Paperless HR
HR Tools

The rapid advancement in digital technology has made it easy for small businesses to go paperless and get rid of piles of HR-related paperwork. So now, the real struggle is not to reduce paper usage, as that has already been done.

Instead, the daunting challenge is about how to eliminate paper completely, especially in the HR division, for the simple reason this department is always engaged in activities that demand a lot of paper usage. From providing appointment letters to new employees and sharing with them a paper-based company handbook to ensuring smooth onboarding, paper forms a crucial element of the HR function. 

What Do Statistics Say?

This is what stats have to say on paper consumption and paper waste. According to The World Counts, companies operating in the US use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper every year. This is even after companies embracing technology for carrying out their business process. Surprising isn’t it?

This massive use of paper for trivial everyday tasks is not only costly and increases paper waste, but also is detrimental for the environment at large. Statistics show that 5,589 large publicly traded companies in the US produced 342 million metric tons of waste and sent it to landfills and incinerators in 2014. In light of this, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation rolled out a report titled, “Trash to Treasure: Changing Waste Streams to Profit Streams” to make companies aware of the business value of adopting the paper recycling approach. 

Despite the widespread adoption of digital technology, such is the extent to which paper is being used and wasted even today. This calls for a drastic change – to not just reduce paper usage but to fully eliminate it. You can start this from your HR division to make sure the paperless trend quickly percolates down to other departments as well. 

A completely paperless workspace will make the hectic and humdrum tasks of your HR team, a smooth sail. No more filing cabinets and managing employee information on paper, when you have better and tech-friendly methods at your disposal. This will not only make a more sophisticated office but also reduce the cost incurred on paper, printers, and shredders. Technology-rich, super efficient and highly engaging – This is what the near future of workspace looks like. 

Paperless HR

Here Is a 6-Step Guide to Help You Eliminate Paper Usage at Your Workplace

1. Make E-Signatures Mandatory

It’s hilarious that we fill a form online, get it printed, sign it, and again scan it back into the system; something HR managers tend to do almost every day. Why not remove the printing part altogether with e-signatures? If we are going digital, we better make ourselves full digitalized. Using e-signatures can ease out the work of your HR staff to a great extent. 

There are some documents, especially those that are employee-related,  that require the signatures of your HR managers. Imagine signing over 1,000 different documents in a day! It’s literally a task. But why fret, when you have electronic signatures at hand. But, you need to be careful as every country has its own laws for e-signatures. Adobe provides a complete list of laws pertaining to electronic signatures in various countries. If you are thinking of implementing digital signatures in your organization, make sure that you go through your country’s IT laws.   

2. Switch to E-Forms, E-Contracts and E-Resumes

Employee recruitment and onboarding is one area where a lot of paperwork is required. Applicant resumes, legal forms, health-related medical forms, and other relevant documents of employees are usually in the form of paper, which makes it cumbersome for HR teams to manage and store them safely. The fact that these documents are necessary to maintain makes the task even more important.  How to make this task relatively easier and manageable? 

Digitizing the process is the perfect solution. While recruiting new employees, especially, ask them to email their resumes, scanned copies of identity proofs, and other important documents.  Create an online library wherein you can store all these documents for easy access when required. Even if your office has already gone paperless, there is always some paperwork that takes place while hiring new employees. To avoid that, switch to online application forms and digital resumes to ensure that there is zero paperwork.  

Thanks to the increasing inclination towards digitization, online onboarding software has become extremely popular. It helps your HR team manage employee records and files effortlessly. New employees can review, fill, and sign the papers online, and your HR managers can have such details safe and secure for as long as they need it. This also saves your staff from manually transferring data into the system, which has a significant chance of wrong data entries. 

3. Phase-out Printers and Fax Machines

A critical step in going completely paperless is to phase out all the printers and fax machines. The logic is simple. If there is no hard copy generating machine at the workplace, print outs cannot be generated! Strategically plan how to get away with these machines. 

