Taking the paperless plunge!
Paper is an expensive and inefficient way to manage information. Although making the move to join the digital age in HR/Admin is not something that happens overnight and is a process that has required time and effort to get to a point where we are ready to shred and clear out our Admin paper files.
One of the biggest challenges for us is to keep all records in an easily identifiable format and be able to locate information when required.
It is very important to ensure that documents can be produced if required by auditors or personnel. The digitally stored documents need to be clear with date/time stamps/signatures visible and unchangeable. The documents need to be stored in a way that is easily searchable and we can identify records and remove then when not required.
Finance and Admin departments are usually the most resistant to go paperless as is always a worry with the compliance issues surrounding personal information. The truth is that going paperless can make us more compliant. With paper there is always a risk of lack of security or lost paperwork. Being held digitally eliminates this potential issue.
Practical considerations and the dirty work
Before we can begin this paperless exercise, we need to make sure our files are already in an organised filing order. Thankfully we are ready in this case, so it has not been too onerous. We need to decide which paper records we need to keep in digital format and are there any we would prefer to keep as paper. This could be signed employment contracts or any legal documents.
Another important consideration is that any documents stored digitally have regular back-ups so the files can be accessed at any time. The systems require ample safeguards to ensure employee privacy and data security.
Space saving can be significant. Paper takes up a lot of room as well as keeping files for a period after an employee has left the company.