Unique Features of Workflow in SuccessFactors Employee Central

By: | Poorna Chandra Murthy Akurathi

Publish Date: June 22, 2017

Workflows in Employee Central play a vital role in any business process of an Organization. Workflow defines an authorization from all approval parties to go ahead with the changes requested/happened in employee/organizational Data. SuccessFactors Employee Central provides a robust framework for working with workflows and managing them in an easy-to-use user interface (UI).
SuccessFactors Employee Central enables you to add workflows when important personal information changes are made for an employee, such as first name/last name or dependents’ information.

There are standard workflows defined by SuccessFactors for approvals or notification in Employee & Organizational Data. Workflow triggers when there is any change of values in following portlets

  1. Personal Information
  2. Job Information
  3. Compensation Information
  4. Address
  5. National ID
  6. Employment Details

Workflows can be triggered in two ways

  1. Change of field values in any portlet through “Take Action”-> Job and Compensation Information

    Change of field values without “Event” and “Event Reason”
  2. Changes of field values through Event & Event Reason for Job and Compensation Information. It can be processed through “Take Action”-> Job and Compensation Information-> Event (Position Change) -> Event Reason (Position Status Change)

    Change of field values with “Event” and “Event Reason.”

The majority of organizations prefer the second method of workflow trigger which is based on event occurrence.The settings in provisioning allow the administrator to decide on the method for portlet changes.
A user can access workflow in four different ways in Employee Central like a) e-mail notifications, b) “To Do” Tile on home page c) Pending request from public profile and d) Mobile application
These workflows are related to Data Change, Time Off, Spot Awards, Compensation change etc.
The main advantage for the approver is that user can approve multiple workflow requests at the same time.
However, there is also a Limitation where the user cannot reject multiple workflows at a time. He must open each workflow request and reject/decline/sent back accordingly.

How to approve a Workflow – Three Ways

  1. Approve Single Workflow – User can select a workflow of an employee and approve it independently.
  2. Access Workflow details using the link in the workflow name – User can click on Workflow name and get the details of changes made to the Employee Data. The user now able to Approve/Decline or Delegate the workflow.

    Here, Approver can see new value with previous values (stroke out) and details of Workflow Participants on the right-hand side.
    So, Approver can add any documented proof, provide his/her comments and Approve, Send Back, Update or Delegate the workflow for further process.
    Delegate – Delegate is the new functionality provided in Employee Central where approver can delete the workflow for approval to any other user. The Delegated Approver (NEW Approver) will be notified by E-mail, and it gets displayed under To Do on New Approver (Delegated) for further action.

  3. Mass Approval of Workflows A User can do multiple approvals at the same time. This is a unique feature of Employee Central. The user needs to click on Go to Workflow Request at the bottom of workflow screen and click on Go to Workflow Requests – User will have an option to Select multiple employees and Approve at the same time.

    SuccessFactors also allows sort and filter feature during mass approval of workflows.
    Limitation – please note that user cannot reject multiple workflows at the same time. The user must open each workflow details and Send back/Decline the workflow with comments if any.

Important features of the workflow are:

  • An approval process can be defined for each customer defined event
  • An approval process can have more than one approval steps, and it triggers to next step only when it approved
  • Each approval level can be defined in detail with approver and approver may be a group (dynamic), role (dynamic), Manager, etc.
  • Initiator or Administrator with permissions can make adjustment to an approval process in progress through Admin Center->Manage Workflow Requests

How to Create a New Workflow

SuccessFactors Employee Central workflow is fully configurable, and it routes the approval process to desired employee or group of employees.
The following section describes in detail on how to create a workflow in SuccessFactors for data change.
New workflow can be set up through Admin Center->Employee Files-> Manage Organization, Pay and Job Structure and create New
Each field in above workflow screen defines certain value to be entered. Some of the important field structure which are valuable for any workflow are described below.

  • Is Delegate Supported? – This defines a facility to an approver to delegate the authorization to approve/reject this workflow. If YES, it provides delegate option.
  • Alternate Workflow – This alternative workflow can be used for future dated records, and it allows to route only those transactions that may need exception handling and using Edit without Route Change, make necessary adjustments to the transactions. If there is no future-dated records or this has an invalid value, the main workflow is used
  • Redirect CC Users to Workflow Approval Page – this enable CC users to act as approver and it redirects to workflow approval page.
  • Approver Type – It may be any role, Dynamic Role, Dynamic Group, Position, Position Relationship
  • Edit Transaction – It defines whether workflow approver can modify the submitted workflow. Options are
    • No Edit – The approver cannot Edit and already provided workflow (Standard Option)
    • Edit with Route Change – The approver can modify an already proposed workflow. The edited workflow will then go through the approval process from the beginning
    • Edit without Route Change – The approver can edit an already submitted workflow. The edited workflow will then continue with the next step approver
    • Edit Attachment Only – The approver can edit/upload/delete attachments only
  • Context – This defines Target or Source Manager as per manager change (For Ex., Transfer)
    • Source(the initial manager)
    • Target (the new manager)
  • No Approver Behaviour – Defines how the system reacts when there is an empty position or dynamic group
    • Stop the Workflow – Workflow step is considered as Mandatory Step
    • Skip this Step – Workflow step is skipped. This is the default system behavior
  • Respect Permission – This is an RBP check for the approver. An approver can see and maintain content where access is granted. Approvers can now be restricted to see and edit only fields in which they have permissions.

Approver Types required for creating workflow

Approval Chain (Steps) can be combination of different roles defined in RBP and groups in Manage Workflow Groups

  • Role -Role can be either standard or custom role as per customer requirement. For Ex., Employee, Employee Manager, Employee HR, Employee 2nd Level Manager. While creating workflows, there are two types of permissions can be given.
    • Initiator – This can be defined where approval chain depends on Initiator. For Ex., Initiator Manager etc.
    • Employee– The approval chain can be defined based on Employee
  • Dynamic Role – approver is determined based on data of the employee for which workflow is triggered
  • Dynamic Group: group of users
  • Position: a particular position defined in Position Management

Workflows can also contain a CONTRIBUTOR and/or CC Role- These roles receive alerts/notifications

  • Contributor can be – A Role, Dynamic Role, Dynamic Group, Position or given Person
  • CC Role can be – Dynamic Role, Dynamic Group, Position or Given Person or an External Mail

The best ways to maintain workflow created are:

  • Limit workflows to not more than three approver steps
  • Use Mobile and encourage everyone to use valuable tool to ensure timely approvals
  • Never SET “Edit with Route Change” for the first step in approval or it will resend the approval to the same person
  • Always assign an Administrator to monitor and audit Admin Alerts to ensure follow-up on Stalled Workflows
  • Always leverage Auto Delegate and train managers on the use of this feature to avoid bottlenecks of approval when possible

In the SuccessFactors Employee Central system, a workflow is a sequence of connected steps that allows approval by or notification to individuals of changes to data within the system. It enables specific data changes to an approval process involving one or more individuals, either as approvers, contributors, or recipients of the workflow activity. Workflows are typically used in transactions (such as employee hires, promotions, organizational reassignments, or terminations) or when changing data in Manager Self-Service (MSS) and Employee Self-Service (ESS) scenarios. Employee Central’s streamlined workflow-building process allows companies to save time and money.
Poorna Chandra Murthy Akurathi, Principal Consultant – Pre-sales & Delivery – SAP HCM/ SuccessFactors – YASH Technologies
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