How Digitizing HR Maintains Compliance and Eases Processes
The role of the HR department is absolutely huge. As a department, it is responsible for ensuring everybody is happy, securing morale and productivity.
From workplace safety to training, a lot of records and documents pass through the HR team each and every day. Given the fact that these files don’t seem to ever slow down, they can end up swallowing a huge chunk of the day.
The Digital Revolution continues to expand. Its application for HR can make a huge difference to working procedures and protocol. Compliance and working processes stand to witness huge improvements with the right actions.
A lot of the records in HR safekeeping are subject to strict legislation. Confidentiality, protection of sensitive data and retention periods are all massive considerations. Departments work tirelessly to ensure that there is nothing out of place and do a great job, too.
Risks remain though. Misfiling can result in lost documents and even discarding of vital paperwork. A digitised department needn’t worry about this, though.
The usual process is for records and files to be scanned and converted to digital documents. Digital copies can be easily stored, either locally or in the cloud. If guidelines state that electronic records are suitable, compliance is boosted.
Documents are securely kept away from the wrong hands and eyes, can be better managed and kept until the relevant dates.
There’s a fine line between accessibility and privacy of records. Effectively securing files and making them accessible only by people with relevant permissions can sometimes be a tricky task. In most cases, records are locked away and very safe but digital HR offers even more protection.
A lack of physical records makes it much harder for documents to be compromised. A heavily protected computer system is much harder to get into than furniture. The cloud takes it one step further, too.
Guarded by protective features, utilizing the cloud means that no files need to be stored locally. As such, there is nothing that can be taken from devices, shoring up security extremely effectively.
Strengthen Audit Trails and Version Control
Audit trails and version control can define a HR department. Transparency is a vital component of compliance. The slightest change or mismatch of data can cost an entire company very dearly.
HR departments regularly edit and modify files which can throw up all kinds of questions. Digital copies can be equipped with annotations stating exactly when and why changes have been made to an original version.
If at any point there are questions to be asked, they can be resolved quickly and easily. A point that regulators and inspectors tend to hold dear.
Free Up Space
One of the biggest issues facing HR departments is the sheer amount of paperwork that lives there. Having digital documents can allow for physical records to be kept offsite. The space that was taken up by heavy duty cabinets and drawers can be better used for work related activities.
In fact, relations in the HR department itself can be boosted with the additional room. With more space to work, there will be less chance of getting in the way of others and vice versa.
Reduce Search Times
Manually processed paper records that have been filed away can be a pain to find again. Taking their place amongst thousands of other sheets of paper, if organisation isn’t completely on point it can take a fairly long time to recover exactly what you need.
During the digitization process, optical character recognition (OCR) can be implemented to intelligently extract data from the paperwork. Digital files can be indexed, meaning they are fully searchable when used with the right software.
Instead of routing through furniture, documents can be found with a few keystrokes and accessed almost immediately.
Running a Tight Ship
HR is ultimately responsible for a lot of the compliance and operational demands of a company and can be described as the heartbeat of a business.
By digitizing the department, control of these factors is much easier. As an added bonus, security and productivity are maintained and boosted, too.
Tresha D. Moreland, MBA, MS, SPHR, SSBBP, founder of HR C-Suite, is an HR thought leader in Human Resource Strategic Management. She has held key human resource leadership roles for over 20 years in multiple industries most recently a senior vice president in the healthcare industry.
Tresha is the founder and publisher of HR C-Suite (www.hrcsuite.com). HR C-Suite is a game changer results-based HR strategy website. It is a first-of-it's-kind site that organizes HR strategy based on desired business result.
She has developed a business philosophy of integrating human resources with business strategy, thus creating a hybrid HR leadership approach. This approach enables the leveraging human resources to achieve business results.