Go beyond basic automation with Workflow Automator


Dec 3, 2021

A few weeks ago we announced the launch of Rippling Unity—our biggest release to date, consisting of five powerful capabilities that we believe will be truly game changing for businesses. 

Today, we’ll be shining a spotlight on the first of these five new capabilities: Workflow Automator

What is Rippling Workflow Automator?  

Workflow Automator is Rippling’s new, no-code automation tool that lets you kick off automated actions in both Rippling and third-party apps connected to Rippling—like Slack or Google Calendar—based on custom triggers that you can define.

With Workflow Automator, you can take nearly any manual, time-intensive task off of your plate—whether that’s a simple, one-off task, like sending automated onboarding emails two weeks before every new hire's start date, or complex, daisy-chained workflows that help you advance your larger, strategic vision.

For example, you can build a workflow that ensures fair pay by alerting your HR team if they’re about to make an offer to a candidate at a salary point significantly below what their future peers’ would be.

Right now, you’ll be able to build workflows that send automated emails, Slack DMs, tasks, calendar events, and use webhooks to drive any number of other actions. We’ll be adding more direct actions like Google Sheets and others over the coming months. 

What makes Workflow Automator better than other automation tools?  

The biggest thing that sets Workflow Automator apart from our competitors boils down to one word: data

Workflow Automator is built on top of a single source of truth for employee data that pulls in employee information from nearly every system in and outside of your company. 

We call this combined data system Rippling's Unified Employee Graph

Similar to Facebook’s Social Graph—which lets you navigate from one person to the next based on their social network—Rippling’s Unified Employee Graph lets you navigate every piece of data related to an employee

That includes information like who their manager is, their salary, devices and time cards, and even the tickets assigned to them in systems like Zendesk, Jira, or Salesforce.

Which means you can create workflows that go far beyond basic if/then automation tools like Zapier which—while powerful in their own right—don’t have the same knowledge and understanding of your organization and employees to be able to drive automation at anything more than a surface level. 

Automate almost anything with nearly limitless triggers

While other workflow tools limit what you can automate to a narrow set of triggers, Workflow Automator lets you build your own custom triggers to kick off workflows, based on almost any employee or employee-related data in your company—their start dates, salary changes, FSA balance, device health, courses taken, and more. 

And events that happen outside of Rippling are covered as well with the ability to trigger workflows based on third-party data, like when an unreviewed pull request is merged in GitHub or a support agent gets a low CSAT score in Zendesk

And if what you need falls outside of what we natively collect in Rippling, you can even create Custom Fields to trigger workflows based on information you collect from employees—like their commercial license expiry dates or dietary restrictions. 

Or derive brand new values with Formula Fields–Rippling’s new Excel-like formulas you can use to combine and calculate data into a new data point.

For example, your IT team could use a Formula Field to create their own definition of what poor device performance is—like a higher-than-average CPU or Memory usage over an extended period of time—and trigger an alert when an employee's device exceeds that threshold. 

That way, IT can proactively address problems before they occur and ensure everyone stays fully productive.

Automate workflows across Rippling and your third-party apps

Since Rippling understands who your employees are across every system, you can automate actions across your third-party systems right from Rippling itself, with full confidence that they’ll always reach the right person. 

For example, you can create a workflow that triggers an alert over Slack to a support agent’s manager if they’ve racked over 75 open tickets in Zendesk, and Workflow Automator will be able to identify who the agent’s manager is, and what their username is in Slack.

Similarly, since Rippling has access to both your employee’s time off schedule and their username in Jira, Workflow Automator can make the connection that the employee that’s just been assigned a high-priority ticket in Jira is actually on leave, and trigger an alert to their manager, urging them to reassign it. 

Because other automation tools don’t have that same understanding of your employees and organization, let alone retain that understanding across your third-party integrations, it’s impossible to build the same targeted, relationship-based workflows with other automation tools. 

Give your whole company the power to get more done with Workflow Automator 

The sheer breadth of what you can automate with Workflow Automator makes it an incredibly powerful time-saving tool not just for HR admins, but for the entire organization as a whole, including your Finance and IT teams, and your people managers as well. 

And since Rippling’s Permissions give you granular control over exactly what systems and data your team can manage, you can give managers across your company the power to use Workflow Automator to help streamline their day-to-day tasks—without giving up control. 

Here are just a few examples of how managers and admins can use Workflow Automator to save time and get more done: 

HR workflows

Automate your welcome emails
Save time without sacrificing that personal touch with this workflow that triggers an automated email to your new hires a week before their first day, letting them know what to expect and who to meet on their first day. (See Recipe)

Create automated calendar events for LMS course deadlines
Make deadlines hard to miss with this workflow that creates an all-day calendar invite on the last day that employees can enroll for an LMS course. (See Recipe)

IT workflows

Trigger automated reminders for unregistered 2FA devices
Reduce the risk of security threats with this workflow that sends an automated notification to an employee and their manager if an employee hasn’t registered their Yubikey device. (See Recipe)

Get alerted to shipment delays that affect onboarding
Give yourself time to think of a Plan B with this workflow that triggers an alert to the IT team and a new hire’s manager if their laptop isn’t expected to reach them in time for their first day. (See Recipe)

Finance workflows

Escalate compensation requests based on your threshold
Ensure important decisions get the right level of sign off with this workflow that automatically escalates compensation requests above a certain threshold. (See Recipe)

Get timely reminders for referral bonuses
Ditch the manual calendar reminders with this workflow that automatically creates a Task for Payroll when an employee’s referral bonus is due. (See Recipe)

Engineering workflows

Get notified if high-priority Jira tickets are assigned to OOO engineers
Ensure that important Jira tickets don’t slip through the cracks with this workflow that alerts managers when a high-priority Jira ticket is assigned to an engineer who’s out on leave. (See Recipe)

Get alerted when pull requests are stale 
Keep your projects organized and up-to-date with this workflow that alerts the author and their manager when a pull request remains unreviewed for a prolonged period of time. (See Recipe)

Support workflows

Get notified if urgent tickets are assigned to OOO agents
Ensure that time-sensitive tickets are attended to quickly with this workflow that alerts you if an ‘Urgent’ Zendesk ticket is inadvertently assigned to an agent on leave (See Recipe)

Automatically alert your team to ‘Incident’ tickets
Ensure that ‘Incident’ tickets in Zendesk get the quick attention they deserve with this workflow that automatically notifies your engineers when a Zendesk ticket is marked as an “Incident”. (See Recipe)

For more workflows that you can use right out of the gate, or customize to your exact needs, be sure to check out our growing Recipes library to get inspired.

More to come

We’ve just scratched the surface of what’s coming with Unity. 

Stay tuned for more Unity releases over the next months, including Policies, Unified Permissions & Approvals, and Unified Analytics. Or secure a front row seat to our upcoming masterclass webinars, where we’ll be diving into how you can get the most out of your Rippling Unity features. 

Want to see Unity in action? Schedule a demo with our team today.

last edited: April 25, 2023

The Author