Build a Strong Team to Establish Your Records Management Policy

by on July 6, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Include people from all ends of the spectrum in a records management policy

So you can see right away in order to assess the types of documents that you’re going to produce in your records management policy, you’re going to have to bring in people from HR, IT, all of your operating divisions. Legal needs to be involved. Your executive administration needs to be involved as well — all providing input on the types of documents that the company produces.

Once you’ve identified the various types of documents that you produce, you can generally categorize them into general categories. And then at that point you need to evaluate the applicable federal and state laws that are going to dictate how long you need to keep each type of document.

And along those lines, you also need to take a look at well, maybe the law says we need to keep this for two years but in order to run our business effectively, we need to make sure that these documents are around for five years. So, your business practice needs to be part of a records management policy as well.

At that point, you can develop guidelines regarding where and how the various documents and information will be stored and when and how they will be destroyed. Then obtain management approval of the records management policy and delegate responsibility for oversight of the program. There needs to be a defined committee or a defined individual or office that is going to have responsibility for making sure that this plan is executed over time.

And the best way to do that is to produce a client policy or manual that’s going to set out a program in writing, that that office can follow as they make decisions on what they’re going to keep and what they’re going to get rid of.

And then finally, make sure the records management policy and the plan are followed. If you produce this beautiful manual but you fail to follow it you’ve just wasted the time and effort of a lot of different people and you haven’t gotten the benefit of the records management policy that you might otherwise get.

Edited Remarks from “Personnel Document Retention: What to Keep, How to Keep & Why It Matters” by Matt Gilley

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