How to Implement a Records and Information Management Program

by on July 8, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Create a records and information management program that works

  1. Get a team together. That team should be tasked with assessing the documents and information the business produces and determining how long you need that information for business purposes. Team members should include anyone involved in records and information management—HR people, legal advisors, management, et cetera. That team could be fairly sizable and that that list could be fairly long.
  2. Get a hold on what records are being produced. You must know how many and what kind of forms you keep. You got to know how many resumes you get and where you get them from. You need to know how you track FMLA leave, how you obtain and keep medical records—everything that your company is asking from its employees and what its employees are giving to it.
  3. For each category of document, you need to be evaluating applicable federal and state laws that dictate how long you need keep each type of document and which parts of the documents legally need to be included. Knowledge of the laws surrounding records and information management are crucial to protecting your business.
  4. Develop guidelines regarding where and how various documents and information will be stored and when and how they will be destroyed according to both your business and legal needs.
  5. Obtain management approval and delegate responsibility for oversight of the program. A records and information management program is only as good as it’s followed through, and its existence will not help your company in a problem if it is not properly passed and maintained.
  6. Produce a compliance policy or manual that sets up the program in writing. And make sure that the policy and plan are followed.
  7. Do not forget to incorporate electronic records in your records and information management program.

Your records and information management program will look different depending on the company you own. In a large international conglomerate, the program is going to be a relatively large and complicated undertaking (or at least, has the possibility to be). For a smaller company that doesn’t employ as many people, HR record retention guidelines might even be able to be put on to one page or Excel spreadsheet. It depends on the kind of business you are as far as how this thing is going to look and how extensive it’s going to be.

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

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