Interview: Saikiran Murali, Founder and mentor at Workline

Saikiran Murali

An exclusive interview with Saikiran Murali, Founder and mentor at Workline, a revolutionary HRMS (Human Resource Management System)

Welcome to an exclusive interview with Saikiran Murali, the visionary Founder and Mentor at Workline. With a passion for transforming organizations, Saikiran has been instrumental in the development of Workline, a revolutionary Human Resource Management System (HRMS) that goes beyond conventional approaches.

His innovative strategies and commitment to streamlining HR processes have not only positioned Workline as a cutting-edge solution but have also empowered organizations to enhance employee engagement.

In this interview, we delve into the journey of Workline, Saikiran’s insights into the evolving landscape of HR technology, and the impact his leadership has had on shaping the future of human resource management.

Can you provide an overview of Workline and what inspired you to create this HRMS platform?

Saikiran Murali: At Workline, we started with a singular motive: “making it easy for all humans at work.” Since then, our incredible journey has led us to onboard over 100 customers, including 37 NBFCs and large banks, and we continue to grow.

But what exactly is Workline? In technical and layman’s terms, people call us an HRMS. However, our depth of work extends far beyond that – we are puzzle solvers dedicated to addressing every workspace problem and providing solutions.

We are not just a HRMS

Workline is not just a conventional HR management system; we provide a comprehensive workspace solution. We have transitioned into a work tech platform where our mission, vision, and purpose align harmoniously:

“Solving every puzzle within every workspace for every individual, globally.”

 We have already made significant progress towards this goal, successfully resolving work-related challenges for over 6 million employees. This approach allows us to go beyond solely addressing HR management issues and tackle a wide range of work-related problems through technological advancements.

Workline is described as a revolutionary HRMS. What specific challenges or gaps in traditional HR processes did you identify that led to the development of Workline?

Saikiran Murali: “If you are called traditional, you are in the past”

“One of the most crucial aspects that traditional HRMS systems overlook is the need to embrace the future rather than dwell in the past. The platform should not only be relevant now but also have the foresight to remain pertinent in the future. Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Pay for What You Use:

Traditional HRMS often impose a subscription model where users pay for a myriad of features, whether they use them or not. This approach can be frustrating for users who seek cost-effective solutions tailored to their needs. Workline addresses this gap by allowing users to selectively choose and pay only for the features they require, offering a budget-friendly alternative to the one-size-fits-all subscription model prevalent in traditional HRMS.

  • Frictionless Process – The Green Channel Experience:

Consider the time-consuming processes within traditional HRMS, reminiscent of a prolonged hotel check-out. These systems often involve convoluted steps, making simple tasks unnecessarily complex. Workline identifies this gap and aims to provide a “Green Channel Experience,” streamlining tasks for efficiency. By reducing the time and energy expended on routine processes, Workline addresses the frustration associated with the cumbersome nature of traditional HRMS workflows.

  • Template Approach vs. Framework Approach:

Many HRMS platforms adopt a template-driven approach, limiting user autonomy. Users are confined to predetermined templates, restricting their ability to configure the system according to their unique needs. Workline recognizes this gap and promotes a framework approach, empowering users to customize their HRMS based on specific requirements. This shift ensures flexibility, adaptability, and a departure from the rigid template structures prevalent in traditional HRMS.

  • Customer First:

A prevalent gap in traditional HRMS lies in overlooking the simplicity of customer success. Many platforms fail to actively listen to their users, understand their challenges, and provide solutions to unaddressed problems. Workline stands out by prioritising customer success, actively engaging with users to address pain points, and solving problems that may have been neglected by other HRMS providers.

  • Setting Trends Instead of Following:

The HRMS landscape is often characterised by platforms following trends rather than setting them. Traditional systems tend to imitate each other, resulting in a lack of innovation. Workline disrupts this trend by investing in research and technology, actively seeking to set industry trends. By staying ahead of the curve, Workline distinguishes itself as a trendsetter, providing solutions that efficiently address gaps in the market, setting a proactive standard in the competitive HRMS industry.

How does Workline differentiate itself from other HRMS solutions in the market? What unique features or approaches does it bring to the table?

