Documentation and your business: Why it's necessary
May 28, 2014 at 7:28 AM
As an employer the importance of maintaining employee files can't be underestimated. Employee files serve a variety of purposes which protect both you as the employer, as well as your employees. Learning how to organize employee files largely depends on your company’s purpose and the functions your employees serve with the day to day operations.
On the most basic level an employee file should contain a minimum of the following documents:
- The employee's resume
- Any notes from the interview or reference checks that are relevant
- The letter offering employment, signed by the employee
- Job Description
- Any mandatory documents upon hiring and throughout employment, including but not limited to:
- Tax Forms
- Confidentiality policies
- Copies of diplomas/certificates
- Any awards/continuous training certificates from during the period of employment
- Offers and acknowledgements of merit increases, cost of living increases, promotions, demotions
- Any types of action plans/ commendations/disciplinary actions
- Annual Reviews
- Letter of resignation or termination
The next most important thing to making and maintaining employee files, is ensuring that the information is secure and kept confidential. Hard files should be kept in a locked, preferably fireproof cabinet. Copies of these important documents can also be scanned and kept in employee management software for small business managers and owners. Ideally, employers should have a hard file along with electronic copies of the employee's file.
Depending upon your field, there may be local, state, or governmental requirements of documents that you must have immediate access to in case of an audit or an emergency, so ensuring the integrity and safety of these files is essential.
Employee files contain confidential and often highly sensitive information, especially in relation to salaries, medical and family leaves of absence or any disciplinary actions that may involve that employee.
Generally, employees are legally allowed access to their employee files and copies of the documents in them. However, the employer can and should reserve the right to keep the file on site and under supervision. Under no circumstances should an employee's file be shown to other employees. The human resource manager, president of the company, and the employee are essentially the only people who should have a need to view anyone’s personnel file.
Maintaining accurate, up-to-date records should be a priority. Personnel files should be checked annually - doing this at the same time as the employee's annual review is an ideal time since you will need to include each year's review in the employee's file.
With a little organization, maintaining personnel files is a breeze.
Staff Files makes employee recordkeeping simple. Try the free demo/trial edition of this easy and affordable employee management software today!
Have questions about Staff Files? Call us at 1-800-874-8801 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.