If you work in a corporate office, you probably understand the annoyance of making requests of any kind, whether it be for access or resources. It needs to be directed to the correct department, probably IT, and then possibly forwarded to a manager for approval. During this process, the user sits idle waiting often for a couple of days for the change to be made. This not only makes employees nonproductive, it also makes them less than excited about the project that they are working on.
Think of how many processes your company still performs manually or via paper. Probably not too many. Then why is the access and resource request process still manual? Several studies have shown that inefficient or older technologies hinder employee’s morale and efficiency. Employees get discouraged and annoyed waiting for processes and technology to work and are not as excited for projects they are working on. One study showed that technology that assists with productivity “is expected to rise by further 22 percent in the next seven years.” This is because organizations have seen the benefits of implementing newer technology which empowers their employees.
There is an easy way to allow your employees to be more productive and empower them to take charge on projects and resolve their own issues. Many organizations have been implementing workflow management applications. These types of solutions allow employees to access a portal where they can request any changes, access rights or additional resources easily. The request is then automatically routed to the correct person who can either approve or deny the request. If needed, the request can also be routed to another manager or superior for additional security. After the request is approved, the change is automatically carried out. While it is obvious this process is extremely easy and efficient, here are three other main benefits.
The easier you make the process for your employees, the more likely they are to work harder on their projects. Think about a project that you are very excited to start working on. Your manager allows you to be the lead on the project and you are excited to show how well you can carry it out and accomplish the goals set in place. Then you realize you need access to a few databases and applications, and need to contact a few different people in various departments to get the access you need. You may need to wait around for it to be approved and have to follow up to make sure it is being processed. This puts you behind and you begin to feel less motivated and excited about the project.
A workflow system allows employees to easily make a request and receive, for example, the access they need to complete a project. Allowing employees to complete the request themselves also empowers them to proactively work on projects and fix their issues. They no longer need to sit and wait around not knowing how long it is going to take for the change to be made.
Allow Managers to Not Deal with the Request Headache
Managers as well feel the stress of this process. They need to answer the emails for requests and make sure they answer the appropriate person with the information needed to create the account or get the resource for the employee. The employee often also needs to check up on the request, and track down the manager to get an update on the progress.
Workflow allows the employee to easily see the progress of their request and will be notified once it is either accepted or rejected.
Ensure Security Easily
While it is easily seen how a workflow solution can improve efficiency, it also has longer term benefits such as increased security. Tracking any kind of information for an audit is time consuming and tedious. This process ensures that the correct person is giving permission to the resource. All of these requests are also tracked so that it can also be used for an audit or to track who has access to what. Even if the manager denies the request, the process is logged.
These are only some of the many benefits which a workflow solution provides. Overall, organizations can easily allow their employees to be proactive, motivated, and extremely efficient.
By Dean Wiech.