  • One size does not fit all

Saikiran Murali: Some of the features that truly sets us apart from traditional HR systems is our unwavering belief that one size doesn’t fit all. We understand that the needs of a bank with 70,000 employees may differ significantly from those of a startup with 100 employees. At Workline, we prioritise individuality and provide the flexibility for organisations to manage their workspace according to their specific requirements. We are dedicated to caring for all our clients, ensuring that they have the opportunity to shape their HR environment in a way that aligns with their vision and goals.

  • Workline isn’t a product, it is a framework

A traditional HRMS usually is a record keeping system which automates management to an extent. We at workline are puzzlers who are always hunting for new answers and solutions. We go beyond offering a product – we provide a comprehensive framework tailored to address the diverse challenges humans face in their work lives.

Through seamless integration, our platform allows companies to configure solutions according to their specific needs. Unlike traditional approaches, we offer a flexible and on-demand solution that breaks free from limitations, providing infinite possibilities for configurable processes. Instead of customising the solution for you, we present a framework that empowers you to configure solutions based on your unique requirements.

  • Want vs Need

As people are at the heart of our company, we prioritise meeting their desires and needs simultaneously. We offer a plethora of solutions that cater to their desire for comprehensive options, allowing individuals to configure their choices based on their specific needs. Our main advantage is providing workspace solutions that you never knew existed, while only charging you for what you truly need.

  • Mobile- first approach

Our mobile-first approach resonates deeply with the realities of today’s fast-paced and dynamic business landscape. We recognize the relentless dedication of HR professionals who constantly find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities, often on the move. By prioritising mobile accessibility, we empower them to stay connected and engaged, no matter where they may be.

Employee engagement is a key focus of Workline. How does the platform enhance employee engagement, and what strategies or features are implemented to achieve this goal?

Saikiran Murali: Employee engagement is an investment we make for the privilege of staying in business.- Ian Hutchinson

Workline thrives on making sure that this investment is worth every penny. One of the biggest things that we provide the employees is “Voice”.

Workline supports a dual communications interface where it is as easy for an employee to communicate to the organisation as it is for an organisation to communicate with the employee. That’s where we help companies to empower their employees rather than simply managing them.

Employees can effortlessly submit tickets to address issues or provide feedback, with the added option to remain anonymous to specific members for enhanced privacy. The platform facilitates research and gathers opinions from the entire organisation through surveys, which they can seamlessly conduct on our platform.

However, our focus extends beyond work-related matters. We actively promote strong teamwork and connections among employees by encouraging mutual understanding. This includes celebrating birthdays, recognizing achievements, and extending congratulations for milestones.

Our goal is not just to bridge the organisation with its people; we aim to cultivate meaningful connections among people. This approach fosters a sense of belonging, contributing to a positive atmosphere of high productivity and teamwork.

Workline is designed to streamline HR processes. Can you elaborate on some specific processes or workflows that the platform optimises, and how it contributes to overall organisational efficiency?

Saikiran Murali: The process not only establishes structure but also accelerates operations for enhanced efficiency and accuracy. Solving every workspace problem comes with its challenges during implementation. The core solution we identified is to establish robust processes.

Just like a clock appears as one of the simplest inventions from the outside, it has equally complicated operations that make it run. That’s how our processes look seamless and the simplest possible, backed by heavy data and patterns. We analyse recurring behaviour, its frequency, and identify the personnel needed at each stage.

Adapting to new processes often feels like an additional burden in their already busy workdays. Questions inundated us: Is it worth it? Is it safe? What about privacy? What if glitches occur? Will non-tech-savvy teams cope? Our aim is to make life easier for everyone in the process, crafting processes that feel like a natural extension of their workflow, not an alien concept.

Dealing with a vast amount of data and a large workforce is like walking a tightrope, where precision is crucial. To tackle this, we lean on our industry experience and collaborate closely with experts in the particular niche.

Together, we sift through historical data to spot recurring patterns in the workflow. By doing this, we remove the element of randomness from our processes, giving the organisation a more structured and predictable foundation. It means that our decisions are based on historical insights, reducing the chances of mistakes and ensuring fairness for all involved.

In the end, it isn’t just about processes; it’s about creating a seamless, user-friendly experience for every member of the organisation, regardless of age or location. It’s about embracing change while maintaining privacy, security, and efficiency.

