Let’s face it, we still love paper: The feel of an enticing paperback novel in our hands, the smell of its pages and ink while we’re sunning at the beach or taking a hot bath. Conversely, in these sunny, relaxing and often watery settings, an eBook reader or other mobile device can be difficult to consume due to the glare… and if we’re not careful the relatively expensive device can get wet or ruined.
The workplace is a different and usually drier landscape, however, where paper isn’t the fastest or most efficient way to communicate, transact business or keep records. In the workplace we value near-instant access to information, the convenience of that data being available within a keystroke or two, and the ability to search a document or database without the time-consuming and imperfect process of human eyes scanning for a needed data point. What’s more, paper can be costly to print on (up to a few cents per sheet), send, store (think of the costs per square foot), and dispose of. When you consider that the average American employee uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year, the costs, many of which are unnecessary, can add up.
This is where enterprise digital network systems come into play. In addition to saving columns of oxygen-generating trees, you can reap the efficiencies of a digital business transformation, which for HR professionals include faster and wider talent sourcing and job postings, quicker response times from applicants, and faster time to hire. Wait! Switch from a paper forms and records? Our company is too mature, too entrenched in our ways, you say. Sorry, there isn’t much time to wait, and if we learn nothing else from this week’s agenda of sessions at HR Tech Chicago 2016, the transition to digital business models is already well under way and is disrupting those once-successful traditional ways of doing business.
One big driver for this transformation is the infiltration of Millennials and Generation Z professionals into the workplace, both physically and through their ideas and interaction styles. These digitally adept “movers and shakers” are accustomed to using online apps while staying on the move. Your talent management processes had better be mobile, real-time and interactive. For members of these younger generations, as well as adaptive Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers like me and my boss, paper forms and printed forms of communication are becoming increasingly less important, even obsolete.
The Employee Adoption Challenge
To get maximum value from your enterprise systems, large-scale adoption is imperative. However, employee adoption and engagement can be a problem among the more entrenched members of your workforce. This is why it’s important to leave them with no excuse not to use the system. Make it part of your culture, your transition to a self-developing workforce, and part of each and every individual’s career plan. Take advantage of the mobile and digital world in your HR practices where job applicants can fill out short and easy to use forms, and recruiters get built-in intelligence to help them winnow the candidate list down to the most qualified and then store (and later search) qualified candidates in their database for future reference. For your employees, the system should be fun and energetic, with self-directed career progression, while your managers and executives get the workforce data they need for employee development, succession planning and corporate goal execution.
Reserve paper usage only for where it is absolutely needed, and instead capture new-hire and overall workforce insights that you can put to strategic use in the areas of recruitment, onboarding, learning and career development, performance evaluation, objectives, succession planning, and more.
Find out how Lumesse talent management software systems can provide a holistic view of both your talent pool and workforce in a single, easy to use solution, a system that offers the career incentive and strategic transparency your employees needs to align and succeed. Along the way, your organization will reduce manual processes and paper usage to get more efficient at talent management processes while growing more “green.”