Technology has streamlined the way owners conduct business in the 21st century, and electronic signatures have proven to be a significant time-saver, allowing forms and documents to be completed remotely from anywhere in the world. The future of digital signatures has never looked brighter with new applications constantly being released, but how is this technology currently being used, and what is the potential for additional applications in the future?
Improved Efficiency and Security
Human resource professionals use secure, encrypted digital platforms to collect and store digital signatures after validating an individual’s identity. Third-party vendors, called certificate authorities, issue electronic digital certificates that verify the identity of a person or entity. Businesses with an HR using digital signatures often reduce or even eliminate the bottleneck of paperwork common to many human resource departments.
New Employee Onboarding and Benefits Enrollment
Digital signatures carry the same legally binding weight as a traditional signature and help move the onboarding process along by permitting new employees to sign documents with a click instead of a pen. By using digital signatures on important documents, HR departments can send out files to several recipients at one time and then track those files for receipt, review, and acceptance. Electronic copies of these documents are now part of the associate’s file eliminating the need for paper copies.
Distribution of New Policies and Training
Alerting staff to an updated policy or procedure can be an arduous task. Human resources must notify all affected employees and verify that they not only received the new procedural information but understood it and are capable of compliance. Digital signatures confirm receipt of up-to-date information and provide a venue for questions or other feedback. Maintaining this digital paper trail can protect the business in the event of legal action and help demonstrate compliance.
Employee Conduct and Termination
Managing employee conduct infractions is never pleasant but is necessary to run a successful enterprise, and digital signatures assist in making the process more straightforward for everyone concerned. Effective and discreet communication between parties can help further define employee expectations and illustrate where the employee falls short of the mark. Maintaining this data in an electronic format also makes it easier to identify behavior patterns and ensure records are accurate in the unfortunate event of termination.
Position or Salary Updates
Digital signatures on documents help consolidate the process used for staff promotions and other changes that may impact an employee’s salary or other parts of their compensation package. Updating these types of details often involves coordination with payroll and updating tax forms on file with the government. Digitally completing these tasks helps ensure compliance with the government and other authorities.
Valuable Employee Assistance Resource
When businesses upgrade to digital signatures for human resource duties, companies can consolidate and provide a one-stop shop for many employee assistance operations. Providing a central location for time-off requests and medical leave helps keep things running smoothly and produces a traceable way to submit any requested documentation.
A centralized employee assistance location can also be customized and include links to sites that staff members may find helpful, such as links to update family circumstances to health insurance companies. Some companies use their employee assistance website to provide staff information on filing for disability or other government assistance programs.