One of the first things you’ll want to get a handle on in your business is the amount of paperwork that piles up when it comes to managing Human Resources. Set up employee files right away, whether with physical files or a digital system. Keeping your files confidential and secure is imperative. If you choose a paperless system, be sure to choose a secure method of storage.
Managing The Paperwork – Setting Up A Compliant Employee File System
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You should start a file for each employee on the date of hire. Most, but not all, documents relating to employment should be kept in your employees’ files, including:
- Job description for the position with the employee’s signature
- Job application and resume of the employee
- Written offer of employment with required employment information
- A receipt or signed acknowledgement of receiving the employee handbook
- Emergency contact and next of kin forms
However, some documents that should not be kept in employee files for legal reasons are medical records, I-9 forms, and documents with Social Security numbers or information on protected classes.
Later, you can add performance evaluations and other notes of praise or disciplinary forms.
Employee records can be maintained in paper form, scanned, or completed and maintained electronically. Even if you only have a few employees, you may want to digitalize the files. Several free or low cost options are available.
Make sure that all information in employee files is factual and unbiased. You need to know what you should or shouldn’t write in the notes; if it’s in the employee file, it’s discoverable in court.
Supervisory documentation for managing an employee’s work, setting goals, and providing feedback should be filed in a separate folder. If anything isn’t documented, it didn’t happen. You can set up a very simple employee file by noting in Word or Excel any objective comments, e.g. “Heather finished the Smith project a week ahead of schedule and got rave reviews from the client.” or “Chris’ start time is 8:30. He arrived at 9:45 on 2/2, 8:50 on 2/8, and 9:03 on 2/15. Met with him to discuss tardiness. He lost his DL and has to wait for rides. I stated that he needs to make arrangements to get to work on time.”
A compliant file system and proper documentation can provide important information at a moment’s notice (medical emergency) and evidence of performance. Make sure your files are up to date and in order.
Let HR Coastal Manage Your Company’s Paperwork!
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HRCoastal Human Resources
103 Redtail Drive, Bluffton, SC 29909