An HR document management plan will save you time and headaches and protect you from potential risk. In six easy steps, you can create one for your small company.
Human resources (HR) departments must manage people effectively. However, managing the mountains of paperwork is equally important for your company’s success.
An effective HR document administration strategy can protect sensitive data, increase administrative efficiency, and help protect your business from risks. This strategy empowers your leaders with the data they need to make better decisions.
These steps will allow your company to reduce the amount of HR paperwork and make HR documents more useful for your employees.
Overview: What’s HR document management?
The management of HR documents controls all aspects of employees’ documents. This includes the storage and controlled access to records and information.
The benefits of setting up an HR document management system
Although it can take some time to develop file management strategies for small businesses, the benefits will be worth it.
The law is the most compelling reason for an effective, formal document strategy for HR. Many federal laws require employers to keep certain employee records.
They must be kept in a safe environment. There are many retention periods. You can ensure compliance with all requirements by using your document storage system.
2. Legal protection
You must be able to access employee documents to answer questions and respond to regulatory audits, complaints, and lawsuits.
For example, if an employee files a discrimination claim, you might need access to performance appraisals, compensation data, and time and attendance records. You may also need to access hiring documents and other documentation.
You may be required to provide documents similar to those used by an entire class of employees if the matter becomes an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These requests can be time-sensitive.
Document management policies ensure that you can quickly produce all HR records.
3. Privacy and security
Employers are legally required to protect sensitive employee data. This includes medical information, disabilities, Social Security numbers, and other personal information.
Security protocols are established in a document management system to meet these requirements. Some examples include locking files, protecting computers and other information technology equipment (IT) when not in use, and protecting data using passwords and encryption.
4. Administrative efficiency
There is nothing worse than climbing up a mountain of administrative paperwork, searching for documents, and trying to recreate lost data. For efficient and organized HR administration, a document management plan is essential.
5. Data flow
A document management policy that streamlines document access and allows for sharing is key to efficient workflows. You can ensure that all documents have the correct location and are accessible to the right people when you have the proper path.
The HR electronic document management system further improves data flow.
How do you set up an HR document management system?
You can save time and money no matter how big or small your business is by creating a working document strategy.
Step 1: Map your documents
Begin by listing all the documents about human resources that your company has. These documents are necessary to manage HR functions.
Recruiting documents Job descriptions, applications, resumes, and interview notes Test results.
Hiring Records: I-9s, supporting documentation, employment contracts, and employee data.
Employee contracts Handbooks for employees, confidentiality and non-compete, written HR policies and policy changes
Disability records: Information, requests for accommodation, and leave requests.
Health and medical documents: Records and genetic information
Benefit documents: Plans and offers, as well as enrollment documents
Personnel Records: Performance evaluations, compensation records, and promotion documents, as well as disciplinary records, separation records, references, and unemployment records
Payroll records Attendance records and timesheets Paystubs and tax forms
Leave records: Requests and supporting documents
Safety and accident records: Incident records, medical records, and workers’ compensation records.
Training materials: Training records and resources
Step 2 – Define access requirements.
- Ask yourself these questions about every HR document that you create or collect.
- Who has access to this document? All employees Supervisors? What about HR staff?
- How often and when are they most likely to use it?
- How do they get it?
Step 3 – Identify retention goals and requirements.
Next, you will need to set expiration dates and triggers on your documents. Triggers are events that will set the document’s expiration date. Many documents, for example, must be kept for one year after an employee leaves. Termination is a trigger.
- Some questions to ask when setting retention parameters are:
- What documents do you need to keep to comply with which laws?
- What length of time are they required to be kept?
- What events would trigger archiving/disposal of a document’s information?
Is there a reason they should be kept longer? How much risk do you accept? The higher your tolerance, the more storage documents.
Step 4 – Determine the security level.
- Security is another aspect of document management that you should consider. You should evaluate the following areas:
- Which level of security is necessary to protect this document?
- Does the law protect the information? For example, medical and disability information must be kept separate from employee files.
- Do you need to dispose of the document securely? Some documents must be shredded, while others can be tossed like obsolete training manuals.
Step 5: Create a storage-archiving plan
Once you have all the information you need for each type of document, you can start to group it to create storage, access and workflow plans. These steps will assist you in converting your data into a work plan.
Digital vs paper: Decide which files you will keep in paper copies and which files you will store digitally. Is it possible to go completely paperless?
Group by Access Point: Group documents are sorted by access points. This allows you to see the larger picture of access and flow within your company. All employees may have access to a collection of resources. Managers may have access to certain records. Different document footprints will be available to HR.
Take into account security requirements. Mark documents that need to be protected with password protection. You should consider security measures like locking your files and protecting IT equipment 24 hours a day if you keep paper files. To create an effective plan, you may need to include a document security strategy and training.
Step 6 – Make use of software to carry out your strategy
Many documents and records can already be managed by payroll or HR software. You might also consider dedicated HR Toolkit to automate document generation, access, and workflows.
Many document management systems offer automatic notification of trigger events and other features that make managing your HR paperwork easier.
It is also easy to secure data with digital document management, including encryption, password protection and periodic audits.
Let HR paperwork work for your
A well-organized data management system will save you time and headaches, but it will also give you control.
You have all the evidence you need to quickly respond to legal issues or complaints and defend your company. Your HR team has ready access to data when strategizing and planning.