Even in our digital age, paper remains a vital commodity for doing business. As an International Data Corporation study reported, “U.S.-based companies spend $25 billion to $35 billion processing (filing, storing and retrieving) paper.” Management of these documents pushes that figure up to $100 billion annually. As utilization of business data expands, companies are experimenting with alternate solutions to managing paper files.
What executives are noticing is the significant savings resulting from reducing their reliance on paper. A Cisco study estimated that a company of 370 employees could save about $1 million by switching to an electronic document management system (DMS), eliminating nearly 80 percent of its paper-based records. Companies tapping DMS technology are seeing a huge return on investment.
Just how much are you spending managing your HR documents each year? Find out with Paycom’s Document Management Calculator.
While paper can be a large expense for many small to medium-sized businesses, the proper DMS can eliminate the need and improve the bottom line. However, going paperless provides additional benefits beyond merely reducing cost.
Save Time with Same-Day Retrieval
Are filing cabinets a furniture staple in your office? When a filing cabinet is your sole system of record, sifting through thousands of records to find a single document can take hours or even days. According to a Wedbush Securities survey, 74 percent of organizations experience data loss; even worse, 32 percent of these organizations spend take several days to recover a document, while 16 percent search to no avail. In addition to frustration and chaos, these overgrown filing systems cause stress, which hinders productivity. That burden can be alleviated with a flexible DMS; it makes retrieval quick and easy, allowing more time to be spent on strategic initiatives.
Recover Faster after a Disaster
Mother Nature is clearly unpredictable; in fact, USA Today reported that in 2013, insurance firms paid $45 billion in disaster claims. The amount represents one-third of the $140 billion in overall economic loss from a total of 308 catastrophic events. Every business will face minor downtimes and major unknowns, making it imperative to have plans for disaster recovery in place. A DMS – more specifically, a cloud-based system – stores documents “off-site,” keeping them safe from disaster. Not all systems have the ability to store documents “off-site,” so for absolute protection, look to the cloud.
With more extensive regulations, compliance is a huge preoccupation for companies. The right DMS can provide a secure audit trail of all documentation, so that companies can meet retention requirements and authenticate the validity of information stored. An electronic DMS has the added ability to capture electronic signatures, allowing employers to ensure important documents have been read and reviewed by employees within a certain timeline. Top DMSs allow for the ability to report on what has not been signed, ensuring the company is fully compliant.
Improve Security Standards
With a paper-based method, concern of a security breach always exists. Companies can reduce exposure by using a DMS that keeps tight supervision over business critical records. Most DMS solutions allow you to arrange access by status so that confidential information is kept private. With a DMS, it is important to see who viewed and/or modified a file and when – something that is impossible to do with a physical system.
Improve Document Distribution
Traditionally, paper documents must be photocopied, which according to authors Robert Orfali, Dan Harkey and Jeri Edwards, “Paper copies cost between six and 12 cents per page,” and if the recipient is located outside your office, you have to factor in packaging and shipping fees. These costs are preventable with a DMS that allows you to share documents via email or online. Consider, too, how this speeds up new employee onboarding and benefits enrollment. With the right DMS, documents easily can be filtered, tasked and submitted by an employee without having to keep track of loose paper files.
Everything Is Centralized
Having inconsistencies, specifically with duplicate systems – be they paper or electronic – leaves you vulnerable to compliance risk, reporting errors and payroll mistakes. It is important to have on clear system of record to ensure that business information is kept cohesive, and documents are accessible easily and not distributed across multiple channels.
With challenges greater than before – including redundancies, misplaced documents and inaccurate information – DMSs deliver huge benefits. Advance your data management today and get back to what matters most.
Posted in Blog, Document Management, HR Management
by Lauren Owens
Author Bio: Lauren is an enthusiastic writer who is passionate about numerous topics surrounding the HCM industry including talent management and acquisition, technology, document management and leadership, just to name a few. Lauren has been with Paycom for over a year and has taken on roles as a blogger, social strategist and community relations coordinator. In her spare time she enjoys DIY“ing,” exploring the city and keeping up with her two dogs, Deacon and Cookie.
Human resources is one of those departments that does a lot of work but often gets very little of the glory. Because it’s not a profit centre, there are no new products to roll out, no sales targets to exceed, no market shares to capture, or any of the other credit to claim when recognition is bestowed.
