In the modern business arena, speed and agility are two of the most important tenants of any successful business. As the saying goes, "time is money" and as companies grow larger, diversify headcount and build more intricate organizational structures, more and more time and manpower is required for administration and processes.
One key time-sink that you may not be aware of is the approval process.
Seems like a simple enough process on the surface, in any organization with a hierarchy, you need an infrastructure to process approvals, whether it be something simple like employee leave, vendor payments or something far more complex like contract signing and the like, if you stop and think for a second about the sheer amount of approvals that managers in organizations big and small need to take responsibility for, it will seem quite staggering.
These approvals cannot be one and done either, you need systems to keep track of these activities, have a place to keep records securely and be able to perform analysis on requests to better understand the ebb and flow of your business.
In the past this process was highly manual, requiring entire departments and a specialized workforce that solely focused on the task of ensuring such administrative matters, not to mention mountains of paperwork and ever more complex physical filing structures.
As companies grew larger, the inefficiencies and man-hours required by these processes only increased, hurting the bottom line and stifling innovation.
The Modern Age
Fast forward to the modern age and connected, digital technologies have eliminated some but not all of these issues. The approval process may not require specialized manpower anymore but instead, specialized online systems, often siloed from the regular workplace communication and collaboration software stack. These systems have to be maintained, updated and managed by specialized staff and for new joiners, onboarding training will have to be provided.
In many ways, these systems are very much 5 steps forward, 2 steps back.
What most companies need is a system for approvals built to be mobile-first that integrates directly into existing company chat, directed straight at the approving officer and offering him or her with a simple one-click yes or no option. This system should also be perfectly transparent, allowing management to quickly look up any approvals for overview or audit.
For most businesses, especially SME's that need to maximize manpower and minimize wastage of resources while at the same time having full process oversight for quick decisioning, such a system becomes essential.
What is Lark Approval
Well, if you come onboard Lark's award-winning do-everything team collaboration and communication suite, you will find just that.
In a nutshell, Lark Approval is a feature provided to all Lark users that lets you create simple-yet-powerful approval processes for any event. Be it HR matters like leave and manpower allocation to payment and finances and beyond. Best of all, the system is completely modular so you can customize the process to best fit the unique needs of your business.
Built straight into Larksuite, Lark Approval does not require any new software, licenses or special installation. It is seamlessly integrated into the Lark chat interface you know and love and like the rest of the Lark experience, works as well on your mobile device as it does on your PC.
Creating your own Approval process is a simple process that can be done in a matter of minutes. To get you started, here's a simple step-by-step guide.
In your Larksuite interface, click on the Approval app in the left bar.
Click Admin Console in the top-right corner.
Creating Approval Groups
In the Admin Console, you can group and sort approvals. These changes will take effect on the approval requests page of the corresponding employee.
Click Create Group and set the approval type of the group, such as administration, HR, or finance. Click Sort to drag different groups to change their order. The groups and order here will correspond to employees' Approval app interface.
This allows you to better organize your approval structure to
Your organization's reporting lines and to give department managers more focused oversight into single teams.
Create an approval
Click Create to create a custom approval or use an approval template. (We currently provide various templates covering common approval scenarios.)
To create an approval, all you have to do is populate the required fields.
Step 1: Basic Information
Enter the approval name, description, and set the approval group and visibility. You can also add frequently used approvals to Workplace here.
Step 2: Form Design
Select and Drag the controls you need to the mobile display layout to add and set controls. The form designed here will actually be used by employees.
You can also select components. We provide four default components: leave, overtime, business trip, and remote. Components associated with the Attendance app. When employees use leave, overtime, business trip, or remote approvals, the information will be automatically recorded in the employee's attendance record.
Click here for more information about form design
Step 3: Process Design
In process design, you can set the content of each approval node, including the approvers, approval methods, readable and editable fields, and whether transfer or additional approvers are allowed.
You can design more complicated approval processes by adding additional approvers to create multiple nodes and adding branches to configure different approval processes for different situations.
Click here for more information about process design
Step 4: More settings
Set the revoke and transfer rules of approval:
Revoke setting: Whether to allow employees to revoke approval requests within a set period of time. Click here for more information about How to revoke approvals?
Forward setting: Whether to restrict approval transfer to only employees relevant to the approval. Click here for more information about How to set a sending range?
After completing the above 4 steps, click Preview in the upper-right corner to view the full process. Finally, click Publish in the upper-right corner to complete creation.
On the Data Management page, you can conveniently view and export approval records, as well as filter the records by title, status, time, and key words.
Leave, Attendance & Overtime Management
Employees can open the Approval app on their left bar. On the Submit Request page, they can select an approval, enter the required information, and submit to initiate an approval. Then the corresponding approvers will receive an approval notification in Lark.
In addition, on the Approval page, you can view submitted approval requests and track the approval progress.
There you have it, a step-by-step look at building the ultimate approval process for your business. Now this only scratches the surface of what our powerful approval tool can do, if you are interested in more advanced features including: smarter request forms, flexible procedures, on-boarding and training services click here.
Lark Approval is just one of thousands of powerful, free apps available in Lark Workplace. From integrations with the likes of Asana and Jira to customizable bots and more, Lark has the ability to redefine your workspace, allowing you to create an experience wholly unique to your business.
To get started on Lark, click here!