Gone are the days of sifting through mountains of paper to retrieve data filed months ago. Or sitting a pile of forms in front of a new hire on their first day on the job. Or manually entering the same data (like employees’ demographics) into multiple forms. Or spending money on printing and postage. Yes, looking back at the time before the advent of paperless forms is not an occasion to muse on the “good old days.” It’s time to appreciate how far HR has come in organizing and handling important data that travels across departments and in some cases, around the country. Here are 7 benefits of paperless forms:
Easy access: Electronically stored forms can be accessed anytime from anywhere an employee has internet access. With the growing use of mobile devices for work, this advantage becomes even more important to an increasingly young workforce. Mobile access puts information in their hands quickly, when they need it, and creates a more engaging work environment.
Workflow and alerts: With the right software, web-based forms give you the ability to create workflows and alerts that ensure the right people get the right form at the right time—automatically. From initiation to approval to archiving, this functionality makes everyone’s life easier. Whether it’s informing employees of required training, routing an appraisal form, or tracking goals, paperless forms simplify the job and give your employees time for other projects.
Engaging onboarding process: Did you know that new employees who are part of a structured orientation program are 69% more likely to stay on the job for up to three years? Online forms play an important part in an employee’s positive onboarding experience. When forms can be completed anywhere at the new hire’s convenience, before they ever step into the office or onto the factory floor, their first day can be spent getting to know coworkers, meeting supervisors, or taking a look around the facility, and then getting started.
Better customer service: Have you ever had to ask a customer to wait for a day or two while you tracked down records or documents needed to answer their questions or respond to a compliant? Paperless forms accessed quickly from your computer speed up the process by allowing you to answer questions, correct mistakes, or update forms without having to leave your workstation.
Electronic signatures: Signing documents electronically may seem like a small thing, but it isn’t if you have lots of employees, forms requiring signatures, or clients and office locations spread out across the country. The ability to legally sign forms (like Form I-9) electronically saves time and eliminates the need to print, mail, or fax forms.
Connection with a central database: Integrated with a single repository of employee information like a strong HRMS, paperless forms simplify form completion by both saving data directly into the database as well as pulling relevant data from the database to autopopulate appropriate fields. This not only saves time but also reduces errors that often occur when manually copying data from one document to another.
Audit trails: Paperless forms can automatically create a detailed audit trail including information on initiation date, edits, and comments along the way as well as on final approval. There’s no question about whether or not a step has been skipped, if a form made its way to all required approvers, or if a mandatory form was completed on time.
Sage HRSM HR Actions®
A plugin for Sage HRMS, Sage HRMS HR Actions (HR Actions) provides web-based forms covering the entire employment life cycle. No matter who initiates the forms—an employee, manager, or HR staff member—HR Actions electronically routes them for approval and saves data directly into Sage HRMS.
Is your HR department still shuffling paper forms? If so, HR Actions may be just what you need to give your staff a more efficient, streamlined work environment.
To learn more about HR Actions, contact us at 888.421.2004 or use the CONTACT SALES button on our website.
Eliminate the Burden of Paperwork
Quickly build, route and approve your own web-based forms without any programming using Sage HRMS HR Actions
Mary van Balen is based out of Columbus, Ohio and is a writer for Delphia Consulting. Mary contributes to the Delphia blog on Human Resources issues and Delphia Consulting and Sage product related updates.