What is worth automating in HR?
The growing role of HR departments in companies managed in a modern way entails increased costs. Therefore, if it is economically justified, as many HR and payroll processes as possible should be automated. It is best to automate all repetitive processes but not rare events that take relatively little time.
In addition to the cost-saving aspect, the automation of HR processes with the use of IT systems has another important advantage – the recording of events and automatic collection of data that can be further analyzed and used as a basis for optimizing HR policy decisions.
Raiffeisen HR strategy
Raiffeisen Bank International AG (Joint Stock Company) Branch in Poland provides services related to the portfolio transferred from the activity of former Raiffeisen Bank Polska SA after the sale of its core banking activity to BGŻ BNP Paribas SA, pursuant to the agreement concluded in November 2018. The value of the portfolio of Raiffeisen Bank International AG (Joint Stock Company) Branch in Poland amounts to approximately EUR 3.3 billion and includes mainly retail mortgage products in foreign currencies. It currently employs about 250 people.
Continuing the HR strategy developed during the time of Raiffeisen-Polbank, the Bank focuses on isolating repetitive and time-consuming services that do not build a competitive advantage, and outsourcing them to trusted partners. One of such processes is payroll calculation. A service that is resource-intensive and critical from the employee’s point of view, paradoxically, hardly contributes to building a positive image of the employer. It is obvious that salaries are simply to be paid correctly and on time. As regards HR and payroll, the Bank uses Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services from SNP Poland.
The regular HR services include keeping personnel documentation in accordance with Polish law, keeping personal files, controlling and recording medical examinations (preliminary, periodic and occupational medicine examinations), keeping records of the employee’s working time including absences, generating application and deregistration documents and sending them to the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS).
As regards salaries, the service includes the preparation of payrolls, pay slips and the generation of pay transfers. SNP is also responsible for contacts with tax authorities, the Social Insurance Institution and the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled. The scope of cooperation with these institutions has been defined quite broadly. At the request of the bank, additional reports and payroll statements (lists of variable components, transfers, bailiff deductions) are also prepared. An audit of the correctness of payroll calculation is carried out regularly.
The platform of communication between the HR department, Raiffeisen employees and SNP specialists responsible for payroll calculation is the SNP Service Desk. This is a browser-based solution that organizes the handling of internal service requests in a simple way, regardless of their subject (IT, administrative, service requests).
The cooperation covers both the payroll and HR process.
The Service Desk is one of BeeOffice modules, and therefore it benefits from the integration of various functions at a single place: it uses one list of employees, and the access to it is controlled with authorizations defined in the mechanism common to all functions of BeeOffice.
Based on the good experience of using the BeeOffice family solution, as well as cooperating with its provider, SNP, the Bank decided to use this platform more widely in order to extend employee and manager self-service and thus build a positive image of the company among employees.
An optimal tool, an optimal workplace
When we were choosing an HR solution for the newly created organization, our priority was the shortest possible time of implementation and making the tool available to employees. We were looking for, first of all, a flexible solution with an attractive price as our second priority. BeeOffice fitted all our needs. We obtained the first production version in less than two months from signing the contract. Then we enabled more modules and moved other processes into the solution.
An important advantage of BeeOffice for us is the positive reception by employees – the system is user friendly and intuitive to use. In addition, this is, however, an important element above all from the perspective of the HR team responsible for these processes, we have experienced very good support from the implementation team. We are also constantly working on new functionalities that will make it easier for employees and managers to deal with HR issues, and will enable the HR team to redirect resources from typically administrative tasks to the development of various activities aimed at creating an optimal workplace for the entire RBI team.
Adrian Sejdak, Deputy CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International Branch in Poland
Employee experience in business applications
What exactly does employee experience mean in the context of business IT tools? In short, the same as positive user experience in the world of “civil” applications. As employees – regardless of our role in the organization and the tasks to be performed in the systems, we want the systems to be intuitive to use, we want to see (have easy access to) all the functions needed in a given process – and nothing else that could obscure the image. Intuitive operation of ergonomic and nice-looking screens, simple and clear commands, a minimized risk of error, hints, reminders, scalability, the appearance easily adjustable to preferences. And of course mobility. A version for smartphones and other mobile devices has become an obvious thing.
Raiffeisen assessed that BeeOffice meets these criteria. An additional argument was the short time of deploying the tool. It took only eight weeks for this web-based platform to become a convenient and intuitive-to-use employee services center at Raiffeisen.
Leaves, other absences, working time
Raiffeisen employees plan and apply for leaves as well as record other absences (e.g. sick leaves, overtime) in BeeOffice. They can also check at any time how many more leave days they have until the end of the year, whether they have already used the quota of extra days off related to raising a child or what their annual leave schedule looks like.
The Leave module supports the whole process of accepting and controlling the use of leave entirely online without paper documents. Employee leave data is accessible to employees and their superiors according to a defined system of authorizations.
The recording and billing of working time is supported by the BeeOffice Schedule functionality. The system differentiates between standard working hours and overtime.
The employee declares whether the overtime should be paid for or compensated with time off to be taken at a later date. The supervisor then accepts or rejects the employee’s proposal.
Overtime accounting is an automatic process and includes also the calculation of the remuneration due, with a 50% or 100% bonus, in accordance with the regulations. The data is sent to the BPO SNP team and included in the payroll.
For business travel planning, acceptance and accounting, the self-service form of the Business Trips module is used. It is available online for the employee, their supervisor and the accounting department. Daily allowance rates for domestic and foreign trips, means of transport, hotels, other expenses, exchange rates – the system guides successive participants in this process step-by-step, doing their work for them where possible (e.g. automatically updated currency rates) and proposing significant facilitations. For example, it is possible to directly enter a photo of the ticket or taxi bill into the mobile application, while still travelling. The mobile version of BeeOffice is really useful here.
