There’s so much discussion on human resources and process mapping lately. What do we need to know about them? What’s the deal? Why do we need to talk about these topics?
When you are in the corporate world, you need things to be put into order. You need organisation. You need your Human Resources group to be on top of this. When you enter a company, they are the first division that you meet.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get down to the basics first and understand all these definitions.
What is a Human Resource? The Human Resource is a person or a group within an organisation who is/are responsible for hiring people for the positions in the company.
Other than that, Human Resources also deal with but not limited to administrative concerns, compensation, performance measure, and employee training. You see, they do have a lot of functions within the organisation.
It’s not just about hiring people for the job – they do an assortment of tasks other than that as well. Their function is very essential as it’s important to fill in the vacancies and they also look out for the current employees’ welfare.
We go to the next term, what is process mapping? We begin by identifying what a process is first - a process is composed of the steps undertaken to accomplish an activity. There is a start and a finish, an input resulting to an output.
A process map is an activity where the steps of the process are identified and represented in a diagram form. In the process map, the direction of documents, information, and materials can be seen.
If there are several tasks involved in the process – it is identified as well. And from the definition of a process, you can see in the mapping how the input is transformed into an output. And if a decision is necessary along the process, it is represented in the diagram also.
With the graphic representation, we can also see the relationships of the steps within the process mapping. It’s easier to check which step is dependent on the other and so. There are several ways to do process mapping – good old-fashioned drawings.
However, keeping up with technology – there are several softwares available that we can use to make our life easier. After all, generally there are common shapes used for the diagrams (activity, connectors, external activity, external deliverable, decision, deliverable, off-page connectors, start/end deliverable).
Just to give you an idea, here are the brief descriptions for each of them:
Activity – Describes the task. Described in verb form.
Connectors – Arrows that connect the shapes in the map. The direction of the arrow indicates also the flow of the process.
External activity – Activity done outside the organisation but nonetheless must be indicated in the process flow.
External deliverable – Output or result on an activity that is not part of the overall process. It can be produced outside the organisation.
Decision – Activity where there is a choice. It is described in a question.
Deliverable – Result of the process, the output.
Off-page connectors – Indicates flow is continued to another page.
Start/end deliverable – Shapes that signify the start and end of the process
Along with this, Noun-Verb Process Mapping Method is used. These are a set of rules to govern the process mapping:
These concepts behind process mapping may seem a lot at this point but don’t worry – they are easy to remember and you’ll get the hang of it no time. Actually, they are simple enough to use and make the process easier to understand.
Going back, how can we relate Human Resources and Process Mapping? As said earlier, Human Resources have a lot of functions in the organisation – meaning they have a lot of processes to deal with.
Why is process mapping important to Human Resources?
Identify work responsibilities – With a process map in place for the tasks, it’s easier for Human Resources to identify work responsibilities. The task of each person is clearly defined making accountability easier to trace.
Easier job turnover – People come, some people go. People move to other tasks and another will take over. Changing roles is inevitable. With an established process map, the transfer of knowledge and activities can be facilitated better.
The process map indicates how the task is performed so job turnover is done more efficiently. Human resource doesn’t have to train people from scratch because of the process map.
Standardised process – Even with the same desired output, people may have different ways of accomplishing the task. And this is not really ideal when you want the job to be consistent.
You want to get the same results within the same parameters. Process mapping enables HR to standardise the tasks.
Measurement of performance – A process map enables Human Resource to know if they are getting the desired results. Because of the clear definitions, the output can be measured. There is a basis for measurement.
Compliance – There are work standards in place such as ISO and process maps are great ways to check if the organisation is being compliant. Process maps are excellent resources for audits.
Manage Risks – Vulnerabilities and chances of risk can be checked from a process map. This way Human Resources can train people to be pro-active because of the risks that may happen.
Process improvement – The nature of a particular activity may change through time. Some tasks have to evolve due to the changes in the organisation or even due to external factors. Some tasks need to be improved as well.
The beauty of process maps, you can tweak them to adapt with the current situation. There’s no need to redo the process mapping when the existing map can be modified.
In this article, we hope we gave you a better picture of how process mapping plays an important role in the organisation. Process mapping has been proving its usefulness to Human Resources. It’s an excellent tool to help this division put into order the tasks they are responsible of in the business.