Technology is accelerating at a record pace, which is often good for business. Efficiencies gained by upgrading software usually trickle to the bottom line quickly. Well, most of the time. Suggest recordkeeping software to a small-business owner and the response might be, “Oh, great; more work for me.” Sound familiar? If your current title is Owner/HR Director/Customer Service Manager/Bookkeeper, the last thing you need is “IT Director” added to the list. But, what if shifting away from your tried-and-true paper process put more time in your day and enhanced employee satisfaction, too? That would be a win-win, yes?

Positives Outweigh the Negatives

According to SHRM’s 2015 report on Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement, “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” and “trust between employees and senior management” were the top two contributors to satisfaction. Whoa. That’s a revelation: Empowering employees by providing them access to a portion of your daily responsibilities may have a positive impact on their job satisfaction. For example, let’s consider the owner of an independent retail shop. Chances are good he has a moderate amount of turnover and seasonal hiring needs. As the wearer of all hats, the owner is updating personnel records regularly as well as training new employees. In addition, they have boxes of files in storage for every employee who has ever worked for them.
Self-Service Benefits
  • 24/7 availability from home or work
  • Increased functionality without increasing staff
  • Ease of use
  • Frees management from transactional work
  • Cuts cost of paper forms and folders
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Higher manager/employee productivity
  • Greater efficiency overall
Instead of the same old-same old, the owner decides it’s time to adopt electronic recordkeeping software. From day one, they tell employees that managing their personal information is now an expectation and an advantage.
When employees hear, “I trust you with the responsibility of managing this important process,” there is an added level of accountability, control and empowerment. This level of trust directly impacts employee satisfaction.
By trusting employees, the owner saves time, too, because the avalanche of data-input is shared. Best of all: Information is entered correctly and accurately when it comes directly from employees. Switching from old to new isn’t as daunting when it’s a group effort vs. a solo one.
What's one of the biggest advantages of employee self-service?
    Fewer mundane, clerical tasks for you! That means you can focus on the important things — such as running your business and servicing your customers.

Plan Ahead for a Seamless Transition

If you’re considering entering the paperless-records world, it’s a good idea to spend time researching how to make the transition as painless as possible. Here’s a brief list of things to consider:
  • Fewer mundane, clerical tasks for you! That means you can focus on the important things — such as running your business and servicing your customers.
  • Put your transition plan in writing. Take the time to think through how to implement a new program — how it will impact you and employees. Once you have a solid plan, add it to your employee manual and training program so all employees understand that recordkeeping is their responsibility.
  • Make sure your software of choice protects privacy. Whatever program you decide to use, it must provide secure access for employees. Make sure you have control over who has access to what information.
  • Double check employee input. After employees enter information, review the input to ensure you have all the information you need. If you include the step-by-step process in your employee manual, you will reduce the chance of errors or omissions.
  • Have a plan for those old paper records. Are you keeping them? Digitizing them? Throwing them away? It might be best to review to find out what records you are required to keep and for how long.
  • More and more companies are adopting self-service applications in order to reduce paperwork and workload.
  • Shifting certain functions to employees allows business owners to focus on more pressing business matters.
  • Empowering and trusting employees can have a positive impact on their job satisfaction.
  • Having a solid transition plan in place can help make the move from paper to electronic much easier.

Get Started with Free Recordkeeping Software

If you’re considering making the switch from paper to digital recordkeeping, a good place to start is HRdirect’s free employee recordkeeping online software. You can create your business account within minutes and invite employees to manage and update their information so you don’t have to.