“We were looking for a one-stop solution for managing our HR processes and we are glad we found Zoho People,” said Brinda Jayaram, HR Manager at Visual BI.
Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Visual BI is a leading consulting firm in business intelligence and analytics, driving high-touch customer engagements through an agile delivery model. The company enables big data analytics and visualization for its customers, on the cloud.
Their World Before Zoho People
Towards the end of 2013, Visual BI decided to put in place a human resource management system. Defining work flows and other HR processes was becoming complicated due to their rapid growth. Manual processes inundated their small HR team. Their agile delivery model called for quick and accurate customer response.
“We wanted to move towards a web-based system, rather than use manual methods and email typically used by smaller companies,” recalls Brinda. “We faced great difficulty in managing employee needs with regard to attendance, time-off, approvals and expense reimbursements.”
API (Application Programming Interface) has always been the most preferred means of integration between two systems. For instance, an HR software and payroll. This is most convenient when data needs to be exchanged every time a requirement arises. However, what if instant notifications need to be sent and received the very second an event is triggered? That’s precisely what a webhook does.
A webhook is an http call back that sends data to the third party system whenever an event is triggered. For example, when a travel expense record is approved, a webhook instantly notifies the accounting system by invoking its API to process the reimbursement. Alternatively, if a webhook isn’t used, the API will only be called periodically (end of day, week, or month) to find out pending reimbursements and hence delay the payment process.
A Webhook is certainly a better way to integrate with third party systems and your own custom applications, ensuring data synchronization at all times. That’s why Zoho People has now adopted Webhooks!
Jack, an executive, applies for a travel approval through his company’s HR portal. His manager misses the request amongst other important emails. The approval is delayed and Jack is left uncertain about his forthcoming travel.
Now, lets assume Jack’s travel gets approved eventually. He plans his lodging and other expenses for his trip, keeping the existing HR policy in mind. Upon returning, he attempts to have his expenses reimbursed, only to realize the HR policy had been changed well before his departure. This leads to unforeseen confusion.
Approvals, reviews and announcements will be effective only if they’re made at the right time. The situations detailed above are just two of many such instances employees encounter on a regular basis. It could also apply to job completion notifications, leave approvals, timesheet requests, office holidays or any other announcements. Yes, you could always receive alerts and discuss approvals through email. However, too many emails back and forth would result in flooding your inbox.
How can this be solved? It’s simple: Notifications!
Approvals are required to ensure smooth workflow in an organization – be it for project submissions, timesheets, billing, leave or any other forms. The standard approval process involves a reporting manager approving his employees’ forms.
However, what if different forms required different levels of approvals to satisfy different criteria?
Bill, the HR Manager of Falcon Enterprises, wants to streamline his time-off approval process. It seems like he has too many conditions:
(a) The approval has to be triggered only if an employee is on leave for 3 days.
(b) This to be the case just for casual leaves and not any other.
(c) It is exclusive to certain designations in his organization and not for all the employees.
(d) Finally, the records are to be subjected to multi-level approvals.
Clearly, primitive approval processes cannot handle any such requirements.
That’s why Zoho People lets you configure unlimited approvals. This is how its done:
1. Select the Form for Approval
Zoho People lets you configure your approvals based on individual forms and modules. Different forms like leave applications, timesheets, employee details, exit details, etc., can have specific settings. All you have to do is select the ‘form type’ from the drop down menu and the required criteria can be set.
Yes, it’s that simple!
You’ve never heard an HR manager say, “Timesheets don’t need to be approved.”
For those businesses that need to keep track of employees’ work time on jobs, timesheets are the answer. While timesheets alone can keep track of work flow, a manager’s approval adds credibility and certifies that the work is satisfactory.
Zoho People has a number of useful features that make timesheet approvals easier:
1. Multi-level approvals
With Zoho People, even with a large multi-level hierarchy in your organization, you can easily structure the flow of the approval process by role and designation. The visual representation of the approval hierarchy gives you a quick overview.
You can check-in and check-out your time directly from your mobile phone. With the Zoho People mobile time clock you can set IP restrictions to ensure control over where and when your employee clocks-in. Combined with features like the easy buddy search and on-the-go colleague information (already available on the iPhone app), Zoho People for android goes above and beyond.
The Falcon real estate company was facing a dilemma – How should they manage the rapidly growing employee base using just spreadsheets? Things were getting messy and complicated. After countless meetings and discussions, the company finally decided to try an HR management software. A year later, here’s how that turned out.
If you’re an HR manager for a growing business that’s still using spreadsheets, it’s probably time to move away from them and try the real stuff. Better now than never!