Getting Started for Admins

Everything you need to know about Tasks and Workflows

How to drive a streamlined and consistent employee experience through tasks and workflows.

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.

These workflows encompass all the tasks and stakeholders involved in any employee transition. Workflows typically handle your to-do lists during processes like Onboarding, Offboarding, Relocation, Promotion, or something custom (for ex: maternity/paternity leave).

Defining Tasks vs. Workflows

A task is an action item assigned to either a specific persona (ex: “Manager”), a specific person (ex: Harry Potter), or a workspace (ex: the IT department, in which all IT members would have the ability to complete the task.).

A workflow is a collection of tasks, and is the simplest way to group related tasks together to mass-assign to a relevant employee.

As an example: let's say you have 2 office locations (San Francisco and Dubai), as well as a remote worker population around the globe - and you want to create multiple workflows to automate your onboarding process. Commonly, we’d see multiple onboarding workflow options to cover the different tasks that would be associated with each location: 

  1. New Hire Onboarding - Tasks for ALL new employees
  2. New Hire Onboarding - Tasks for SF Team 
  3. New Hire Onboarding - Tasks for Dubai Team 
  4. New Hire Onboarding - Tasks for Remote Teams

Each workflow only has the necessary tasks involved for its subset group. This way, when you assign one (or most commonly, multiple) workflows at a time, you instantly notify the appropriate task owners of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.

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 :) 

Setting up a workflow

Workflows are created by Admins or Super Admins from the Workflow menu.

To create a new Workflow, navigate to Workflow on the lefthand menu panel.

On the Workflow page, you will see two columns. Existing Workflows will populate on the lefthand column, and their corresponding tasks will appear in the righthand column.

To create a new Workflow, select "Add Workflow" from the upper righthand menu.

To create a new task within a Workflow, select the desired Workflow from the lefthand column. To add a Task to that Workflow, click "Add Task" from the upper righthand menu.

Adding a Task to a Workflow: Options Breakdown

When you add a new Task to a Workflow, the Task option menu consists of: 

Title = the name of the task. For example: "Review the Employee Handbook"

Description = what the task is about. For example: "Please read the handbook and let your manager know if you have questions" 

Attachments = any media you'd like to attach. For example: PDFs, Word Docs, videos etc.

Assignee = who you'd like to complete the task. Below are your options for assignees: 

  1. Existing Team Members: search by name to find the right individual
  2. Hire: the team member you are assigning the workflow to
  3. Buddy: the buddy of the team member
  4. Manager: the manager of the team member
  5. Workspace: a workspace that you set-up in your Sapling account  
  6. Coworker: assign a task to any coworker based on their role. To do this, you will first want to head to the Profile Setup and create a new coworker field

Due Date = the date the task needs be completed by in relation to the day the workflow is assigned (or, specifically for Onboarding workflows, the date the new hire starts).

Timeline = a way to schedule tasks to be assigned to team members at a future date. For example: let's say you create a 30-60-90 day review Workflow, where on day 30 the new hire must complete a survey about their onboarding experience. To alert them about this task on Day 30 (and not before), you can select "Assign Later" and pick the number of days before the Task due date you'd like them to be notified. *note: 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 (i.e. Sapling Admins and managers).

Subtasks = a way to break later tasks into smaller, more manageable, pieces called sub-tasks. For example: if the task is "Set up all Sales Tools", the sub-task could be a list of all the tools they need.

Tokens = a way to customize tasks by inserting relevant profile field information. For example: if you want the task to say "Thank you, FIRST NAME", you can insert the "First Name" token (see GIF below) 

How to assign a Workflow

Workflows can be assigned to your team in three different ways:

  • Onboarding New Hires
  • Internal Transitions (for Existing Team Members)
  • Offboarding Team Members

1. Onboarding New Hires

New Hire Onboarding is a five-step process that 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 during Step 3 (in the "Assign Activities" section).

2. Internal Transitions (for Existing Team Members)

Sapling also supports HR teams to manage internal transitions for existing employees (such as promotions, relocations, parental leave, etc).

You can allocate these types of Workflows to any individual directly from the tasks page on their profile.

3. 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 given this option during Step #3 ("Assign Activities") of the Offboarding process.

What happens after a workflow is assigned? 

Once assigned, all task owners will be notified of their task list via email (you can edit what this notification looks like in your Email Templates).

Additionally - Sapling enables team members to communicate on existing tasks with @mentions. Sapling's Task Comments empower your team to ask questions, provide extra information, or offer insights on tasks​ at any point.

Task Commenting FAQ

1. Who can comment on the Tasks?

Anyone with access to a task can add and see comments related to that task. Here are some examples:

Example #1: Managers that can see the tasks that need to be done for their new hire can also see and add comments to that task. As this task is to be done for the new hire, the new hire would not be able to see or add comments to the task.

Example #2, Team Members (such as new hires) that have tasks to complete for themselves would be able to see and add comments to that task.

Example #3, Admins have access to all tasks in the platform, so would be able to see and comment to all tasks.

2. What happens when I @mention someone on the Task?

The @mentions features allows your team to notify certain people about the task comment.

People who are @mentioned will get an email letting them know that a comment has been added to the task.

@mentioning a user who does not have permission to view the task will not grant them permission to view the task.

3. What happens if I @mention someone before their start date?

If you @mention a new hire on a task before their start date, the task comment notification will be sent to their personal email address.

This allows your team to communicate about workflows with the new hire, even before they have access to their company email.

Still no luck? We are here to help!

People Operations can be complex - contact our customer success team to get in touch with you.

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