Five reasons why you need to say goodbye to paper based HR

HRDespite the phenomenal advancements in technology, so many organisations are still heavily reliant on paper-based HR processes and documents. We all know that HR is a document-heavy department, needing to keep records from onboarding and handbooks through to confidential records such as appraisals, discipline and personal information. Before COVID-19, when teams were more office based, much of the paperwork could be locked away, but when working from home became the norm, that all changed. For GDPR reasons paperwork could not/or should not have been taken home!  Not having an accessible HR system, has impacted on operational efficiency, security and transparency, not to mention the environmental issue. The time to change from paper to digital is now. Here are five reasons why you need to say goodbye to all that paper based HR.

1. Compliance and security

Keeping up with compliance has always been an integral part of any HR team. Paper-based HR processes make complying with key legislative requirements such as GDPR, RTW and WTD more challenging. A key aspect of managing compliance is managing HR data and ensuring that its protected and secured with the right levels of privacy.

GDPR has a number of key business requirements such as

  1. Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner
  2. Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not processed in a way that is incompatible with this
  3. Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary
  4. Accurate and kept up to date
  5. Kept in a form which permits the identification of the data subject for no longer than necessary
  6. Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security for the data
  7. The data controller shall be responsible for and able to demonstrate compliance with the principles

When all your data and processes are paper-based, it’s intrinsically harder to meet all these requirements. Finding relevant files, consents etc can be hard, and even harder if files have been taken home too! If you need further convincing, consider a potential fine of up to up to €20 million (£18 million) or 4% of your total turnover for non-compliance with GDPR

2. You can’t empower your people with self-service

Often referred to as employee self-service (ESS), this allows staff to securely access their own documents, records and details without direct interaction with their HR team. Staff expect to be able to do this, particularly with different working locations or working from home and makes you an employer of choice requirement. As a result, you simply can’t offer this to your people if you’re paper-based.

This approach to HR processes entrusts responsibilities such as record keeping, training, holiday and absence requests to your employees. Staff will feel empowered when you remove the frustrations of the lack of fast responses away from HR teams – that’s a real benefit. And biggest benefit of all is the freeing up of time for HR teams and managers around the organisation.

3. Workforce management

How often have you had a call from an employee asking whether they are on schedule or not? Or emailing how can they swap or drop a particular shift? And where can they find a form to put through the holiday request?

With an automated approach, notifications can be sent to managers and staff when a certain set of criteria is fulfilled. Automation is an enabler for all staff, not just HR. A workforce management system will help you make the most out of your workers, correct any inefficiencies, and manage labor costs in a smarter way – it really is that powerful!

Good for staff

  • Shift details – availability and swaps
  • Electronic signatures
  • Onboarding steps completed
  • Notifications and communication
  • Everything in real-time
  • Empowered and can manage personal information

Good for HR and managers

  • Performance appraisal due
  • Training module due for completion
  • Compliance management
  • Ensuring staff schedules are compliant with WTD and company rules
  • Staff exit processes
  • Real-time data and visibility

The pandemic has also accelerated the need for secure, touchless and paperless ways to screen employees and manage the health and status of staff. Digital workforce management tools can deliver an extensive range of benefits that you simply can’t achieve on with paper systems.

4. Efficiency and real-time data

More than ever before, HR teams are being tasked with improving human resource efficiencies. Human Resources are one of the driving forces to the success of any business, so when we talk about efficiencies, this affects more than just HR, we’re talking about every function and every department.

HR efficiency requirements spans the entire hire to retire processes, including engagement, happiness and retention. A successful business needs to hire new talent and help them become a fully functioning and valued member of the team as fast as possible.

Efficiencies across the following process are considerably less attainable if you are relying on paper-based HR approaches

  • Recruitment and staffing
  • Onboarding and new staff hire orientation
  • Performance management
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Talent development
  • Training
  • Employee lifecycle
  • Communication
  • Staff engagement and wellness

Along with every process comes the need to access relevant data and deliver insights and reporting. If you are relying on manual process, real-time data is pretty much impossible, therefore you are always behind and playing catch up when it comes to having your pulse on the health of you people. Get your data so it is 100% reliable, when it has to be stitched together it comes with the inherent risk of human error.

5. Lack of flexibility and agility

A major benefit you lose with paper-based HR processes is flexibility and agility. Now more than ever, it’s critical to enable working from any location (subject to the nature of your business), especially when you consider that 25% of workers are expected to be working from home permanently after the pandemic. With so many changes as a result of the pandemic, there are layers of complexity and accurate record keeping is essential. HR need to create business continuity plans and communications strategies that may need adapting and updating at a moment’s notice. And paper-based approaches make this impossible to achieve in a timely manner.

Picture the scenario: an urgent issue has arisen, and you need to access an employee’s records, but you’re not sure where you’ve stored the required paper documents or which spreadsheet they were saved on!.

With agility comes the ability to act fast, respond to changes, leverage data that enables proactive, data-driven decisions.

Go digital and say good bye to paper based HR

The pandemic has placed additional requirements and burdens on HR teams to adapt quickly and accommodate remote working or a hybrid approach. This has placed the need for digital HR process high on the agenda, with 46% of businesses putting this on their 2021 HR Priorities.

Its essential to equip HR teams with the right technologies to be able to eliminate paper-based tasks. Having the tools in place that automate processes, reduce errors, eliminate repeat manual keying, free up staff time and reduce costs is a strong business case. Add to this the reduced costs, ensuring security and the ability to be agile and responsive should be enough to convince the nay-sayers. Plus moving to a modern, cloud-based HR system your team can access their HR from anywhere, on any device, at any time. So, say goodbye to paper based HR processes.

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