By Peter Ransome
The human resources department is the one area of every business that always has a mountain of paperwork with which to contend. However, if every single one of those slips of paper is not properly filed and tracked, it can lead to serious problems for the organization as a whole.
That is why HR document management is such a vital process. When this is streamlined, HR departments can cut costs, reduce time waste and potentially lead to a smoother running business.
While every organization will have a slightly different document management system, here are five areas that are crucial—the five C’s of HR document management.
To manage your HR documents effectively, first you must collect them in an easy-to-access format. This may mean bringing them together from several different existing systems.
You may need to scan paper documents, import emails and download from old software systems. The key is to eliminate clutter and waste. Think about those old boxes of paper stuck in the closet or storage room.
When you centralize your document management system, you will be able to rid your organization of those old boxes and clean space that you can utilize for more important purposes. Centralization saves effort, and it will help you eliminate paper waste; this will also make your office more eco-friendly.
There are more rules and regulations in place today in regards to paperwork and privacy than ever before. For instance, HIPPA includes pages of regulations.
Luckily, with a high-quality document management system, complying with those regulations is not terribly complicated. You will be able to track exactly what takes place with your paperwork when it is stored within a cloud-based software system.
Also, when you have such a system in place, you can protect the most sensitive documents. This is something that keeps you in compliance with security regulations and is something that simply is not possible when you are working with cardboard boxes in the storage closet. Compliance is critical and will likely only become more so in the years to come.
The HR department today may not be a physical department anymore. Some of your employees may be working at home, working in different areas of the building, or even working across the globe. With the right document management system, it will be much easier for your staff members to collaborate and work on projects together.
Imagine if your “at-home” workers, your HR reps at your European office, and you could all look at the same paperwork at the same time. When you go paperless and have everything available in the cloud, this becomes a reality.
We touched on it before, but controlling access to individual documents is a vital benefit of an HR document management system. This does not necessarily mean just password protecting the file and keeping people from being able to view them.
You can set different levels of protection, so that you could allow access but restrict functions such as sharing or editing. Keeping control of the documents is vital and one of the ways that you can prevent accidental loss.
In fact, you can turn over power as you see fit to others or even give temporary control—such as if you needed to allow access to a section of documents for a project. This is just one of the many ways that this type of system can help keep your HR office in order.
It may seem like an electronic or cloud-based document management system would be an expense for your business. In actuality, it is usually a great way for a company to save money.
Once you have the system installed, you are saving money because it saves you time—time that you can spend on other, more important, tasks. In the HR department, your most valuable resource is you.
Additionally, you will find that the amount saved on printing, paper, ink and recycling is immense. Many businesses do not realize how expensive these are until they are not generating these bills each month.
A cloud-based document system can also be accessed from anywhere, allowing for more remote working opportunities, which is another money-saving possibility in some organizations.
When you follow the five C’s of HR document management, your HR staff will save labor hours, and they are less likely to find themselves in any sticky situation with the government.
A well-organized document system leads to improved overall performance and better-informed decision-making throughout all areas of your organization.
Work with your HR department to help set up a document management solution that meets or exceeds these five C’s. You will find that the payoff is well worth the effort—both today and for years to come.