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.

In this article, we will cover:

  1. What are Tasks and Workflows

  2. How to set up a new Workflow

  3. How to add a Task to a Workflow

  4. How to assign Workflows

  5. Tasks FAQ: Subtasks, Timelines & Tokens

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).

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 from Home > Workflows from the admin panel. 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 "Add Workflow" from the upper right-hand menu of any of the 5 tabs.

Select the Location, Department, and Employee Status that the workflow applies to and hit "Create Workflow".

3. How to add a Task to a Workflow

After creating a workflow, you can add the Tasks that belong to that particular workflow.

From the task menu, you'll be able to customize the Title, Description, Attachments, Assignee, Due Date and Timeline.

(*note: If you have Surveys enabled in your account, you can select to insert a survey into your workflow instead of a task).

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 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 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.

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 their manager, buddy, coworker or a workspace.

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

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.

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.

What are Task Timelines?

Sapling's Task Timelines allow you to delay the assignment of tasks to a future date.

To schedule a task timeline, toggle the Task Timeline option to "Assign Later" and select the number of days before the task is due that we should notify the individual assigned. Sapling will then notify the task owner in the future about their upcoming tasks.

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 under the "pending" tasks tab (i.e. Sapling Admins and Managers).

Please note that when creating a new task and choosing the assign retroactively option, you can assign the task relative to 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.

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 workflows 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.

How can I remove/delete a task?

Workflows and tasks can also be deleted individually on the tasks page.

Once a workflow is completed, it is removed from the Tasks View and only visible when the view is toggled to 'Include Historic Tasks'.

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.

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