Digital Transformation in Documentation- From ‘Uhh’ to ‘Aah’ Experiences!


Digital experiences are changing the way people engage with brands, buy products and interact with the world around them. Yet in today’s fast paced technology world, the HR processes are probably the slowest to jump on the bandwagon. It may seem basic, but organizations are still spending hundreds of hours in manual paperwork though 2/3rd of the world’s population will be connected by mobile devices 2020* with access to most things at a click.

While there are many ways to digitally transform the experiences through the employee lifecycle, it may not necessarily have to be a massive transformation that needs enormous change management. Just one step at a time can go a long way.

Here are a couple of experiences that have created great or poor first and last impressions for employees and how we transformed them at Adobe.

Picture this- you are about to join a new company. Typically, the first mail welcoming you is about joining formalities and paperwork. The first few hours in the new organization are busy filling up forms and by the time you get to the session to know more about the business and organization, you can’t help but say “Uhh, I’m done”. As for the HR team, printing all those forms and scanning and filing them takes hours which can be saved in a lot more value-added work to create a better new hire experience.

As an Employee Experience team, when we saw that our new hire feedback score was dipping, we mapped the onboarding process journey to identify the cause. The visual of the first day I painted above is also how our new hires were spending their first few hours in the company. Filling numerous paper forms, calling up their family members asking them for their details, over attention to details like whether to write in capitals or small was exhausting as a first impression. To make this experience smoother, we moved all the joining documents to Adobe Sign, our own E-Signature solution, and now these documents are sent through Adobe Sign to employees who can fill the forms in the comfort of their homes anytime and with a click, the forms are received by the respective stakeholders.

The information is secure without worrying about loss of personal data on paper forms and they can easily be tracked and stored as well as reports pulled out. The time saved not only helped us reduce the orientation program from 2 days to a day and a half but also impacted the new hires’ engagement in the various sessions. Our new hire survey scores went up significantly with this change. This change in documentation process saved at least 2 hours per new hire and at least 10 hours every week for the Employee Experience team in scanning, filing and mailing all those forms. For organizations that are hiring 1000+ employees per year, you can easily calculate the impact on productivity.

A single document being moved from a manual to digital experience can be a game changing experience. A friend recently gave me an example of a restaurant where he and his colleagues had a great time, the food, drinks, ambience were just perfect. However, once they were done, the billing process took 30 minutes which completely tarnished the experience as they got delayed, were tired and everything that was a plus point for that restaurant was washed away by this one experience of delayed billing. Taking it back to our organization- An example most organizations in India can relate to is the offboarding checklist/clearance form/ no dues form, the form that an exiting employee needs to get signed by various functions as they return the assets and clear the dues in their last few days with the organization. This is what the document flow typically looks like.

As we reviewed the nature of queries and issues from employees in their last few days with the organization, we realized the pain this experience was causing. The number of times the document went back and forth between the employee and the different functions was not only a chase marathon and causing frustration for the employee but also an information and filing ordeal for the teams with multiple copies of the form being submitted and lack of single source of visibility to status of the assets returned. At times we would end up with having to make recoveries after the employee had left. This could impact how our employees would recall their overall experience and future advocacy. We moved this checklist from manual to digital through Adobe Sign which had a huge impact on experience, productivity and compliance by reducing the time spent by the employee in multiple hand offs, saving the time required in scanning and filing forms and nearly eliminating all those recoveries. With just one click, the form is sent to the relevant stakeholders and all of them sign the same document which the employee can track making the last week with the organization a much smoother experience and a much better last impression.

The digital transformation journey begins by identifying the moments that really matter. Offer letters, exit documents, reimbursements, policy acknowledgements, certificates etc the opportunity is immense. Imagine the number of contracts and documents being passed on and signed throughout the organization and the number of hours spent in handoffs and chasing the various teams to get their signatures. A recruiter saving the hours getting the offer letter signed manually can spend them in more valuable sourcing of profiles. The time saved by Employee Experience and finance teams in signing, scanning and filing forms can be used more effectively in engaging with employees.

It’s wake up time for the HR functions still dependent on paperwork that makes employees go ‘Uhh’. Take charge or your talent which is now perpetually connected to devices, may just be whisked away with an offer at a click and an ‘Aah’!

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Ruchira Garg is the Director of Employee Resource Center with Adobe in India. She has over 15 years of experience in HR Business Partnering and HR Shared Services functions. Her expertise spans across setting up HR functions from scratch to scaling HR for growing organizations. She is a Psychology Graduate from Lady Shriram College for Women and has a Masters in Human Resource and Organizational Development from Delhi School of Economics. She is an Accredited Administrator of the MBTI and is also Certified in Developing Instruments in HRD directly under the guidance of the renowned Late Dr. Udai Pareek.


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