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Chris21 email alerts can be setup in different ways depending on the the type of email alert you require. The two most commonly used are Workgroup Reminders and Email Notifications. These will be discussed in this post.

For background information see my blogs The Benefits of Generating Emails from Chris21 and Use Workgroup Reminders to Manage Expiry Dates in Chris21.

It’s important to understand that Workgroup Reminders and Email Notifications are two distinct functions and therefore both have their specific  uses. Given this, how do you decide the best method to use when you want to generate Chris21 email alerts?

When to use Email Notifications (MMN)

You use Email Notifications when you want to be alerted whenever an update is made in Chris21. This update can be made either directly from Chris21 or from an interface to Chris21, typically HR21.

One good example to help you see where you can benefit from Email Notifications is changes to Bank details from HR21. If you are considering allowing users to do this then setting up an Email Notification will ensure Payroll is kept informed whenever a user makes a change to their bank details. Commonly, clients will direct these emails to a generic payroll email address that is monitored, rather than to an individual.

This of course will be very useful if an incorrect entry is made and the employee’s pay is misdirected. The email can even be setup to specify what the old bank details were and what changes were made.

One thing to note about Email Notifications is that they don’t differentiate between interfaces. In other words, Chris21 will send email alerts even if the change is made by a Payroll officer directly in Chris21. But to overcome this to some degree, you can specify the email to be triggered by changes only to specific fields. So in the example of Bank (PYD) changes, you could specify to only send the email when a Bank Account Number is changed. This way, any changes made by Payroll staff in Chris21 to other fields in PYD won’t trigger the email.

When to use Workgroup Reminders (ADE)

The key difference with Workgroup Reminders is that they are triggered by an event, the event being a date on an employee based record. When this date is approaching the system will send an email to reminder relevant parties (the employee and manager) that action needs to be taken.

Chris21 uses the concept of an ‘offset date’ to determine when the email is to be sent. For example, if you wanted to trigger an email alert to be sent two months before the date of the event then you would enter the offset as -2 months. The offset can be any time-frame you require.

An example where a Workgroup Reminder is useful is employees returning from leave without pay. If an employee has been on leave without pay, Payroll will want to know when the employee is returning to normal duties so that they can make any necessary adjustments to ensure the employee is correctly paid.

These email alerts are sent to the employee or the employee’s manager or both. In addition to this, a Diary Reminder can be directed to a Workgroup. A Workgroup is setup and assigned to Chris21 users, eg Payroll, HR, Training, etc. Diary Reminders are not emails, they are listed in Chris21 for users in Workgroups.

Please note, if you setup a Workgroup Reminder it will only begin sending email alerts when the key date is entered in Chris21. The updating of the date is what triggers the email. What this means is that if you already have dates in the system prior to the Workgroup Reminder being setup, then these dates will have to be taken out and re-entered to set the trigger. Of course, this is only necessary for future dates.

On this point, you can use GTR functionality to remove and reload these dates. For information about GTR see Increase Your Productivity Using GTR Processing.

I hope this blog has helped you understand the key differences between these two methods of generating Chris21 email alerts. The setup of each is quite different so please feel free to use the Comments to ask a question if you need more information.