The best an HR department can hope for is to find ways to reduce its costs, improve efficiencies, and streamline administrative operations. In other words, HR can contribute by minimising its footprint within the organisation.
The more it can do to achieve its important, if not critical, objectives – such as recruiting, training and maintaining the workforce — without interrupting the workflow or bothering the executive suite with pesky issues like compliance and workplace complaints, the more valued it will be.
That’s not an easy objective to manage – especially when many employees and even managers consider HR to be a nuisance, a tattletale, and a disciplinarian. No wonder it’s often hard for HR team members to find a place to sit in the company lunch room!
So if they can’t improve profits, sell more units, or attract more clients, how can HR managers make their mark among company leadership? By improving the way their department – and by extension, the organisation – works so that processes are simpler, necessary tasks take less time, and the department’s costs are minimised.
And the key to all this is HR software.
Automated HR systems have a variety of benefits to any organisation, regardless of its size or scope. From the family-owned business with a single storefront or website to the multinational conglomerate with offices on every continent, streamlining human resources duties and responsibilities with HR software can save the company time and money, improve efficiencies at every level, and get HR leadership the accolades from the C-level leaders that they deserve.
Benefits of HR Software
If there’s one thing that most HR departments have a lot of, it’s paperwork. From interview notes to new hire paperwork to performance evaluations to government-mandated reporting, most human resources are inundated with forms, papers, and reports. No wonder most employees think of HR as a bureaucracy drowning in paperwork!
Manual paperwork may have been cutting edge HR procedures in the 20th century, but today’s businesses don’t have the time or the space to deal with all that hands-on paper systems. Managers need access to reports instantly and they want to be able to see them on their Smartphone’s, tablets or other mobile devices.
Employees may scoff if you give them a paper copy of a new policy or procedure to sign. What is this, the 1980s? People today are used to touch screens and swiping right, not using pens, pencils and other antiquated and archaic devices that don’t even have batteries!
HR software allows you to digitize nearly all of the paperwork your organisation currently uses. Reports can be filed and accessed remotely. Statistics and research can be completed via computer algorithms. Important employee documents can be distributed, read, signed, returned and filed securely without harming a single tree. Best of all, these processes can be done instantly from anywhere.
HR software is more secure than traditional paper-based systems most outdated businesses use. That’s because HR systems let departmental leaders decide who can have access to which materials, then builds safe, secure and tamper-proof digital safety protocols to reinforce security of documentation.
How safe is it? Let a true story serve as an example. A careless HR representative at a big city company employing hundreds of people accidentally left a document that included the pay rates of every employee in a garbage can that could be accessed by anybody. Needless to say, somebody spotted it, discovered that they were being paid far less than others who had less experience and poorer performance evaluations then passed the document around to their co-workers.
The poor company’s HR department spent the next several weeks listening to worker complaints, the businesses morale went down the tubes, and the HR department’s leader was held accountable – even though she had nothing to do with the error!
Had those records and other sensitive documents such as performance reviews, disciplinary documents, and personal action plans been stored digitally and secured with today’s sophisticated digital security protocols, it would have saved everybody a lot of headaches – and an HR manager her job.
Share the Burden
How does your company handle time off requests? If you are like most small businesses without HR software, the employee may need to fill out a form or even turn a hand-written note into their supervisor, who then has to manually go to the work schedule to see if there is enough coverage to grant the request.
If so, the supervisor has to change the work schedule, send word up the chain of command of the labour change for that particular shift, and physically go find the employee to let them know that their request has been granted. Or, if the request is denied, because the employee doesn’t have enough accrued vacation time or it’s a blackout period when all hands are needed on deck, the supervisor can look forward to working with an unhappy and possibly vindictive employee for the rest of the shift – or even have to scramble to fill the vacancy when the worker calls off anyway!
Automated HR systems relieves much of this burden. Many HR software programs shifts the responsibility to the employee, who can go online to see if they have enough vacation time, research if the dates they want off are available, and submit their request via their smartphone, tablet or other digital devices. This frees supervisors up to do more important jobs, such as actually watching their employees and making sure they are doing their jobs.
Today’s smart companies are letting HR software take over many of the cumbersome, time-consuming administrative tasks and shifting more personal responsibility to the line level employee, rather than leaving mid-level managers holding the bag every time.
