

A better approach is to use an HR system that lets you – or the approving manager – delegate the approvals to someone else while they are away.

The challenge here is that a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work. It may be fine for a personal assistant or second in command to sign off a holiday request – especially since they’ll have access to the team calendar, and should know what’s in the pipeline in terms of upcoming projects or other activities.

However, having them approve a timesheet or sick leave notification, may not be appropriate. This is an activity that is probably better handled by a more senior manager, or by HR.

With Cezanne HR, not only can HR decide which processes approving managers can delegate, but different processes can be delegated to different people within the organisation. That way, HR can be confident that behind the scenes the system is managing the flow of requests and information in the most appropriate way – and employees continue to get the fast acknowledgements they’ve come to expect.

To find out how Cezanne HR helps you streamline HR and improve productivity for everyone, why not get in touch an arrange a demo?

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Sue Lingard

Sue studied Personnel Management at the London School of Economics before taking on management roles in the travel, recruitment and finally HR software industry. She's particularly interested in how technologies enable HR teams - and the people they support - to work better together.