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What You Need to Know to Simplify Your Employee Onboarding

Blame it all on the Industrial Revolution! The creation of machines that enabled the mass production of goods also enabled the mass exploitation of human laborers and the need for government intervention.

Employee Onboarding

As the government steps in and unions form, the complications of compliance develop. Now who will handle it? In steps Human Resource Management or HR.

The definition of “human resources” as we know it today came about in the 19th century to help resolve misunderstandings between employers and their employees. Then in the early 20th century came the rise of the “human relations movement” which dealt with improving business value through the strategic management of the workforce or keeping workers happy to keep them productive.

Today one of HR’s largest focuses is employee onboarding and the management of its compliances. Changing laws and regulations regarding employees can lead to confusion, delays, and loss if not managed properly. An HR onboarding check list consist of several documents including but not limited to:

  • Job Application
  • Signed Letter of Offer
  • New Hire Personal Data & Documents (License, Social Security, Passport, etc.)
  • HIPAA Agreement
  • Background Check Permission
  • Payroll Forms
  • Tax Forms
  • Employee ID Forms
  • Workplace Policies
  • Others

Many of these documents are of a sensitive nature because they hold personal information along with company information that must be properly secured. In a paper or an unsecured digital form the risks of loss, falling into the wrong hands, and being misplaced or misfiled greatly increase. In addition these practices increase the issues with maintaining current federal and state government regulations and requirements (on work hours, vacation, maternity/family leave, insurance, pay rates, etc.).

Mistakes and risks can be decreased by developing an onboarding plan that stays current with laws and regulations as well as automates the onboarding process. Choosing to automate the onboarding process allows employers and employees the ability to better acclimate to their perspective roles. It also allows an enhanced approach to achieve compliance and decrease possible liabilities.

In an article from, “Onboarding New Hires: How to Achieve Compliance with State Regulations,” recognizes that “many companies still rely on paper-based forms and processes, which lack centralized control and make it difficult to manage compliance. As a result, today’s businesses need a new approach to automate and streamline the onboarding process.”

Another article, “How to Build an Onboarding Plan for a New Hire,” from Inc. acknowledges that “Automated systems are especially useful because onboarding requires the involvement of multiple departments within a company, all working together to welcome and engage a new employee, to make him or her feel as comfortable as possible from Day One. The right technology can help coordinate various individuals and tasks by taking care of paperwork electronically, or sending notifications alerting IT support staff to configure a new hire's laptop and BlackBerry.”

Finding a solution that will automate onboarding processes as well as maintain compliance and privacy standards may sound difficult. One way to efficiently and securely automate onboarding is with a document/record management software. A document/record management software allows HR to streamline the onboarding process by decreasing paper documents, increasing collaboration, and supporting progress.

Clear the Paper Jam

Automating employee onboarding with a document/record management software takes away the need for paper documents. It channels information into one centralized location that can be securely accessed across multiple departments at necessary clearance levels.

The need to be physically present to sign is also detracted. The wait for signatures and approvals greatly decreases with routing and notifications. Electronic documents can be securely signed with e-signature in moments and quickly attached to the appropriate record.

Physical storage space decreases because paper documents are no longer necessary. By not physically storing documents search time is greatly decreased. Electronic records and documents grant the ability to quickly search and track edits, notes, employee reviews, and approvals which often stand as vital information for audits and other procedures.

Increase Collaboration

By channeling onboarding information into a centralized location users are able to seamlessly collaborate and clearly see any tasks that are pending or the tasks that have been completed. Alerts and reminders ensure tasks are completed on time and in a timely manner. This improves accountability and decreases the chances of duplicate work.

Legal departments are able to clearly communicate with HR regarding changes or updates to specific language for policies and paper work with features like Optical Character Recognition (OCR – a strong search feature), version control, and redlining. OCR allows users to quickly search and to make any necessary updates to language in documents. In addition version control and redlining allow users to see the latest changes that were made and when they were made. Ensuring up-to-date compliance.

A document/record management software also allows paperwork regarding approvals for promotion, raise, vacation, maternity/family medical leave, and more to move quickly and securely through the appropriate channels to ensure all compliance measures are met.

The ability to create external users also helps to increase collaboration. The external users feature allows employees limited secure access to designated areas of their information. This allows them to make any requested, necessary changes or adjustments.

Promote Progress

A document/record management software supports the progress of automated employee onboarding by allowing reporting for audits and other procedures. A trail is laid with each notification and action. This allows a detailed report of what took place and who is to be held accountable. Reports also allow a big picture view of compliance measures as well as employee progress.

Closing Thoughts

A 2007 Whynhurst Group study showed that employees are 58% more likely to remain with an organization after 3 years when they go through a structured onboarding. Automating employee onboarding with a document/record management software simplifies procedures and helps to effectively acclimate new employees. A successful onboarding plan can be aided by a document/record management software that helps with appropriately meeting the strict time limits and demands of compliance. This is key to reducing employee turnover and ensuring there is no confusion, delay, or loss.

Wikipedia: Human Resources
Wikipedia: Human Resource Management
Wikipedia: Human Relations Movement
Wikipedia: Onboarding
How to Build an Onboarding Plan for a New Hire
Onboarding New Hires: How to Achieve Compliance with State Regulations
How to Get Employee Onboarding Right
Avoid These 3 Employment Compliance Mistakes or Risk Fines

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