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Improve your HR21 Workflow Processes with these tips

If you are using HR21 for leave processing then you are using HR21 workflow. The question is – are you using it to its full potential?

Even though I’ve referred to it as HR21 workflow, the setup is actually configured in Chris21. HR21 is where you use it. The Workflow Master (WFM) form in Chris21 is where you go to define a workflow process. It’s where you can setup rules such as escalations, reminders and email notifications.

Here are a few tips to help optimise your HR21 workflow:

1. Use escalations and reminders

Fortunately, you have a lot of scope when creating workflow definitions. They can range from simple to quite complex so you will be able to create one that suits your organisation’s needs. As a minimum, you should have at least one level of escalation. This will move the leave request to another manager if it hasn’t been actioned within a specified number of days. Without this, a workflow record could sit in the system for too long, perhaps waiting for a manager to return from an extended absence.

Some organisations will create a reminder so that an email is resent to the manager after a few days. This is a good idea and will often do the trick. But as added insurance, create an escalation to the next manager in the organisation structure, just in case the reminder doesn’t help.

2. Keep your organisation structure up to date

HR21 uses Relationships (REL) to determine the manager for leave requests. If REL is not right then you will either have a broken workflow or the request will go to the wrong manager. If the workflow is broken, then the system will alert the Fallback Manager. This is often someone in Payroll who will determine what to do with the request.

3. Run the Workflow Forwarding (WFF) process on a regular basis

This process looks for reminders and escalations that have reached their due date and then either sends a reminder email or re-routes the request to the next manager. This is a quick process so you could create a schedule and set it to run daily. See my blog for help scheduling reports.

4. Create a schedule for the Load Position Tree (RTR) process

This process refreshes your reporting relationships. As new positions are created or existing positions updated, you will need to run RTR to ensure reporting relationships are kept up to date. If you don’t run RTR then a manager’s Staff List may not appear or it may appear to be out of date. Workflow records can also be broken as the system may be looking at a closed position, if one has recently been updated.

Make sure you run RTR before WFF otherwise you may be forwarding out of date records.

5. Rebuild the Staff List

The Staff List Rebuild (WFR) process is used to ensure that the staff lists in HR21 are kept up to date. This will refresh the lists when new employees start or when employees move between positions. You can create a schedule to automatically run this process on a regular basis.

6. Create different workflows for specific leave types

Some leave types may require a different workflow process. You don’t need to leave these leave types out of HR21. For instance, Study Leave may need to be approved by the manager but then also by someone from the HR department. You can configure your master workflow record so that other leave types can be treated differently to your standard annual or sick leave process.

7. Monitor workflow records using the Workflow Control (WFC) form

This form shows you the status of all of the workflow requests in the system. It’s a good idea to create a report and schedule it to run on a regular basis. This report can be automatically emailed to a relevant person for review. This will tell you how many requests are waiting to be processed and especially those that are past the due date. It’s also a good place to start looking if you need to do some troubleshooting.

8. Include a link to HR21 in the workflow emails to managers

It’s easy to do and makes it that bit easier for managers. You can even go an extra step and make the link go directly to the leave approval page. To do this just add ?form=SS5 to the end of your link as shown below:

“Please go to HR21 http://yourserver/HR21/interface/login.aspx?form=SS5 to review and process this leave request.”

When the manager clicks this link and then logs into HR21, the first page to open will be the Leave Requests page.

I hope this article has demonstrated how workflows can be improved to make the process simpler and to reduce the chance of problems occurring. You may already be using some of these tips in your HR21 workflow setup or you may have some different methods that work well. If so, feel free to leave a comment and share your ideas with the other readers.