Businesses are rarely set in stone. While there will always be those loyal "lifers" that choose to stick around for their entire professional careers, there are always going to be employees joining, moving and leaving your company. It's how businesses grow, change, evolve and thrive.
But when it comes to the actual process of helping people to join, move and leave with minimal disruption, there is still some confusion as to how JML can work for you, rather than against you, particularly given the recent rise in remote working.
JML stands for joining, moving and leaving, and simply refers to employees who are joining your business, moving to another area of your business (either through a promotion or a change of department) and eventually leaving your business. The JML process, meanwhile, relates to how this movement of individuals actually occurs. The Americans typically refer to it as "onboarding and offboarding" but this description removes a lot of the nuance involved.
For the most part, it's a process undertaken by the IT team and human resources - as turnover of staff is something that requires experience in infrastructure and human handling. But it's something that all business owners should be fluent in if they hope to keep their companies running butter-smooth in an era of notorious instability.
The more convoluted and unrefined your JML process, the more time and money you'll waste turning over staff. This means it's a process that should be regularly audited to ensure it runs without a hitch. But what exactly needs to be considered when reviewing the JML process? First and foremost, you'll need to evaluate the three stages individually:
The process of a joiner entering the company has arguably changed for many businesses in the wake of the pandemic. In the past, the process of setting up a joiner was as simple as creating a user account, then sitting them down at a fully provisioned and configured office computer; within minutes they were able to get on with their work, with IT support just a few rooms away if the needed it. But today, they'll almost certainly be working remotely to some extent. For joiners, this means providing a device that is ready to go out-of-the-box, with minimal instruction needed from IT managers.
Internal changes might require less obvious effort than for joiners or leavers but there are a lot of cogs in a business that need to work together in order to keep things moving. This means every part of the business needs to know when an internal role change takes place - from payroll and HR to IT. There might also be different access protocols to consider or extra licences that need to be either activated or revoked. Equally, the hardware required may vary between roles, and so devices might need to be re-allocated accordingly.
Organising leavers is arguably the most difficult part of the process. The most important thing is to ensure the former employee no longer has access to internal systems, which is particularly important if they're working remotely. Getting this part of the process wrong can leave your company open to all kinds of security threats and business fines. Not only that but, if devices are not properly tracked throughout the JML process, it can lead to devices accumulating with former employees. Collection is a vital part of the process that ensures maximum ROI by refreshing and reusing machines.
The most vital thing to get right beside the software and the hardware itself (more on that later) is the communication between your teams. Everyone needs to be fully aware of who is coming into the business, leaving the business and moving around the business at all times.
Communication breakdowns are what lead to individuals or even entire teams making changes on the wrong systems, and working with the wrong people, at the wrong time, and in the wrong place. Besides creating a lasting resentment between the various departments involved, it can also leave prospective and existing employees feeling lost or frustrated, since they're unable to work on what they need to.
For IT departments, meanwhile, their job is largely to do with mastering the data and working to automate the process as much as possible. Because once a process has been automated, there's far less chance of errors and issues cropping up. Not to mention that it frees up time and resources. This requires thorough database management though and regular audits to ensure any potential gaps in the database are plugged, as and when they occur.
Of course, in the years following the pandemic, remote working has become a more commonplace solution for thousands of businesses, and that brings with it some unique challenges for the JML process.
The chief problem is that many processes are simply too manual with too many potential points of failure. The solution here is to automate as many processes as possible to keep things moving consistently and reliably.
There's also the fact that there are so many potential hardware and software configurations to work around. For example, what if the new employee needs to use a particular software for graphic design? Will they have the appropriate licensing and access? Would a standardised Windows-based device meet the minimum hardware requirements? Or would they perhaps require a Mac instead?
Security is another serious issue, particularly when it comes to logistics. The problems faced with forward logistics (getting new devices out to new hires) aren't too difficult to overcome but there could be a major problem with reverse logistics (the return of devices for employees either leaving or moving). Once again, the key here is to utilise automated systems that track and streamline the process to keep it moving constantly, with full visibility along the way.
Automation is finding its way into dozens of sectors as remote work and AI becomes more of a rule than an exception. When it comes to the JML process, automation is most effective when using bespoke portals and API integration. These allow every element of the process to be monitored and managed remotely so that joiners can get up and running quickly.
Even with the most comprehensive and thoroughly documented API, however, there is still the issue of inventory management and device resetting and reuse to take into account. This is, after all, a decidedly manual process that becomes more complicated at scale.
In this instance, the ideal solution lies in the use of a service provider who is more than sufficiently equipped to handle these resource hungry elements, in order to completely minimise the impact of JML on business workflow.
Years before the pandemic, Novatech was at the frontier of remote JML management. What began as a small-scale project for a handful of SMEs developed into the Direct 2 Desk service (D2D) that we provide today. Comprehensive and fully automated, D2D delivers a seamless JML experience at any scale.
It's an efficient, sustainable, scalable and completely zero touch process that manages the physical logistics (where and when to send out and collect devices), as well as all the infrastructure behind the scenes. This is all possible thanks to our completely configurable and flexible self-service portals, API integration, and rapid redeployment capabilities.
With our reuse first approach, we arrange the automatic collection of devices from former employees for you, professionally and securely refurbishing them ready for rapid redeployment, providing you with a flawless and sustainable asset lifecycle that ensures maximum ROI and minimal fuss.
And regardless of the size of the company or the scale of the task, Novatech strives to offer a completely tailored, personal and reliable service with unmatched hardware, advice and support.
For more information on Direct 2 Desk, fill out the form below to get in touch with one of our friendly account managers. You can also learn about the service through our in-depth blogs which cover our easy to deploy portals, custom API, and sustainable practices.
Posted in Business
Published on 08 Jul 2022
Last updated on 08 Jul 2022