It’s Time to Stop Killing Trees at Work

This post is not about the fact that reforestation is good for our environment, particularly offsetting carbon pollution. Well… now that you’re interested (I hope) I will say that we need to protect our environment if we want a good future for the next generation. Ignore our environment and this planet will die. I am not going to get into a debate about this, the pros, cons and infusing wacko Donald Trump theory.

The point of this post is that with modern workplace technology we can probably run HR 90-95% paper-free. So long as we integrate our recruitment, HRIS, collaboration and performance software together the need for paper is virtually gone. Aside from reducing our practice of killing trees below are the key reasons why it’s smart business to adopt technology wtihin HR.

Workflow Optimization

Integrated software allows you to easily manage workflows – automation, customization, analytics, etc… Instead of trying to dig into paper files stuffed in the filing cabinent to look at historical data, you simply do it from the comfort of your desk, tablet or phone. Imagine the amount of time you save with each activity… compounded with many activities.

Scalability

Technology is not meant to replace work. It’s meant to shift the work that people do from transactional to strategic. In plain language, if software is set up properly, the theory is that the end-user will be able to spend more time focusing on high-value work. In my world, I like running lean teams, and the only way I can do this is if I have integrated software supporting what my team does, all the way through the employee experience – the true value of scalability.

Data Analytics

Honestly, the majority of my HR peers really have no idea how invaluable technology is to analytics. With one centralized data source you can analyze in real-time. In fact, if you have been able to embed AI you don’t have to do anything… the machine is analyzing for you on the fly and pushing insights, analytics and reporting. Gone are the days where it takes hours to generate reports — collect data, clean data, and try to manipulate and analyze. By the time you finish all this the report is obsolete — the workplace has changed and the report means nothing. Plus, you’ve wasted several hours of invaluable time on nothing. Not smart business. In order to make smart decisions you need good quality data at your fingertips 24-7.

User Experience

You know how frustrating it is to comb through pages and pages of data. Now add combing through pages of paper — unless you can speed read you’ll be sitting there wasting time searching for what you need. Plus, you never get the full story because the data is all over the place. Is it even accurate, current and reliable? You’ll never know. Modern HR software is easy-to-use and can be used across different hardware. Just the simple benefit of UI will alleviate the stress and discomfort of trying to analyze data on paper. Plus, you can significantly increase your ability to support organizational growth when you care about the user experience.

By the way, it also feels really good when you can shred paper so while I am advocating for getting rid of paper keep the shredder as a stress-relieving practice. Trust me, it works!!

These are only a few benefits of using software over paper within HR. The business is super clear, and frankly not rocket science. Regardless, the least you can do is stop killing trees!

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