How HR Automation Software Saves Your Team Time & Stress

by Mike Tannian on August 29, 2022

Public sector agencies can use HR automation software to eliminate repetitive, manual processes, allowing you to be more focused on human capital management.

Article Highlights

Technology today creates new opportunities for automation and time savings. You’ve seen it in your day-to-day life, but what about your job?

HR professionals often spend hours managing siloed data stored in different HR systems, copying-and-pasting information between the systems, and trying to create comprehensive reports. There’s got to be a better way.

In this article, we'll show you how NEOGOV's HRIS software automates and simplifies HR processes so you can save time and improve reporting functionality. To understand those benefits, we'll examine the outdated processes many HR departments are struggling with.

Problem: Outdated Processes

The problem is that public sector HR departments often deal with outdated processes and systems that can't communicate with each other. This leads to inconsistencies and wasted time and energy trying to manage employees with legacy software.

For example, HR spends a lot of time re-entering information from one system to another, especially when onboarding new hires. You have to enter the same name, address, phone number, and banking information into one or more HR software systems. This can take a while for each new employee, never mind when you onboard several new employees at once.

There are also complexities surrounding benefits selection and reporting. Employees frequently have questions about their benefits or want to make changes to them.

For example, an employee may get married or divorced and need to change their name. Or they want to change their tax deductions or tax status. Or complete FMLA paperwork. Or they may want to look up their available vacation time and check their pension.

Normally, these questions and changes go to a person's HR rep, which takes a lot of time and effort on the HR team's part. They need to enter every change into the different systems and research every question because the information is not centralized or accessible by non-HR people.

Legacy systems also offer limited reporting functionality because there's no easy way to import or merge data. A common workaround is downloading each data set as a CSV or TXT file or a spreadsheet, importing it into one large spreadsheet, and hoping employee records don’t get mismatched or misreported.

Unless your HR managers are experts at Microsoft Excel, they'll have difficulty creating comprehensive reports for all their needs: wage details, benefit elections and enrollments, timesheets, payroll, and more. They'll be bogged down with approvals for time off and vacation, name changes, tax status changes, and changes to retirement and pension plans.

HR automation software can solve many of these problems and make it possible for your team to offload time-consuming, manual tasks to focus on larger issues, create new programs, and help more people.

Solution: HR Automation Software

NEOGOV's Human Resources Information System (HRIS) allows for HR process automation in several different areas. For example, automating benefits information distribution and election means that employees can choose their own benefits by entering their choices into the system themselves. Then HR only has to review the choices before approving them. They don't have to do any of the data entry themselves.

HRIS also allows for employee self-service automation, another time-saver for HR staff. Normally, when employees want paid time off (PTO), sick leave, or FMLA, they submit a request to their manager and/or HR. It goes up the chain for appropriate approvals, which can take days depending on people’s schedules.

Our HRIS automation tool lets the HR department define the approval workflow for various changes that can be made in the system, such as change of address, leave requests, benefit elections, and so on.

That means a request for time off will trigger an approval workflow and automatically update leave banks and payroll upon approval. Employees can submit their own time off requests, which will trigger an approval workflow: As each manager approves the request, the request moves to the next step in the approval process. Leave banks are automatically updated, and payroll is changed to reflect the new decision. It's all done without human intervention or effort, although the system sends notifications to the appropriate people.

It's also possible to conduct Open Enrollment within employee self-service and automatically send elections to payroll and the appropriate carriers. Rather than the HR staff entering each employee's choice into the system – which can lead to a number of different errors, not to mention the hours of data entry for hundreds or thousands of employees – employees can enter their own information. Thus, any errors are their own responsibility, plus it saves HR staff from doing a lot of tedious work.

HRIS also automates time and payroll. It can integrate online timesheets with time clocks and mobile entry, which can set up autopay based on employee work schedules. Rather than keeping track of each employee's time, our HRIS automated systems will manage this for you, showing you each person's time, the aggregate number of hours spent, and the payroll budget for the pay period, the month, or year-to-date. That happens through HRIS' robust reporting feature.

With the reporting function, it's possible to create 30+ different reports, or even configure your own reports and then save them to a dashboard or export the data to Excel or CSV.

You can create reports for CORE HR data, employee names and addresses, benefits plan enrollments, timesheets, absence statistics, payroll structure, and deposit reports.

Benefits of HR Automation Software

In the end, using HR automation software offers tangible and intangible benefits.

Our HR process automation software can save valuable time. No more entering and re-entering the same employee information to different HR systems. All the data is centrally located, so it's only necessary to enter it once. And if you're using NEOGOV's talent management solution, you can pull in new hire data during the onboarding process to be used across systems.

This also reduces the likelihood of human errors. Anyone who spends several hours manually entering data over and over is bound to make a mistake. A misspelled name, a transposed bank account number, clicking the wrong button – any of these costly errors can create problems for those employees and break any reports you were trying to run. By using one single source of truth, you can reduce the risk of errors and avoid the headaches they can create.

NEOGOV's HR process automation software can also increase your operational efficiency. Just by reducing the sheer amount of data that has to be entered by hand, you're freeing up HR personnel to focus on other initiatives and programs that normally have to be pushed to the back burner whenever there's a new batch of hires or during Open Enrollment time.

Speaking of which, HRIS can streamline your benefits processes. During their onboarding, new hires are usually asked to choose their different benefits, insurance plans, and beneficiaries. Forms are filled out and entered into one or even a few HR software platforms. Providers are notified (with more forms and reports), and the entire process can take a few weeks. But with HRIS, employees can enter their own benefits choices into the system. Workflow automation solutions can manage the different approvals and notify providers automatically, importing the data into their systems where they can immediately begin providing coverage.

  • Manage all employee insurance, plan, and enrollment types in one place for increased transparency across every department.
  • Define insurance plan, coverage, and rate data.
  • Create schedules based on employee group, type, union, and status.
  • Seamlessly integrate insurance information with payroll with complex calculations for contributions.
  • Track EDI 834 health insurance enrollment information.

Finally, our HRIS provides transparency between employees and managers. Employees can request time off or update their benefits, which triggers automated workflows. Employees can see who has approved or denied their PTO and sick leave, the status of their benefits, and access their own employee records.

Final Thoughts

HR automation software can change the way public service agencies manage their employee data and personally identifiable information. The HR automation processes can reduce the amount of time HR operatives spend on small, manual tasks and can instead focus on the bigger picture: creating new initiatives, updating policy manuals, and managing the actual HR functions of their government agency.

HR automation software can automate benefits information distribution, allow for employee self-service automation, create automated workflows, and automate time tracking and payroll information. NEOGOV's HRIS saves time and money and reduces costly errors. It also improves the employee experience and satisfaction because it lets them manage their own data.

Learn how HRIS can work for your government agency and help you improve employee relations by signing up for a free demo today.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Director of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value to public sector HR professionals at every stage in the buying journey.