As a digital business, you are able to manage your records more effectively than ever. You should not, however, be solely relying on your technology to manage your documents. Even with the best document management system in the world, you will still need the help of your employees to make sure that your documents are properly cared for and used. For this, you will need an effective records management policy. Here is why having such a policy is so important for a modern business like yours.
Prevents document losses
Which documents do you need to eliminate? Which documents need to be retained indefinitely? You cannot expect your employees to automatically know the answer to these questions. Someone could end up destroying critical records without realizing their importance.
A records management policy prevents this by clearly outlining what types of documents should be retained, what should be deleted and what to do with documents that aren't clearly categorized.
Indexing will be easier
You are able to get the full benefit from digital document management when all of your data is indexed. This is because your documents are automatically grouped, and can be accessed via simple keyword searches. To index your documents, you will need to attach the right metadata to them.
A records management policy makes sure that your employees are all on the same page about metadata creation. This way, you won't have any fragmentation in your indexing system.
Ensures authorized document access
You don't want unauthorized personnel accessing sensitive documents. Likewise, you wouldn't want authorized personnel to have a difficult time managing the documents they need in order to do their jobs. If your company's employees are making guesses about who should access a document, then who can access each document won't be certain.
With a comprehensive records management policy, you can ensure that only authorized personnel can access your documents. This is because your management policy will clarify how your employees should manage the accessibility of each document.
Ensures legal compliance
As technology evolves, the government will continue to create new regulations for how you must manage your documents. Many of the documents that your company manages have specific legal requirements. For example, in Canada, an individual's personal data must be destroyed as soon as you no longer have a use for it. Your employees may not be aware of laws like these. As such, they may retain a document that the law requires you to destroy. They could also destroy a document that the law requires you to keep. Mistakes like these can cause your company a great deal of trouble with the government.
A properly defined records management policy will prevent such a thing from happening by clearly stating what your employees should do with each document in accordance with the law.
Improves document security
In order to effectively protect your company's sensitive data, you will need quality digital security technology. No matter how powerful your digital security software is, however, your biggest security risk will always be your employees. This is because data encryption and firewalls can't protect against actions such as the sharing of a document via an unsecured channel. If your employees don't know how to keep documents safe, then they are bound to make document management mistakes that compromise your company's security.
With a records management policy, you are able to clearly outline what your employees should and should not do in order to ensure document security.
Your employees are critical for good document management
Make sure that your employees help your ability to manage your documents with a solid records management policy.