HR digital transformation: how to make the transfer towards a paperless human resources department

28 May 2019

As the carbon footprint leads to climate changes the effects of which can be easily identified throughout the world – first of all, global warming – companies start to realize the importance of a strong commitment towards the protection of environment, one of the biggest challenges of the modern world.

Environmental awareness and the ecological trend of the companies are no longer limited to adding a message at the end of every e-mail, encouraging recipients not to print said document. Actual measures are taken to this effect – more than 30% of the companies throughout the world have joined the ambitious endeavor of turning into a paperless office, by data digitization.

For instance, the American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimates that it will save 1.5 billion dollars during the following decade based on the decision adopted in 2018 to migrate from hardcopy to digital media. According to this measure, after a transition period of 3 years, the reports of the investment fund shareholders sent previously to shareholders by mail will be accessible online. SEC’s decision to give up paper entirely will save approximately 2 million trees every year. Technology certainly changes the cost of business in every industry.

The human resources department can set the tone in any company

In organizations, the HR departments play an important part: they are the first interface with the employees, therefore, even since the recruitment stage, its members can be among those who can set the tone for a change.

Furthermore, the HR department is managing, by the nature of its activity, a large volume of data and information, and giving up paper even partially will bring significant benefits as regards productivity and cost reduction, as we will detail below.

However, everything starts from the fact that the future office is paperless.

Currently, this looks like a dream for HR departments of Romanian companies, because the department must continue to use paper for many of its processes. There are many things that we can do, when we understand the benefits of eliminating paper – from educating and raising awareness of employees up to implementing an HR software solution suitable to the company’s needs.

Benefits of a paperless HR department

Understanding the practical advantages of a certain measure brings us closer to its success.

We intend to review below a series of significant benefits of eliminating paper for the HR department, but also to see which are the actual measures that we can take in the department to ensure the success of such measure.

1. A sustainable attitude, an environment-friendly workspace

In an environment-friendly workspace, there are numerous benefits: from contribution to reduction of the carbon footprint all the way to more responsible employees, who are better involved in company life. In this context, the HR department plays a significant part as a trendsetter – and its attitude is all the more important.

Furthermore, this environment-friendly attitude will help attracting good-rating and high-performing employees – who are often supporting eco-friendly companies and cases.

2. More efficiency for the entire HR department

Using a digital solution will, for instance, allow easy access to files related to all HR processes, as well as quick transmission of any documents to the employees or the interested parties.

Printing and filing various information, as well as subsequent accessing thereof in physical format are certainly difficult processes, weighing on the activity of the HR department and of the entire company.

Furthermore, the documents can be accessed at any time. Many of us already know how frustrating it is to look for an important document and not find it – wasting energy and time which are valuable for the company. A digital file will eliminate these situations, freeing time for other activities. It is of course ideal to identify well-performing HR software, suitable to the company’s needs.

3. Modernization and telework

The future is paperless, and the digital is replacing more frequently the old rules and traditional procedures. The quicker you accept it, the quicker your company will become one of those flexible and modern organizations, oriented towards the future, that we are sure you are aiming for.

Flexibility and business operation in keeping up with modern times are reflected by the possibility to telework. The traditional approach, where access to information is conditional on actual presence in the office or at any other location is already penalized or simply it just becomes uninteresting for many young employees.

4. Observance of the laws in force

Especially when you choose a human resources software as a solution for digitization, you will make sure to observe the applicable laws.

The GDPR rules, the specific and mandatory labor protection trainings or the frequent updates of labor laws and tax laws – in all these cases, using a human resources software from a trustworthy supplier will help you be updated on all the changes that can occur at any time.

Steps that will take you closer to a paperless human resources department

More and more organizations realize how important it is to implement data digitization and electronic document management.

Paper is at the same time expensive and inefficient for information management, and electronic document management provides advantages both for the environment and for the efficiency and productivity of the department.

While the processes in an HR department cannot be approached 100% digitally at the moment, important steps can be taken in that direction, which more and more organizations understand.

How can we start such a process? How do we tend towards a paperless HR department, involving all members in our endeavors?
We hope the ideas below can be helpful.

Involve all the department members, demonstrating the advantages

From direct benefits for the environment, up to added department efficiency, once people understand the advantages of giving up paper or reducing its use to the minimum, things will be simplified.

Help your employees to understand that this change will simplify the processes, reducing the time and energy required to accomplish them. Less paper means saving money, energy and time to store it, shred it or to retrace the information that you need, when you need it.

Even more so, once part of the processes are digitized and used in electronic format, the HR professionals will free precious time, and will be able to take over more complex and less repetitive tasks.

Organize. Decide which information to be stored on paper and what is to be digitized

Part of the documents will be kept as hardcopies, but their number can be reduced considerably.

You decide what they are and in which way to organize and archive them.
You can also find a solution to digitize data and to automate workflows – a highly performing HR solution, preferably in cloud and mobile-first, open to be integrated with other applications, so that you can access directly all the benefits of the digital environment.

Implement environment friendly systems– such as using HR software

An essential step when you seek to achieve data digitization in the HR department, and to organize it so that they are always accessible, is the decision pertaining to the scope of the software that your organization is prepared to implement. The HR software can cover certain HR areas or it can be an all-in-one HR system, which will automate all repetitive processes, integrating them into a single platform.

Choosing the human resources software is an important step, because it must be suitable for your company’s needs, being easy to integrate and use.

Another option is to choose the digitization of the HR processes that require most time, attention, energy and staff – staff management, payroll and time keeping, although the benefits of an all-in-one solution are unquestionable.

Educate your employees to be more aware

We are all aware that the environment can only benefit when our approach is sustainable, in the sense of efficiently using resources.

You will manage to keep up easier with the global trends towards an environment friendly company bent on becoming paperless, if you help your employees understand the benefits of such an attitude and how they can align to it.

In addition to using human resources software, you can shape up an environment that is beneficial to all on the long term. Reducing the number of faxes and printers, together with lower access of the employees to such devices, is a method of dramatically lowering the number of printed papers.

When a large number of employees who already understand the company’s trend of becoming paperless have access to a single printer located in another room, the results will be visible.

The Sincron HR Software Platform, a solution for your paperless HR project

HR Sincron software company created the all-in-one Sincron HR Software platform, in reply to all current needs of digitizing HR processes in companies.

A complete solution for the HR department, with a business intelligence system for the analysis of HR data, online, cloud-based and natively open to integration with other applications used by the company, Sincron HR Software was designed to be easy to implement within the organization and to be easy to use by the employees.

This HR software in cloud will support your endeavor to eliminate paper in the human resources department, providing a complex data digitization solution that is easy to integrate.