Seven Reasons to Automate Your Workflow Now
By Toni Buffa | Published July 5, 2022
too long; didn't read
Automation increases process efficiency in multiple ways. When you implement automation, you will increase speed and efficiency, increase employee morale, unclog your teams time, reduce business risk, improve communication, hold employees accountable, and be heard.
You know it’s true—your inefficient processes are impacting productivity, efficiency, and perhaps even competitiveness and employee morale.
In all kinds of teams and industries, messy, manual workflows are still surprisingly common and hampering your company's potential. You don't have any more time to struggle through manual, inefficient workflows. It's time to be quicker, more efficient, competitive, and employee-focused. It's time to automate your company's workflow.
Here are seven reasons why it's time to make workflow automation a high priority.
You need to increase speed and efficiency
When you automate processes, employees are set up for success from the start. Every employee knows their responsibilities and when deadlines need to be met. Your organization will become more focused, employees will always be in the loop, and everyone will understand what to do and when.
All processes employees need to do their job show up in their self-service portal. There will be no more need for employees to rely on distant training sessions or clunky printed guides and binders because workflow automation will prompt them through each step.
To keep tasks flowing smoothly, the system will provide alerts and reminders. These will flow to the employee responsible for the task and their overseeing manager. Plus, if an employee leaves or is temporarily out of the office – their tasks can easily be delegated elsewhere, so work does not fall through the cracks.
Employee morale and job satisfaction will climb
With automation, your typical morning will be forever changed. No more coming into the office and worrying about sending constant email reminders, getting paper forms signed, or deciphering scribbled notes. Automation permits more time for employees to focus on the real, value-added work for your business.
They will be able to accomplish more with less effort and less support. This is where the boost in morale will stem from. Your employees will feel great job satisfaction when they can allocate their time towards tasks that’ll make a difference – and less on manual cycles. You can build exception handling into your workflows so that there are fewer email discussions and lengthy deliberations about how to address them. Plus, as mentioned earlier, employees don’t need as much time in training since the system lets them know what to do next.
Manual workflows are clogging up your team’s time and draining their productivity
Have you ever had a request/approval weighed down in an email chain that causes delays and confusion? Does someone on your team waste time re-keying information from paper records or disparate systems? Is your shared drive a caution zone with disorganized versions of files that cause missed deadlines?
If you're living with a manual workflow, you’ve likely experienced one (if not all) of these mishaps and frustrations. With all of these mishaps that may come your way – it’s impossible not to have wasted precious time that could have been focused on more productive tasks.
Plus, manual processes create an invisible workflow that impairs management's visibility to identify and solve problems.
It would help if you reduced your business risk
Workflow automation increases the accuracy of information by limiting options in dropdowns. Accuracy is critical when dealing with legally-required information. Workflow automation lets users select the right choice rather than key-in information, preventing required fields from being left blank.
The system routes decisions and approvals to only those individuals specified in business rules. You can also build in multiple checkpoints to correct process outcomes in every case. Management never has to go on a fishing expedition to oversee workflow tasks because the information is available to them in real-time with robust drill-down capability.
Improve upon company-wide communication
Automation will do the communication for you. With the proper accessibility and visibility - employees, managers, and C-level executives can see where tasks are currently at in the process.
There is no need for back-and-forth emails to see when something will be ready for review or to check in on the need for a signature. Automation will communicate for you, send reminders, and ensure processes and approvals are done. It’s all the communication you’ll ever need – without saying a word!
Holding employees accountable
But staying on track to hitting your goals can be a challenge—and if you want to be successful, you need all the help you can get.
That’s where accountability comes in. As we’ve discussed in previous sections – automation shows in real-time where a task is at in a process, who it’s assigned to, where it will flow to next, etc.
With these being shown in an easy-to-view dashboard, employees will not only always be in the loop – but will know that their task load can be monitored and viewed at any time – thus keeping themselves accountable.
Being heard – virtually
Being heard and understood are essential factors when completing a task the first time around. Unfortunately, with manual processes, there are many risks. Emails, instant messages, paper trails, etc., can all be misinterpreted.
With automation, there is no room for errors. The assignee knows precisely what is expected from them, and the system will route the task from there once completed.
automation Workflow ROI efficiency productivity Accuracy Audibility Accountabilit Job Satisfaction
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Toni is a member of the Integrify marketing team and writes for the Integrify blog. Toni lives in Colorado and loves animals of all stripes.