Globally, white-collar employees will be working from home for the foreseeable future. In fact, ever since the disruptive health crisis of 2020, five out of 10 employees already say that they don't want to work in an office. This shift in the operating model has, in just the past 5-6 months, sparked organization-wide digital transformations that would have ordinarily happened over a course of 10 years. To stay relevant in an uber-competitive environment, your IT team needs to enable a similar remote-work revolution at your company, starting with empowering employees with eSignature solutions.
Why? Because online contract signing is one of the most essential technologies that will make remote work more productive, safe, and convenient. It will also ensure that the need for physical distancing doesn't interfere with regular paperwork that is essential for business continuity. No wonder, a 2.4x jump in paid users of signature solution SignEasy was recorded between March and April 2020. In our research, at SignEasy, we have seen that the IT and HR departments of companies have been the most enthusiastic adopters of eSignature solution with ~ 210% user growth in Q2 vs Q1 2020. Meanwhile, in the same time period, the operations and admin departments saw a 73% growth in users, and the legal and finance departments saw a 53% increase.
But, before you get yourself one of the popular eSignature solutions let’s see what can come between employees and remote contract signing:
Top barriers to the adoption of eSignature solutions
At the very outset, I have to say that there are none. No barriers whatsoever.
On the contrary, SignEasy’s eSignature platform is quite the asset to have as it saves you money by improving efficiency and eliminating costs of printing, couriering, etc. It is also just as legal as a wet signature, compliant with all major eSignature legislation, including eIDAS in the EU and the ESIGN Act in the United States. Companies will notice that audits are a breeze since each electronically signed document comes with a digital audit trail. Plus, it's so much safer than wet signatures in the current health climate. This explains why SignEasy was downloaded 7 million times by iOS and Android users.
Clearly, the ROI and demand are real. All your IT team needs to ensure is that your employees are comfortably adjusted to this ‘new normal’.
Here's how to adopt eSignature solutions and equip your employees to send and sign contracts online in a remote work environment.
Top 4 steps to improve eSignature adoption
All of a sudden, the onus of making sure that people are ‘productive’ and ‘remote-work ready’ has shifted from HR teams to IT teams. Specifically how smoothly your organization adopts the eSignature tool will likely affect employees of every function. Hence, you need to choose the right type of online signing software and change management tactics to ensure that the technology is seamlessly embedded into your documentation workflow.
Answer the following questions to facilitate a smooth electronic signature solution adoption:
1. What do your employees need?
Understand the needs of your ‘frequent signers’ to see what aspects of documentation are being disrupted during remote work. Then, choose an eSignature solution that works symbiotically with your employees. Also, to make it much easier for users to sign contracts online, get an eSignature solution that integrates with platforms that your employees use regularly such as G Suite, Dropbox, Freshworks, and Microsoft Teams. An easy-to-integrate API platform like SignEasy lets you include eSignatures effortlessly within your existing application’s workflows.
2. Is your leadership team convinced?
You need your business leaders to truly embrace eSignature solutions so that they may inspire remote employees to join in. Their open endorsement and use of the tool adds credibility to the process change, helping the company break its wet-signature habit.
To get C-suite executives onboard, develop a well-researched proposal that broadly answers the following question: “Are you missing out on real innovation, in this time of crisis, by sticking with wet signatures?”
You don’t just want to convince the leadership team of the need to move away from the old-fashioned way of signing documents. You want to show them how to stay ahead of the curve. SignEasy is one of the most innovative eSignature solutions with features such as SignEasy’s FaceID, audit trail, and dark mode. Access to these new functionalities is sure to deliver an enhanced signing experience.
3. What are your adoption goals?
If you want to know whether your eSignature solution is being used optimally by employees, it is essential that you set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely (SMART) goals. This can involve tracking the changes in productivity to the quality of documentation, post the implementation of the new signing software.
Here are some sample eSignature KPIs that you could keep a tab on:
- Percentage of contracts executed with eSignature
- Speed of document generation
- Improvements in contract closing time
- Improvements in cost savings
- Percentage change in carbon-footprint
- Percentage of errors in filled forms
4. Are your employees comfortable with the change?
Signing should be an effortless act. That’s just what eSignature solutions promise, especially in a work-from-home situation. It also offers a faster and more delightful signing experience, making redundant the archaic wet signature.
If all these benefits have persuaded you to change your company’s signing workflow, here is how you can get your employees to use it effectively:
- Communicate - So that the revamped documentation workflow isn't jarring to your remote employees, you need to regularly communicate to them, “why is the change happening?” and also “what's in it, for them?” Start this off even before implementing any eSignature solutions. Feel free to use power-users, short emails, blogs, and explainer videos to reinforce the message. By securing their buy-in, in advance, you make employees feel like they are a part of the eSignature adoption process. This will ultimately motivate them to sign online more often.
- Offer remote support - Since SignEasy is very easy to use for any signing and sending jobs, there really isn't any need for any training sessions at all. That said, it's always a good idea to offer guidance to employees via simple how-to video tutorials, to solve any advanced queries such as how to integrate SignEasy with G Suite.
- Roll-out in phases - Start onboarding a few early adopters first, record their experiences and iron out kinks in the adoption process. Then, use learnings from this set to make the onboarding easier for the next batch of users.
It would be best to prioritize the onboarding of ‘more receptive’ users from functions, such as IT, HR, and operations. Seeing these employees reap the benefits of online contract signing would also encourage technology laggards to try the software for themselves.
For companies to get the most value of technology you need to get the employees to adopt it as soon as possible. Remember, if you get the change management strategy right, you stand to double the ROI from your eSignature solutions.