Going Paperless – More to It than Meets the Eye – Part 1
- Posted by Jim Houliston
- On Feb 27, 2020
- 0 Comments
- business, compliance, k12 systems, paperless
When you consider the world of human resources and business operations, it has traditionally involved LOTS of paper. But as schools have entered the digital age, many of them are already paperless or looking to go paperless. What does going paperless truly mean, though? Is it just scanning and electronically filing all the paper-based personnel files, or is there something more to it? From our experience working with districts and charter schools, we have learned that going truly paperless is a whole lot more than meets the eye.
IT Firm NWN estimates that K-12 schools spend an average of $50,000 per year on paper and ink for printing and copying. That’s almost an FTE!
You may be ready to throw “HR Party of the Millenia” the day your bulky filing cabinets are no longer needed, and you should! And then what are the next steps? You and your staff obviously do a lot more than just filing – hiring and doing new hire paperwork, personnel requisition forms need reviewing, employee forms need signatures, employee notifications have to go out… the list goes on and on.
Geez, so where do we begin? The benefits are obvious: going paperless saves tons of time and money. But how does your team get there?
Fun fact: Estimates suggest that the typical office worker in the United States uses 10,000 sheets of paper and generates around 730 pounds of paper every year!
Listen to your staff and identify your needs and goals
- What do you want to accomplish and when do you want to accomplish it?
- What are the biggest bottlenecks your staff deal with?
- What challenges are stopping you and your staff from efficiently delivering the best service to your schools and employees?
To get answers, perhaps take your staff out for a Friday afternoon retreat or order in pizza and let them talk. Once you have figured out the gaps and written them down, you know where you are headed.
“Administrative staff are much more efficient when they don’t need to tackle manual filing, various printing tasks and sending letters out, ” says Cassie Marshall of Frog Education.
Factor in compliance
Also factor in any compliance requirements and regulations you need to stay on top of. There are many regulations affecting HR and the right system can help automate a lot of those oh-so-fun, repeated, compliance-related tasks.
Make a list of your existing systems
Like many districts, you probably have a multitude of different systems doing different things. What are they all doing? Can they work together to help solve your current needs and challenges? When you implement a new solution, it may need to talk to these existing systems or perhaps even replace some of them.
Assign a leader
Going paperless saves tons of time once implemented. Beforehand though, it can seem simply like a back-burner project. Designating a representative within your department to be responsible for leading the effort and reporting back to you regularly for updates and progress. This can ensure that you have a primary contact point who can lead the charge and help you get the job done.
In the next episode, we will continue to review the next steps of going paperless and the benefits it can bring, so stay tuned!
PS: Let us know in the comments section below your thoughts and feedback about this topic.