How to transform the employee experience with digital documents

Transition from paper-based documentation to digital workflow to drive employee productivity & satisfaction

How to transform the employee experience with digital documents

This article was produced in partnership with Adobe Document Cloud

Productivity has never been more important. 2020 saw the majority of Australian businesses rapidly transition to remote working and focus on maintaining continuity and effective functionality while working from home.

For 2021, as we slowly adapt to snap lockdowns and hybrid working models, it’s now not a matter of if we can work remotely, but how well. The constant flux between working environments means human resource professionals are under constant pressure to maintain culture, wellbeing and a positive employee experience that promotes productivity in the workplace.

In fact, recent research from Forrester revealed that HR teams are falling behind in terms of engaging employees virtually. Interesting, more than half (55%) of organisations across Australia and New Zealand admit that the lack of adequate technology decreased efficiency and productivity across the board.
Over the next 12 months, 2 out of 5 Australian companies are planning to adopt esignatures, meaning companies need to stay ahead of the curve and meet the rising expectations of their customers.

Therefore, now is the time for HR teams to rethink and enhance employee engagement. To enrich the employee experience, businesses must consider the shift to digital documents – transitioning from paper-based documentation to digital workflows.

One in four businesses achieved higher customer satisfaction after transitioning to digital document solutions, therefore digital documents hold the key for Australian organisations to drive employee efficiency, satisfaction, and day-to-day enjoyment.

Transitioning paper-based activities

There’s no doubt that paper-based processes impede performance. Paper documents are subject to human errors, spelling mistakes, being misplaced or lost, and ultimately leading to inefficiencies.

Take completing and signing onboarding documents for example. In the past, new employees would have to print and sign tax forms, employment offers, and employment agreements. Even the smallest errors in these forms require employees to re-write and re-submit. If other stakeholders would need to co-sign, then these documents would also have to make their way through the office for signature. Once finally completed, the sensitive documents would then be physically handed into the HR team, and filed accordingly. This process could take days.

The pandemic exposed our old ways of working as tedious and inefficient. Remote working taught us that there are much more efficient ways of working once we remove the need for paper-based documents and utilise digital documents.

Through digital documents and e-signatures, HR teams can now enhance the employee experience.  Onboarding employees can complete forms digitally, sign their documents without having to print a paper-based document, and share with stakeholders for signatures and approvals. Digitising this process enhances the workflow and user experience for the new employee, meaning they can focus more on more meaningful tasks, such as meeting their new team or getting a better understanding of their role.

Beyond the recruitment process

While a portion of recruitment and onboarding processes are now digitised, the bulk of an employees’ daily tasks continue to be paper based. Amidst the shift to virtual or hybrid work environments, reliance on paper-based processes have disrupted daily operations and affected employee experience.

Employee expectations are also changing. A recent survey reveals over three quarters of organisations are signing more documents electronically in the second half of 2020 than in the past two years. In fact, most respondents (73%) believe that companies who don’t offer e-signature options are ‘behind the times.’

Therefore, establishing workflows that reflect employees’ changing work environments and expectations, as well as integrating everyday communication channels, goes a long way in improving the employee experience. Increasing the use of digital documents, whether it’s providing an e-signature solution or the ability to edit and organise PDFs, will not only support short term, but continue to enhance the employee experience long after the pandemic.

Maintaining employee engagement is also a key driver for retention. By shifting the view of remote work from a reactive tactic to a proactive measure, digitisation improves employer brand image and sets the right tone for engaging employees.

Enabling a seamless end-to-end experience requires complete digitisation, particularly when the constant state of flux brought on by the pandemic is impeding the smooth running of business. Therefore, by addressing business resilience and new ways of working, investing in digitising document processes will bring both immediate and long-term benefits for Australian organisations.

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