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Paperless HR: Reducing Reliance on Pen-and-Paper in HR Operations

CoAdvantage- Paperless HR is not a pipe dream. In fact, for some organizations, it’s a requirement: the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is requiring all federal agencies to start submitting all federal government records in electronic format by the end of 2022.

For most private businesses, of course, a totally paperless workflow is not possible, sensible, or even desirable. But even if by “paperless” you just mean “less paper,” several hurdles continue to challenge.

·   Does the digital system add complexity to the records management process?
·   Does it require new capital or operational expenditures?
·   Does it comply with all federal, state, and local regulations?
·   For example, does the law allow the type of analog record to be stored digitally?
·   Can you produce documents upon demand (for business, legal, or audit purposes)?
·   How difficult will it be to deploy the digital system and train employees on it?

In general, digitizing paper-based workflows do generate some great benefits. For one thing, it enables workplace automation of routine tasks that used to require manual labor. Even just finding a digital document can be dramatically faster and easier (click a few buttons) than finding a physical document (digging through the file room or requesting the physical record from another location).

But if you’re going to pursue a paperless approach to data and information management, be smart about how you approach it.

·   Ensure your digital records management solution will last for years. If you’re working with a vendor, do some due diligence. If they go out of business three years from now, make sure your records technology and storage will still be functional and accessible.

·   Do not destroy paper copies, no matter what, if legal action is feared or ongoing. Switching to “less paper” does not vacate the need for managing paper records. Further, if a paper copy cannot be wholly converted to digital, keep the paper.

·   Also consider the security of electronic document management systems. This is particularly critical for small businesses. Michael Bruemmer, Vice President Experian Data Breach Resolution, says that small businesses can be an especially attractive target because of the perceived lack of cybersecurity. Then, in the aftermath of a data breach, 10% of small businesses go out of business and 25% declare bankruptcy, according to a study from the National Cyber Security Alliance.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about CoAdvantage’s ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.

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