The thought of running an HR department that is NOT drowning in paperwork may sound like a fairy tale to many HR Directors and business owners. But, the world is changing. And, from my perspective, that change is long overdue.
Our office has maintained paperless client files for a number of years now. Anyone on our team can access any document created for or by our clients anywhere they can get a wireless connection. Having remote, shared access to all of our client data (over 175 gigabytes of it – to be precise), has been a real game changer for us and has led to significant improvements in operational and service efficiency for our clients.
However, while we have embraced electronic records for our client, we had not used all of these tools to manage our Human Resources and Employee Benefits data. We, like most other employers, used a combination of paper forms and unconnected software solutions to collect, share and store employee data.
That may not sound like a big deal. But, think of all of the employee data employers currently collect, share and store as a course of doing business. Sadly, most of these are still captured and stored in paper form:
- Employee Applications
- Copies of driver’s licenses or passports
- Direct Deposit forms
- Signed Employee Handbooks
- Exchange Notices
- Insurance Enrollment Forms
- SPDs and SBCs
- Time Off Requests/Approvals
- Performance Reviews
- Employee Surveys
- Termination Paperwork
This list is off the top of my head and does not include any of the industry specific forms for licensing, training, background checks, physical asset tracking, etc., etc., etc.
In 2015, all of our new clients will be given the option of a paperless benefits experience. For our existing clients, we will work with them to move as much their current processes to more efficient, electronic systems.
No tree should give its life for the sake of setting up and managing employee benefit plans!