The quality of a company's human resources record retention is a powerful barometer of how efficiently the company handles information in general. Without a solid plan of action, your company may not be up to regulatory standards, be safe from hackers, or be trusted by potential customers.
The Space to Maintain
Maintaining your office space is enough of a challenge due to the numerous other kinds of records you need to keep. One part of the human resources record retentions problem is that you may have many employees, and knowing how long to keep their records can be a large problem. With space being at a premium in many office environments and every square foot supposed to be dedicated to growing your company's profits, keeping large amounts of employee records is not generally a practical idea. Rather like with the minimum viable product concept, it is helpful from the beginning and eventually becomes essential to develop a human resources record retentions plan to prevent unnecessary clutter.
Staying Right With the Law
If your company has been around for any length of time, you have undoubtedly had employees leave. Once that happens, it is tempting to think that your responsibility regarding human resources record retentions is concluded. Unfortunately, what many companies never realize is that there are often laws related to how long you are supposed to retain employee records. Part of this is due to privacy regulations, and another part is due to ensuring that your company remains aware of records that could impact potential re-hiring decisions or even legal proceedings. While most employees leave their employment without significant issue, your legal department needs to participate when you develop your human resources record retentions plan for these reasons.
The Best Defense Against Physical Damage
Records that are damaged or missing due to localized problems are as good as thrown away. This includes the same privacy issues and potential legal problems that can accompany intentionally throwing away human resources records. While natural disasters, regular inclement weather damage to your office or other problems that could bring about records damage are often unavoidable, having backup copies of your documents is a way to subvert this problem. Records that are digitized and kept in the cloud on secured servers are virtually immune to damage, particularly when data corruption counter-measures are in place. Developing your retention plan will let you have a framework for when to digitize files, where they should be kept to minimize the likelihood of losses, and how long these digital records must be retained.
Trust takes a great deal of time to build up, but can be damaged irreparably quickly. Just as part of maintaining the trust you need with your customers and vendors involves keeping their records accurate, detailed and confidential, keeping the trust between you are a leader and your employees is also important. Much of the importance of creating your human resources record retentions plan comes down to inspiring and maintaining trust. When there is a uniform plan in place, your employees can focus on their work instead of on worrying about their information.
Building Your Plan
Building your plan needs to encompass what you intend to keep, how long you are going to keep it, and in what form or forms you intend to do so. When you decide which records you are going to keep, you will also need to either assign or outsource the scanning and documentation process. Building your management system is complex, but help is available. Companies exist specifically to make information and records systems more convenient for your company.