Organize Your Personnel Records to Have Only the Required Information
May 28, 2014 at 7:42 AM
Perhaps the biggest day in a young company's life is when it has grown large enough to hire employees on a regular basis. Whether you are taking on 15 or 150 workers, establishing a secure personnel records system is essential to keep track of important information your business will need for hiring specific job positions, recording work performance, outlining employee benefits and recording disciplinary actions.
Yet what exactly should you keep in the records? Many young businesses gather all the employee information into one main file, making it bulky and cumbersome to keep the information accurate and retrieve data quickly. It also makes it difficult to find information for legal purposes to protect the company.
Organizing Your Personnel Records for Efficiency
With HR software solutions available for different size businesses, you may tailor personnel records so you are only gathering the most important information required to run your business. Yet many new business owners get confused on what type of data to gather for these records. Should the payroll and medical records also be included with the personnel data?
First, understand what a personnel record is so you can keep it organized with only the information that should be in it. Personnel records should have the job description that was posted to receive candidates, the job application of the selected employee, and their resume. It should also contain IRS Form W-4 documents and emergency contact details.
When it comes to medical records and payroll records, you can keep those in separate files. The personnel data should hold information strictly related to the job position such as employee benefits, certificates for completing training courses, attendance records and performance evaluations. Form I-9s should also be kept in a separate file.
Things to Avoid When Creating Personnel Records
While including documentation of awards and disciplinary actions are important, you should be cautious about documents that contain personal opinions about the employee. You want to have your employee records as professional as possible.
Notes and comments from managers or coworkers about the employee's personal life, beliefs, gossip or criticisms have no place in personnel records and -- in reality -- no place in the company's working environment. Any indiscreet opinions you have about the employee should be kept strictly to yourself.
Complaints about an employee can be placed into the personnel record as long as those complaints have been investigated and found to be substantiated with other evidence. Always follow up complaint information with the appropriate disciplinary actions and warnings implemented toward the employee so all documentation is accurate.
With several different HR software solutions to choose from, you're sure to find the one that's best suited for your company. Start by trying a free demo/trial of Staff Files, our popular PC-based human resources software.
Have questions about our software? Call us at 1-800-874-8801 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.