Create a multi-phase-out plan that includes easy and effective steps to halt their use. Machines that are not so frequently used can be removed without a second thought. But, in case, there are printer devices, which are used regularly and phasing them out suddenly might hamper the work of your employees, then it’s best to adopt some other way to reduce their usage. You can probably place them at a location, which is inconvenient for your employees. 

4. Insist on E-Receipts from Service Providers

The next thing you must do is inform all your service providers about you going paperless. Contact your contractors and tell them about your initiative. Ask for e-receipts and make it crystal clear that paper receipts won’t be accepted. Once you get into this practice, paperwork will be entirely out of the picture. No manual handling of receipts, no confusion, and no need to devote extra space to keep receipts. All you need to do is make a folder in your system and store all your receipts at a single place.  

Once your HR division starts following this practice, it will set an excellent example for other departments as well, and soon you will see a similar change across your organization. Showcase the benefits of e-receipts to all your customer-facing teams and encourage them to follow suit so that there is a uniformity in transition. 

5. Switch to Cloud 

Storing all information on the cloud has various benefits – easy access, multiple device compatibility, enhanced security, and much more. Since your HR team constantly have to deal with a lot of information, switching to the cloud is a wise idea to ease out their work. A cloud-based HR documentation software tool can streamline your HR operations by helping you to create a single online knowledge repository where they can store information easily. Retrieving information becomes a matter of a click, once you have your online HR document ready. 

Creating an online document for your HR team is extremely easy, provided you use the right software. If you are looking for a robust tool, make sure that you look for some specific features like a text editor, roles & permissions, customization and branding options, security-related features, etc. You will find similar software online, which can make the task of selecting a single one, quite challenging. To avoid this, you can go for trial versions of a software tool to know how it works and how it can help you simplify your HR-related tasks. 

6. Streamline HR Operations with an HRMS 

Small firms are always on a hiring spree, as rapid growth both in terms of business and people is what they look out for. This means that your employee strength will keep on increasing, as you keep hiring new people for your firm. Now, managing this growing employee strength is a challenge. Right from their attendance and leave requests to providing them with timely payslips and keeping them informed of major events, is essential. With a powerful HRMS tool, these seemingly tedious tasks become a mere cakewalk, as your HR managers don’t have to put in manual effort in managing employees. 

Today, everything can be done online in a snap. Such a system is even beneficial for employees, as it eliminates the need for emailing or directly reaching out to colleagues for information. Besides, it also empowers your employees with self-service, meaning, they can directly browse through the HRMS to get information on anything, be it their log-in and log-out timings, their application status for particular office activity, reimbursement on a recent official trip and much more. 

Transitioning from paper-based to completely paperless is difficult and might take time, but given the enormous benefits it offers, all your efforts will be worth it. Also, while you are transitioning, don’t let it go unnoticed. Make an official announcement across your organization about this initiative and set an example for other divisions. Make employees aware of how this big move will benefit them and encourage them to get rid of paper completely for two significant reasons, first to boost productivity at work and second, to save the environment. 

Vacation and sick leave tracking software
HR Tools

Are you an HR manager or small business owner looking for vacation & sick time tracking software? If you’re looking to streamline your HR and manage employee time off by keeping everything in one place, it’s important to choose the right tool for your business.

More importantly, you need something that will scale with your business.

Here’s the thing: Employee leave tracking tools can save you a ton of time, but it’s important to know what to look for. Do you want something barebones and basic, or would you prefer a tool that will be flexible enough to grow with your company?

When it comes to HR software, it’s important to keep in mind that leave accrual, holiday and employee leave tracking, sick leave tracking, and employee record management are all very important.

In other words, it’s important to have clear records in place that you can reference later.

To avoid wasting time, it’s best to choose a cloud-based tool that can support your company’s requirements with ease (because let’s face it — you already have a million other things to worry about!).

