Creating workflows within Sapling is arguably the core of our superpowers.
Workflows act as the foundation to create automated, consistent, and repeatable processes to free up your team’s time.
Workflows encompass all the tasks and stakeholders involved in any employee transition such as Onboarding, Offboarding, Relocation, Promotion, or other (E.g. maternity/paternity leave).
The following topics are covered in this article:
- What are Tasks and Workflows
- How to set up a new Workflow
- How to add a Task to a Workflow
- How to assign Workflows
- Tasks FAQ: Subtasks, Timelines & Tokens
1. What are Tasks and Workflows
A task is an action item assigned to an employee, a persona such as a manager, or a workspace encompassing a group of individuals.
A workflow is a collection of tasks and is the simplest way to group related tasks together to mass-assign tasks.
For inspiration on what types of Workflows could be most helpful for your team, check out our How to maximize Workflows for the entire Employee Lifecycle help article.
2. How to set up a new Workflow
To create a new workflow, navigate to Workflows from Administrative Tools. Here you'll be able to see all the workflows and tasks currently set up in your Sapling account.
Here, you'll see 5 tabs that categorize your Workflows depending on its general function: Onboarding, Offboarding, Relocation, Promotion, or Other.
To create a new Workflow, click on "New Workflow" from the upper right-hand menu of any of the 5 tabs.
Enter the name of your desired workflow and click "Create". Next click edit to edit any of your filters for ease of assignment.
3. How to add a Task to a Workflow
After creating a workflow, you can add Tasks that belong to that particular workflow.
From the task menu, you'll be able to customize the Title, Assignee, Due Date, Tokens, Description, Attachments, and any sub-tasks.
(*note: If you have Surveys enabled in your account, you can select to insert a survey into your workflow instead of a task).
Being able to "drip" tasks out to your team members without overwhelming them, take advantage of different assignment and due dates for your tasks within a workflow. Assignment and due dates can be based on concrete dates, relative dates, or Dependent Tasks.
Build better workflows leveraging Smart Tasks.
Building your program
You can plan out your sequence of tasks by sorting the tasks by task name, assignment date, due date, or assignee using the up/down arrows on each column.
Assign On and Due Date sort chronologically based on the following rules (ascending order; these are reversed for descending order):
- "on date" (immediate) tasks
- "before key date" tasks from greatest time period to smallest (e.g. 3 weeks, then 1 week, then 2 days, then 1 day)
- "on key date" tasks
- "after key date" tasks from smallest time period to greatest (e.g. 1 day, then 2 days, then 1 week, then 3 weeks)
- any other tasks
**Note: 'Dates' are based on Calendar days (that includes weekends too).
4. How to assign Workflows
Workflows can be assigned to your team when onboarding new hires, during internal transitions for existing team members, or when offboarding team members.
Onboarding New Hires
New Hire Onboarding through Sapling allows you to effectively coordinate your onboarding program with other stakeholders. During the onboarding process, you will be able to assign your workflows to the new hire on the "Assign Activities" section.
Internal Transitions (for Existing Team Members)
Sapling also supports People Operations teams to manage internal transitions for existing employees such as promotions, relocations, parental leave, or other unique cases. You can assign these types of 'Workflows' to any individual directly from the tasks page on their profile, or in bulk from the People Directory itself.
Offboarding Team Members
When you are Offboarding a member of your team, you will also be given the option to assign workflows during this process. you will be able to assign your workflows to the offboarding member on the "Assign Activities" section of the Offboarding process.
Sapling allows you to assign a workflow or task not only to existing team members and hires but also to their manager, buddy, coworker, or workspace.
5. Tasks FAQ: Task Comments, Sub-tasks, Timelines, and Tokens
What are 'Task Comments'?
Task Comments empower your team to ask questions, provide extra information, or offer insights on tasks at any point. You can add a comment to any task by using @mentions on the Comments section of the task. Team members get a notification when mentioned. Learn more about Task Comments here!
What are Sub-tasks?
Sapling provides the ability to break large tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces called Sub-tasks. These can be used to provide in-depth instructions by partitioning a Task into several action items. Learn more about Sub-tasks here!
What is relative dating?
Relative dating on tasks allows you to delay the assignment or due date of tasks to a future date.
Team members with pending tasks won't be able to see the tasks until they are assigned, but team members with View & Edit access of tasks will be able to see those that have not yet been assigned using the task status filter on a user's Tasks page. (i.e. Sapling Admins and Managers).
Please note that when creating a new task and choosing the assign retroactively option,
the newly added task will be assigned to every person who has ever been assigned that workflow and you can assign the task relative to the key date – ensuring your team gets notified of this task on a specific, relevant day.
What are Tokens?
Tokens are quick and easy shortcuts that add the pertinent information of each assignee within tasks and workflows. Learn more about Tokens here!
For example: if you want the task to say "Hi, [FIRST NAME OF HIRE] - we're so excited to have you on the team", you can insert the "First Name" token to customize that message.
Tokens can be used in tasks and work by extracting the field information of each assignee so that it can be auto-filled when the task is sent. This way you do not have to personalize basic information for each task, saving you time to focus on more important steps.
Tip: Any of the Profile fields created can be leveraged as a Token.
How can I remove/delete a task once assigned?
Workflows and tasks can be deleted individually on the 'Tasks' page.
Can I customize task permissions?
Task permissions are controlled in the Access Levels + Permission Levels. They can be:
- No Access - the Task page cannot be seen
- View Only - users can view and complete tasks
- View and Edit - users can view and complete tasks and assign workflows