What is paperless onboarding?

May 15th 2020

Your first day on the job typically does not include a lot of work, but it does include a lot of paper. Experiences will vary, but you can have paper agreements to sign, paper forms to fill out, information packets to go over, and more. In a world where applying for office jobs is for the most part all paperless already, you may be interested in making the onboarding process paperless too. So, what is paperless onboarding?

Paperless onboarding is the process of onboarding new employees without the use of paper documents. Instead, paperless onboarding uses digital documents and online tools to onboard new employees, saving both time and money while improving productivity.

What are the benefits of paperless onboarding?

The benefits of paperless onboarding is that you can increase productivity, save time, save money, and improve knowledge sharing.

Paperless onboarding increases productivity because it’s efficient to send emails, use online forms, and provide digital documentation over the traditional paper alternatives. It also saves time previously spent on printing, storing, and often transcribing these documents.

Paperless onboarding also saves money by removing the expenses associated with paperwork, such as paper, printers, printer ink, storage, and more. Most cloud systems do have a monthly subscription, but this scales with usage and works out to less than a paper-based system would.

Knowledge sharing is another benefit of paperless onboarding. By using an application like Notion to store all your information in once place, your team has easy access to it as an easy point of reference. If your business processes change, they can also be updated in the shared knowledge base, keeping everyone on your team in the loop.

Paperless onboarding also reduces the amount of human errors, most digital inputs can be validated and automated to make sure the information entered is accurate.

How do I implement paperless onboarding?

The first step is to go over your entire onboarding process and identify where paper documents are used. Some examples of paper documents during the onboarding process are:

  • Legal agreements to sign.
  • Tax documents to fill out.
  • Instructions and checklists for the job.

For each paper document in the onboarding process, think of a paperless alternative. For example:

  • Digitally signing agreements using an application like Adobe Acrobat.
  • Storing tax information in accounting software like Xero.
  • Keeping instructions and checklists available in a shared knowledge base, such as Notion.

Sharing knowledge is an especially important part of the onboarding process, and a tool like Notion can help keep your knowledge easily accessible by your entire team, as well as promoting regular maintainence so that your knowledge base continues to stay relevant to your team and onboarding process.

Remember that paperless onboarding doesn’t have to be executed perfectly overnight, even just printing the documents off like you normally would, but then scanning and shredding them after is a good step towards paperless onboarding.

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