Running the scope of programs and services your members need means having a range of employee roles and responsibilities. Your tribe may have teachers, law enforcement officers, health care workers, human services case managers, and more. With each of these and many other job types, there are important compliance and credentialing activities that your human resources (HR) departments need to perform. And, if you add a paper-based employee file, evaluation, and compliance strategy to multiple employment locations, you have an efficiency and compliance nightmare.

To overcome this, some tribal governments have moved to enterprise content management (ECM), sometimes called document management. By eliminating paper, they realize a number of benefits from cost reduction to reclaimed staff time to a better compliance effort. Here’s some key benefits of paperless HR document management in a tribal HR department:

Eliminates the paper employee file – By going paperless, you never have to file documents again saving staff time. Printing and copying costs are also eliminated. More importantly, you can control access and meet security requirements. With an ECM solution, only users with permissions can access files and you don’t have to worry about printed documents being visible to unauthorized staff. Of course, you also can save on storage space and access files from any connected location and replace forms like vacation requests, address changes and evaluations, all stored in one secure, central repository.

Enforces compliance – ECM solutions offer automation and other tools that can support staff across the range of HR compliance tasks. Consider the required employee documents and verifications that need to happen for any new hire. Imagine that a hire’s documents are archived into a paperless employee file that can also prompt staff about remaining necessary, but missing documents. In addition, review of applications and resumes, annual evaluations, and any other task can be a part of a workflow that notifies staff of tasks, routes documents for review, even reminds supervisors when evaluations are due.

Ensures that new policies and compliance tasks are received and understood – Going paperless does not mean that you can’t preserve, distribute, and ensure that your employees receive and understand policy changes. ECM can notify staff when new policies, laws, and regulatory requirements apply to them, require them to read about them and even test their comprehension. Managers can be notified when staff have not read and acknowledged new material and your HR department can run reports to be sure that staff has the most current information governing the performance of their job.

Manages credentialing and certifications – Some of your employees need periodic training, special certifications, or certain credentials for jobs as teachers, nurses, and doctors. If your tribe runs a casino, the many regulatory requirements for employees can be more than enough to keep your staff busy, let alone managing the requirements for traditional programs and services. ECM can use electronic workflow automation to make sure that the required documentation demonstrating credentials, certification, or cleared background checks is present before hires can take place. For existing employees, ECM can remind managers and staff when re-certification or re-credentialing deadlines are approaching. This ensures that you have no compliance issues with staff in place, nor do you hire without appropriate documentation.

As your tribal government explores ways to reduce costs and manage employee compliance, ECM is a critical tool. From eliminating paper and enhancing security to managing compliance, credentials, and certification, ECM is the kind of tool that is necessary for a complex legal environment. It reduces costs allowing you to put more into the programs and services your members need, and it does all that by eliminating the costs, burdens, and manual nature of traditional paper-based human resources.