How To Use Business Process Automation to Automate a Workflow

Today you’ll learn what the typical process of automating a workflow looks like and brief intro into what business process automation is.

So, what exactly is Business Process Automation?

"Business process automation is the use of technology to automate manual, repetitive tasks so that employees can focus on critical tasks. Automating business processes minimizes costs, increases efficiency, and streamlines processes from simple to complex." - Kissflow

Before automating a process, it's key to ask yourself:

Is my workflow systematized? Do I have “SOPs” (standard operating procedures)/documentation in place? No? 


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Always have documentation (you can use a Loom video, Scribe, or written documentation using Notion or Google Docs before you automate a process).

Below is an example workflow of a new employee onboarding automation which we’ll be covering.​

New employee onboarding workflow

Employee Onboarding: How this automation works

1. [TRIGGER] When all three forms/surveys are submitted in Airtable.

2. [ACTION] Send onboarding welcome emails one day before their start date.

3. [ACTION] Create a folder in Dropbox and upload the employee’s paperwork.

4. [ACTION] Inform team members that the task has been completed.

Next, use the 5WH1 method and ask the following questions five questions:

1. What data and software are required to complete the task?

Software: Airtable, MixMax, Dropbox, and Slack

Data: Paperwork from HR, IT credentials, and Finance. Plus, data required by our software:

  • MixMax: The employee’s starting date (since we’re sending the email a day before).
  • Dropbox: Naming conventions for each folder and how they’re structured
  • Slack: What channels require a notification? What data should it include?

2. Where does the task occur? Does it require human intervention?

Yes, It involves three employees. Before the new employee is onboarded, the 3 employees from IT, HR, and Finance must submit paperwork via an Airtable form.

3. How is this task performed?

Employees Dylan, Jerrold, and Jasmine submit the required paperwork via an Airtable form.

Airtable automation is set up (I’ll spare you the details) and “tells” Zapier to start the automation.

4. Who is responsible for completing the task? A team member? Customer?

Three employees from the following departments: Finance, IT, and HR

5. Why should this task be automated?

  • Time-consuming process,
  • prone to errors,
  • involving various repetitive tasks,
  • Resulting in a poor onboarding experience.

NOTE: unless you’re running a business with many employees, it will not require as much work. But it’ll help you understand all the different moving parts involved.

​I hope this was helpful to you.

If you still need to build your first Zap, here is a cheat sheet to help you get started!

📌 ​Click here to duplicate the Notion template

For the folks unfamiliar with this incredible scene from Seinfeld!