If you have employees, it is essential to maintain detailed records and files. You need to keep information like performance reviews, tax info, contracts, hiring documents, and more in a secure location, as these files contain all vital information about the employees' history with your organization.
While having these files is important, you also want to ensure they are kept organized. Losing or misplacing these files can lead to a lot of headaches down the road and could result in compliance-related issues. With that in mind, this guide will take a closer look at some tips to consider when organizing your personnel files.
Use Software Instead of Handling Things Manually
Instead of handling all of these files and records manually and physically, it is a good idea to use a document management system to keep everything organized. HR personnel will already use tools like payroll software and a keyword scanning tool to scan resumes, so using tech to organize personnel files is a no-brainer.
There are many different benefits of using a piece of software or tool to gather, organize, preserve and transfer important employee files. It is more secure, easy to search through to find relevant documents, and can ensure your office isn’t full of filing cabinets full of important records. If you use a cloud-based system, you can even access these files from anywhere on any device.
Using software will also save a ton of time, increase operational efficiency, require much less effort, and reduce the chances of errors or other issues occurring when manually doing things. There are many pieces of software out there, so don’t hesitate to try a few of them to see what works best for you.
Go Through Employee Files At Least Once a Year
An important part of keeping employee files organized is making sure to go through your records every now and then. In general, a good practice is to take a few days to go through the files each year. The actual amount of time it takes depends on how large your company is and how many files you keep.
This process includes making sure information is correct and updated within files, nothing is missing, and everything is organized and/or labeled in a way that makes sense. Also, make sure you know how long to keep employee records. If you are getting rid of things too early, you could find yourself in trouble with regulators. On the other hand, you may be holding onto hundreds of documents for no good reason, so make sure you know how long certain files need to be retained.
Keep Safety and Security in Mind
Personnel files are often full of private and potentially sensitive information about your employees. The exact contents vary, but these files can include information about compensation, medical information, Social Security numbers, background checks, benefits enrollment forms, and more. As you can imagine, in many cases, no employee wants any of these documents to be leaked or even seen by coworkers.
As a result, you need to do all you can to protect it and keep it safe. You should restrict access to ensure only those who need to view the documents can, and make sure to use a strong password to prevent any hacks. Ensure you create backups for all files, as you never know when a computer or hard drive might fail or get destroyed.
This all takes some effort and time but is well worth it to make sure that all employee information is safe and sound.
In conclusion, these are some of the most important tips to consider when organizing personnel files.