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The Biggest Problem With the Paperless Movement—And How to Fix It

barriers-to-paperless-movement

I’ll be honest with you for a minute. Promise not to judge me? Ok, here it is… SIGNiX isn’t a paperless company. Shocking, right? After all, we’re an e-signature company! Shouldn’t we be completely digital?

Obviously going paperless is a goal of ours, but we’re still human. Every single person who works at SIGNiX grew up surrounded by paper. Old habits die hard.

I personally enjoy the experience of taking notes on paper instead of on an electronic device.

Some of our sales reps like to send out letters on high-quality letterhead instead of by email.

One of our executives prefers reading long industry reports on paper because it’s easier on his eyes (plus he likes to highlight and take notes.)

The Problem With the Paperless Movement

This brings me to the single biggest problem with the paperless movement—the idea that you’re failing if you can’t go completely paperless.

It kind of reminds me of my friends who go on extreme diets. They only eat raw fruit and vegetables for a month, and they lose a ton of weight. But then they have a weak moment and end up on the couch, eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and feeling like a failure.

In the same way, if you try to impose an all-out ban on paper, you’ll almost certainly fail. Think of all of the different ways your company uses paper. Making a dramatic change to completely eliminate paper will likely add extra stress to your employees. And when someone inevitably falls off the bandwagon, they’ll probably feel guilty for letting the team down.



Start By Easing Pain

paperless esignature

Of course, your employees care about the environment and your company’s bottom line, but they probably care even more about being successful in their own positions. That’s why it’s a good idea to start by digitizing processes that improve your team’s productivity or job satisfaction.

Is there one paper form that seems to get lost no matter what you do? One important document that needs ten different signatures and has to be mailed countless times? Start there!

You can use electronic signature software to route documents to multiple signers in minutes. You can also track your progress to know the status of each document—a feature not possible in the paper world.

What better way to gain advocates for your initiative than for your employees to see first-hand how going paperless can save them time?

Remember, you don’t have to go completely paperless to see the benefits of using less paper. Focus on areas that will give your team the most bang for your buck. Save the rest for later.

 

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