How do you envision Workline evolving in the future? Are there any upcoming features or developments that users can look forward to?

Saikiran Murali: As mentioned, with our workline, we always strive to stay ahead of the curve and work on trends that are future-oriented. This includes customization to a level where we don’t overlook even the tiniest detail, such as strategically formatting file names, to handling critical tasks like sending off payrolls.

We have a keen eye for even the smallest problems and are already providing solutions for issues they may not have realised they had. However, our work is still in progress in some areas where we aim to make impactful improvements in the coming years.

  • UI/UX: We have always been ahead of the curve, but user experience (UX) has become a major factor nowadays, rather than just providing the right solution. People prefer seamless solutions where the application already anticipates their needs, knows what they’re searching for, and presents information intuitively. Achieving this level of production and advanced UI/UX is our focus for the near future.
  • AI: AI is demonstrating its dominance across industries, and HR is no exception. While our application already incorporates several AI activities, such as screening documents and presenting relevant questions, and scanning candidate profiles to identify matches, there are many features that require updating to keep up with upcoming trends. Examples include a 24-hour AI HR bot for simple issue resolution before escalation to HR managers and integrating various AI formats.

These are works in progress as we strive to remain an agile, present, and relevant solution.

Security and data privacy are crucial aspects of HRMS platforms. How does Workline prioritise and address these concerns to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive HR data?

Saikiran Murali: Workline has successfully collaborated with companies of varying sizes, leveraging our on-demand configurations to adapt to their unique needs. For instance, we started working with a client who had 35,000 employees two years ago, and now, with our scalable solutions, we have grown together to support their 70,000 employees.

As challenges become more complex with growth, we remain committed to solving them effectively. Our goal is to foster long-lasting relationships with organisations, enabling us to understand their evolving needs and provide seamless solutions accordingly.

Additionally, we have established strategic alignment with important regulatory bodies in India, such as the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority), RBI (Reserve Bank of India), and SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India).

These partnerships ensure that we adhere to the necessary compliance standards required in the respective sectors, such as insurance, banking, mutual funds, and NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies). Moreover, as an ISO27001 and SOC2TYPE2 attested company, we prioritise the security and confidentiality of our operations and customer data.

What advice do you have for organisations considering the adoption of Workline or any other HRMS platform?

Saikiran Murali: Considering a shift from manual HR processes to a digital application is a significant move toward creating a smarter and more futuristic company. It’s essential to keep a few key points in mind:

  1. Going digital doesn’t mean replacing people: In no scenario can AI replace HR professionals. While AI can provide answers and execute operations like a machine, it lacks the human brain’s emotional intelligence. High IQ and EQ levels are crucial for certain decisions that AI or digitization can’t deliver.
  • Investing time yields ROI: Initially, setting up a new process, providing knowledge transfer (KT) to the entire organisation, and ensuring seamless adaptation pose challenges. However, remember that this is a one-time investment with great potential results. The process ensures tasks like finding a payslip become a matter of two clicks, eliminating the need to connect with HR professionals and wait for 2 business days.
  • Documentation made easy: The days of having 10 large files on your desk, sifting through numerous pages, and making physical copies are gone. Futuristic offices operate more intelligently and efficiently. You won’t need a single physical file; everything will be stored on the cloud with precise documentation. This ensures you can locate information within seconds rather than hours.

Proper tracking for more transparency: Recognizing individuals for their great work and holding them accountable for actions not aligned with organisational goals is crucial. Transparency aids in identifying genuine efforts or negligence, making it easier to analyse an employee’s contribution, behaviour, discipline, and impact on the organisation

As we conclude this insightful interview with Saikiran Murali, it becomes evident that Workline is not merely a HRMS; it’s a catalyst for organizational transformation. Saikiran’s vision and leadership have brought about a paradigm shift in how we perceive and manage human resources.

The innovative approach to streamlining HR processes and prioritizing employee engagement reflects a commitment to creating workplaces that thrive. Workline stands as a testament to the power of combining technology with a human-centric approach, and Saikiran Murali’s journey as the founder and mentor serves as an inspiration for the ever-evolving landscape of HR management.

With Workline, organizations are not just adapting to change; they are leading it, ensuring a future where people and technology seamlessly collaborate for success.

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