5 Ways To Reduce Paper Usage While Onboarding Employees


Onboarding and paper usage are synonymous for some companies. Stacks of paper pile up, and you could be spending hundreds of dollars a month just in paper printing. Today on the WorkBright blog, we wanted to walk through a few ways to reduce paper usage while onboarding employees, so you can create a process that saves you money and printing time.

1. Take A Look At Your Current Onboarding Paperwork Stack

If you’d like to reduce paper usage while onboarding, one of the first things you should do is take a look at your current onboarding paper stack. When is the last time you looked at the paperwork you hand to new employees? How much of that paperwork is unnecessary or redundant?

You may need to do a mass rework of how you handle onboarding paperwork, but this will be a worthy endeavor. If you have a 50+ page stack of papers that employees need to look through, it’s in your best interest to sort through that paperwork and make sure what is in the file is important. Are there pieces of that stack that can be taken out or reformatted? What information do you need to get an employee onboarded?

Create a reminder on your calendar every year to go through your onboarding stack. As things get taken away or added, paperwork often becomes confusing and excessive.

2. Reduce Errors In Paperwork By Providing Education To Potential Employees While Filling Out Forms

Errors during the paperwork process are somewhat inevitable. A misspelled name or wrong social security number on a form can be a headache. You might need to reprint a document here and there, and that adds up.

There are certain government and benefit forms that can be challenging for employees to fill out. If you want to reduce paper usage during the onboarding process, you should know which forms your employees have the most issues completing. Ask previous onboarding cohorts what the most challenging part of the paperwork process was for them. Once you understand what trips people up, you can find or create educational materials and videos around filling out those forms.

3. Reuse And Recycle Paper As Much As Possible

Printing one-sided has become somewhat routine for companies across the globe, but it wastes a ton of paper! The back of the paper you print can become fantastic scrap paper. Scrap paper is helpful to have around the office in case you need to add random notes to someone’s HR file. Make sure the paper you are using doesn’t have any personally identifiable information for other employees. For example, maybe you printed out a manual or one-pager for employees that needed to be looked over, but not signed or dated. You can reuse that paper.

Here are a few clever ways to reuse the paper you get from onboarding employees.

If you can’t reuse paper, you want to think about all the ways you can recycle paper. What does recycling look like at your current job? Do you have someone in charge of recycling paper that can’t be used anymore? Make sure you have recycle bins where they are most needed in the office, like nearby office printers. Keep recycling top of mind by sending out occasional reminders and talking about recycling during company meetings.

4. Don’t Print Things That Don’t Need Signatures

If you can’t see yourself going to a completely digital process, consider how much you print versus what could be done over the computer. Do you need to print out everything you need people to acknowledge? Can you create a partially digital/physical onboarding process?

For example, you might need your employees to sign off on your employee handbook. You don’t need to print your employee handbook. You need to make sure everyone can get a copy of that handbook. So, you might send everyone a digital copy of the handbook, and create a simple acknowledgment form for employees to sign. Employee handbooks can be lengthy and take up dozens of pages. All you need in the employee file is the acknowledgment form anyway, so don’t print the handbook if you don’t need to.

5. Go With A Digital Onboarding Solution Like WorkBright

If you feel inclined, you can use a service like WorkBright to digitize your onboarding process from start to finish. WorkBright creates an entirely digital onboarding solution that your employees can use from their computer, tablet, or smartphone. Instead of printing out packets of paper, you can work with our Customer Success team to digitize everything!

Creating a digital onboarding process is great for you and your employees. Onboarding paperwork is often some of the most essential documents you’ll ever get your employees to sign. By creating a paperless onboarding process, your employees will be able to access these important documents whenever they want, without digging through an endless filing system.

On your end, you’ll reduce paper usage, and create a cleaner system for any audits that happen. You’ll always be able to track of the paperwork you have, the paperwork you need, and you’ll be able to get paperwork completed down the line.

Creating a remote or digital onboarding process is an excellent way to reduce paper usage in your office. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your organization, request a demo, and one of our sales reps will get back to you shortly.

Conclusion: You Can Reduce Paper Usage While Onboarding Employees!

Onboarding the old fashioned way utilizes a lot of paper. Here are your action items for reducing paper usage while onboarding:

  • Take a deep dive into your current onboarding process. Can you remove any paperwork from that process?
  • Ask your current employees what paperwork tripped them up so you can create educational materials around filling out those papers.
  • Reuse and recycle paper that is used during the onboarding process if it doesn’t include personally identifiable information.
  • Ask yourself if you need need to print a piece of onboarding paperwork/ Can you hand it out digitally?
  • Consider a completely digital onboarding process to reduce paper usage during the onboarding process further.

Recommended Reading: HR Paperless Solutions – 5 Ways To Go Paperless In Your HR Department