For small businesses that have done their HR processes on paper since the beginning, it may seem unnecessary to make the switch to digital. It seems to be working well enough, right? Well, this might be one area where you can save yourself a lot of grief by getting with the times and moving away from those outdated practices.
The following are a few reasons why keeping track of all the administrative tasks of HR on paper may not be doing your business any favors.
You Make Yourself Vulnerable to Lawsuits
If you’re keeping track of applicants, performance reviews, and disciplinary actions on paper, you are making yourself vulnerable to lawsuits. In many cases, handwritten copies of this type of documentation will be missing information that may be critical if brought to court. Paperwork may also be skipped over because it is time consuming, with paper systems it is harder to keep track of whether managers are following the rules.
Information Can Become Misplaced or Disorganized
Paper copies of important documents can become lost in filing cabinets, can be filed under the wrong name or heading, or can be inadvertently thrown out. This can make it difficult to comply with laws and to prove innocence if a candidate or employee accuses the organization of discrimination. Additionally, this can make it tough to maintain consistency with internal policies, which can be frustrating and disheartening to employees.
Handwriting Can Sink the Ship
Everyone’s handwriting is different, which can become a real problem when it’s necessary to read what a paper record says. Since not everyone stays at a job, you may find yourself in a situation trying to read what someone wrote when that person is no longer available to clarify. Digital records simply eliminate the issue of having to worry about reading others’ handwriting.
Scheduling and Time Off Becomes Problematic
Relying on people to write down time off requests, keeping track of those requests in a paper calendar, and making schedules week after week using these rudimentary tools is a recipe for disaster. Sooner or later, an employee is going to write down dates illegibly, a manager is going to misplace a time off request, or someone is going to forget to check the calendar before making the schedule.
Problems with time off requests can be anxiety inducing for employees and can lead to staffing issues for an organization. Keeping track of time off requests using a digital system in which requests are submitted and then immediately reviewed and added to a digital calendar that is then used for scheduling can streamline the process and prevent mishaps.
Timesheets Are a Trust Exercise
Trusting employees to write down their hours is a risk. Employees may write in extra hours or hide tardiness in time sheets. HR professionals may also read time incorrectly (again, handwriting) and accidentally process payroll for the wrong number of hours.