From the owner to the summer intern, all employees are responsible for making sure that business information is accurate, clearly legible, and factual. In one way or another, all members of staff come into contact with administrative records, and this is where an understanding is needed for record management to be carried out at a high standard.
So-called ‘lower level’ employees are too often forgotten about when it comes to their inclusion in education and training activities around record management, suggesting it’s a problem above their pay grade. However, these employees the front line for the business and your first line of defence against compliance breaches. It’s for this reason that everyone needs to be aware about how to manage records effectively, resulting in an efficiently run business all round.
By creating an environment where employees feel a shared accountability, you are creating a compliance culture. If you expect your employees to take record management seriously, it’s important that the push starts from the top and works down through all ranks of the workforce.
By fostering a culture where employees are kept up to date and empowered to manage records safely, your workplace’s attitude towards compliance will change for the good. Rather than being seen as a chore, it is just accepted as the way information should be kept.
By fostering good records management, the business benefits as a whole. The goal of records management is not to create unnecessary filing and bureaucracy, but to streamline and standardise processes and keep business operations in order.
Individual Positions of Responsibilities
Although everyone in the organisation is responsible for record keeping, to ensure that standards are met, there are individual positions that take the lead:
Managers and supervisors need to start the push for good record management. By making sure the heads of the business are prioritising it, then the rest of your employees will follow.
Record proprietors determine which records will be created, gathered, and maintained. From there, they produce documents needed for audit checks and other compliance procedures. This position could be one in its own right, or could fall to management. For larger organisations with multiple record filing systems, there may be more than one person taking responsibility.
Record custodians maintain, secure, and care for records in accordance with company guidelines. This individual is the manager of a unit assigned to the role by the record proprietor. In some cases the record proprietor and record custodian may be the same person, and there could actually be more than one custodian.
Local records management coordinators create, publish, and maintain local record-retention schedules. A retention schedule is a policy that defines how long records must be kept and provides disposal guidelines for how data items should be discarded.
The Benefits of Effective Records Management:
- Helps you to do your job better by increasing the ease and efficiency of work, you can find the information you need quickly, allowing you to get on with your work
- Increases your accountability by providing evidence of what has happened in the past, offering up clear information that can be used if problems occur
- Increases company efficiency by making sure that you’re only keeping records you need
- Gives you records you can rely on by giving you records of a high value if they’re ever needed as evidence due to their standards in validity, accuracy, and relevance
- Shows you’re following legislation by complying to the expected standards