If you work in records management, you may run into a recurring theme: Your employees do not necessarily adhere to your records management policies on a daily basis.
You can make it easier on your team by providing better-implemented and nicely documented policies. Below, we offer a few best practices to follow for a successful records management policy:
1. Understand the needs of stakeholders
A records management policy that has the needs of stakeholders in mind has a better chance of being supported and adhered to by the organization. A policy should benefit the organization, but also individual employees and departments.
2. Have clear expectations
Employees and departments should have a clear understanding of policies, responsibilities and roles in place with records management. A key element for the success of your policy is accountability, which is created when staff has a clear understanding of these expectations.
3. Avoid confusing language
Using fancy terminology and industry jargon is a surefire way to lose your employees attention and result in a failing policy. Your policy should be written in language that is understood by all employees and team members. Avoid words that employees will misunderstand or try to work around, such as “must” instead of “should.” Keep your policy document brief and straightforward to help avoid misunderstandings.
4. Present the value of adopting the policy
Many organizations can and will not maintain a policy without receiving value from implementing one. Your records management policy should bring value to the business, so make these benefits clear to management and employees. Benefits of a policy in place can range from cost savings to improved compliance of industry standards to spared time and resources.
5. Enforce the policy
When establishing a records management policy, steps must be taken to ensure compliance, as well as consequences for those who do not adhere. Employees and staff should understand that this policy is a legally binding statement of the direction in which the company is going and that those in the organization must adhere. A policy will not take off within an organization on its own, therefore, adequate time and resources must be devoted towards policy implementation.
Having a records management policy in place is smart for businesses large and small. When implemented correctly, records management is efficient, helps employees make informed decisions, minimizes risks and much more! Follow the steps above to ensure employees are adhering to your policies and your organization is receiving the most returns from the system.