If you have been following along with my posts this month, you understand the value of reducing paper in records systems and what it will look like once you are done. The last step in this process is getting support from your colleagues. Change always requires executive support. Getting your executive team to support your less paper initiative is essential for its success.
Before you get started, present your executive team with a strategic plan. Start with areas that are currently using the most paper-like human resources, accounting, or your projects. Focusing on the biggest offenders will get you the most bang for your buck.
Another way you can launch a less paper initiative is in tandem with an office relocation. Use the relocation as a catalyst to move to electronic files. No one wants to move with lots of boxes of paper, and implementing a less paper initiative can save you space in your new office space once you settle in.
A third way to introduce the initiative is by implementing a rule against offsite storage. You can issue a memo saying, “going forward we are using less paper instead of storing files offsite.” However you decide to start, make sure that it is in alignment with the strategic priorities of your company.
Once you have your workflow and tools in place, train your staff for the initiative to have maximum effectiveness. Allowing paper convenience copies can ease those who are heavily dependent on paper into the transition. These copies should be destroyed when the matter they relate to is resolved. The electronic copy can be stored as the official copy.
Always measure the outcomes of your initiative. Measure where you start and where you end so you can return hard numbers to your executive team. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the details. Initiatives often fail because of a few missing links.
Reducing paper is not something new. People have been talking about it for over 30 years. But it’s often avoided because of the work that needs to be done to convert to an electronic records management file. Being strategic in the migration will ensure your organization is successful in its less paper initiative. If you need help getting a strategy in place, book a 10-minute call.