There’s something very satisfying in knowing that your department is efficient and on top of its game, especially if managers and employees around the business know it.
That’s exactly what going paperless can do for your HR department: let everyone know around the business that you’re in control.
But if “going paperless” is so fantastic, why have only 1% of EU businesses made the jump so far, you may ask? After all, the buzzword ‘Paperless’ has been around since the 1970s when we were pitched the dream of a paper-free office. 40 years later, we still have paper employee files in spite of having an electronic HR system… so what went wrong?
At Papershrink we’ve come to the conclusion that the main reason why we still scan HR paper files for our clients on a regular basis is because the IT systems they have just don’t fit how they want to run their business processes, and often don’t talk to each other. And so the paper file serves as a work around and a central repository where all the information about one employee can be found.
If you’re not sure what the benefits of being digital in HR are, here are the top 5 reasons why you should consider it:
1 - It’s easier to make sure you have all the documents you should have
Let’s face it, part of your role as an HR department is to make sure you have all the evidence you need to protect the business if you ever needed to defend the decision to let someone go for example.
And that’s why there’s nothing worse than not having enough time as an HR department to make sure all employees have signed the new starter forms (e.g. medical questionnaire, DVLA checks, etc) and have confirmed they’re aware of the numerous company policies laid out in the Employee Handbook and other various documents.
After all, you only need to forget one of those to land you in a sticky, potentially expensive situation in court.
Going paperless will allow you to automate the transactional side of onboarding a new member of staff and can make sure you have all the evidence you should have, all without spending hours chasing and filing paperwork.
2 - You can find information in a few seconds
Whether it’s a manager or an employee ringing with a query, if you have access to their file from your computer and you can do a full text search across their entire record, you can provide an answer immediately. There and then while they’re on the phone. No need to make them wait while you dig out their file and search through the paperwork for the right document. That’s better service for them and less time for you.
3 - You have access to all the information in one place
In order to save on physical storage space, many HR departments have started saving documents on a shared drive, or in the electronic HR system, or in emails. This means the information about an employee is split across different locations, which is again a waste of time and slows down your access to information.
4-You can make copies and keep them off-site
As you know, HR files contain very important documents for a business which will hopefully always keep you out of court, or if not, at least provide you with the evidence you need if you can’t avoid a court of law. In that respect, paper files are a huge risk to a business as there’s only one copy of them. No backup. No disaster recovery.
5-Files can be accessed from multiple sites 24/7
Whether it’s the need to work from home for some HR staff or managers; or the need to access from branches; or the need to access while on the go; or even the need to access files out of hours; being paperless will allow anyone who has the correct permissions to access all the information 24/7 from any location.
Sounds good but where do I start?
In order to go paperless, you’ll probably need to scan your current employees’ paper files (find out here how much that will cost), you’ll need a secure Electronic Document Management System (EDMS), and finally you’ll need either a way to scan new paper in or a way to convert your existing paper forms into electronic forms. Give us a ring and we’ll help you navigate the myriad of technology available and pin-point exactly what solution(s) you need. If you want, we’ll scan a sample of your files and upload them to a free trial site of our EDMS, Papershrink Office. All with no obligation and no cost.