Even before the remote work wave urged companies to prioritize a digital-first workplace, leaders were aware that the future led towards digital transformation.
With McKinsey noting in a 2018 report that over 68% of respondents wanted to digitize their organization’s operations, it’s clear that the trends were already pointing in the direction of digitizing the workplace experience.
But which process will bring the most benefits when digitized? For many, the first choice could be signatures and sign-offs.
Forrester’s study (in collaboration with Adobe) - Digital Document Processes in 2020: A Spotlight on E-Signatures - takes a dive into how digitizing signatures has seen a jump in uptake throughout 2020 and reports on the finer details with statistics and findings.
Here’s a roundup of the top findings from Forrester’s report and a look into how you can implement e-signatures for your front-line workforce.
E-signatures for employees in the new normal: Forrester’s findings and recommendations
Signatures aren’t just important for delivery drivers and repair receipts - they’re crucial for tracking compliance for employees, too.
Here are a few of the most relevant statistics in Forrester’s report:
- Over 60% of surveyed leaders said that e-signatures are necessary for their business to stay competitive.
- Universally, respondents knew that e-signatures are more budget-friendly, boost employee productivity and also integrate with “everyday productivity applications”.
- 58% stated that, since the COVID-19 pandemic started, more and more of their coworkers and competition are rolling out e-signature solutions.
- Digitizing documents and processes is firmly connected to a better employee experience, 40% of respondents noted.
- 77% have decided that they look for e-signatures as a key part of any digital document solution when looking to purchase or upgrade.
Forrester’s study notes that participants are looking towards digitizing their processes past signatures, too.
The report recommends that companies continue to see e-signatures as a more secure, future-proof solution, and that they’re also something to invest in for years to come.
Who is using e-signatures?
More than customers should learn to appreciate e-signatures in 2021: Forrester notes in the final recommendations section that it’s key to view document digitization as an opportunity for the whole workforce - not just front desk and management teams.
The report closes with this reminder.
Interestingly, e-signatures and digitized documentation are still seeing less use by departments that aren't customer-facing. In another report by Forrester and Adobe, when asked which of their departments were digitizing their document processes, only 35% and 28% of operations and human resources, respectively, said that they were digital.
The operations opportunity for e-signatures
With the findings showing that e-signatures (and digitized documents as a whole) aren't seeing as much use by departments like operations, it's worth highlighting why they should be.
Digital documentation use by department (Forrester)
1. Automation is on the minds of every leader responsible for digital transformation. When the best platforms are automating processes to make employees more productive, it's time to explore how to apply that to your operations and HR departments.
Signatures are just one of the many cogs in the employee experience wheel that can be digitized and automated: Sign-offs for safety checks, approvals and receipts are all tasks that benefit from being searchable and digital.
2. The typical office's structure has changed with remote teams and work at home setups. By implementing e-signatures as a baked-in part of your employees' digital workplace, their true value will shine quicker than you may think.
Onboarding, routine training and screening processes can be streamlined with e-signatures. And - if they're part of your employee app, they'll be sent to direct reports upon completion.
3. When signatures are stored digitally, security risks and the potential for lost documentation go down. Forrester's findings show that workplaces that don't use e-signatures (and other digital document processes) are placing individuals at 10x the risk.
iTacit's e-signatures can be built into automated forms for sign-offs.
Forrester's study shows that e-signatures are a worthy investment
Forrester's study provides telling stats that explain one of the many shifts the pandemic has produced. The switch to digital documentation will only gain more momentum, with 2021 promising an even greater showing for the digital workplace.
Cameron is iTacit's Digital Marketing & Demand Specialist. A storyteller and passionate communicator, Cameron is busy most days researching the latest trends, keeping content relevant and engaging.