Manage employee acknowledgement forms with DocRead and SharePoint

If you are an organization that needs to distribute and track policies, documents, procedures, manuals to your employees, then you will know that this can be an onerous and time consuming task.

For example, if as part of an on-boarding process you require a new starter to read and acknowledge your ‘Code of Conduct Policy’ or your ‘Occupational Health and Safety’ document then you will probably follow a process like this:

  1. 1
    Navigate to the shared drive and find the latest copy of the policy and print it.
  2. 2
    Find an ‘Employee Acknowledgement Form’ and print it.
  3. 3
    Put both documents in an employee binder and hand to the employee on their first day.
  4. 4
    Instruct the employee to read the documents, sign the acknowledgement form and send back to you, ideally within 4 weeks.
  5. 5
    Add a reminder in Outlook to chase the employee in 4 weeks time.

So, what are the problems?

  1. 1
    The employee won’t do it on time, so you need to escalate to their Line manager. (This also requires you to add another reminder to chase the line manager in 1 week).
  2. 2
    If you store your acknowledgements digitally, you need to scan the signed paper copy in and add it to the employee record.
  3. 3
    The employee may lose the handbook – meaning you need to print and send it out again
  4. 4
    The document can substantially change (meaning not only that new employee needs to acknowledge it, but all employees). You now need to send it out to all staff and track all of the responses.
  5. 5
    It's a needless waste of paper
  6. 6
    How do you know the employee actually understood what was in the document? Have they just signed it to stop you hassling?
  7. 7
    This is a very time consuming and costly process as it needs to be done for ALL of your important documents and policies!

Get employees to read and agree to your employee handbook

This sounds familiar – is there a better way?

If this is something your organization struggles with, and you have SharePoint then read on!

SharePoint and DocRead

By using Microsoft SharePoint and DocRead there is a much easier way to automate this heavily paper-based and manual tracking approach. SharePoint is the world’s leading document management system. When combined with DocRead’s distribution and tracking capabilities this allows a very stream-lined process to be implemented taking away all of the administrative burden of authoring, distributing and tracking.

Author the document in SharePoint

SharePoint has many features that make it a very compelling solution to manage your policies and procedure documentation. If you wish to read more take a look at SharePoint's document management features or have a look at a list we curate on called 'The benefits of using SharePoint as a Policy management system'.

Once your policy is written, approved and published (within a SharePoint document library), it can easily be sent out with DocRead.

DocRead is an Enterprise add-on for SharePoint used all over the world by customers in industries such as education, governmental, financial, shipping and health. 

Replace the Employee Acknowledgement Form with DocRead

DocRead replaces the paper-based acknowledgement form, as shown below, with an intuitive electronic signature process. Once the employee has agreed to the document, they are issued with a reading certificate and the organization also has a permanent record of who read what and when. No paper needed!

So, in simple terms, this Employee Acknowledgement Form example:

old fashioned employee acknowledgement form

Is now replaced with this 'Electronic Acknowledgement Form' in DocRead. The terms and conditions can be set to suit your organization. You could use "I have read and understand the policy" for example. Additionally, per-document comments can easily be communicated to offer further instruction.

DocRead task details dialog

Once the employee has self-certified that they have 'Read' and 'Confirmed' the policy they can access their downloadable 'Reading Certificate'. As follows:

We hope you find this post informative. If you want to know more about how SharePoint or DocRead can help, please get in touch.

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