Onboarding new employees can be a time-consuming process, delaying the contributions they bring to the team. Enter Microsoft’s Power Automate. With the integration of other parts of the Office 365 suite, we can create a workflow that efficiently manages tasks like creating Office 365 accounts for recently hired employees on manager approval. This not only accelerates the onboarding process but also enhances collaboration, making the welcome experience for new team members more effective and enjoyable. Before beginning, its crucial to sure you have a complete understanding of your organization’s onboarding process.

Key Questions to Ask

  1. Who Approves Account Creation?: Determine who in the organization has the authority to approve the creation of new hires accounts.
  2. Who Can Request a New Account?: Identify who will be responsible for requesting a new account. This could be HR, a direct manager, or another designated individual.
  3. What Information is Required?: Decide what essential information needs to be captured in the Microsoft Forms for account creation and onboarding.
  4. How Will the Data Flow?: Consider how the data from the forms will flow into other systems and how it will trigger the automated tasks in Power Automate.
  5. What are the Security Protocols?: Assess the security measures needed to protect sensitive information collected during the onboarding process.
  6. How Will Exceptions Be Handled?: Plan for scenarios where the standard process doesn’t apply or where manual intervention might be necessary.
  7. What is the Follow-up Process?: Think about the steps following the initial onboarding, such as providing training resources or setting up introductory meetings.
  8. What other accounts need to be created? Do new users need accounts created in any other system besides Office 365? If so, make sure to add those steps to your workflow to prevent extra work being needed.

Options to Create the Form in O365

When it comes to initiating the automated onboarding process in O365, their are multiple solutions available. Each option offers unique features with varying degrees of ability to be tailored to fit specific organizational needs:

  1. Microsoft Forms: A straightforward and user-friendly option. Microsoft Forms allows for quick creation of forms, making it ideal for simple data collection tasks. If you have a form that needs to be extremely customized, this is NOT your best option.
  2. Power Apps: For a more customized experience, a canvas app through Power Apps is the go-to choice. It offers greater flexibility and the ability to create more complex and interactive forms. This is particularly useful for organizations with specific requirements that cannot be met by standard form templates.
  3. SharePoint List Submission: Integrating a SharePoint list as a front-end for user request submissions is another viable option. This approach is well-suited for organizations already heavily using SharePoint. It allows for easy tracking and management of requests within the familiar SharePoint environment. For this method, simply create a list on the chosen site and add columns to represent the questions. The user will click on “New” when they are starting a new request.

Each of these methods ensures a seamless start to the automated workflow in Power Automate, catering to different levels of complexity and customization needs. By choosing the most appropriate front-end solution, organizations can enhance the efficiency of their onboarding process while maintaining alignment with their existing IT infrastructure and workflows.

Outlining the Workflow

Creating an automated onboarding workflow with Power Automate begins by creating a new form to handle the user submission process. Craft a form for new user requests, then set up a flow in Power Automate by selecting ‘Automated cloud flow’ and triggering it when a new response is submitted through your form. The flow then captures all necessary response details, and includes a crucial step to fetch the manager’s profile using the ‘Get user profile (V2)’ action to approve the new user request.

The core of the workflow involves handling the approval process. Using the ‘Start and wait for an approval’ action, the manager can approve or reject new user requests. If approved, the workflow proceeds to create an Azure AD account, filling in details like the display name and assigning a manager. The form responder is then notified about the new account creation via email. In case of rejection, a different branch of the workflow triggers an email to the responder, informing them of the manager’s decision.

This efficient and structured approach ensures a streamlined and effective onboarding process, harnessing the power of automation to enhance operational efficiency.

Workflow Example

Take a look at the wofklow below for a glimpse into how an automated onboarding workflow might be structured. Keep in mind that this is just one of many possible configurations. The beauty of Power Automate is its flexibility; you can tailor your workflow to include third-party actions or adapt it in numerous ways to align with your organization’s needs. This example serves as a foundation, demonstrating the power and adaptability of automation in streamlining complex processes like onboarding.

Wrapping Up

In summary, the integration of Microsoft Power Automate with Forms, Power Apps, and SharePoint can revolutionize your organization’s onboarding process. By automating the creation of Office 365 accounts and other essential tasks, you not only expedite the process but also ensure a more seamless experience for new team members. This approach not only saves time but also reduces the potential for human error.

However, tailoring this solution to perfectly fit your organization’s unique processes and needs can be complex. This is where Kumo Partners steps in. Our expertise in Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics can help you ensure it aligns perfectly with your organizational workflow and security protocols. We understand that each organization has unique challenges and opportunities, and our goal is to provide a solution that addresses these specific needs.

Whether you need assistance in setting up an automated onboarding process, integrating various systems, or ensuring data security and compliance, our team at Kumo Partners is here to help. We specialize in streamlining business processes, integrating disconnected data, and implementing AI-driven workflows to enhance operational efficiency.

Don’t let the complexities of automation hold you back. Reach out to Kumo Partners for a tailored solution that maximizes the potential of Microsoft Power Automate in your organization. Together, we can make your onboarding process not just faster, but smarter. Contact us today to explore how we can transform your employee onboarding experience and drive greater efficiency in your organization.

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