The workflow of a business trip application follows a defined procedure and the system records the date, time and person taking action at each stage. In an equally user-friendly way, the supervisor can analyze costs and travel time of their team by country, town or person.
Personal files, forms, applications
In a dispersed organization, it is a big challenge to enable the employees to view their HR documents. At Raiffeisen, employees have access to their personal file at BeeOffice – contracts, annexes, applications… – scans of all documents can be viewed at any time, without the involvement of HR staff. This also works the other way round – the HR department can easily reach an employee, a group of employees or the entire team, sending out different types of documents and forms and requiring acceptance of statements and applications. The system allows for defining reminders and escalation to the superior.
Employee self-service at Raiffeisen includes submitting in BeeOffice an application for a change of account number, an application for a personnel certificate, a refund for glasses, a statement of the possibility to work flexible hours and then an application for flexible working hours.
The forms of these documents are filled out intuitively and, what’s important, the employee does not have to think about who to submit the application to. The employee simply activates it, and the appropriate workflow starts in the background.
BeeOffice – mobile app
You will learn everything from the Forum
The HR applications are handled using the functionality of documents for acceptance in the BeeOffice Forum. However, the Forum also serves as a company-wide knowledge base, where you can find, for example, information about mandatory training (e.g. GDPR), all regulations and procedures in force, as well as BeeOffice manuals. The FAQ section is a good starting point if you are looking for key information related to employee self-service – not only for new employees.
Another example of paperwork reduction and automation in a user friendly environment is the management of training needs. The request flow is defined in BeeOffice and includes all stakeholders, including the person accepting training costs.
Employee onboarding and offboarding
The above examples of HR process automation are based on standard, easily configurable BeeOffice functions. At Raiffeisen, there was also a need to organize and digitalize further processes: employee onboarding and offboarding. As a standard, BeeOffice does not support onboarding and offboarding, however the set of available functions and the flexibility of their use allowed for quick adaptation of the tool to the company’s requirements.
Upon completion of the recruitment process, the employee onboarding process is initiated by an authorized manager, who fills in an application available in BeeOffice, specifying the name, position, organizational assignment and location, as well as the type of contract and the basic pay. This application is submitted to the HR team, which accepts or rejects it (e.g. requiring its correction or additional completion). The HR team also designates additional persons who are required to accept the application (e.g. in a situation where the agreed remuneration exceeds the planned budget).
After obtaining the required approvals, the HR team supplements the application with additional information, such as the new employee’s personnel number, and also determines the conditions in the workplace that are then used by the HR employee to issue a referral for occupational medicine examinations. The approval of the completed application results in setting up an account with BeeOffice, which is not active yet. At the same time, information about the new employee is transferred to the internal system used to assign authorizations.
After completing user registration in the internal systems, setting up a mailbox, assigning business phone numbers, the required data is transferred to BeeOffice and the account is completed. The next step is the activation of the employee’s account in BeeOffice. Then, the teams involved in the hiring of the new employee are notified about this fact. The OHS, administration, IT, HR, teams and the supervisor receive an appropriate email with information relevant to its recipient.
The offboarding process is also carried out on the appropriate managerial application form. The application is made by the HR department employee and it is a form of settlement of accounts between the leaving employee and the HR department, administration, manager. This form is not filled in by the leaving employee. He/she gets a different application, the so-called employee clearance form. Where possible, the employee settlement is made remotely (e.g. the accounting department confirms that the employee is not in arrears to the company).
Digitalization of HR processes
In a company with a dispersed structure, with branches in different locations, where apart from employees and an HR department there is also the third party – an external BPO provider, a coherent and flexible platform for information exchange and self-service activities seems a necessity.
BeeOffice is a flexible tool consisting of ready-to-implement modules supporting standard organization processes. The flexibility of the solution enables its development and adjustment to the specific processes of the customer, while maintaining the basic logic of the application (emphasis on self-service, system of acceptance and escalation of successive process steps).
The wide range of BeeOffice processes and the focus on good employee experience at every stage of using the tool have contributed to the success of this application at Raiffeisen.
The wide range of BeeOffice processes and the focus on good employee experience at every stage of using the tool have contributed to the success of this application at Raiffeisen
BeeOffice has become an HR center for employees, supervisors and the HR department. Employees quickly realized that they gained better access to information, and self-service in this case means – also for them – time savings and more efficient handling of requests (e.g. business trip accounting, issuing documents they asked for). Many processes are carried out in the background after pressing the “activate” button, and the interested party can always check at what stage (by whom) their application is currently being processed. The employee is somewhat relieved of remembering many things because they know that BeeOffice will remind them of the steps to take. All functionality is also available in the mobile application.
BeeOffice means shorter time spent on HR services, better organization of processes, a clear structure of acceptance, escalation and substitution, quick adaptation of the tool to organizational or legal changes. These are specific parameters that translate into real savings.
Raiffeisen Bank International AG (Joint Stock Company) Branch in Poland provides services related to the portfolio transferred from the activity of former Raiffeisen Bank Polska S.A. after the sale of its core banking activity to BGŻ BNP Paribas S.A., pursuant to the agreement concluded in November 2018. The value of the portfolio of Raiffeisen Bank International AG (Joint Stock Company) Branch in Poland amounts to approximately EUR 3.3 billion and includes mainly retail mortgage products in foreign currencies.