Take Control: Using a Workflow Management System
Take Control: Using a Workflow Management System
Lina Yakunina
Product Marketing Manager
/ Last updated:
May 17, 2022
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When researching whether your company needs a workflow management system, first ask yourself: How much time is spent on menial tasks that could be automated? How many times do you ask your team the same questions throughout the day? Do you find yourself fixing errors instead of working productively on current tasks? In identifying common trends, you may find your team needs a better workflow management system. 

Workflow entails a sequence of steps that move a piece of work from initiation through completion. Workflow management takes a holistic view of the process as a repeatable system that can be systematically organized with procedural rules, and continually seeks to improve upon it, often using integration and automation. Today, valuable software is available to help companies build a successful workflow management system. This piece outlines the basics of workflow management and how Gmelius, a communication and collaboration tool for Gmail, can assist.

What is a Workflow Management System?

A workflow management system is a structured plan for managing a stream of tasks; it can help build an organized system that ensures productivity. Proper workflow management identifies gaps in processes and other opportunities for improvement to maintain a reliable, effective, and systematic workflow. 

Throughout the day, teams encounter obstacles that set productive work back. These obstacles include performing necessary, but redundant tasks, or fixing mistakes that resulted from a lack of communication. When formulating a solution, managers must identify the roadblocks, as well as the reasons behind them. Mistakes certainly do happen, but a pattern of miscommunication indicates something is missing—or something else is blocking your path.

Setting a concrete system in place to ensure workflow stays on track daily is critical for helping your team bypass the barriers to productivity. Uncertain about how to implement a workflow system? Here’s an example of one such system for employee onboarding: 

Recruiting officer sends the new employee a welcome email along with the employee handbook. (This email can be a template, pre-formulated and automated to send upon acceptance of an offer.)

Introduce the employee to the team and set up introductory Zoom calls. Present outline of what the first week of employment will entail as well as a formal schedule.

Provide the employee with all necessary training documents and videos. (Documents should be organized into a shareable file for easy navigation.) Encourage questions and feedback in the training process to identify potential holes in the learning process.

Invite the employee to all relevant meetings and company activities. Schedule an end-of-week check-in call to ensure all documentation has been completed.

Begin assigning initial first tasks. Schedule a follow-up meeting to check in on the progress and encourage questions and feedback. (A recurring meeting can be automated to ensure check-in is completed.)

This overview of standard onboarding for a new hire includes examples of how to cut corners in the process. For example, automating email follow-ups using templates reduces the time it takes to draft a new message each time. In addition, variables can be used to personalize the email and ensure the new employee receives a warm welcome, and meetings can be scheduled to repeat. Forgetting to check in on a new hire can make an employee feel lost while trying to navigate a new role. 

Build a Workflow Management System with Gmelius 

Optimizing a current workflow system relies on automation and integration. Automation entails setting rule-based logic to streamline tasks that require human execution. Integration expands a current system to improve functionality. Gmelius resolves common workflow challenges by combining automation and integration into one seamless platform. With Gmelius, teams can access an array of workflow management tools—in addition to workflow automation rules—to streamline tasks, improve communication, and increase collaboration opportunities to reduce “busy-ness” and get to the work that matters.

Create Positive Customer Support Experiences

Customer service is a prime example of a system that could become severely flawed without a proper workflow system in place. A poor customer service experience could potentially define a business. Today’s digital world allows reviewers to post comments online instantaneously for potential customers to see. And many consumers rely on reading reviews before investing in a company’s product. However, if a company focuses on developing positive customer support experiences from the start, consumers are more likely to return and relay their positive experience to others. 

Most positive customer interactions begin with email. That’s where Gmelius can help. As a platform designed specifically to improve team collaboration and communication through Gmail, Gmelius recognizes that positive customer support interactions can be simplified using a robust workflow management system.

A company often employs multiple inboxes to manage departments, such as support@[company name].com or sales@[company name].com. A shared inbox populates all of those email addresses to one location for everyone on a team to manage. A standard shared inbox may make it difficult to determine who has replied to which email. As a result, duplicate responses can occur, or worse: failure to respond at all. 

Gmelius reduces the risk of a shared inbox solution with collaborative features that allow team members to assign and delegate emails and set automation rules to expedite everyday menial tasks. 

Here is an illustrated example of how to use Gmelius to take control of a customer support inbox using simple automation rules to save time and improve company response times. 

Support shared inbox workflow management diagram.

If a company receives an email containing the word “support” in the subject, an automation rule could assign that email to a specific employee. In this example, the support email would go to Trent. An email originating from a specific address can be automatically assigned to Paula, who perhaps manages that account. Paula can then tag it as a priority email to ensure it receives a timely response. Furthermore, if an email has not received a response within 12 hours, it can be sent to “pending” and tagged for follow-up. Utilizing automation in daily workflows saves the entire team up hours per week, and decreases the time to resolve a request.

Accelerate Customer Support Resolutions

Gmelius workflow management example for customer support.

Automation rules can help prevent service level agreement (SLA) breaches. Automating notifications ensures teams are notified if an email has not received a reply, in which case a tag appears notifying members of potential SLA breaches. Other automation rules can prevent breaches from occurring by assigning an email to a team member. If not addressed after 5 hours, a label with an SLA warning automatically appears, and then notifies team members in Slack-–an instant messaging tool. 

Gmelius’ workflow management process ensures that teams receive important notifications at every touchpoint. In a world where asynchronous communication dominates the workforce, setting up a system that warns teams of lagging response times is both realistic and practical. The process meets demands consistently without interrupting other critical responsibilities. 

Balance Workloads 

Gmelius workload balancing example.

Ensuring every team member is assigned a reasonable workload is critical when developing a successful workflow management system. Employee burnout is on the rise, especially for remote workers that operate at various times of the day. In fact, 70% of workers who transitioned to remote operations due to the safety risks of the global pandemic now work weekends. In addition, 45% reported working more hours during the week than they did prior to the pandemic.

While flexible working hours play a part in this statistic, an overflow of tasks contributes to longer working hours and prevents employees from “unplugging” from a typical workday. Gmelius helps teams distribute workload evenly by setting rules to assign emails to any teammate with the least amount of open conversations. This increases response times and results in more resolved emails. 

Building an effective workflow management system sets teams up for success and builds better solutions in the long run. Implementing these processes will continue to increase productivity and improve operations for good—for everyone. 

When considering a workflow management system for your company, consider Gmelius. Check out our features and integrations and learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!

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