Time off requests, time punches, vacation pay, employee bonuses, incentives and other potentially complicated work-related procedures can be integrated automatically, making it easier and simpler for everybody to do their jobs effectively.
All executives want answers. And most bosses aren’t willing to wait around to get them. To be an effective HR manager, you need to have systems in place that can cull and analyse huge amounts of employee data and generate helpful, informative reports – using concise bullet points and summaries — that give C-level leaders the information they need to effectively make decisions.
But if your organisation is still using manual HR systems, unless you are some sort of statistical “Number Cruncher” or have a past career as an actuary, it may be challenging for you to keep up with the reporting demands being placed on your department by upper management.
Unless you have a HR software that can handle all of these reporting processes for you – and more – automatically and produce instant results in hand before you even asked for them! Now you can show hiring trends, turnover patterns, employee opinion poll results, demographic data, and other critical information easier than ever before using optimised HR software that makes your life easier.
Here’s a simple question to ask yourself: How much physical space does your HR department take up? That’s including offices as well as file cabinets. Your organisation may even need to rent additional storage or warehouse space to keep records from previous years that legally you aren’t allowed to destroy – even if the employees these records reference haven’t work for your company in years!
The storage requirements for most HR departments are mind-boggling. Even small companies with only a handful of employees often need several full-size file cabinets to contain all the documentation they are required to keep. Multiply that by hundreds or even thousands of employees and the cost of storage alone can be a considerable line item for your HR department.
But not anymore. Today’s HR software programs can store all of this information digitally in a fraction of the space. Now you can be in full compliance with all of the legal requirements for documentation, payroll information, disciplinary action, employee applications, and hundreds of thousands of other documents without having to dedicate a substantial amount of space.
Imagine the look on your company president’s face when you tell them they can stop paying for off-site storage or warehouse rental for mandatory compliance HR documentation. Or that your department is willing to shrink the size of your office space because you don’t need as much room anymore. You can be a hero!
Time and Attendance
And then there’s the biggest pain of all: Time and attendance. Many employees approach time and attendance as if it’s a game to be won or a puzzle to be outwitted. They know exactly how early they can punch in or when they can leave early without drawing the attention or ire of their supervisors. They know when are the best days to call out sick and when to milk the clock to maximise their overtime pay, regardless of whether it’s actually necessary to the operation’s success.
Managing time and attendance is often the biggest headache for supervisors and managers. Not only does it take a lot of time and attention – time that would be better served on the floor actually managing employees – but when mistakes or intentional errors are made, it costs the organisation real money.
One of the biggest benefits of HR software systems is that they can automate time and attendance so that it’s easier to manage. It’s easier for employees to clock in and out using remote devices or even their smartphones, rather than having to wait in line at a time clock or log onto a computer to check in and out every day.
It’s much simpler for managers to review and approve time and payroll, catch and correct missed punches and other mistakes, and analyse and create more effective and efficient work schedules that are tied to the organisation’s actual needs, rather than tradition or personal preferences.
Automated HR time and attendance systems are also more secure. They can help reduce and even eliminate payroll fraud, such as employees punching each other in and out or lying about their time worked. Most of today’s sophisticated systems can use biometrics such as fingerprints, facial recognition scans, or other non-invasive yet highly accurate digital processes to accurately record and maintain time, attendance and payroll records.
That not only makes it much easier to effectively manage the workforce, but it also allows organisations to optimise their labour spend so that they can get the maximum value from their payroll. It stops being a game and instead becomes a productivity and profit leader for your business.
Get the Recognition You Deserve
For too long, HR departments have gotten the short end of the stick. They’ve been held to high standards in terms of performing complicated processes, managing people, hiring and recruiting the best workforce, and making sure all the organisation’s gears are spinning the way they are supposed to.
But because HR departments don’t create real profits, they are often on the bottom of the pile when it comes time to hand out congratulations.
HR software can help change that perception within your organisation. Thanks to the advanced sophisticated yet affordable HR systems available today from Advance Systems, now you can show your C-level leadership how you can reduce your company’s costs while improving efficiencies and adding to the bottom line.
When was the last time HR helped boost profits? Well, now you can with an automated HR software program like those available today.
So if you’re tired of being held to a higher standard while not getting the same accolades and attention that other departments receive, now is the time to do something about it. Check out one of the many high-value HR software systems available today and start getting your name talked about in the boardroom!
Category: Attendance Tracking, Employee SchedulingBy Advance Systems