Chris21 Relationships is an important concept if you are using, or if you are considering implementing HR21. Your organisation structure is defined by the Relationships (REL) form. HR21 uses this structure to determine manager access, workflow processing and Report Designer report output.
If you are using HR21 you will know that managers have the ability to view details of staff who report to them either directly or indirectly. Without relationships this feature wouldn’t be possible. In addition to this, accurate Chris21 Relationships configuration is also vital for determining the reporting relationships used by the Workflow process in Chris21. The configuration of the Relationships form defines the Staff List that a manager sees in HR21. If your Relationships are out of date then the information in HR21 will be out of date.
The ability to display reports based on Chris21 Relationships is a recent addition to HR21 functionality. This means that a manager logged onto HR21 can run reports to view details of their own staff.
How Chris21 Relationships are created
The Relationships (REL) form is very straightforward. You enter the Position Number and then the Reports To position:
In the relationship shown above, the manager is defined in the Reports To field. The manager’s position number as defined in the Reports To field is TRM001 and the Incumbent is staff number ZW5277. The employee’s Position Number is TR1234 and the Incumbent is staff number ZW5278.
As you can see, entering Chris21 Relationships will build your organisation chart. When you have created all relationships you can run the Create Chart (ORC) report. This will produce your organisation structure in a text file. Alternatively, you can use third party software such as OrgPlus to display your relationships as an organisation chart.
As well as providing your organisation chart, your relationships provide the information that HR21 requires. As I mentioned earlier, there are three key areas where HR21 uses relationships – manager access to staff, workflow processing and Report Designer reports viewed in HR21.
How Chris21 Relationships provide manager access to staff members in HR21
Staff position relationships in HR21 are sourced from the Relationships (REL) form. To ensure this information is available you must run the Load Position Tree (RTR) process in Chris21. This will automatically build the Staff List so that managers will be able to select a Staff Member to view. The RTR process is also important to ensure the Staff List is kept up to date. The Staff List can become out of date if changes have been made to REL since the last time the RTR process was run.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to schedule the Load Position Tree process to run daily. For more information about the Load Position Tree process you can read my articles How to Avoid Broken Workflow Processes and 8 Ways to Optimise Your HR21 Workflow.
These articles talk about the importance of scheduling the Load Position Tree process so that is it kept up to date.
Once the Staff List is available to managers they will be able to use HR21 to access selected information about the staff members who appear on their Staff List.
How Chris21 Relationships are used for workflow processing in HR21
Workflow in HR21 controls the processing of workflow requests, such as leave requests. The relationships that have been setup in Chris21 are used by the Workflow Master (WFM) form when defining workflow.
The Workflow Master form uses relationships in Chris21 for three purposes. Firstly, to define who workflow requests are sent to in the first instance. Usually this will be the requestor’s immediate manager.
The second is to determine escalations. For instance, if a leave request hasn’t been processed in a given timeframe, the request will be escalated to the next manager up in the organisation structure.
And the third is for email processing. Chris21 uses the email address on the Details (DET) form to send workflow emails. These emails will be sent to the manager as defined on the Relationships (REL) form.
How Chris21 Relationships are used to deliver Report Designer reports in HR21
You can attach reports written in the Report Designer to HR21 and accessed them from a menu. In the Report Designer there is an option to List Staff Members by Relationship.
When this option is selected, information about those staff members reporting to the logged on manager will be output.
This is a very useful feature when a manager wants to view specific details about all of his/her staff. For example, you could create a report to display the current leave balances of a manager’s direct reports. Standard HR21 functionality only allows a manager to view staff members one at a time.
For more information about attaching reports to HR21 see my blog How to Add Chris21 Reports to a Menu.
As you can see, HR21 relies heavily on the accurate configuration of Chris21 Relationships. Accurate and up to date relationships data is vital. It’s the first thing I ask clients when they are considering implementing HR21 or if they are experiencing problems when using HR21.