On the Way to Less Paper: How to Get Your People on Board

7 tips that will help you manage change, demonstrate the benefits, and help your people use less paper in your business.

By Brian Lincoln, senior product line manager for Xerox Content Management

A key element to attaining the dream of the paperless office: An enterprise content management (ECM) system. Beyond electronic filing and easier access to documents, this solution reduces the need for physical filing cabinets – and this can mean savings in the form of energy bills, office or warehouse space, and courier costs. Even more, it paves the way to new levels of efficiency by transforming manual, often outdated, paper-based activities into automated processes.

Brian Lincoln
“Employees may initially be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the shift. Set realistic, attainable goals.” — Brian Lincoln, Senior Product Line Manager, Xerox Content Management.

It also means that employees can work remotely with less hassle, ultimately reducing the amount of cars commuting, which decreases greenhouse gasses.

However, success requires activities that enable change within the company. Here are tips to transition to a paper-light environment, manage change, and demonstrate the business benefits of implementing a sustainability program.

  1. Educate employees: The decision to move to an ECM solution should include discussions at various team levels about why the organization is making a change.
    • What effect will ECM have on the company’s sustainability efforts?
    • How will it improve the bottom line?
    • How can it reduce customer service time and improve customer, employee, and partner satisfaction levels?
    • How can it support compliance and disaster recovery processes?
  2. Set attainable goals: When adopting a large-scale change, employees may initially be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the shift. Set realistic, attainable goals, such as 15 percent reduction in paper use per quarter – or a goal that is reasonable for your business. This will help to maintain employee motivation and keep the project momentum on track for success.
  3. Recycle as much waste as possible: This seems obvious; however there are still companies and building maintenance crews who do not recycle. Make requests to ensure that they recycle paper, plastic, and metal waste.  Recycling one ton of paper saves almost 700 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space a year.
  4. Communicate. Regular communication about how the changes are impacting the organization will help ensure success. When team members feel informed and supported, they tend to adopt changes more readily.
  5. Celebrate an “Earth Day” even if your date isn’t part of a nationally recognized event. Gather employees to discuss some of the actions they can take to continue their mindfulness about resource use. Consider distributing re-usable cups, totes or other company items that support your company’s environmentally responsible image, while helping your people use fewer resources.
  6. Discuss and promote how goals and savings have been achieved. Encourage and reward employees for sharing their own experiences.
    • How are they using the new ECM platform?
    • What feedback have they heard from customers or partners who also benefit from the new ECM system? What new ideas may add value?
    • What ideas do they have to help colleagues adapt quickly?
  7. Discuss the “beyond the business” implications, including the company’s green image and how that is attractive to their customers.

Xerox DocuShare enterprise content management enables you to achieve your sustainability goals by automating paper-based processes, and providing secure access to important content from anywhere in the world. For more information, visit http://docushare.xerox.com.

Simplify Work will publish a new Earth-Day related blog every day this week. You may subscribe to Simplify Work so that you don’t miss a single article.

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  1. How To Get Published June 11, 2014 - Reply

    Thanks Brian, I appreciate the tips!

  2. […] On the Way to Less Paper: How to Get Your People on Board […]

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