Here are a few things you should look for when selecting the right HRIS to help your small business track sick time and employee leave:

The Ability to Set Employee Leave Entitlements & Track Balances

If your small business is looking for a way to set employee leave entitlements, you probably already know that spreadsheets are only helpful for so long.

Spreadsheets, email, and paper files can suck up days (if not weeks) of lost time — not to mention these methods are prone to manual error!

The easier way? Cloud HR software that can easily handle employee sick time and holiday tracking.

Automatic Leave Accrual

Forget about employee leave tracking calculators or spreadsheets.

After all, you’re busy enough as is!

The best HR tools out there allow for automatic leave accrual out of the box.

This means that with the right cloud tool, you’ll be able to specify the amount of time off you want to give each employee (or you can choose in bulk).

This means that after setting this up, you won’t have to worry about making those calculations manually — it’s all done for you in the system.

Think about all of the things you could do with that free time!

Support for Different Types of Employee Absences

There are a variety of leave and absence types you may be tracking for employees: Annual leave, maternity leave, sick and carer’s leave, compassionate & bereavement leave, long service leave, community service leave, and more.

With so many different leave types to keep track of, it’s crucial to choose a tool that will allow you the opportunity to add multiple leave types.

Keep Track of Time Off Using Hours or Days

While most HR systems are able to handle full day absences no problem, what happens when an employee needs to take a half day off?

This is a common scenario, so it’s important that your HR system can handle these situations without a hitch.

You will want the ability to record their absence in the system, which means your HR system will need to be flexible enough to allow for partial days as well as full.

Employee Self-Service Option

Does your small business currently have a hard time keeping leave requests tidy and organised?

Has a leave request ever slipped through the cracks?

Well, if it hasn’t happened already, consider yourself lucky!

As any business grows, it becomes increasingly more important to put processes in place that will handle things like employee leave requests.

With the right processes in place, you can easily streamline holiday requests and sick time at your company without losing time in the process.

By implementing an employee self-service option, your employees will have the convenience of being able to login from any device to view their available time off balance, submit leave requests to their managers, and (if you choose) see who is on leave (and when).

A cloud-based solution offers plenty of flexibility for both managers and employees. Enterprise companies have been using cloud software for years, and luckily small businesses are now able to enjoy the many benefits of cloud software, too.

Employee Vacation Calendar

Have you ever been so busy that you had to double check and see whether or not someone was still on leave?

If the answer is yes, then you already know it’s not fun to search through your inbox or desk to find those exact dates.

Or maybe you’ve experienced another common scenario: Your employees are submitting vacation requests without knowing whether or not their time off request conflicts with another employee’s.

Yep, not having a calendar to track employee time off and holiday can quickly become a pain. And it only gets worse as your company grows!

That’s why having a leave calendar in place can save a lot of time in the long-run — you can see who is in and out on any given day, week, or month.

With HR Partner, your leave and absence calendar is already baked in. You can also sync this calendar to Google Calendar or Outlook to make things even easier.

employee leave tracking calendar

The Ability to Generate Leave & Absence Reports

Many companies create absence and leave reports on a monthly basis to get a clear view of what’s going on.

Much of the time, this means spending hours at a desk working with time-consuming spreadsheets — or worse — paper files!

The right HRIS can save you weeks of time every year by helping you generate these reports in a matter of seconds (with just the click of a button).

Upfront OR Incremental Leave Options

leave accruals

Whether you allow leave to be taken upfront or it is dispersed over time, your vacation and absence management software should cater to all scenarios with ease.

Ready to start saving time by exploring vacation & sick time tracking software?

What HR Partner users have to say: “I have just completed the audit. I showed them your application and explained how its fits in with the HR aspect of my business, and they were blown away.” -Jonas M., Perth Healthcare and Support Enterprise.

Looking for employee sick & leave tracking software? Try a free trial today so that you can finally breathe and stop worrying about your HR business processes.